Bottom Content goes here.
Wikipedia content requires these links.....
Wikipedia content is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Canada is the northernmost country in North America, bordered by the United
States in the south (the world's longest undefended border) and northwest
(Alaska). The country stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the
Pacific Ocean in the west, with the Arctic Ocean in the north (Canada's
territorial claim extends to the North Pole). The island of Greenland is
just northeast of Canada's northern most islands, while the French
possession of Saint Pierre and Miquelon is just off the east coast.
Canada is the world's second-largest country in terms of land area, but has
a low population density, with approximately 31 million inhabitants
(Canadians). Canada is modern and technologically advanced country, it is
energy self-sufficient and often mistaken for being one of the few developed
countries with an economy having a heavy reliance on its abundance of
The name Canada originated from a Huron-Iroquoian word, Kanata meaning
"village", referring to Stadacona, a settlement on the site of present-day Quebec City.
In practice, the country's official name is simply Canada. It has been
argued that the country's official name still is The Dominion of Canada, as
the British North America Act, section 3, created "one Dominion under the
name of Canada;" and while the 1982 Canadian Constitution does not use the
term, neither does it amend the earlier usage.
However, starting in the 1950s the federal government began to gradually
phase out the use of the word "Dominion" in official texts and instead
simply refer to the nation as "Canada." The last major change was renaming
the national holiday from Dominion Day to Canada Day in 1982. Dominion is
still occasionally used to distinguish the federal government as from the provinces.
National motto: A Mari Usque Ad Mare
(From sea to sea)
Official languages French and English
Queen Elizabeth II
Prime minister Jean Chrtien
Area Ranked 2nd
Ę- Total 9,984,670
Ę- % water km²
Canada, which has been inhabited by Population Ranked 35th
natives including the First Nations Ę- Total (2001) 31,081,900
and the Inuit for about 10,000 years, Ę- Density 3/km²
was first visited by Europeans around
1000, when the Vikings briefly had a British North
settlement. More permanent European Independence America Act
visits came in the 16th and 17th July 1, 1867
century, as the French settled here.
Currency Canadian dollar ($)
They traded much of their lands with
the British in 1763, and after the Time zone UTC -3.5 to -8
American Revolution, many British National anthem O Canada
Loyalists settled in Canada. With the Internet TLD .CA
passing of the British North America
Act the British government granted the Calling Code 1
request of the French and English
leaders of the colony of Canada, the status of an self-governing country on
July 1, 1867. More definitive independence came in 1931 with the Statute of
Westminster, and in 1982 with the repatriation of Canada's constitution.
On July 7, 1969 French was made equal to English throughout the Canadian
In the second half of the 20th century, some citizens of the French-speaking
province of Quebec have sought independence, but two referendums have been
defeated, albeit marginally in the last case (50.6% were against independence).
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, the head of state being the monarch,
currently Queen Elizabeth II. The monarch's representative in Canada is the
Governor-General, who fills the role of approving bills, and other state
functions. For the most part, the monarch (through her representative, the
Governor-General) is a figurehead, and what little real power she has is
reserved for times of crisis. The text of Canada's constitution can be found
here: Constitution of Canada. It should be noted that the province of Quebec
has refused to sign the Canadian Constitution.
The Governor-General is appointed by the Prime Minister, who is the leader
of the political party that holds the most seats in the House of Commons.
The legislative branch of government consists of the Parliament, including
the elected House of Commons and the appointed Senate.
Canada is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, La Francophonie, NATO,
the G7, and APEC.
Provinces and territories
Canada is divided into 10 provinces and 3 territories. The provinces have a
reasonable large autonomy from the federal government, while the territories
have somewhat less. The provinces and territories each have their own
The provinces are:
* British Columbia
* New Brunswick
* Newfoundland and Labrador
* Nova Scotia
* Prince Edward Island
And the territories:
* Northwest Territories
Eastern Canada is divided between boreal forest and the barren Canadian
Shield in the north and the highly fertile Saint Lawrence River Valley in
the south, where most of the country's population is concentrated. Large
parts of south central Canada are covered by plains and prairies. The west
of Canada mostly consists of rolling terrain on either side of the Rocky
Mountains. The Hudson Bay sea arm cuts deep into the country.
A number of large lakes are located throughout Canada, including the Great
Lakes, which form part of the border with the United States.
The vast north of the country is mainly arctic lowlands with a polar
climate, and is therefore extremely sparsely populated; for example, fewer
than 30,000 people live in Nunavut Territory, which is the size of Western
Europe. Most of the major cities are located in the more temperate south,
with largest concentration in the east. The largest cities are: Toronto,
Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; Vancouver, British Columbia; the capital, Ottawa,
Ontario; and Calgary, Alberta.
As an affluent, high-tech industrial society, Canada today closely resembles
the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and
high living standards. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the
manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a
largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. Energy
self-sufficient, Canada has vast deposits of natural gas on the East Coast
and in the three western provinces, and a plethora of other natural
resources. The 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and 1994 North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (which includes Mexico) touched off a
dramatic increase in trade and economic integration with the US. As a result
of the close cross-border relationship, the economic downturn in the United
States in 2001 had a negative impact on the Canadian economy. Real growth
averaged nearly 3% during 1993-2000, but declined in 2001. Unemployment is
up, with contraction in the manufacturing and natural resource sectors.
Nevertheless, with its great natural resources, skilled labor force, and
modern capital plant, Canada enjoys solid economic prospects.
Two shadows loom, the first being the continuing constitutional impasse
between English- and French-speaking areas, (see article: Politics of
Canada) which has been raising the possibility of a split in the federation.
Another long-term concern is fears of a flow south to the US of
professionals, referred to as the Brain Drain, lured by higher pay, lower
taxes, and the immense high-tech infrastructure. However, "Brain Gain", a
largely unrecognized phenomenon, is progressing simultaneously, cancelling
out "Brain Drain" or even exceeding it, as educated immigrants enter Canada
in the late 20th century and 21st century.
As of 2001, 66% of Canadians are of European descent (mostly British and
French origins), 26% are of mixed backgrouds, and 6% are of solely
non-European descent, mostly from Asia. Only 2% of the population is formed
by the native population. Canada's two official languages are French and
English; French is mostly spoken in Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick.
Most Canadians are Christians, with about 42% being Roman Catholic, and 38% Protestant.
Canadian culture is heavily influenced by British and American influences.
The province of Quebec has maintained a distinct French culture, which is
protected by special laws and constitutional agreements. For example, Quebec
uses civil law based on the Napoleonic code, whereas the rest of the county
uses common law derived from the British parlimentry tradition. The large
American cultural presence in Canada has prompted some fears of a cultural
takeover, and has initiated the establishment of many laws and institutions
to protect Canadian culture.
Date English Name Local Name Remarks
January 1 New Year's New Year's Day, Statutory.
Day Jour de l'an
(varies) Good Friday Good Friday, celebrated in April; see
Easter article for details.
Typically celebrated in
(varies) Easter Monday Easter Monday, April; see Easter article
Victoria Day; Fte Celebration of the Queen's
May 24 Victoria Day de la Reine Celebrated on the Monday
(Quebec: Fte des
Patriotes) following the 24th if it
falls on a weekend.
Statutory. Commemoration of
July 1 Canada Day Canada Day, Fte du Canada's 1867
First Monday Labour Day, Fte du
in September Labour Day Travail Statutory.
Second Statutory. Thanksgiving is
Monday in Thanksgiving Thanksgiving, not celebrated on the same
October Action de grce day as it is in the U.S.
November 11 Remembrance Remembrance Day, Observance of Canada's war
Day Jour du souvenir dead.
December 25 Christmas Christmas, Nol Statutory.
Statutory. Day when shops
December 26 Boxing Day Boxing Day, sell off excess Christmas
Lendemain de Nol
Note: Each province also has its own provincial holiday or holidays. Links: