Anthem: "O Canada"
|Capital|| Ottawa |
|Government|| Federal parliamentary |
|House of Commons|
| Independence |
from the United Kingdom
|July 1, 1867|
|December 11, 1931|
|April 17, 1982|
• Total area
|9,984,670 km2 (3,855,100 sq mi)(2nd)|
• Water (%)
• Total land area
|9,093,507 km2 (3,511,023 sq mi)|
• Q2 2019 estimate
• 2016 census
|3.92/km2 (10.2/sq mi)(228th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2019 estimate|
|$1.930 trillion (15th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2019 estimate|
|$1.820 trillion (10th)|
• Per capita
very high · 12th
|Currency||Canadian dollar ($) (CAD)|
|Time zone||UTC−3.5 to −8|
• Summer (DST)
|UTC−2.5 to −7|
|Date format||yyyy-mm-dd (AD)|
|Mains electricity||120 V–60 Hz|
|ISO 3166 code||CA|
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.
The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national governments within the geographical areas of Canada under the authority of the Canadian Constitution. In the 1867 Canadian Confederation, three provinces of British North America—New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada —were united to form a federated colony, becoming a sovereign nation in the next century. Over its history, Canada's international borders have changed several times, and the country has grown from the original four provinces to the current ten provinces and three territories. Together, the provinces and territories make up the world's second-largest country by area.
The Canada–United States border, officially known as the International Boundary, is the longest international border in the world between two countries. It is shared between Canada and the United States, the second- and fourth- largest countries by area, respectively. The terrestrial boundary is 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi) long, of which 2,475 kilometres (1,538 mi) is Canada's border with Alaska. Eight Canadian provinces and territories, and thirteen U.S. states are located along the border.
As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, and 70 per cent residing within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.
Urbanization refers to the population shift from rural areas to urban areas, the gradual increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas, and the ways in which each society adapts to this change. It is predominantly the process by which towns and cities are formed and become larger as more people begin living and working in central areas. Although the two concepts are sometimes used interchangeably, urbanization should be distinguished from urban growth: urbanization is "the proportion of the total national population living in areas classed as urban", while urban growth refers to "the absolute number of people living in areas classed as urban". The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008. It is predicted that by 2050 about 64% of the developing world and 86% of the developed world will be urbanized. That is equivalent to approximately 3 billion urbanites by 2050, much of which will occur in Africa and Asia. Notably, the United Nations has also recently projected that nearly all global population growth from 2017 to 2030 will be by cities, about 1.1 billion new urbanites over the next 13 years.
The climate of the Arctic is characterized by long, cold winters and short, cool summers. There is a large amount of variability in climate across the Arctic, but all regions experience extremes of solar radiation in both summer and winter. Some parts of the Arctic are covered by ice year-round, and nearly all parts of the Arctic experience long periods with some form of ice on the surface. Average January temperatures range from about −34 °C to 0 °C, and winter temperatures can drop below −50 °C (−58 °F) over large parts of the Arctic. Average July temperatures range from about −10 to +10 °C, with some land areas occasionally exceeding 30 °C (86 °F) in summer.
Various Indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years before European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century, British and French expeditions explored and later settled along the Atlantic coast. As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.
Indigenous peoples in Canada, also known as Aboriginal Canadians or by the initialism FNIM, are the indigenous peoples within the boundaries of Canada. They comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Although "Indian" is a term still commonly used in legal documents, the descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have somewhat fallen into disuse in Canada and some consider them to be pejorative. Similarly, "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act, 1982, though in some circles that word is also falling into disfavour.
The British colonization of the Americas describes the history of the establishment of control, settlement, and decolonization of the continents of the Americas by the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of Scotland, and, after the union of those two countries in 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain. Colonization efforts began in the 16th century with unsuccessful efforts by the Kingdom of England to establish colonies in North America, but the first permanent British colony was established in Jamestown in 1607. Over the next several centuries more colonies were established in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Though most British colonies in the Americas eventually gained independence, some colonies have opted to remain under Britain's jurisdiction as British Overseas Territories.
The French colonization of the Americas began in the 16th century, and continued on into the following centuries as France established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere. France founded colonies in much of eastern North America, on a number of Caribbean islands, and in South America. Most colonies were developed to export products such as fish, rice, sugar, and furs.
Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with a monarch and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the Cabinet and head of government. The country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and officially bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture.
A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Monaco, Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Sweden and Japan, where the monarch retains no formal authorities.
The Westminster system is a parliamentary system of government developed in England, now a constituent country within the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament. The system is a series of procedures for operating a legislature. It is used, or was once used, in the national and subnational legislatures of most former British Empire colonies upon gaining responsible government, beginning with the first of the Canadian provinces in 1848 and the six Australian colonies between 1855 and 1890. However, some former colonies have since adopted either the presidential system or a hybrid system as their form of government.
The monarchy of Canada is at the core of both Canada's federal structure, Westminster-style of parliamentary and constitutional democracy. The monarchy is the foundation of the executive (Queen-in-Council), legislative (Queen-in-Parliament), judicial (Queen-on-the-Bench) branches within both federal and provincial jurisdictions. The sovereign is the personification of the Canadian state and is Queen of Canada as a matter of constitutional law. The current Canadian monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952. Elizabeth's eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales, is heir apparent.
A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per-capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index. Its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
A developed country, industrialized country, more developed country, or more economically developed country (MEDC), is a sovereign state that has a developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations. Most commonly, the criteria for evaluating the degree of economic development are gross domestic product (GDP), gross national product (GNP), the per capita income, level of industrialization, amount of widespread infrastructure and general standard of living. Which criteria are to be used and which countries can be classified as being developed are subjects of debate.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development. A country scores a higher HDI when the lifespan is higher, the education level is higher, and the gross national income GNI (PPP) per capita is higher. It was developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq, with help from Gustav Ranis of Yale University and Meghnad Desai of the London School of Economics, and was further used to measure a country's development by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)'s Human Development Report Office.
The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization responsible for maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international cooperation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. The UN is headquartered on international territory in New York City; other main offices are in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague.
While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".In 1535, Indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier later used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona (the chief at Stadacona); by 1545, European books and maps had begun referring to this small region along the Saint Lawrence River as Canada.
The St. Lawrence Iroquoians were an Indigenous people who existed from the 14th century to about 1580. They concentrated along the shores of the St. Lawrence River in present-day Quebec and Ontario, Canada, the American state of New York, and northernmost Vermont. They spoke Laurentian languages, a branch of the Iroquoian family. The Pointe-à-Callière Museum estimated their numbers as 120,000 people in 25 nations occupying an area of 230,000 square kilometres (89,000 sq mi). However, that estimate of the number of St. Lawrence Iroquoians and the area they controlled is believed exaggerated by many scholars. The current archaeological evidence indicates that the largest known village had a population of about 1,000 and their total population was 8,000–10,000. The traditional view is that they disappeared because of late 16th century warfare by the Mohawk nation of the Haudenosaunee, which wanted to control trade with Europeans in the valley.
Quebec City, officially Québec, is the capital city of the Canadian province of Quebec. The city has an estimated population of 531,902 as of July 2016, and the metropolitan area has a population of 800,296 as of July 2016. It is the second largest city in Quebec after Montreal, and the seventh largest metropolitan area and eleventh largest city in Canada.
Jacques Cartier was a Breton explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France. Jacques Cartier was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big settlements he saw at Stadacona and at Hochelaga.
From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River.In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas; until their union as the British Province of Canada in 1841. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, and the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth". The government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using Dominion in the statutes of Canada in 1951.
In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act , bringing the Constitution of Canada fully under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, and later that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion.
Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis,the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers. The term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982 .
The first inhabitants of North America are generally hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago.The Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian Indigenous societies included permanent settlements, agriculture, complex societal hierarchies, and trading networks. Some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The Indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000and two million, with a figure of 500,000 accepted by Canada's Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. As a consequence of European colonization, the population of Canada's Indigenous peoples declined by forty to eighty percent, and several First Nations, such as the Beothuk, disappeared. The decline is attributed to several causes, including the transfer of European diseases, such as influenza, measles, and smallpox to which they had no natural immunity, conflicts over the fur trade, conflicts with the colonial authorities and settlers, and the loss of Indigenous lands to settlers and the subsequent collapse of several nations' self-sufficiency.
Although not without conflict, European Canadians' early interactions with First Nations and Inuit populations were relatively peaceful.First Nations and Métis peoples played a critical part in the development of European colonies in Canada, particularly for their role in assisting European coureur des bois and voyageurs in the exploration of the continent during the North American fur trade. The Crown and Indigenous peoples began interactions during the European colonization period, though the Inuit, in general, had more limited interaction with European settlers. However, from the late 18th century, European Canadians encouraged Indigenous peoples to assimilate into their own culture. These attempts reached a climax in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with forced integration and relocations. A period of redress is underway, which started with the appointment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada by the Government of Canada in 2008.
In about 1000 AD, the Norse built a small encampment that only lasted a few years at L'Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland. 10-metre (33 ft) cross bearing the words "Long Live the King of France" and took possession of the territory New France in the name of King Francis I. The early 16th century saw European mariners with navigational techniques pioneered by the Basque and Portuguese establish seasonal whaling and fishing outposts along the Atlantic coast. In general, early settlements during the Age of Discovery appear to have been short-lived due to a combination of the harsh climate, problems with navigating trade routes and competing outputs in Scandinavia.No further European exploration occurred until 1497, when Italian seafarer John Cabot explored and claimed Canada's Atlantic coast in the name of King Henry VII of England. In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the Gulf of Saint Lawrence where, on July 24, he planted a
In 1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, by the royal prerogative of Queen Elizabeth I, founded St. John's, Newfoundland, as the first North American English colony.French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in 1603 and established the first permanent European settlements at Port Royal (in 1605) and Quebec City (in 1608). Among the colonists of New France, Canadiens extensively settled the Saint Lawrence River valley and Acadians settled the present-day Maritimes, while fur traders and Catholic missionaries explored the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and the Mississippi watershed to Louisiana. The Beaver Wars broke out in the mid-17th century over control of the North American fur trade.
The English established additional settlements in Newfoundland, beginning in 1610 and the Thirteen Colonies to the south were founded soon after.A series of four wars erupted in colonial North America between 1689 and 1763; the later wars of the period constituted the North American theatre of the Seven Years' War. Mainland Nova Scotia came under British rule with the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, and Canada and most of New France came under British rule in 1763 after the Seven Years' War.
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 established First Nation treaty rights, created the Province of Quebec out of New France, and annexed Cape Breton Island to Nova Scotia.St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) became a separate colony in 1769. To avert conflict in Quebec, the British Parliament passed the Quebec Act of 1774, expanding Quebec's territory to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. More importantly, the Quebec Act afforded Quebec special autonomy and rights of self-administration at a time the Thirteen Colonies were increasingly agitating against British rule. It re-established the French language, Catholic faith, and French civil law there, staving off the growth of an independence movement in contrast to the Thirteen Colonies. The Proclamation and the Quebec Act in turn angered many residents of the Thirteen Colonies, further fuelling anti-British sentiment in the years prior to the American Revolution.
After the successful American War of Independence, the 1783 Treaty of Paris recognized the independence of the newly formed United States and set the terms of peace, ceding British North American territories south of the Great Lakes to the new country.The American war of independence also caused a large out-migration of Loyalists, the settlers who had fought against American independence. Many moved to Canada, particularly Atlantic Canada, where their arrival changed the demographic distribution of the existing territories. New Brunswick was in turn split from Nova Scotia as part of a reorganization of Loyalist settlements in the Maritimes which led to the incorporation of Saint John, New Brunswick to become Canada's first city. To accommodate the influx of English-speaking Loyalists in Central Canada, the Constitutional Act of 1791 divided the province of Canada into French-speaking Lower Canada (later Quebec) and English-speaking Upper Canada (later Ontario), granting each its own elected legislative assembly.
The Canadas were the main front in the War of 1812 between the United States and the United Kingdom. Peace came in 1815; no boundaries were changed. Immigration resumed at a higher level, with over 960,000 arrivals from Britain between 1815 and 1850.New arrivals included refugees escaping the Great Irish Famine as well as Gaelic-speaking Scots displaced by the Highland Clearances. Infectious diseases killed between 25 and 33 percent of Europeans who immigrated to Canada before 1891.
The desire for responsible government resulted in the abortive Rebellions of 1837.The Durham Report subsequently recommended responsible government and the assimilation of French Canadians into English culture. The Act of Union merged the Canadas into a united Province of Canada and responsible government was established for all provinces of British North America by 1849. The signing of the Oregon Treaty by Britain and the United States in 1846 ended the Oregon boundary dispute, extending the border westward along the 49th parallel. This paved the way for British colonies on Vancouver Island (1849) and in British Columbia (1858). The Alaska Purchase of 1867 by the United States established the border along the Pacific coast, although there would continue to be some disputes about the exact demarcation of the Alaska-Yukon and Alaska-BC border for years to come.
Following several constitutional conferences, the Constitution Act officially proclaimed Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, initially with four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.Canada assumed control of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory to form the Northwest Territories, where the Métis' grievances ignited the Red River Rebellion and the creation of the province of Manitoba in July 1870. British Columbia and Vancouver Island (which had been united in 1866) joined the confederation in 1871, while Prince Edward Island joined in 1873. Between 1871 and 1896, almost one quarter of the Canadian population immigrated southwards, to the U.S.
To open the West to European immigration, parliament also approved sponsoring the construction of three transcontinental railways (including the Canadian Pacific Railway), opening the prairies to settlement with the Dominion Lands Act , and establishing the North-West Mounted Police to assert its authority over this territory.In 1898, during the Klondike Gold Rush in the Northwest Territories, parliament created the Yukon Territory. Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces in 1905.
Because Britain still maintained control of Canada's foreign affairs under the Constitution Act, 1867, its declaration of war in 1914 automatically brought Canada into World War I.Volunteers sent to the Western Front later became part of the Canadian Corps, which played a substantial role in the Battle of Vimy Ridge and other major engagements of the war. Out of approximately 625,000 Canadians who served in World War I, some 60,000 were killed and another 172,000 were wounded. The Conscription Crisis of 1917 erupted when the Unionist Cabinet's proposal to augment the military's dwindling number of active members with conscription was met with vehement objections from French-speaking Quebecers. The Military Service Act brought in compulsory military service, though it, coupled with disputes over French language schools outside Quebec, deeply alienated Francophone Canadians and temporarily split the Liberal Party. In 1919, Canada joined the League of Nations independently of Britain, and the 1931 Statute of Westminster affirmed Canada's independence.
The Great Depression in Canada during the early 1930s saw an economic downturn, leading to hardship across the country.In response to the downturn, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Saskatchewan introduced many elements of a welfare state (as pioneered by Tommy Douglas) in the 1940s and 1950s. On the advice of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, war with Germany was declared effective September 10, 1939, by King George VI, seven days after the United Kingdom. The delay underscored Canada's independence.
The first Canadian Army units arrived in Britain in December 1939. In all, over a million Canadians served in the armed forces during World War II and approximately 42,000 were killed and another 55,000 were wounded.Canadian troops played important roles in many key battles of the war, including the failed 1942 Dieppe Raid, the Allied invasion of Italy, the Normandy landings, the Battle of Normandy, and the Battle of the Scheldt in 1944. Canada provided asylum for the Dutch monarchy while that country was occupied and is credited by the Netherlands for major contributions to its liberation from Nazi Germany.
The Canadian economy boomed during the war as its industries manufactured military materiel for Canada, Britain, China, and the Soviet Union.Despite another Conscription Crisis in Quebec in 1944, Canada finished the war with a large army and strong economy.
The financial crisis of the Great Depression had led the Dominion of Newfoundland to relinquish responsible government in 1934 and become a crown colony ruled by a British governor.After two bitter referendums, Newfoundlanders voted to join Canada in 1949 as a province.
Canada's post-war economic growth, combined with the policies of successive Liberal governments, led to the emergence of a new Canadian identity, marked by the adoption of the Maple Leaf Flag in 1965,the implementation of official bilingualism (English and French) in 1969, and the institution of official multiculturalism in 1971. Socially democratic programs were also instituted, such as Medicare, the Canada Pension Plan, and Canada Student Loans, though provincial governments, particularly Quebec and Alberta, opposed many of these as incursions into their jurisdictions.
Finally, another series of constitutional conferences resulted in the Canada Act, the patriation of Canada's constitution from the United Kingdom, concurrent with the creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.Canada had established complete sovereignty as an independent country, although the Queen retained her role as monarch of Canada. In 1999, Nunavut became Canada's third territory after a series of negotiations with the federal government.
At the same time, Quebec underwent profound social and economic changes through the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, giving birth to a secular nationalist movement. sovereignist Parti Québécois was elected in 1976, organizing an unsuccessful referendum on sovereignty-association in 1980. Attempts to accommodate Quebec nationalism constitutionally through the Meech Lake Accord failed in 1990. This led to the formation of the Bloc Québécois in Quebec and the invigoration of the Reform Party of Canada in the West. A second referendum followed in 1995, in which sovereignty was rejected by a slimmer margin of 50.6 to 49.4 percent. In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession by a province would be unconstitutional and the Clarity Act was passed by parliament, outlining the terms of a negotiated departure from Confederation.The radical Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) ignited the October Crisis with a series of bombings and kidnappings in 1970 and the
In addition to the issues of Quebec sovereignty, a number of crises shook Canadian society in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These included the explosion of Air India Flight 182 in 1985, the largest mass murder in Canadian history;the École Polytechnique massacre in 1989, a university shooting targeting female students; and the Oka Crisis of 1990, the first of a number of violent confrontations between the government and Indigenous groups. Canada also joined the Gulf War in 1990 as part of a U.S.-led coalition force and was active in several peacekeeping missions in the 1990s, including the UNPROFOR mission in the former Yugoslavia.
Canada sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001, but declined to join the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.In 2011, Canadian forces participated in the NATO-led intervention into the Libyan Civil War, and also became involved in battling the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq in the mid-2010s.
Canada occupies much of the continent of North America, sharing land borders with the contiguous United States to the south, and the U.S. state of Alaska to the northwest. Canada stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; to the north lies the Arctic Ocean.Greenland is to the northeast and to the southeast Canada shares a maritime boundary with the Republic of France's overseas collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the last vestige of New France. By total area (including its waters), Canada is the second-largest country in the world, after Russia. By land area alone, however, Canada ranks fourth, the difference being due to it having the world's largest proportion of fresh water lakes. Of Canada's thirteen provinces and territories, only two are landlocked (Alberta and Saskatchewan) while the other eleven all directly border one of three oceans.
Canada is home to the world's northernmost settlement, Canadian Forces Station Alert, on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island – latitude 82.5°N – which lies 817 kilometres (508 mi) from the North Pole. Much of the Canadian Arctic is covered by ice and permafrost. Canada has the longest coastline in the world, with a total length of 243,042 kilometres (151,019 mi); additionally, its border with the United States is the world's longest land border, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi). Three of Canada's arctic islands, Baffin Island, Victoria Island and Ellesmere Island, are among the ten largest in the world.
Since the end of the last glacial period, Canada has consisted of eight distinct forest regions, including extensive boreal forest on the Canadian Shield. 100 km2 (39 sq mi)—which is more than any other country, containing much of the world's fresh water. There are also fresh-water glaciers in the Canadian Rockies and the Coast Mountains.42 percent of the land acreage of Canada is covered by forests, approximately 8 percent of the world's forested land, made up mostly of spruce, poplar and pine. Canada has over 2,000,000 lakes—563 greater than
Canada is geologically active, having many earthquakes and potentially active volcanoes, notably Mount Meager massif, Mount Garibaldi, Mount Cayley massif, and the Mount Edziza volcanic complex. 22.5-kilometre (14.0 mi) lava flow, and, according to Nisga'a legend, blocked the flow of the Nass River.The volcanic eruption of the Tseax Cone in 1775 was among Canada's worst natural disasters, killing an estimated 2,000 Nisga'a people and destroying their village in the Nass River valley of northern British Columbia. The eruption produced a
Average winter and summer high temperatures across Canada vary from region to region. Winters can be harsh in many parts of the country, particularly in the interior and Prairie provinces, which experience a continental climate, where daily average temperatures are near −15 °C (5 °F), but can drop below −40 °C (−40 °F) with severe wind chills. In noncoastal regions, snow can cover the ground for almost six months of the year, while in parts of the north snow can persist year-round. Coastal British Columbia has a temperate climate, with a mild and rainy winter. On the east and west coasts, average high temperatures are generally in the low 20s °C (70s °F), while between the coasts, the average summer high temperature ranges from 25 to 30 °C (77 to 86 °F), with temperatures in some interior locations occasionally exceeding 40 °C (104 °F).
Canada is described as a "full democracy",with a tradition of liberalism, and an egalitarian, moderate political ideology. An emphasis on social justice has been a distinguishing element of Canada's political culture. Peace, order, and good government, alongside an implied bill of rights are founding principles of the Canadian government.
At the federal level, Canada has been dominated by two relatively centrist parties practicing "brokerage politics",the centre-left Liberal Party of Canada and the centre-right Conservative Party of Canada (or its predecessors). The historically predominant Liberal Party position themselves at the centre of the Canadian political spectrum, with the Conservative Party positioned on the right and the New Democratic Party occupying the left. Far-right and far-left politics have never been a prominent force in Canadian society. Five parties had representatives elected to the federal parliament in the 2015 election—the Liberal Party, who currently form the government; the Conservative Party, who are the official opposition; the New Democratic Party; the Bloc Québécois; and the Green Party of Canada.
Canada has a parliamentary system within the context of a constitutional monarchy—the monarchy of Canada being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.The reigning monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who is also monarch of 15 other Commonwealth countries and each of Canada's 10 provinces. The person who is the Canadian monarch is the same as the British monarch, although the two institutions are separate. The Queen appoints a representative, the governor general (at present Julie Payette), to carry out most of her federal royal duties in Canada.
The direct participation of the monarch and the governor general in areas of governance is limited.In practice, their use of the executive powers is directed by the Cabinet, a committee of ministers of the Crown responsible to the elected House of Commons of Canada and chosen and headed by the prime minister (at present Justin Trudeau), the head of government. The governor general or monarch may, though, in certain crisis situations exercise their power without ministerial advice. To ensure the stability of government, the governor general will usually appoint as prime minister the individual who is the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of a plurality in the House of Commons. The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is thus one of the most powerful institutions in government, initiating most legislation for parliamentary approval and selecting for appointment by the Crown, besides the aforementioned, the governor general, lieutenant governors, senators, federal court judges, and heads of Crown corporations and government agencies. The leader of the party with the second-most seats usually becomes the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition and is part of an adversarial parliamentary system intended to keep the government in check.
Each of the 338 members of parliament in the House of Commons is elected by simple plurality in an electoral district or riding. General elections must be called by the governor general, either on the advice of the prime minister or if the government loses a confidence vote in the House.Constitutionally, an election may be held no more than five years after the preceding election, although the Canada Elections Act limits this to four years with a fixed election date in October. The 105 members of the Senate, whose seats are apportioned on a regional basis, serve until age 75.
Canada's federal structure divides government responsibilities between the federal government and the ten provinces. Provincial legislatures are unicameral and operate in parliamentary fashion similar to the House of Commons.Canada's three territories also have legislatures, but these are not sovereign and have fewer constitutional responsibilities than the provinces. The territorial legislatures also differ structurally from their provincial counterparts.
The Bank of Canada is the central bank of the country. In addition, the minister of finance and minister of industry utilize the Statistics Canada agency for financial planning and economic policy development.The Bank of Canada is the sole authority authorized to issue currency in the form of Canadian bank notes. The bank does not issue Canadian coins; they are issued by the Royal Canadian Mint.
The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of the country, and consists of written text and unwritten conventions.The Constitution Act, 1867 (known as the British North America Act prior to 1982), affirmed governance based on parliamentary precedent and divided powers between the federal and provincial governments. The Statute of Westminster 1931 granted full autonomy and the Constitution Act, 1982 , ended all legislative ties to Britain, as well as adding a constitutional amending formula and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter guarantees basic rights and freedoms that usually cannot be over-ridden by any government—though a notwithstanding clause allows the federal parliament and provincial legislatures to override certain sections of the Charter for a period of five years.
The Indian Act , various treaties and case laws were established to mediate relations between Europeans and native peoples.Most notably, a series of eleven treaties known as the Numbered Treaties were signed between the Indigenous peoples and the reigning monarch of Canada between 1871 and 1921. These treaties are agreements with the Canadian Crown-in-Council, administered by Canadian Aboriginal law, and overseen by the minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations. The role of the treaties and the rights they support were reaffirmed by Section Thirty-five of the Constitution Act, 1982. These rights may include provision of services, such as health care, and exemption from taxation. The legal and policy framework within which Canada and First Nations operate was further formalized in 2005, through the First Nations–Federal Crown Political Accord.
Canada's judiciary plays an important role in interpreting laws and has the power to strike down Acts of Parliament that violate the constitution. The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court and final arbiter and has been led since December 18, 2017 by Chief Justice Richard Wagner.Its nine members are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the prime minister and minister of justice. All judges at the superior and appellate levels are appointed after consultation with non-governmental legal bodies. The federal Cabinet also appoints justices to superior courts in the provincial and territorial jurisdictions.
Common law prevails everywhere except in Quebec, where civil law predominates. Criminal law is solely a federal responsibility and is uniform throughout Canada.Law enforcement, including criminal courts, is officially a provincial responsibility, conducted by provincial and municipal police forces. However, in most rural areas and some urban areas, policing responsibilities are contracted to the federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Canada is recognized as a middle power for its role in international affairs with a tendency to pursue multilateral solutions.Canada's foreign policy based on international peacekeeping and security is carried out through coalitions and international organizations, and through the work of numerous federal institutions. Canada's peacekeeping role during the 20th century has played a major role in its global image. The strategy of the Canadian government's foreign aid policy reflects an emphasis to meet the Millennium Development Goals, while also providing assistance in response to foreign humanitarian crises.
Canada was a founding member of the United Nations and has membership in the World Trade Organization, the G20 and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).Canada is also a member of various other international and regional organizations and forums for economic and cultural affairs. Canada acceded to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1976. Canada joined the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1990 and hosted the OAS General Assembly in 2000 and the 3rd Summit of the Americas in 2001. Canada seeks to expand its ties to Pacific Rim economies through membership in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC).
Canada and the United States share the world's longest undefended border, co-operate on military campaigns and exercises, and are each other's largest trading partner.Canada nevertheless has an independent foreign policy, most notably maintaining full relations with Cuba, and declining to officially participate in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Canada also maintains historic ties to the United Kingdom and France and to other former British and French colonies through Canada's membership in the Commonwealth of Nations and the Francophonie. Canada is noted for having a positive relationship with the Netherlands, owing, in part, to its contribution to the Dutch liberation during World War II.
Canada's strong attachment to the British Empire and Commonwealth led to major participation in British military efforts in the Second Boer War, World War I and World War II.Since then, Canada has been an advocate for multilateralism, making efforts to resolve global issues in collaboration with other nations. During the Cold War, Canada was a major contributor to UN forces in the Korean War and founded the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in co-operation with the United States to defend against potential aerial attacks from the Soviet Union.
During the Suez Crisis of 1956, future Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson eased tensions by proposing the inception of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force, for which he was awarded the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize.As this was the first UN peacekeeping mission, Pearson is often credited as the inventor of the concept. Canada has since served in over 50 peacekeeping missions, including every UN peacekeeping effort until 1989, and has since maintained forces in international missions in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere; Canada has sometimes faced controversy over its involvement in foreign countries, notably in the 1993 Somalia Affair.
In 2001, Canada deployed troops to Afghanistan as part of the U.S. stabilization force and the UN-authorized, NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.In February 2007, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Russia announced their joint commitment to a $1.5-billion project to help develop vaccines for developing nations, and called on other countries to join them. In August 2007, Canada's territorial claims in the Arctic were challenged after a Russian underwater expedition to the North Pole; Canada has considered that area to be sovereign territory since 1925.
The nation employs a professional, volunteer military force of approximately 79,000 active personnel and 32,250 reserve personnel. billion, or around one percent of the country's GDP. Following the 2016 Defence Policy Review, the Canadian government announced a 70 percent increase to the country's defence budget over the next decade. The Canadian Forces will acquire 88 fighter planes and 15 naval surface combatants, the latter as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Canada's total military expenditure is expected to reach C$32.7 billion by 2027.The unified Canadian Forces (CF) comprise the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, and Royal Canadian Air Force. In 2013, Canada's military expenditure totalled approximately C$19
Canada is a federation composed of ten provinces and three territories. In turn, these may be grouped into four main regions: Western Canada, Central Canada, Atlantic Canada, and Northern Canada ( Eastern Canada refers to Central Canada and Atlantic Canada together).Provinces have more autonomy than territories, having responsibility for social programs such as health care, education, and welfare. Together, the provinces collect more revenue than the federal government, an almost unique structure among federations in the world. Using its spending powers, the federal government can initiate national policies in provincial areas, such as the Canada Health Act ; the provinces can opt out of these, but rarely do so in practice. Equalization payments are made by the federal government to ensure reasonably uniform standards of services and taxation are kept between the richer and poorer provinces. The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces receive their power and authority from the Constitution Act, 1867, whereas territorial governments have powers delegated to them by the Parliament of Canada. The powers flowing from the Constitution Act are divided between the Government of Canada (the federal government) and the provincial governments to exercise exclusively. A change to the division of powers between the federal government and the provinces requires a constitutional amendment, whereas a similar change affecting the territories can be performed unilaterally by the Parliament of Canada or government.
Canada is the world's tenth-largest economy as of 2018 [update] , with a nominal GDP of approximately US$1.73 trillion. It is one of the least corrupt countries in the world, and is one of the world's top ten trading nations, with a highly globalized economy. Canada has a mixed economy ranking above the U.S. and most western European nations on The Heritage Foundation's index of economic freedom, and experiencing a relatively low level of income disparity. The country's average household disposable income per capita is "well above" the OECD average. The Toronto Stock Exchange is the ninth-largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization, listing over 1,500 companies with a combined market capitalization of over US$2 trillion.
In 2018, Canadian trade in goods and services reached CA$1.5 trillion. Canada's exports totalled over CA$585 billion, while its imported goods were worth over CA$607 billion, of which approximately CA$391 billion originated from the United States, CA$216 billion from non-U.S. sources. The country's 2019 trade surplus totalled CA$762 billion, compared with a CA$46.9 billion surplus in 2008.
Since the early 20th century, the growth of Canada's manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy to an urbanized, industrial one.Like many other developed countries, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three-quarters of the country's workforce. However, Canada is unusual among developed countries in the importance of its primary sector, in which the forestry and petroleum industries are two of the most prominent components.
Canada is one of the few developed nations that are net exporters of energy. percent share of global oil reserves, comprising the world's third-largest share after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. Canada is additionally one of the world's largest suppliers of agricultural products; the Canadian Prairies are one of the most important global producers of wheat, canola, and other grains. Canada's Department of Natural Resources provides statistics regarding its major exports; the country is a leading exporter of zinc, uranium, gold, nickel, platinoids, aluminum, steel, iron ore, coking coal, lead, copper, molybdenum, cobalt, and cadmium. Many towns in northern Canada, where agriculture is difficult, are sustainable because of nearby mines or sources of timber. Canada also has a sizeable manufacturing sector centred in southern Ontario and Quebec, with automobiles and aeronautics representing particularly important industries.Atlantic Canada possesses vast offshore deposits of natural gas, and Alberta also hosts large oil and gas resources. The vastness of the Athabasca oil sands and other assets results in Canada having a 13
Canada's economic integration with the United States has increased significantly since World War II.The Automotive Products Trade Agreement of 1965 opened Canada's borders to trade in the automobile manufacturing industry. In the 1970s, concerns over energy self-sufficiency and foreign ownership in the manufacturing sectors prompted Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's Liberal government to enact the National Energy Program (NEP) and the Foreign Investment Review Agency (FIRA). In the 1980s, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives abolished the NEP and changed the name of FIRA to Investment Canada, to encourage foreign investment. The Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA) of 1988 eliminated tariffs between the two countries, while the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) expanded the free-trade zone to include Mexico in 1994. Canada has a strong cooperative banking sector, with the world's highest per-capita membership in credit unions.
In 2018, Canada spent approximately C$34.5 billion on domestic research and development, of which around $7 billion was provided by the federal and provincial governments. As of 2018 [update] , the country has produced fourteen Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry, and medicine, and was ranked fourth worldwide for scientific research quality in a major 2012 survey of international scientists. It is furthermore home to the headquarters of a number of global technology firms. Canada has one of the highest levels of Internet access in the world, with over 33 million users, equivalent to around 94 percent of its total 2014 population.
The Canadian Space Agency operates a highly active space program, conducting deep-space, planetary, and aviation research, and developing rockets and satellites.Canada was the third country to design and construct a satellite after the Soviet Union and the United States, with the 1962 Alouette 1 launch. Canada is a participant in the International Space Station (ISS), and is a pioneer in space robotics, having constructed the Canadarm, Canadarm2 and Dextre robotic manipulators for the ISS and NASA's Space Shuttle. Since the 1960s, Canada's aerospace industry has designed and built numerous marques of satellite, including Radarsat-1 and 2, ISIS and MOST. Canada has also produced one of the world's most successful and widely used sounding rockets, the Black Brant; over 1,000 Black Brants have been launched since the rocket's introduction in 1961.
The 2016 Canadian Census enumerated a total population of 35,151,728, an increase of around 5.0 percent over the 2011 figure. million people, with immigrants accounting for two-thirds of the increase. Between 1990 and 2008, the population increased by 5.6 million, equivalent to 20.4 percent overall growth. The main drivers of population growth are immigration and, to a lesser extent, natural growth.Between 2011 and May 2016, Canada's population grew by 1.7
Canada has one of the highest per-capita immigration rates in the world,driven mainly by economic policy and, to a lesser extent, family reunification. The Canadian public, as well as the major political parties, support the current level of immigration. In 2014, a total of 260,400 immigrants were admitted to Canada, mainly from Asia. The Canadian government anticipated between 280,000 and 305,000 new permanent residents in the following years, a similar number of immigrants as in recent years. New immigrants settle mostly in major urban areas such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Canada also accepts large numbers of refugees, accounting for over 10 percent of annual global refugee resettlements.
Canada's population density, at 3.7 inhabitants per square kilometre (9.6/sq mi), is among the lowest in the world. Canada spans latitudinally from the 83rd parallel north to the 41st parallel north, and approximately 95 percent of the population is found south of the 55th parallel north. About four-fifths of the population lives within 150 kilometres (93 mi) of the border with the contiguous United States. The most densely populated part of the country, accounting for nearly 50 percent, is the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor in Southern Quebec and Southern Ontario along the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River. An additional 30 percent live along the British Columbia Lower Mainland, and the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor in Alberta.
The majority of Canadians (69.9 percent) live in family households, 26.8 percent report living alone, and those living with unrelated persons reported at 3.7 percent. The average size of a household in 2006 was 2.5 people.
|Vancouver||British Columbia||2,463,431||Halifax||Nova Scotia||403,390|
|Ontario||523,894||St. John's||Newfoundland and Labrador||205,955|
Healthcare in Canada is delivered through the provincial and territorial systems of publicly funded health care, informally called Medicare. percent of Canadians' healthcare is paid for through the private sector. This mostly goes towards services not covered or partially covered by Medicare, such as prescription drugs, dentistry and optometry. Approximately 65 to 75 percent of Canadians have some form of supplementary health insurance related to the aforementioned reasons; many receive it through their employers or utilizes secondary social service programs related to extended coverage for families receiving social assistance or vulnerable demographics, such as seniors, minors, and those with disabilities.It is guided by the provisions of the Canada Health Act of 1984, and is universal. Universal access to publicly funded health services "is often considered by Canadians as a fundamental value that ensures national health care insurance for everyone wherever they live in the country." However, 30
In common with many other developed countries, Canada is experiencing a cost increase due to a demographic shift towards an older population, with more retirees and fewer people of working age. In 2006, the average age was 39.5 years; percent of Canadians; one of the highest proportions of the population among G7 countries, indicated that they "had good or very good health". 80 percent of Canadian adults self-report having at least one major risk factor for chronic disease; smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating or excessive alcohol use. Canada has one of the highest rates of adult obesity among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries attributing to approximately 2.7 million cases of diabetes (types 1 and 2 combined). Four chronic diseases; cancer (leading cause of death), cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes account for 65 percent of deaths in Canada.within twelve years it had risen to 42.4 years, with a life expectancy of 81.1 years. A 2016 report by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada found that 88
In 2017, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported that healthcare spending reached $242 billion, or 11.5 percent of Canada's gross domestic product (GDP) for that year. Canada's per-capita spending ranks it among the most expensive health-care systems in the OECD. Canada has preformed close to, or above the average on the majority of OECD health indicators since the early 2000s. In 2017 Canada ranked above the average on OECD indicators for wait-times and access to care, with average scores for quality of care and use of resources.
According to a 2019 report by the OECD, Canada is one of the most educated countries in the world; percent of its GDP on education. The country invests heavily in tertiary education (more than US$20,000 per student). As of 2014 [update] , 89 percent of adults aged 25 to 64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, compared to an OECD average of 75 percent.the country ranks first worldwide in the number of adults having tertiary education, with over 56 percent of Canadian adults having attained at least an undergraduate college or university degree. Canada spends about 5.3
Since the adoption of section 23 of the Constitution Act, 1982, education in both English and French has been available in most places across Canada.Canadian provinces and territories are responsible for education provision. The mandatory school age ranges between 5–7 to 16–18 years, contributing to an adult literacy rate of 99 percent. In 2002, 43 percent of Canadians aged 25 to 64 possessed a post-secondary education; for those aged 25 to 34, the rate of post-secondary education reached 51 percent. The Programme for International Student Assessment indicates Canadian students perform well above the OECD average, particularly in mathematics, science, and reading.
According to the 2016 Canadian Census, the country's largest self-reported ethnic origin is Canadian (accounting for 32 percent of the population), followed by English (18.3%), Scottish (13.9%), French (13.6%), Irish (13.4%), German (9.6%), Chinese (5.1%), Italian (4.6%), First Nations (4.4%), Indian (4.0%), and Ukrainian (3.9%). There are 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands, encompassing a total of 1,525,565 people. Canada's Indigenous population is growing at almost twice the national rate, and four percent of Canada's population claimed an Indigenous identity in 2006. Another 22.3 percent of the population belonged to a non-Indigenous visible minority. In 2016, the largest visible minority groups were South Asian (5.6%), Chinese (5.1%) and Black (3.5%). Between 2011 and 2016, the visible minority population rose by 18.4 percent. In 1961, less than two percent of Canada's population (about 300,000 people) were members of visible minority groups. Indigenous peoples are not considered a visible minority under the Employment Equity Act , and this is the definition that Statistics Canada also uses.
Canada is religiously diverse, encompassing a wide range of beliefs and customs. Canada has no official church, and the government is officially committed to religious pluralism. percent of Canadians identify as Christian; of these, Roman Catholics make up the largest group, accounting for 38.7 percent of the population. Much of the remainder is made up of Protestants, who accounted for approximately 27 percent in a 2011 survey. The largest Protestant denomination is the United Church of Canada (accounting for 6.1% of Canadians), followed by Anglicans (5.0%), and Baptists (1.9%). Secularization has been growing since the 1960s. In 2011, 23.9 percent declared no religious affiliation, compared to 16.5 percent in 2001. The remaining 8.8 percent are affiliated with non-Christian religions, the largest of which are Islam (3.2%), Hinduism (1.5%) and Sikhism (1.4%).Freedom of religion in Canada is a constitutionally protected right, allowing individuals to assemble and worship without limitation or interference. The practice of religion is now generally considered a private matter throughout society and the state. With Christianity in decline after having once been central and integral to Canadian culture and daily life, Canada has become a post-Christian, secular state. The majority of Canadians consider religion to be unimportant in their daily lives, but still believe in God. According to the 2011 census, 67.3
A multitude of languages are used by Canadians, with English and French (the official languages) being the mother tongues of approximately 56 percent and 21 percent of Canadians, respectively. As of the 2016 Census, just over 7.3 million Canadians listed a non-official language as their mother tongue. Some of the most common non-official first languages include Chinese (1,227,680 first-language speakers), Punjabi (501,680), Spanish (458,850), Tagalog (431,385), Arabic (419,895), German (384,040), and Italian (375,645). Canada's federal government practices official bilingualism, which is applied by the Commissioner of Official Languages in consonance with Section 16 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Federal Official Languages Act English and French have equal status in federal courts, parliament, and in all federal institutions. Citizens have the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either English or French and official-language minorities are guaranteed their own schools in all provinces and territories.
The 1977 Charter of the French Language established French as the official language of Quebec.Although more than 85 percent of French-speaking Canadians live in Quebec, there are substantial Francophone populations in New Brunswick, Alberta, and Manitoba; Ontario has the largest French-speaking population outside Quebec. New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province, has a French-speaking Acadian minority constituting 33 percent of the population. There are also clusters of Acadians in southwestern Nova Scotia, on Cape Breton Island, and through central and western Prince Edward Island.
Other provinces have no official languages as such, but French is used as a language of instruction, in courts, and for other government services, in addition to English. Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec allow for both English and French to be spoken in the provincial legislatures, and laws are enacted in both languages. In Ontario, French has some legal status, but is not fully co-official.There are 11 Indigenous language groups, composed of more than 65 distinct languages and dialects. Several Indigenous languages have official status in the Northwest Territories. Inuktitut is the majority language in Nunavut, and is one of three official languages in the territory.
Additionally, Canada is home to many sign languages, some of which are Indigenous.American Sign Language (ASL) is spoken across the country due to the prevalence of ASL in primary and secondary schools. Due to its historical relation to the francophone culture, Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) is spoken primarily in Quebec, although there are sizeable Francophone communities in New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba.
Canada's culture draws influences from its broad range of constituent nationalities, and policies that promote a "just society" are constitutionally protected.Canada has placed emphasis on equality and inclusiveness for all its people. Multiculturalism is often cited as one of Canada's significant accomplishments, and a key distinguishing element of Canadian identity. In Quebec, cultural identity is strong, and many commentators speak of a French Canadian culture that is distinct from English Canadian culture. However, as a whole, Canada is, in theory, a cultural mosaic—a collection of regional ethnic subcultures.
Canada's approach to governance emphasizing multiculturalism, which is based on selective immigration, social integration, and suppression of far-right politics, has wide public support.Government policies such as publicly-funded health care, higher taxation to redistribute wealth, the outlawing of capital punishment, strong efforts to eliminate poverty, strict gun control; alongside legislation with a social liberal attitude toward women's rights (like pregnancy termination), LGBTQ rights, assisted euthanasia and cannabis use are indicators of Canada's political and cultural values. Canadians also identify with the country's foreign aid policies, peacekeeping roles, the National park system and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Historically, Canada has been influenced by British, French, and Indigenous cultures and traditions. Through their language, art and music, Indigenous peoples continue to influence the Canadian identity.During the 20th century, Canadians with African, Caribbean and Asian nationalities have added to the Canadian identity and its culture. Canadian humour is an integral part of the Canadian identity and is reflected in its folklore, literature, music, art, and media. The primary characteristics of Canadian humour are irony, parody, and satire. Many Canadian comedians have achieved international success in the American TV and film industries and are amongst the most recognized in the world.
Canada has a well-developed media sector, but its cultural output; particularly in English films, television shows, and magazines, is often overshadowed by imports from the United States.As a result, the preservation of a distinctly Canadian culture is supported by federal government programs, laws, and institutions such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Canada's national symbols are influenced by natural, historical, and Indigenous sources. The use of the maple leaf as a Canadian symbol dates to the early 18th century. The maple leaf is depicted on Canada's current and previous flags, and on the Arms of Canada.The Arms of Canada are closely modelled after the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom with French and distinctive Canadian elements replacing or added to those derived from the British version. Other prominent symbols include the sports of ice hockey and lacrosse, the beaver, Canadian Goose, common loon, Canadian horse, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Rockies, and more recently the totem pole and Inuksuk. Material items such as Canadian beer, maple syrup, tuques, canoes, nanaimo bars, butter tarts and the Quebec dish of poutine are defined as uniquely Canadian. Canadian coins feature many of these symbols: the loon on the $1 coin, the Arms of Canada on the 50¢ piece, the beaver on the nickel. The penny, removed from circulation in 2013, featured the maple leaf. The Queen' s image appears on $20 bank notes, and on the obverse of all current Canadian coins.
Canadian literature is often divided into French- and English-language literatures, which are rooted in the literary traditions of France and Britain, respectively.There are four major themes that can be found within historical Canadian literature; nature, frontier life, Canada's position within the world, all three of which tie into the garrison mentality. By the 1990s, Canadian literature was viewed as some of the world's best. Canada's ethnic and cultural diversity are reflected in its literature, with many of its most prominent modern writers focusing on ethnic life. Arguably, the best-known living Canadian writer internationally (especially since the deaths of Robertson Davies and Mordecai Richler) is Margaret Atwood, a prolific novelist, poet, and literary critic. Numerous other Canadian authors have accumulated international literary awards; including Nobel Laureate Alice Munro, who has been called the best living writer of short stories in English; and Booker Prize recipient Michael Ondaatje, who is perhaps best known for the novel The English Patient , which was adapted as a film of the same name that won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Canadian visual art has been dominated by figures such as Tom Thomson – the country's most famous painter – and by the Group of Seven.Thomson's career painting Canadian landscapes spanned a decade up to his death in 1917 at age 39. The Group of Seven were painters with a nationalistic and idealistic focus, who first exhibited their distinctive works in May 1920. Though referred to as having seven members, five artists—Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley—were responsible for articulating the Group's ideas. They were joined briefly by Frank Johnston, and by commercial artist Franklin Carmichael. A. J. Casson became part of the Group in 1926. Associated with the Group was another prominent Canadian artist, Emily Carr, known for her landscapes and portrayals of the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Since the 1950s, works of Inuit art have been given as gifts to foreign dignitaries by the Canadian government.
The Canadian music industry is the sixth-largest in the world producing internationally renowned composers, musicians and ensembles.Music broadcasting in the country is regulated by the CRTC. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences presents Canada's music industry awards, the Juno Awards, which were first awarded in 1970. The Canadian Music Hall of Fame established in 1976 honours Canadian musicians for their lifetime achievements. Patriotic music in Canada dates back over 200 years as a distinct category from British patriotism, preceding the Canadian Confederation by over 50 years. The earliest, The Bold Canadian , was written in 1812. The national anthem of Canada, "O Canada", was originally commissioned by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, the Honourable Théodore Robitaille, for the 1880 St. Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony, and was officially adopted in 1980. Calixa Lavallée wrote the music, which was a setting of a patriotic poem composed by the poet and judge Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. The text was originally only in French before it was adapted into English in 1906.
The roots of organized sports in Canada date back to the 1770s.Canada's official national sports are ice hockey and lacrosse. Golf, soccer, baseball, tennis, skiing, badminton, volleyball, cycling, swimming, bowling, rugby union, canoeing, equestrian, squash and the study of martial arts are widely enjoyed at the youth and amateur levels.
Canada shares several major professional sports leagues with the United States.Canadian teams in these leagues include seven franchises in the National Hockey League, as well as three Major League Soccer teams and one team in each of Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. Other popular professional sports in Canada include Canadian football, which is played in the Canadian Football League, National Lacrosse League lacrosse, and curling.
Canada has participated in almost every Olympic Games since its Olympic debut in 1900,and has hosted several high-profile international sporting events, including the 1976 Summer Olympics, the 1988 Winter Olympics, the 1994 Basketball World Championship, the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Most recently, Canada staged the 2015 Pan American Games and 2015 Parapan American Games, the former being the largest sporting event hosted by the country.
The politics of Canada function within a framework of parliamentary democracy and a federal system of parliamentary government with strong democratic traditions. Canada is a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch is head of state. In practice, the executive powers are directed by the Cabinet, a committee of ministers of the Crown responsible to the elected House of Commons of Canada and chosen and headed by the Prime Minister of Canada.
The economy of Canada is a highly developed market economy. It is the 10th largest GDP by nominal and 16th largest GDP by PPP in the world. As with other developed nations, the country's economy is dominated by the service industry which employs about three quarters of Canadians. Canada has the fourth highest total estimated value of natural resources, valued at US$33.2 trillion in 2016. It has the world's third largest proven petroleum reserves and is the fourth largest exporter of petroleum. It is also the fourth largest exporter of natural gas. Canada is considered an "energy superpower" due to its abundant natural resources and a small population of 37 million inhabitants relative to its land area.
The culture of Canada embodies the artistic, culinary, literary, humour, musical, political and social elements that are representative of Canada and Canadians. Throughout Canada's history, its culture has been influenced by European culture and traditions, especially British and French, and by its own indigenous cultures. Over time, elements of the cultures of Canada's immigrant populations have become incorporated to form a Canadian cultural mosaic. The population has also been influenced by American culture because of a shared language, proximity, television and migration between the two countries.
Maple syrup is a syrup usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in late winter and early spring. Maple trees are tapped by drilling holes into their trunks and collecting the exuded sap, which is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup. Most trees produce 5 to 15 gallons of sap per season.
Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; the two form the core of the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area (CMA) and the National Capital Region (NCR). As of 2016, Ottawa had a city population of 934,243 and a metropolitan population of 1,323,783 making it the fourth-largest city and the fifth-largest CMA in Canada. In June 2019, the City of Ottawa estimated it had surpassed a population of 1 million.
Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau, often referred to by the initials PET, was a Canadian politician who was 15th prime minister of Canada and leader of the Liberal Party between 1968 to 1984, with a brief period as Leader of the Opposition from 1979 to 1980. His tenure of 15 years and 164 days makes him Canada's third longest-serving Prime Minister, behind William Lyon Mackenzie King and John A. Macdonald.
The history of Canada covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day. Prior to European colonization, the lands encompassing present-day Canada were inhabited for millennia by Indigenous peoples, with distinct trade networks, spiritual beliefs, and styles of social organization. Some of these older civilizations had long faded by the time of the first European arrivals and have been discovered through archaeological investigations.
The Parti Québécois is a sovereignist and social democratic provincial political party in Quebec, Canada. The PQ advocates national sovereignty for Quebec involving independence of the province of Quebec from Canada and establishing a sovereign state. The PQ has also promoted the possibility of maintaining a loose political and economic sovereignty-association between Quebec and Canada. The party traditionally has support from the labour movement, but unlike most other social democratic parties, its ties with organized labour are informal. Members and supporters of the PQ are called péquistes, a French word derived from the pronunciation of the party's initials.
The political culture of Canada is in some ways part of a greater North American and European political culture, which emphasizes constitutional law, freedom of religion, personal liberty, and regional autonomy; these ideas stemming in various degrees from the British common law and French civil law traditions, North American aboriginal government, and English civic traditions, among others.
Education in Canada is for the most part provided publicly, funded and overseen by federal, provincial, and local governments. Education is within provincial jurisdiction and the curriculum is overseen by the province. Education in Canada is generally divided into primary education, followed by secondary education and post-secondary. Within the provinces under the ministry of education, there are district school boards administering the educational programs.
Religion in Canada encompasses a wide range of groups and beliefs.
Canada, in this historical context, was a French colony within New France first claimed in the name of the King of France in 1535 during the second voyage of Jacques Cartier. The word "Canada" at this point referred to the territory along the Saint Lawrence River, then known as the Canada river, from Grosse Island in the east to a point between Quebec and Trois-Rivières, although this territory had greatly expanded by 1600. French explorations continued "unto the Countreys of Canada, Hochelaga, and Saguenay" before any permanent settlements were established. Even though a permanent trading post and habitation was established at Tadoussac in 1600, at the confluence of the Saguenay and Saint Lawrence rivers, it was under a trade monopoly and thus not constituted as an official French colonial settlement.
Iranian Canadians or Persian Canadians are citizens of Canada whose national background is traced from Iran or are people possessing Iranian and Canadian dual citizenship. From the 2016 Canadian census, the main communities can be found in Southern Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec. The vast majority, however, live in the northern suburbs of Toronto such as Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Markham, and Thornhill, and in the municipalities of Vancouver such as: North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, and Coquitlam. As of 2016 a total of 97,110 Iranians reside in the Greater Toronto Area, 46,255 in the Greater Vancouver Area, 23,410 in the Greater Montreal Area, and the remainder are spread out in the other major cities in Canada based on the 2016 Canadian Census. These numbers represent the people who stated "Iranian" as their ethnic origin in the census survey.
Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.
A policy of multiculturalism was officially adopted by the Government of Canada under Pierre Trudeau during the 1970s and 1980s. The Canadian federal government has been described as the instigator of multiculturalism as an ideology because of its public emphasis on the social importance of immigration. The 1960s Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism is often referred to as the origin of modern political awareness of multiculturalism.
This is a brief timeline of the history of Canada, comprising important social, economic, political, military, legal, and territorial changes and events in Canada and its predecessor states.
the Constitution Act itself cleaned up a bit of unfinished business from the Statute of Westminster in 1931, in which Britain granted each of the Dominions full legal autonomy if they chose to accept it. All but one Dominion – that would be us, Canada – chose to accept every resolution. Our leaders couldn't decide on how to amend the Constitution, so that power stayed with Britain until 1982.
most Canadian governments, especially at the federal level, have taken a moderate, centrist approach to decision making, seeking to balance growth, stability, and governmental efficiency and economy...
two historically dominant political parties have avoided ideological appeals in favour of a flexible centrist style of politics that is often labelled brokerage politics
...most Canadian governments, especially at the federal level, have taken a moderate, centrist approach to decision making, seeking to balance growth, stability, and governmental efficiency and economy...
Canada's party system has long been described as a "brokerage system" in which the leading parties (Liberal and Conservative) follow strategies that appeal across major social cleavages in an effort to defuse potential tensions.
First Past the Post in Canada has favoured broadly-based, accommodative, centrist parties...