On July 1, 1867, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia formed a confederation.
The British North America Act
(BNA) officially declared Canada a country. We celebrate
Canada's national day on
July 1st as Canada Day. In 1965, we
adopted the red and white flag with the maple leaf as our
Canada is the second largest country in the world
with 10 million square kilometers of landmass.
has a population of approximately 30 million people -- only
one-tenth the population of the United States. Three oceans
border our vast country: the Atlantic, the Pacific and the
Arctic. Due to Canada's size, it is made up of many
different geographical areas and regions. We divide these
into the following: the Atlantic Region, Central Canada, the
Prairie Provinces, the West Coast and the North. Politically
we have divided the country into 10 provinces and 3
territories, each possessing its own capital. The national
capital of Canada is Ottawa.
Canada is one the leading G-7 Nations. It is a highly
developed country with excellent working conditions, an
outstanding education system, a very high standard of
living, and a health care system ranked one of the best in
Canada is a country composed of immigrants from practically
every country in the world. Canada's success is largely due
to the contributions made by these immigrants. Each year,
Canada welcomes more than 200,000 new immigrants. The
diversified backgrounds and cultures are what make Canada
unique. Multiculturalism is promoted by both the federal and
provincial governments to help maintain this unique "melting
Regardless of where you came from, once you are a landed
immigrant (permanent resident), you have all the rights of a
Canadian citizen. These rights are protected under the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Should you wish to
become a citizen, you can do so after you have lived in
Canada for three years. As a Canadian citizen, you can apply
for a Canadian passport and you are eligible to vote.
Canada is an independent constitutional monarchy and has
three tiers of government: federal, provincial, and
England's Queen Elizabeth II is still Canada's head of
state, and until 1982 Canada could not make any changes to
its constitution without the approval of the British
government. Then in 1982, the Constitution Act came into
effect, which allowed Canada to make constitutional changes
without approval from the British government. We made the
Charter of Rights and Freedoms part of the Constitution in
1982. The Official language Act protects English and French,
the two official languages in Canada.
The political party with the most elected members forms the
federal government and its leader becomes the Prime
Minister. The party with a second largest number of elected
members becomes official opposition, and its role is to
offer constructive criticism to the government.
The four main political parties are:
The Liberal Party
The Progressive Conservative Party
The New Democratic Party
The Canadian Alliance
The federal government is based in the capital city of
Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories. These include:
1. New Foundland
2. Nova Scotia
3. New Brunswick
4. Prince Edward Island
10. British Columbia
3. Northwestern Territories
The Justice System
The violent crime rate in Canada is among the lowest in
the world, and continues to steadily decline, year after
As a citizen or a permanent resident, you have equal access
to the justice system. The Canadian Charter of Rights and
Freedoms guarantees fundamental freedoms, legal rights and
equality under the law to every resident.
Canada has one of the world's best health care systems.
Every citizen and permanent resident is covered by the
insurance plan of the province in which he or she resides.
The health plan is funded by tax measures and provides one
of the world's best-quality essential health services,
including doctor's fees, hospital charges and, in many
cases, prescription drugs.
Quality of Education
Canada offers free primary and secondary education and
subsidized post-secondary studies. Every child must
attend school until the age of 16-17 years of age.
Ninety-five percent of Canada's children go to the public
schools, which are free. Students are assigned to a public
school according to where they live. The education system is
funded primarily by the provinces. And Canada spends more on
education than any other industrialized nation on the
Canada is a welfare state. This means that the
government takes care of its citizen's basic social
services. These services are funded by taxes collected by
the various levels of government.
Some of these social services include:
||Child Tax Benefit: The Federal
government makes a monthly payment for the well
being of Canada's children. This payment is remitted
to the parent of the child (generally to the mother)
on the child's behalf. The amount of child tax
benefit is according to the family income.
||Social Assistance/ Welfare:
Commonly known as "welfare", Social Assistance
payments are meant to cover the people who are not
entitled to other benefits to pay for food, shelter,
clothing, prescription drugs etc.
||Pension Plans -- Old Age Security
Business and industry
||Canada's unemployment rate is the
lowest it has been since 1976, with hundreds of
thousands of new jobs created each year.
||Canada has the lowest taxes in
the corporate sector among all G-8 countries.
||Canada provides unlimited
opportunities for development in the natural
resources, manufacturing, construction,
import/export, commerce, high-tech and service
||Canada has easy access to the
markets of the United States and Mexico through the
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Due to its low population growth rate and abundance of
available resources, Canada encourages skilled workers and
business people from all over the world to make Canada their
homeland. Each year, Canada accepts between 200,000 and
250,000 new immigrants.
Immigrants to Canada become eligible for Canadian
citizenship within three years of arrival in Canada with
landed immigrant or permanent resident status.
Canada encourages its immigrants to retain their unique
cultures. Nowhere else is there such a diversity of cultures
existing together in a highly tolerant and peaceful society.