Canada. A forest fire in the province of Alberta, which
was initially considered a minor phenomenon, had devastating
consequences in early May when it quickly spread and became
difficult to stop due to drought and heavy winds. The fire,
popularly called the "best", soon reached the town of Fort
McMurray. There, 90,000 people were forced to leave their
homes and 2,400 houses were destroyed, which was a tenth of
all the houses in the city. No deaths were noted, however,
the natural disaster was expected to be the most expensive
in Canada's history, according to analysts who believed that
insurance companies' spending would amount to about SEK 57
The oil industry was also affected when a site for oil
extraction of oil sands is located in Alberta. 8,000 oil
workers were evacuated from their camps near the city and
oil companies in the area had to stop their production.
According to the energy company Suncor Energy, the missing
oil recovery meant a loss of SEK 6.5 billion.
Only in early June could the Fort McMurray residents
return home. There, however, they risked being joined by
black bears, who were reported to have installed themselves
in the evacuated city to find food left over. In Alberta,
around 40,000 bears live. Figures from the TT news agency
indicated that the fire extinguished an area of over 5,000
square kilometers. The advent of the fire was unclear, but
it was believed to be caused by humans. On the other hand,
it was judged to have such a spread due to record high
temperatures and drought as a result of climate change and
During the summer, the Senate passed a controversial bill
to grant euthanasia to severely ill persons near death by
natural means. According to
countryaah, the current population of Canada is 37,742,165.
The law meant that doctors, nurses and
pharmacists would be given the right to help seriously ill
people die without risking prosecution.
In August, the government decided to investigate the root
causes of why indigenous women are among the most violent in
the country. The group comprises 4% of the population, but
among the victims of deadly violence they make up 16%.
Representatives of indigenous peoples and human rights
organizations have for decades demanded that the government
act, and last year also called on UN Canada to set up an
investigation. The decision came at a time when the Liberal
government, which was elected in 2015, focused on being more
inclusive against women. In June, a proposal was sent to the
Senate to change the text line in the national anthem from
"in all your sons command" to "in all of us command", and on
International Women's Day March 8, the government's film
consultant announced that half of the National Film
Institute's budget would be reserved for female directors.
After seven years of negotiations, in October, the
much-debated CETA, a Canada-EU free trade agreement, was
signed. At the end, it was uncertain whether the agreement
would lock in because Wallonia, a region in Belgium, turned
to parts of the contract text. The trade agreement would
provisionally start to apply at the turn of the year and
meant that almost all customs duties and other fees relating
to trade between the blocks would be abolished. However,
analysts felt that CETA was in danger of being short-lived
as further voting in regional and national parliaments
within the EU is required for the agreement to be
permanently in law.
Canada - Ottawa
Ottawa, Capital of Canada; 989,600 residents (2017), in the metropolitan area
1. 3 million. Ottawa is located on the Ottawa River in the province of Ontario.
The city's business is based primarily on the national functions, and the
largest employer is the federal government.
In addition, there are a number of companies in different service industries.
The manufacturing industry is relatively insignificant; however,
high-tech-oriented operations have become increasingly important in recent
decades. Tourism is one of Ottawa's more important industries. Higher education
is responsible for the University of Ottawa (founded 1848) and Carleton
University (founded 1942).
Ottawa originated in 1827 in connection with the construction of the Rideau
Canal (between the Ottawa River and Lake Ontario) and was named Bytown
after the canal project leader, Colonel John By ( 1779-1836 ). The city was
given its current name in 1855, was appointed Queen Victoria in the United
Kingdom in 1857 and since 1867 is Canada's capital.