canada

Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. Canada is the world's...

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Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. Canada is the world's second-largest country by total area, and its common border with the United States is the world's longest land border.

The land that is now Canada has been inhabited for millennia by various Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French colonial expeditions explored, and later settled, the region's Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America to Britain in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy, culminating in the Canada Act 1982.

Canada is a federal state governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. The country is officially bilingual and multicultural at the federal level, with a population of approximately 35 million as of 2013. Canada's advanced economy is one of the largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed trade networks, especially with the United States, with which it has had a long and complex relationship.

Canada is one of the world's most developed nations, with the ninth highest per capita income globally, and the sixth highest ranking in human development. Subsequently, Canada performs above-average in international measurements of education, government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, and economic freedom. Canada is a recognized middle power and a member of many international institutions, including the G7, G8, G20, NATO, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth of Nations, Francophonie, OAS, APEC, and the United Nations.

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experiences (3)

have you spent time in canada? share your experiences

7

canada - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 09/30/13.

I have spent a total of 8 years in Canada. 5 of those years were in Toronto, and three have been in Montreal. I was 17 when I arrived in Canada, bright eyed and bushy tailed, about to start my first year of University. It was the first and last time I moved out away from my parents. I am now in my late 20's, so I would say that I have spent some of my more important formative years here.

I came to Canada to go to school. It was a lot cheaper than going to University in the States, and at the time Toronto had an up and coming film industry. I was interested in cinematography and there was a great school in Toronto. I was looking to establish myself in a big city, and I knew in my heart of hearts that Boston and NYC were not viable options for me. Toronto was big enough, and had culture, and so I was looking for a new and exciting start. It was also cool to say I was studying in another country. Before that, I was in the States. I grew up in Connecticut.

I had come to find Toronto a bit cold, a bit expensive and at times too vast. My partner was in school in Montreal, so I moved there, not speaking the language, having just graduated and in desperate need of a job. Those were...

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5

canada - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/08/13.

What brought you to Canada? Where were you before?

I was in a long distance relationship with a Canadian girl. We met online playing a popular MMO and decided to meet in person while on vacation in Seattle. After I visited Edmonton a few times we decided to get a little more serious so I left my hometown of Boise, ID and moved in with her. We got married 5 months later when a border guard threatened to reject my entry to the country saying I had "no ties" to the US since I stopped going to college and quit my job to come up here to visit her for 6 months. He was worried I would just stay illegally. He was a total dick, and not the first border guard on a power trip I've had to deal with but once I got my permanent residency after we got married all that trouble went away. I can cross the border just as fast as any citizen now and they don't ask questions when I flash that residency card.

What are your impressions and thoughts about Edmonton.

It's a big city with lots of money. Alberta has a ton of oil so Edmonton is a very prosperous city being the "Gateway to the North" where the oil is drilled in northern Alberta and logging/mining in the Northwest Territories.

What...

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3

canada - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/16/13.

I have lived in Edmonton for almost 7 years now; I moved with my family on March 2006 when I was 17 years old. The decision to move was made by my parents because in the Philippines, the country where I'm from, workers that are approaching 40 years of age are encouraged to retire. Jobs are really scarce, and the added expenses of my college education forced us to consider moving to Canada to start anew.

When I first came to Edmonton, the very first thing that stuck with me was how silent it is. We stayed at my godmother's house for the first few weeks, and it was located in one of the newer neighborhoods in the north side of the city. All of the houses in that area looked pristine, almost as if I was in a movie where you could see kids riding around the block in their bikes and the neighbors happily waving at each other. But there were no kids or neighbors to be seen or heard, it was just silence.

After living in this town for 7 years, my impression of Edmonton was that of a city where everything is just starting to take place. Recently, they've began calling Edmonton as "Startup City", and I truly believe that. The people that I've met know are either well-travelled or...

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demographics

population

34,300,083 (July 2012 est.)

ethnic groups

British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%

languages

English (official) 58.8%, French (official) 21.6%, other 19.6% (2006 Census)

religions

Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3% (United Church 9.5%, Anglican 6.8%, Baptist 2.4%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian 4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, none 16% (2001 census)

age structure

0-14: 0-14 years: 15.6% (male 2,740,240/ female 2,605,345)

15-64: 15-64 years: 68.1% (male 11,803,966/ female 11,541,400)

65+: 65 years and over: 16.4% (male 2,474,842/ female 3,134,290) (2012 est.)

urbanization

81% of total population (2010)

life expectancy

81.48 years

obesity rate

23.1% (2004)

literacy rate

99%

average years of education

17 years

economics

cost of living

6/10 (medium-high)

economic overview

As an affluent, high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and...

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As an affluent, high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and affluent living standards. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. The 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (which includes Mexico) touched off a dramatic increase in trade and economic integration with the US its principal trading partner. Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with the US, which absorbs about three-fourths of Canadian exports each year. Canada is the US's largest foreign supplier of energy, including oil, gas, uranium, and electric power. Given its great natural resources, highly skilled labor force, and modern capital plant, Canada enjoyed solid economic growth from 1993 through 2007. Buffeted by the global economiccrisis, the economy dropped into a sharp recession in the final months of 2008, and Ottawa posted its first fiscal deficit in 2009 after 12 years of surplus. Canada's major banks, however, emerged from the financial crisis of 2008-09 among the strongest in the world, owing to the financial sector's tradition of conservative lending practices and strong capitalization. Canada achieved marginal growth in 2010 and 2011 and plans to balance the budget by 2015. In addition, the country's petroleum sector is rapidly becoming an even larger economic driver with Alberta's oil sands significantly boosting Canada's proven oil reserves, ranking the country third in the world behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

major industries

transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, fish products, petroleum and natural gas

transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, fish products, petroleum and natural gas

gdp per capita

$40,500 (2011 est.)

gdp growth rate

2.4% (2011 est.)

gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 1.8% industry: 28.5% services: 69.7% (2011 est.)

unemployment rate

7.5% (2011 est.)

population below poverty line

9.4% note: this figure is the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO), a calculation that results in higher figures than found in many comparable economies; Canada does not have an official poverty line (2008)

gini index

32.1 (2005) country comparison to the world: 103 31.5 (1994)