Canada Page 2 (Continued from page 1)

Provinces and territories

Canada is a federation composed of ten provinces and three territories. In turn, these may be grouped into 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. The provinces are responsible for most of Canada's social programs (such as health care, education, and welfare) and together 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 that reasonably uniform standards of services and taxation are kept between the richer and poorer provinces.[124]

A clickable map of Canada exhibiting its ten provinces and three territories, and their capitals.
Victoria Whitehorse Edmonton Yellowknife Regina Winnipeg Iqaluit Toronto Ottawa Quebec Fredericton Charlottetown Halifax St. John's Northwest Territories Saskatchewan Newfoundland and Labrador New Brunswick Victoria Yukon British Columbia Whitehorse Alberta Edmonton Regina Yellowknife Nunavut Winnipeg Manitoba Ontario Iqaluit Ottawa Quebec Toronto Quebec City Fredericton Charlottetown Nova Scotia Halifax Prince Edward Island St. John'sA clickable map of Canada exhibiting its ten provinces and three territories, and their capitals.
About this image


Canada is one of the world's wealthiest nations, with a high per-capita income. It is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the G8, and is one of the world's top ten trading nations.[125] Canada is a mixed economy, ranking above the US and most western European nations on the Heritage Foundation's index of economic freedom.[126] The largest foreign importers of Canadian goods are the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.[127]

In the past century, the growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy to a more industrial and urban one. Like other First World nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians.[128] Canada is unusual among developed countries in the importance of its primary sector, in which the logging and petroleum industries are two of the most important.[129]

Canada is one of the few developed nations that are net exporters of energy.[130] Atlantic Canada has vast offshore deposits of natural gas, and Alberta has large oil and gas resources. The immense Athabasca oil sands give Canada the world's second-largest oil reserves, behind Saudi Arabia.[131]

Canada is one of the world's largest suppliers of agricultural products; the Canadian Prairies are one of the most important producers of wheat, canola, and other grains.[132] Canada is the largest producer of zinc and uranium, and is a global source of many other natural resources, such as gold, nickel, aluminum, and lead.[130] Many towns in northern Canada, where agriculture is difficult, are sustainable because of nearby mines or sources of timber. Canada also has a sizable manufacturing sector centred in southern Ontario and Quebec, with automobiles and aeronautics representing particularly important industries.[133]

Representatives of the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States sign the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1992

Economic integration with the United States has increased significantly since World War II. The Automotive Products Trade Agreement of 1965 opened the borders to trade in the auto 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).[134]

In the 1980s, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives abolished the NEP and changed the name of FIRA to "Investment Canada" in order to encourage foreign investment.[135] 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 the 1990s.[132] In the mid-1990s, the Liberal government under Jean Chrétien began to post annual budgetary surpluses and steadily paid down the national debt.[136] The global financial crisis of 2008 caused a recession, which could increase the country's unemployment rate to 10 percent.[137] In 2008, Canada's imported goods were worth over $442.9 billion, of which $280.8 billion was from the United States, $11.7 billion from Japan, and $11.3 billion from the United Kingdom.[127] The country’s 2009 trade deficit totaled C$4.8 billion, compared with a C$46.9 billion surplus in 2008.[138]

As of October 2009, Canada's national unemployment rate was 8.6 percent. Provincial unemployment rates vary from a low of 5.8 percent in Manitoba to a high of 17 percent in Newfoundland and Labrador.[139] Between October 2008, and October 2010, the Canadian labour market lost 162,000 full-time jobs and a total of 224,000 permanent jobs.[140] Canada's federal debt is estimated to be $566.7 billion for 2010–11, up from $463.7 billion in 2008–09.[141] Canada’s net foreign debt rose by $41-billion to $194-billion in the first quarter of 2010.[142]

Science and technology

A shuttle in space, with Earth in the background. A mechanical arm labeled
The Canadarm in action on the Space Shuttle Discovery during STS-116

Canada is an industrial nation with a highly developed science and technology sector. Nearly 1.88 percent of Canada's GDP is allocated to research & development (R&D).[143] The country has ten Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry and medicine.[144] Canada ranks twelfth in the world for Internet usage with 28.0 million users, 84.3 percent of the total population.[145]

The Canadian Space Agency conducts space, planetary, and aviation research, and develops rockets and satellites. In 1984, Marc Garneau became Canada's first astronaut, serving as payload specialist of STS-41-G. Canada was ranked third among 20 top countries in space sciences.[146] Canada is a participant in the International Space Station and one of the world's pioneers in space robotics with the Canadarm, Canadarm2 and Dextre. Since the 1960s, Canada Aerospace Industries have designed and built 10 satellites, including Radarsat-1, Radarsat-2 and MOST.[147] Canada also produced one of the most successful sounding rockets, the Black Brant; over 1000 have been launched since they were initially produced in 1961.[148] Universities across Canada are working on the first domestic landing spacecraft: the Northern Light, designed to search for life on Mars and investigate Martian electromagnetic radiation environment and atmospheric properties. If the Northern Light is successful, Canada will be the third country to land on another planet.[149]


Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1851 2,415,000
1861 3,174,000 +31.4%
1871 3,689,000 +16.2%
1881 4,325,000 +17.2%
1891 4,833,000 +11.7%
1901 5,371,000 +11.1%
1911 7,207,000 +34.2%
1921 8,788,000 +21.9%
1931 10,377,000 +18.1%
1941 11,507,000 +10.9%
1951 14,009,000 +21.7%
1961 18,238,000 +30.2%
1971 21,962,000 +20.4%
1981 24,820,000 +13.0%
1991 28,031,000 +12.9%
2001 31,021,000 +10.7%
2011 est. 34,592,000 +11.5%
Source: Statistics Canada[150]

The Canada 2006 Census counted a total population of 31,612,897, an increase of 5.4 percent since 2001.[151] Population in Canada increased from 1990 to 2008 with 5.6 million and 20.4 % growth in population compared to 21,7 % growth in the USA and 31.2 % growth in Mexico. According to the OECD/World Bank population statistics between 1990–2008 the world population growth was 27 % and 1,423 million persons.[152] Population growth is from immigration and, to a lesser extent, natural growth. About four-fifths of Canada's population lives within 150 kilometres (93 mi) of the United States border.[153] The majority of Canadians (approximately 80%) live in urban areas concentrated in the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, the BC Lower Mainland, and the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor in Alberta.[154] In common with many other developed countries, Canada is experiencing a demographic shift towards an older population, with more retirees and fewer people of working age. In 2006, the average age of the population was 39.5 years.[155]

According to the 2006 census, the largest self-reported ethnic origin is Canadian (32%), followed by English (21%), French (15.8%), Scottish (15.1%), Irish (13.9%), German (10.2%), Italian (4.6%), Chinese (4.3%), First Nations (4.0%), Ukrainian (3.9%), and Dutch (3.3%).[156] There are 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands encompassing 1,172,790 people.[157]

Canada's Aboriginal population is growing at almost twice the national rate, and 3.8 percent of Canada's population claimed aboriginal identity in 2006. Another 16.2 percent of the population belonged to a non-aboriginal visible minority.[158] The largest visible minority groups in Canada are South Asian (4.0%), Chinese (3.9%) and Black (2.5%). Between 2001 and 2006, the visible minority population rose by 27.2 percent.[159] In 1961, less than two percent of Canada's population (about 300,000 people) could be classified as belonging to a visible minority group and less than 1% as aboriginal.[160] As of 2007, almost one in five Canadians (19.8%) were foreign-born. Nearly 60 percent of new immigrants come from Asia (including the Middle East).[161] The leading emigrating countries to Canada were China, Philippines and India.[162] By 2031, one in three Canadians could belong to a visible minority group.[163]

Canada has one of the highest per-capita immigration rates in the world,[164] driven by economic policy and family reunification, and is aiming for between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in 2011, the same number of immigrants as in recent years.[165] New immigrants settle mostly in major urban areas like Toronto and Vancouver.[166] Canada also accepts large numbers of refugees.[167] The country resettles over one in 10 of the world’s refugees.[168]

According to the 2001 census, 77.1 percent of Canadians identify as being Christians; of this, Catholics make up the largest group (43.6% of Canadians). The largest Protestant denomination is the United Church of Canada (9.5% of Canadians), followed by the Anglicans (6.8%), Baptists (2.4%), Lutherans (2%), and other Christians (4.4%). About 16.5 percent of Canadians declare no religious affiliation, and the remaining 6.3 percent are affiliated with non-Christian religions, the largest of which is Islam (2.0%), followed by Judaism (1.1%).[169]

Canadian provinces and territories are responsible for education. Each system is similar, while reflecting regional history, culture and geography. The mandatory school age ranges between 5–7 to 16–18 years,[170] contributing to an adult literacy rate of 99 percent.[74] 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.[171]

  Largest metropolitan areas in Canada by population (2006 Census) view · talk · edit
Name Province Pop. Name Province Pop.  
Toronto Ontario 5,113,149 KitchenerCambridge-Waterloo Ontario 451,235
Montreal Quebec 3,635,571 St. CatharinesNiagara Ontario 390,317
Vancouver British Columbia 2,116,581 Halifax Nova Scotia 372,858
OttawaGatineau OntarioQuebec 1,130,761 Oshawa Ontario 330,594
Calgary Alberta 1,079,310 Victoria British Columbia 330,088
Edmonton Alberta 1,034,945 Windsor Ontario 323,342
Quebec Quebec 715,515 Saskatoon Saskatchewan 233,923
Winnipeg Manitoba 694,898 Regina Saskatchewan 194,971
Hamilton Ontario 692,911 Sherbrooke Quebec 186,952
London Ontario 457,720 St. John's Newfoundland and Labrador 181,113



Map of Canada showing distribution of English-speaking, French-speaking and bilingual residents
In 2006, about 17.4% of the population were bilingual, as they were able to conduct a conversation in both official languages.
  English – 57.8%
  English and French (Bilingual) – 17.4%
  French – 22.1%
  Sparsely populated area ( < 0.4 persons per km2)

Canada's two official languages are English and French. Official bilingualism is defined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Official Languages Act, and Official Language Regulations; it is applied by the Commissioner of Official Languages. 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.[172]

English and French are the first languages of 59.7 and 23.2 percent of the population respectively. Approximately 98 percent of Canadians speak English or French: 57.8% speak English only, 22.1% speak French only, and 17.4% speak both.[173] English and French Official Language Communities, defined by First Official Language Spoken, constitute 73.0 and 23.6 percent of the population respectively.[174]

The Charter of the French Language makes French the official language in Quebec.[175] Although more than 85 percent of French-speaking Canadians live in Quebec, there are substantial Francophone populations in Ontario, Alberta, and southern Manitoba; Ontario has the largest French-speaking population outside Quebec.[176] 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.[177]

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.[178] There are 11 Aboriginal language groups, made up of more than 65 distinct dialects.[179] Of these, only Cree, Inuktitut and Ojibway have a large enough population of fluent speakers to be considered viable to survive in the long term.[180] Several aboriginal languages have official status in the Northwest Territories.[181] Inuktitut is the majority language in Nunavut, and one of three official languages in the territory.[182]

Over six million people in Canada list a non-official language as their mother tongue. Some of the most common non-official first languages include Chinese (mainly Cantonese; 1,012,065 first-language speakers), Italian (455,040), German (450,570), Punjabi (367,505) and Spanish (345,345).[183] English and French are the languages most spoken at home by 68.3 percent and 22.3 percent of the population respectively.[184]


Canada has a diverse makeup of nationalities and cultures, and has constitutional protection for policies that promote multiculturalism.[185] In Quebec, cultural identity is strong, and many French-speaking commentators speak of a culture of Quebec as distinguished from English Canadian culture;[186] however, as a whole Canada is a cultural mosaic – a collection of several regional, aboriginal, and ethnic subcultures.[187] Government policies such as publicly-funded health care, higher taxation to distribute wealth, outlawing capital punishment, strong efforts to eliminate poverty, an emphasis on multiculturalism, stricter gun control, and legalization of same-sex marriage are social indicators of how Canada's political and cultural evolution differs from that of the United States.[188]

Bill Reid's sculpture Raven and The First Men. The Raven is a figure common to many mythologies in aboriginal culture.

Historically Canada has been influenced by British, French, and aboriginal cultures and traditions. Through their culture, language, art and music, aboriginals continue to influence the Canadian identity.[189] Many Canadians value multiculturalism and see Canada as being inherently multicultural.[61] American media and entertainment are popular, if not dominant, in English Canada; conversely, many Canadian cultural products and entertainers are successful in the United States and worldwide.[190] Many cultural products are marketed toward a unified "North American" or global market. The creation and preservation of distinctly Canadian culture are supported by federal government programs, laws, and institutions such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the National Film Board of Canada, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.[191]

Oil on canvas painting of a tree dominating its rocky landscape during a sunset.
The Jack Pine, by Tom Thomson, 1916; oil on canvas, in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada

Canadian visual art has been dominated by Tom Thomson – Canada's most famous painter – and by the Group of Seven. Thomson's brief career painting Canadian landscapes spanned just a decade up to his death in 1917 at age 39.[192] The Group 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.[193] 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.[194]

The Canadian music industry has produced internationally renowned composers, musicians and ensembles.[195] Canada's music broadcasting is regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences administers Canada's music industry awards, the Juno Awards, which commenced in 1970.[196] The national anthem of Canada O Canada adopted in 1980, was originally commissioned by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, the Honourable Théodore Robitaille, for the 1880 St. Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony.[197] 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 translated to English in 1906.[198]

Hockey players and fans celebrating
A scene at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver seconds after Team Canada won gold in men's ice hockey

Canada's official national sports are ice hockey and lacrosse.[199] Hockey is a national pastime and the most popular spectator sport in the country. It is also the sport most played by Canadians, with 1.65 million participants in 2004. Seven of Canada's eight largest metropolitan areas – Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg – have franchises in the National Hockey League (NHL), and there are more Canadian players in the NHL than from all other countries combined. Other popular spectator sports include curling and football; the latter is played professionally in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Golf, baseball, skiing, soccer, cricket, volleyball, and basketball are widely played at youth and amateur levels, but professional leagues and franchises are not widespread.[200]

Canada has hosted several high-profile international sporting events, including the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, and the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Canada was the host nation for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia.[201]

Canada's national symbols are influenced by natural, historical, and Aboriginal 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, on the penny, and on the Arms of Canada.[202] Other prominent symbols include the beaver, Canada Goose, Common Loon, the Crown, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,[202] and more recently, the totem pole and Inuksuk.[203]

See also

Additional, more specific, and related topics may be found at:

Author:Bling King
Published:Sep 23rd 2011
Modified:Dec 30th 2011

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