Canada occupies the whole of the northern part of North America (except Alaska) and many islands (e.g. Baffin Island, Newfoundland, Vancouver, Prince Edward Island etc.). Canada's area is about 10 million sq. km., the second largest country in the world.
It neighbours with the USA (with Alaska and with the continental states on the 49th parallel and the Great Lakes Region is the largest area of fresh water in the world (Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario). There are famous Niagara Falls between Lake Erie and Ontario. We can find also other big and beautiful lakes in Canada, e. g. Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Lake Winnipeg, etc.
Canada has large mountain areas - the Rocky Mountains, the Mackenzie Mountains and the Melville Hills. The highest mountain is Mt. Logan in the Alaska Region (6050m). The longest river is the Mackenzie, other big rivers are the Yukon, the Frazer and the Columbia and the River St. Lawrence. The climate varies from Arctic climate in the North with winter temperatures, to moderate climate in the east and west. The north of the country near the Arctic is cold tundra with large and beautiful forests to the south.
Is about 26 million and density is one of the lowest. 89% of the land has no permanent population. More than 40% are of British origin, 30% of French origin, over 20% of continental European origin and the rest is made by Eskimos or Indiana. 60% of population speak English, about 30% speak French, the rest are the languages spoken by various ethnic minorities (Italian, German, Chinese, Native Indian). Many people in Canada are Protestants. They are divided into many sects and churches. The most powerful of the churches is, however, Roman Catholic Church.
The original inhabitants came to Canada some 10 000 or 25 000 years ago from Asia across a land bridge over what is now the Bering Strait. The first European here were the Vikings who discovered Canada more than a thousand years ago. During the Age of Discoveries (15th and 16th century) some navigators landed on the Canada coast. First it was an Italian Giovanni Cabot. Since the 16th century large territories were occupied by the French. It was Jacques Cartier, who gave a name to this land. He called this land according to the Indian word "kannata". The Indian word meant only village, not the entire region as Cartier thought. But France lost this country in frequent wars with England during the 17 and 18 centuries. In 1763 Canada was ceded to England by the Treaty of Paris. Canada became a British dominion in 1867.
Canada has mainly coal, metal, oil and gas. Machine, building and chemical industries are highly developed. The main mining province is Alberta. Hamilton and Sydney are main centres of iron and steel industries. Ships are built on the banks of Great Lakes, in Montreal and Toronto. The Provinces of Ontario and Newfoundland have large paper mills. Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia with their large forests provide wood for building, furniture and paper production. Almost half the land area of Canada is covered by forests. Although only about 7% of the land is suitable for farming, agriculture is the world's fifth largest producer of wheat and the second largest wheat exporter. Other important agricultural items are livestock production, oats, vegetables, fruits, tobacco, dairy products and leather. Canada is very rich in natural resources as gold, uranium, other metal ores, oil and gas. Valid currency is Canadian dollar.
Government type and administration:
It is an independent federal parliamentary system with Queen Elizabeth II. as the head of state. She is represented in Canada by the Governor - General. The country's supreme body is the Federal Parliament consisting of two houses. The House of Commons is elected every five years. The Senate consists of senators appointed by Governor - General on the advice of the Prime Minister. The leading figure in political life is the Prime Minister (Jean Chritien). Canada is divided into 10 provinces and two territories. The two territories are the Yuken and N.W.T - Northwest Territories. The biggest province is Quebec with the capital Quebec City. The population is mainly French speaking and the premier of Quebec wants more powers for this province. Other provinces are Prince Edward Island, Ontario (Toronto), Alberta, Brutish Columbia, etc. The capital of Canada is Ottawa. The biggest city is Montreal. Other large cities are Calgary, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Quebec, Halifax, Vancouver and Hamilton.
Canada is member of many international organisations such as the UN and its main special agencies (FAO, UNESCO), the Commonwealth, NATO.
Canada has its own national flag. It is red and in the centre there is a white square with a simple red maple leaf. The red stripes are symbolical of Canada's position between the two oceans.
The Canadian anthem is called Oh, Canada.
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