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BASIC CANADIAN FACTS

Land Mass At 9 970 610 km2, Canada is the world's second-largest country.
Capital Ottawa, in the province of Ontario.
Provinces and Territories Canada has 10 provinces and 2 territories, each with its own capital city (in brackets): Alberta (Edmonton); British Columbia (Victoria); Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown); Manitoba (Winnipeg); New Brunswick (Fredericton); Nova Scotia (Halifax); Ontario (Toronto); Quebec (Quebec City); Saskatchewan (Regina); Newfoundland (St. John's); Northwest Territories (Yellowknife) and Yukon Territory (Whitehorse).
Geography Diversity is the keynote of Canada's geography, which includes fertile plains suitable for agriculture, vast mountain ranges, lakes and rivers. Wilderness forests give way to arctic tundra in the Far North.
Climate There are of course many climatic variations in this huge country. ranging from the permanently frozen icecaps north of the 70th parallel to the luxuriant vegetation of British Columbia's west coast. On the whole, though. Canada has four very distinct seasons, especially in the regions Lying along the U.S. border.
Daytime summer temperatures can rise to 35 _C and higher, while lows of -25 are not uncommon in winter. More moderate temperatures are the norm in spring and fall.
National Parks and Historic Sites The Canadian government has set aside more than 100 national parks and historic sites in honour of the people, places and events that have marked the country's history. Similarly, the provincial governments may form provincial parks.
Canada's 37 national parks are spread throughout the country. Banff, located on the eastern slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains, is the oldest, having opened in 1885, while Vuntut in the northern Yukon was established as recently as 1993.
Mountain Ranges As one might expect, Canada's terrain incorporates a number of mountain ranges: the Torngats. Appalachians and Laurentians in the east; the Rocky, Coastal and Mackenzie ranges in the west; and Mount St. Elias and the Pelly Mountains in the north. At 6050 m, Mount Logan in the Yukon is Canada's tallest Peak.
Lakes The main lakes. in order of the surface area located in Canada. (many large lakes are traversed by the Canada-U.S. border) are Huron, Great Bear, Superior. Great Slave. Winnipeg. Erie and Ontario. Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories is the largest lake situated entirely in Canada; its area is 31 326 km2.
Rivers The St. Lawrence River, which is 3058 km long. provides a seaway ships from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. The Mackenzie is the longest river. flowing 4241 km through the Northwest Territories. The Yukon and the Columbia, parts of which flow through U.S. territory, the Nelson, the Saskatchewan. the Peace and the Churchill are also major watercourses.
Time Zones Canada has six time zones. The easternmost, in Newfoundland, is three hours and 30 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.
Political System Canada is a constitutional monarchy and a federal state with a democratic parliament. The Parliament of Canada, in Ottawa, consists of the House of Commons, whose members are elected, and the Senate, whose members are appointed. On average, members of Parliament are elected every four years.
National Emblem The maple leaf has been associated with Canada since the 1700s. It has become the country's most important symbol since the national flag was introduced in 1965.
National Anthem O Canada was proclaimed the national anthem on July 1, 1980, a century after being sung for the first time.
Currency The Canadian dollar is divided into I ()() cents.
Population
At the time of the June 1991 census, Canada's population was 27.3 million.
Main Cities According to the 1991 census, the leading Canadian cities are Toronto (3.89 million), Montreal (3.12 million), Vancouver (1.60 million), Ottawa-Hull, the National Capital Region (0.92 million) and Edmonton (0.84 million).
Urban and Rural Population The majority of Canadians, 76.6 percent, live in cities and towns, while 23.4 percent live in rural areas. According to the 1991 census, 31 percent of the population (8.61 million people) live in the three largest cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
Life Expectancy Women can expect to live almost 80 years, and men, 73, years according to 1991 data.
Family Size At the time of the 1991 national census, the average family size was 3.1, including 1.3 children.
Living Standard Canada has one of the world's highest living standards. For example, in 1991, 83 percent of Canadian households had at least one car; 97.5 percent had colour televisions, and one out of five had a computer.
Health Care and Social Security All Canadians have free access to health care, with the exception of dental services. Most people over 65 and social aid recipients receive the majority of their prescription drugs free of charge. Canada also has an extensive social security network, including old age pension, family allowance, unemployment insurance and welfare.
Native Peoples In 1991, 533 000 Canadians were either status or non-status Indians, and over one million claimed to be of native descent: of these, 783 980 were North American Indians, 212 650 were Métis and 49 255 were Inuit (formerly called Eskimos).
Ontario had the highest concentration of natives - 243,550 -but the Northwest Territories had the highest proportion: more than 60 percent of its population is of native descent.
Only 295 032 Canadian natives live on reserves or in native settlements.
Religion The majority of Canadians are Christian. According to the 1991 census, Roman Catholicism has the most adherents (54.2 percent of Canadians), followed by Protestantism. Other religions include Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. About 3.4 million people stated that they had no religious affiliation whatsoever.
Languages English, the mother tongue of 16.1 million Canadians, and French, the language of 6.5 million, are Canada's two official languages. However, many Canadians have a mother tongue other than English or French, including Italian, Chinese, German, Portuguese, Polish, Ukrainian, Dutch, Greek or other languages.
Ethnic Origin Canadians, including natives, who claim something other than British or French as their origin represent 42 percent of the population, or 11 million people. Among the largest ethnic are the German, Italian, Ukrainian, Dutch, Polish, Chinese, South Asian, Jewish, West Indian, Portuguese and Scandinavian.
Culture The native culture is the only truly indigenous culture of Canada, since all other Canadians were originally immigrants. They began moving to Canada in the 17th century, bringing with them their manner of dress, food preferences and customs. Canada opened its doors to immigration from all over the world in the early 20th century; in 1988, the multicultural character of the country was officially recognized when the Government passed the Multiculturalism Act.
Education The educational system varies from province to province and includes six to eight years of elementary school, four or five years of secondary school and three or four years at the university undergraduate level. The 1991 census revealed that among Canadians aged 15 and over, 56.9 percent had attended secondary school, 31.7 percent had gone to a trade school or other type of post-secondary institution, and 1.9 million - 11.4 percent of the population - had a university degree.
Sports The most popular sports in Canada include swimming, ice hockey, crosscountry and alpine skiing, baseball, tennis, basketball and golf. Ice hockey, Canadian football and baseball are the favourite spectator sports.
Main Natural Resources The principal natural resources are natural gas, oil, gold, coal, copper, iron ore, nickel, potash, uranium and zinc. alone with wood and water.
Gross Domestic Product The GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced by a country during a year. Canada's GDP was C$ 688.5 billion Canadian dollars in 1992.
Leading Industries These include automobile manufacturing, pulp and paper, iron and steel work, machinery and equipment manufacturing, mining, extraction of fossil fuels, forestry and agriculture.
Exports Canada's leading exports are automobile vehicles and parts, machinery and equipment, high-technology products, oil, natural gas, metals, and forest and farm products.
Imports Canada imports machinery and industrial equipment including communications and electronic equipment, vehicles and automobile parts, industrial materials (metal ores, iron and steel, precious metals, chemicals, plastics, cotton, wool and other textiles), along with manufactured products and food.

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