Found in the northern half of North America Canada is the second largest country in the world by area, and is one of the most peaceful and friendliest countries in the world. Canada has a relatively small population and is less than that of the state of California in comparison, some of the country’s popular cities include; Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa being its capital city respectively.
Canada is an immensely large country with a landscape that stretches for miles on end, the diversity and multiculturalism of its people and citizens is what makes it the number one destination in the world. Canadians may be different from each other but they share the same values that influence everyday life, the values of humility, belief in equality, diversity, respect for all individuals in society all add to what is good about Canada. As a result of this acceptance for people of different cultures and backgrounds, Canada has developed into a friendly, and peaceful society where the rights of people are respected and in a society in which they can live the life they want and are encouraged to fulfill their potential.
For nine consecutive years, the United Nations annual surveys found Canada to among the top three counties to live in. The survey evaluates the quality of life in over 174 countries using over 200 performance indicators, and Canada earned exceptionally high scores in areas of education, health, life expectancy, economy and relatively low crime and violence rates. As if that is not enough, Canada’s top cities of Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal are recognized as world-class cities in which to live, study, or work. This is the case because of the city’s cleanliness, safety, cultural diversity, and the attractive lifestyles on offer.
As the world’s second largest country in the world and encased with the world’s longest coastline, distances in Canada are vast and can stretch for miles on end. A typical example of this is the Trans-Canada Highway, which at, 7,821 km it is longer than the distance from London to Bombay. Over 50 percent of Canada’s land is covered with rich forest ranges and accounts for 10 percent of the world’s remaining natural forests.
Canada is made up of ten provinces and three territories. The provinces include:
The territories are:
Canada has two million lakes, covering about 7.6 percent of its landmass, and the country shares four of the five Great Lakes with the United States which are the largest sources of fresh water in the world. Canada’s largest lake is Great Bear Lake stretching to 31,326 square kilometers.
St. Lawrence is Canada’s most important river, at 3,058 km long and provides seaway for ships from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.
Canada also has six time zones. The easternmost, Newfoundland is three hours and thirty minutes behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The other time zones are the Atlantic, the Eastern, the Central, the Rocky Mountain, and farthest west, the Pacific which is eight hours behind GMT.
In spite of the country’s large size, nearly 80 percent the population in Canada lives in a concentrated area in cities and towns within 100 kilometers of the US border.
Canada is a federation of the ten provinces and three territories, and formally considered as a constitutional monarchy, and the country is governed by its own House of Commons. While the governor general is the official representative of Queen Elizabeth 2, however, in reality, the governor acts on the advice of the Prime Minister.
As early as 40,000 years ago, Canada’s first inhabitants crossed what is now known as the Bering Strait. For thousands upon thousands of years, the Aboriginal people flourished in the vast lands of Canada. The first fully documented exploration by Europeans was that of John Cabot who led an English Expedition in 1497. The French made one of their own in 1534 and the early French settlers populated what was known as Lower Canada which in the present day is known as Quebec.
Following the British victory over the French in 1763, Canada became an official British Colony. The British then decided to divide the country into Provinces as the number of settlers begun to grow. By 1867 Canada’s eastern provinces of Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and New Brunswick joined together to sign the British North American Act, making Canada a confederation of states under British rule. Canada commemorates this occasion by celebrating its birthday annually on July 1. In 1982 Canada officially gained complete independence from British rule with the Constitution Act of 1982.
Canada officially has two languages, English, which is the mother tongue for 59 percent of Canadians, and French which is the first language for 23 percent of the population. Another 18 percent either have more than one mother tongue or speak a mother tongue other than French or English, such as Italian, German, Dutch, Punjabi, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cree, Inuktitut, Arabic and other languages.
Canada’s official languages Act makes English and French the official languages of the country, and Canada’s federal institutions reflect the equality of its two official languages by offering bilingual services.
Canada is in the top ten of the world’s largest economies with approximately $1.79 trillion, in the world’s top ten trading nations, and is a member of the Group of Eight (G8) in the highly globalized economy. There are three main types of industries in Canada that help aid the economy, these include natural resources, manufacturing, and resources.
Canadians are known as a people who are proud of their diverse and multicultural society. In Canada, many of the different cultural and ethnic groups live together in peace and perfect harmony in the same communities, where everyone’s rights are respected. Multiculturalism in Canada is encouraged by the government through the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Canadian Multiculturalism Act. These laws state that all Canadians are free to share their multicultural heritage.
One major part of Canada’s multiculturalism is the existence of the Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal people lived in Canada for thousands of years way before the first wave of immigrants arrived, and they are given additional rights which aim to protect their culture and languages and to become self-governing.
The annual Folk Arts Festival held in May at St. Catharine is a festival that is a great example of the harmony and peace among the different cultures in Canada. The event features a street parade and open houses sponsored by locals from countries around the world. The open houses feature, music, dancing, artifacts, and food from the countries represented, providing a great way for people to mingle and understand each other’s cultures and traditions.
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