One of the provinces of Alberta, the Canadian Shield boasts an economy that is highly dependent on oil and gas extraction. With a wide variety of natural resources like oil sands, bitumen, limestone and several other valuable minerals, the economy in this province is primarily based on the development and exploitation of these resources. Many benefit from the resource-based economy but others are affected by the large scale industry that has become prominent in the area. As a result, the political, social and economic wellbeing of residents of the Canmoreia region are often at risk.
The Shield's major industries include oil and gas exploration, petroleum and mineral development, wood processing, and related manufacturing. Although mining and logging have been prevalent in the area, the influx of large-scale industry has significantly increased the pressure placed on the environment. For example, the increased industry has resulted in more vehicle exhaust released into the air, more burning of forest fuels and the necessity for larger amounts of natural resources to compensate for the increased demands of industry. As a result, the environmental assessment for mining and log development is often considered poorly performed. As a result, the government considers the protection of the environment as one of its top priorities.
As well as the direct effect on the environment, the heavy reliance on resource extraction techniques and the associated pollution poses a significant economic issue on the Canmoreia. The transportation methods used to extract resources often damage the environment and the local economy in the process. Furthermore, industry players in the mining and logging industry often exert political influence and block legislation that would improve the economic wellbeing of residents.
The overall health and welfare of residents of the Canadian Shield rely heavily on the economy of the area. Without strong infrastructure that can facilitate both economic growth and development, the economy will stagnate or fall into disrepair. As a result, healthcare, education, jobs, and public safety are all considered to be vital by residents. While a small number of businesses make up most of the economy, a large number of residents work in the service industry. Many residents work in industries such as the mining, forestry, oil and gas, and manufacturing.
Despite the large number of residents working in these industries, the majority of them live in remote areas that experience a poor quality of life. Moreover, the limited social services that exist often leave little opportunity for physical exercise. In addition, a lack of basic necessities such as clean drinking water, safe potable water, electricity, and natural resources to create an environment in which stress levels increase dramatically. As a result, many residents develop psychological problems that include depression and loneliness. These circumstances can exacerbate economic, educational, and social problems and lead to higher healthcare costs and less productivity.
Despite these negative impacts, the Canadian Shield offers a unique opportunity for those . . . . . . wishing to engage in economic activities. The relatively high-value and stable economy allows individuals and families to build valuable real estate. A variety of private and public organizations often conduct economic activities in the community, including mining, logging, and manufacturing. Economists predict that the growth of this shield will continue to generate employment opportunities for residents of all income levels and ages. In addition, increased tax revenues are expected to boost economies throughout the region.