Provinces of Canada:
Canada. General information
Canada is the second largest country in the world, surrounded by three oceans: the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Arctic. The very origin of the country’s name refers to the year 1535, when explorer Jacques Cartier first arrived by ship from France and heard the word “canada” or “canata”, which means “village” in Laurentian. In 1867, the word caught on throughout the territory and became the name of the new state.
The territory covers an area of about 10 million square kilometers. Of these, only 8% are water area. The total length of the border between Canada and the United States is the longest in the world, at 8890 kilometers. As a place of communication between the two countries, the border and the nearby towns have received the status of the most populated parts of the country. However, since the total population of Canada is about 35 million people, the density is in fact minimal, at 3.5 people per kilometer.
Due to the abundance of territories and the preservation of the environment, the average life expectancy in Canada is 80 years, which is considered rather high. Canadians look after their health and quality of life, so sports are also quite developed in the country, mainly in the form of golf, swimming, and ice hockey. Another distinguishing feature is free public health insurance.
The leading religion in the country is Christianity, at 83%. Of all the religious people of Canada, 46% visit the Roman Catholic Church, while 36% visit Protestant masses.
The country’s bilingualism is distributed between the English language, spoken by 60% of the population, and French, spoken by 23%. The remaining percentages are distributed among other languages, of which the currently leading language is Chinese, having recently overtaken Italian and German.
The capital of Canada is Ottawa, while Toronto rightfully carries the status of the largest city.
The vast geography of Canada is rather impressive. The highest point, located on Mount Logan, reaches almost 6,000 meters. The circuit of large freshwater lakes is the largest in the world; these are the world famous Michigan, Erie, Superior, Ontario, and Huron. Their area stretches to almost 250 thousand square kilometers. It is also interesting to note that in the depths of Lake Huron is the largest freshwater island, Manitoulin, with an area of 2.8 square kilometers. Lake Ontario’s waters find their way to the famous Niagara Falls. The Mackenzie River is one of the longest rivers in the world, with a bed of 4,241 kilometers long.
Canada Day has been celebrated since July 1st, 1867, from the moment the British North American act was signed. Thus, the legal system introduced was in English for the entire country, with the exception of the Francophone province of Quebec. The age of consent is set at 18, as in most countries.
The form of government in Canada is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of the state in which democracy and equality prevail. The head of the government is Prime Minister Stephen Harper, although the country is officially ruled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, represented by her Governor General David Lloyd Johnston. The parliament consists of the House of Commons and the Senate; the first has 131 members who are elected every five years, while the 125 senators are appointed by the Governor General himself.
Regarding the economy, a positive factor is the lack of people living below the poverty line. After all, the country’s unemployment rate is only 6.6%. The external debt of the country as of last year (2014) amounted to about 612 billion Canadian dollars. Meanwhile, Canada’s industrial production grows significantly with every year.
Canadian land is rich in mineral resources, most of which are oil and gas resources, as well as minerals in the form of nickel, iron ore, silver, zinc, lead, diamonds, gold, and coal. Interestingly enough, Canada has managed to acquire a leading position in this aspect also, becoming the second country in the world, after Saudi Arabia, with the largest oil reserves.
All communication is carried out both by land transport and by air. Canada has 1,389 airports. The length of the railway line is over 65,000 kilometers, while the total length of the roads amounts to 900,000 kilometers, among which is the longest highway, at 7,604 kilometers.