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 Ocean
in the east to the Pacific Ocean
in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean
. It is the world's second largest country by total area
. Canada's common border
with the United States
to the south and northwest is the longest in the world.
The land that is now Canada was inhabited for millennia by various groups of Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored, and later settled, along the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America 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 from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.
Canada is a federation that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual nation with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. One of the world's highly developed countries, Canada has a diversified economy that is reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has had a long and complex relationship. It is a member of the G7, G-20, NATO, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth, Francophonie, OAS, APEC, and UN.
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The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
(also known as The Charter of Rights and Freedoms
or simply The Charter
) is a bill of rights
entrenched in the Constitution of Canada
. It forms the first part of the Constitution Act, 1982
. The Charter
guarantees certain political
and civil rights
of people in Canada
from the policies and actions of all levels of government
. It is designed to unify Canadians around a set of principles that embody those rights.
The Charter was preceded by the Canadian Bill of Rights, which was enacted in 1960. However, the Bill of Rights was only a federal statute, rather than a constitutional document. As a federal statute, it was limited in scope, it was easily amendable by Parliament and it had no application to provincial laws. The Supreme Court of Canada also narrowly interpreted the Bill of Rights and the Court was reluctant to declare laws inoperative. The relative ineffectiveness of the Canadian Bill of Rights motivated many to improve rights protections in Canada. The movement for human rights and freedoms that emerged after World War II also wanted to entrench the principles enunciated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The British Parliament formally enacted the Charter as a part of the Canada Act 1982 at the request of the Parliament of Canada in 1982, the result of the efforts of the Government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
Selected biography -
(born 26 January 1961) is a retired Canadian
professional ice hockey
player who is currently part-owner
and head coach
of the Phoenix Coyotes
Nicknamed "The Great One," Total Hockey: The Official Encyclopedia of the NHL calls Gretzky "the greatest player of all time." He is generally regarded as the best player of his era and has been called "the greatest hockey player ever" by many sportswriters, players, and coaches. He set 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, 6 All-Star records, won four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers, and won 9 MVP awards and 10 scoring titles. He is the only player ever to total over 200 points in a season (a feat that he accomplished four times in his career). In addition, he tallied over 100 points a season for 15 NHL seasons, 13 of them consecutively. He is the only player to have his number, 99, officially retired by the National Hockey League.
Selected images -
Tree-map of Canada's goods exports in 2014
Approximately 98% of Canadians can speak either or both English and French:
English – 56.9%
English and French – 16.1%
French – 21.3%
Sparsely populated area ( < 0.4 persons per km2)
The Quebec City–Windsor Corridor is the most densely populated and heavily industrialized region of Canada, spanning 1,200 kilometres (750 miles).
Bill Reid's 1980 sculpture Raven and The First Men; the raven is a figure common to many of Canada's indigenous mythologies
A political map of Canada showing its 10 provinces and 3 territories
Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher and environmental activist.
Health care cost rise based on total expenditure on health as percent of GDP. Countries are the United States, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Canada.
Prime Minister Trudeau and U.S. President Trump meet in Washington, February 2017
Symbols of Canada -
Did you know... -
Selected cuisine -
Canadian whisky is a type of whisky produced in Canada. Most Canadian whiskies are blended multi-grain liquors containing a large percentage of corn spirits, and are typically lighter and smoother than other whisky styles. When Canadian distillers began adding small amounts of highly-flavourful rye grain to their mashes, people began demanding this new rye-flavoured whisky, referring to it simply as "rye". Today, as for the past two centuries, the terms "rye whisky" and "Canadian whisky" are used interchangeably in Canada and (as defined in Canadian law) refer to exactly the same product, which generally is made with only a small amount of rye grain. Read more...