Canada

Introduction A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown. Economically and technologically the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across an unfortified border. Canada faces the political challenges of meeting public demands for quality improvements in health care and education services, as well as responding to separatist concerns in predominantly francophone Quebec. Canada also aims to develop its diverse energy resources while maintaining its commitment to the environment.
History

Various groups of Inuit and First Peoples inhabited North America prehistorically. While no written documents exist, various forms of rock art, petroforms, petroglyphs, and ancient artifacts provide thousands of years of information about the past. Archaeological studies support a human presence in northern Yukon from 26,500 years ago, and in southern Ontario from 9,500 years ago.[9][10] Europeans first arrived when the Vikings settled briefly at L'Anse aux Meadows circa AD 1000. The next Europeans to explore Canada's Atlantic coast included John Cabot in 1497 for England[11] and Jacques Cartier in 1534 for France;[12] seasonal Basque whalers and fishermen would subsequently exploit the region between the Grand Banks and Tadoussac for over a century.[13]

French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in 1603 and established the first permanent European settlements at Port Royal in 1605 and Quebec City in 1608. These would become respectively the capitals of Acadia and Canada. Among French colonists of New France, Canadiens extensively settled the St. Lawrence River valley, Acadians settled the present-day Maritimes, while French fur traders and Catholic missionaries explored the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay and the Mississippi watershed to Louisiana. The French and Iroquois Wars broke out over control of the fur trade.

The English established fishing outposts in Newfoundland around 1610 and colonized the Thirteen Colonies to the south. A series of four Intercolonial Wars erupted between 1689 and 1763. Mainland Nova Scotia came under British rule with the Treaty of Utrecht (1713); the Treaty of Paris (1763) ceded Canada and most of New France to Britain following the Seven Years' War.

The Royal Proclamation (1763) carved the Province of Quebec out of New France and annexed Cape Breton Island to Nova Scotia. It also restricted the language and religious rights of French Canadians. In 1769, St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) became a separate colony. To avert conflict in Quebec, the Quebec Act of 1774 expanded Quebec's territory to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, and re-established the French language, Catholic faith, and French civil law in Quebec; it angered many residents of the Thirteen Colonies, helping to fuel the American Revolution.[14] The Treaty of Paris (1783) recognized American independence and ceded territories south of the Great Lakes to the United States. Approximately 50,000 United Empire Loyalists fled the United States to Canada.[15] New Brunswick was split from Nova Scotia as part of a reorganization of Loyalist settlements in the Maritimes. To accommodate English-speaking Loyalists in Quebec, the Constitutional Act of 1791 divided the province into French-speaking Lower Canada and English-speaking Upper Canada, granting each their own elected Legislative Assembly.

Canada was a major front in the War of 1812 between the United States and British Empire. Its defence contributed to a sense of unity among British North Americans. Large-scale immigration to Canada began in 1815 from Britain and Ireland. The timber industry would also surpass the fur trade in importance in the early 1800s.

The desire for Responsible Government resulted in the aborted Rebellions of 1837. The Durham Report (1839) would subsequently recommend responsible government and the assimilation of French Canadians into British culture.[16] The Act of Union (1840) merged The Canadas into a United Province of Canada. French and English Canadians worked together in the Assembly to reinstate French rights. Responsible government was established for all British North American provinces by 1849.

The signing of the Oregon Treaty by Britain and the United States in 1846 ended the Oregon boundary dispute, extending the border westward along the 49th parallel, and paving the way for British colonies on Vancouver Island (1849) and in British Columbia (1858). Canada launched a series of western exploratory expeditions to claim Rupert's Land and the Arctic region. The Canadian population grew rapidly because of high birth rates; British immigration was offset by emigration to the United States, especially by French Canadians moving to New England.

Following several constitutional conferences, the Constitution Act, 1867 brought about Confederation creating "one Dominion under the name of Canada" on July 1, 1867 with four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.[17] Canada assumed control of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory to form the Northwest Territories, where Métis' grievances ignited the Red River Rebellion and the creation of the province of Manitoba in July 1870. British Columbia and Vancouver Island (which had united in 1866) and the colony of Prince Edward Island joined Confederation in 1871 and 1873, respectively.

Prime Minister John A. Macdonald's Conservative Party established a National Policy of tariffs to protect nascent Canadian manufacturing industries. To open the West, the government sponsored construction of three trans-continental railways (most notably the Canadian Pacific Railway), opened the prairies to settlement with the Dominion Lands Act, and established the North West Mounted Police to assert its authority over this territory. In 1898, after the Klondike Gold Rush in the Northwest Territories, the Canadian government created the Yukon territory. Under Liberal Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, continental European immigrants settled the prairies, and Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces in 1905.

Canada automatically entered the First World War in 1914 with Britain's declaration of war, sending volunteers to the Western Front, who played a substantial role in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The Conscription Crisis of 1917 erupted when conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden brought in compulsory military service over the objection of French-speaking Quebecers. In 1919, Canada joined the League of Nations independently of Britain; in 1931 the Statute of Westminster affirmed Canada's independence.

The Great Depression of 1929 brought economic hardship to all of Canada. In response, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Alberta and Saskatchewan presaged a welfare state as pioneered by Tommy Douglas in the 1940s and 1950s. Canada declared war on Germany independently during World War II under Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, three days after Britain. The first Canadian Army units arrived in Britain in December 1939.[18] Canadian troops played important roles in the Battle of the Atlantic, the failed 1942 Dieppe Raid in France, the Allied invasion of Italy, the D-Day landings, the Battle of Normandy and the Battle of the Scheldt in 1944. The Canadian economy boomed as industry manufactured military materiel for Canada, Britain, China and the Soviet Union. Despite another Conscription Crisis in Quebec, Canada finished the war with one of the largest armed forces in the world.[18]

In 1949, Newfoundland joined Confederation. Post-war prosperity and economic expansion ignited a baby boom and attracted immigration from war-ravaged European countries.[19]

Under successive Liberal governments of Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, a new Canadian identity emerged. Canada adopted its current Maple Leaf Flag in 1965. In response to a more assertive French-speaking Quebec, the federal government became officially bilingual with the Official Languages Act of 1969. Non-discriminatory Immigration Acts were introduced in 1967 and 1976, and official multiculturalism in 1971; waves of non-European immigration had changed the face of the country. Social democratic programs such as Universal Health Care, the Canada Pension Plan, and Canada Student Loans were initiated in the 1960s and consolidated in the 1970s; provincial governments, particularly Quebec, fought these as incursions into their jurisdictions. Finally, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau pushed through the patriation of the constitution from Britain, enshrining a Charter of Rights and Freedoms based on individual rights in the Constitution Act of 1982. Canadians continue to take pride in their system of universal health care, their commitment to multiculturalism, and human rights.[20]

Quebec underwent profound social and economic changes during the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s. Québécois nationalists began pressing for greater provincial autonomy and others for Quebec independence. Radical Quebec nationalist militants of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) which committed acts of terrorism against anglophone Québécois brought Canada into crisis in 1970, when they kidnapped British Trade Commissioner John Cross and murdered Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte, in which Canada invoked the controversial War Measures Act which allowed Canadian law enforcement to arrest any suspected militants without warrants. After 1970, no significant militant Quebec nationalism continued, and moderate Quebec nationalism prevailed under the Parti Québécois of Rene Levesque which came to power in Quebec in 1976. A referendum on sovereignty-association in 1980 was rejected by a solid majority of the population. Efforts by Progressive Conservative (PC) government of Brian Mulroney to recognize Quebec as a "distinct society" under the Meech Lake Accord in 1987 collapsed in 1989. Anger in French Quebec and a sense of alienation in Canada's western provinces resulted in a sovereignist federal party Bloc Quebecois under Lucien Bouchard and the Reform Party of Canada under Preston Manning rising to prominence in the election of 1993. Each advocated for greater decentralization in Canadian federalism in opposition to the more centralized vision of Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien. Another Parti Québécois government in Quebec led by Jacques Parizeau held a second referendum in 1995 that was rejected by a slimmer margin of just 50.6% to 49.4%.[21] In 1997, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession by a province to be unconstitutional, and Parliament passed the "Clarity Act" outlining the terms of a negotiated departure.[21] A merger of Reform and PC Parties into the Conservative Party of Canada was completed in 2003. Stephen Harper became party leader and formed a minority government in 2006.

Geography Location: Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the north, north of the conterminous US
Geographic coordinates: 60 00 N, 95 00 W
Map references: North America
Area: total: 9,984,670 sq km
land: 9,093,507 sq km
water: 891,163 sq km
Area - comparative: somewhat larger than the US
Land boundaries: total: 8,893 km
border countries: US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska)
Coastline: 202,080 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate: varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north
Terrain: mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Logan 5,959 m
Natural resources: iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 4.57%
permanent crops: 0.65%
other: 94.78% (2005)
Irrigated land: 7,850 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 3,300 cu km (1985)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 44.72 cu km/yr (20%/69%/12%)
per capita: 1,386 cu m/yr (1996)
Natural hazards: continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow east of the mountains
Environment - current issues: air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and damaging forests; metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and vehicle emissions impacting on agricultural and forest productivity; ocean waters becoming contaminated due to agricultural, industrial, mining, and forestry activities
Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note: second-largest country in world (after Russia); strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route; approximately 90% of the population is concentrated within 160 km of the US border
Politics

Canada is a constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, as head of state.[22][23] The country is a parliamentary democracy with a federal system of parliamentary government and strong democratic traditions. The constitution is the supreme law of the country,[24] and consists of written text and unwritten conventions.[25] The Constitution Act, 1867, affirmed governance based on parliamentary precedent "similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom" and divided powers between the federal and provincial governments; the Statute of Westminster, 1931, granted full autonomy; and the Constitution Act, 1982, added the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees basic rights and freedoms that usually cannot be overridden by any level of government - though a notwithstanding clause allows the federal parliament and provincial legislatures to override certain sections of the Charter for a period of five years - and added a constitutional amending formula.[26]

Executive authority is constitutionally vested in the monarch,[27][28] but is in practice exercised by the Cabinet, a committee of the Queen's Privy Council, through the monarch's representative, the Governor General. As the monarch and viceroy stay apolitical and predominantly ceremonial in order to ensure the stability of government – by convention almost invariably deferring all governmental matters to their ministers in the Cabinet, who are themselves responsible to the elected House of Commons – real executive power is said to lie with the Cabinet,[27] though the monarch and Governor General do retain the right to use discretionary powers in exceptional constitutional crisis situations.[29] The Prime Minister, generally the leader of the political party that commands the confidence of the House of Commons, is appointed by the Governor General to select and head the Cabinet;[29] thus, the Prime Minister's Office is one of the most powerful organs of government, responsible for selecting, besides the other Cabinet members, Senators, federal court judges, heads of Crown corporations and government agencies, and the federal and provincial viceroys for appointment. The leader of the party with the second most seats usually becomes the Leader of the Opposition and is part of an adversarial Parliamentary system that keeps the government in check. Michaëlle Jean has served as Governor General since September 27, 2005; Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party has been Prime Minister since February 6, 2006; and Stephane Dion, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, has been Leader of the Opposition since December 2, 2006.

The federal parliament is made up of the Queen and two houses: an elected House of Commons and an appointed Senate. Each member in the House of Commons is elected by simple plurality in a riding or electoral district; general elections are called by the Governor General when the Prime Minister so advises or when the government loses the confidence of the House. While there is no minimum term for a Parliament, a new election must be called within five years of the last general election. Members of the Senate, whose seats are apportioned on a regional basis, are chosen by the Prime Minister and formally appointed by the Governor General, and serve until age 75.

Four parties have had substantial representation in the federal parliament since 2006 elections: the Conservative Party of Canada (governing party), the Liberal Party of Canada (Official Opposition), the New Democratic Party (NDP), and the Bloc Québécois. The Green Party of Canada does not have current representation in Parliament, but garners a significant share of the national vote. The list of historical parties with elected representation is substantial.

People Population: 33,390,141 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 17.3% (male 2,967,383/female 2,824,189)
15-64 years: 69.2% (male 11,604,723/female 11,490,839)
65 years and over: 13.5% (male 1,927,035/female 2,575,972) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 39.1 years
male: 38.1 years
female: 40.2 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.869% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 10.75 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 7.86 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 5.79 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.051 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.748 male(s)/female
total population: 0.977 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.63 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.08 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 80.34 years
male: 76.98 years
female: 83.86 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.61 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.3% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 56,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,500 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Canadian(s)
adjective: Canadian
Ethnic groups: British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%
Religions: Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3% (including 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)
Languages: English (official) 59.3%, French (official) 23.2%, other 17.5%
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
Government Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Canada
Government type: constitutional monarchy that is also a parliamentary democracy and a federation
Capital: name: Ottawa
geographic coordinates: 45 25 N, 75 42 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
note: Canada is divided into six time zones
Administrative divisions: 10 provinces and 3 territories*; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory*
Independence: 1 July 1867 (union of British North American colonies); 11 December 1931 (recognized by UK)
National holiday: Canada Day, 1 July (1867)
Constitution: made up of unwritten and written acts, customs, judicial decisions, and traditions; the written part of the constitution consists of the Constitution Act of 29 March 1867, which created a federation of four provinces, and the Constitution Act of 17 April 1982, which transferred formal control over the constitution from Britain to Canada, and added a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as procedures for constitutional amendments
Legal system: based on English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law system based on French law prevails; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Michaelle JEAN (since 27 September 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Stephen HARPER (since 6 February 2006)
cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister usually from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister for a five-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition in the House of Commons is automatically designated prime minister by the governor general
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (105 seats; members appointed by the governor general with the advice of the prime minister and serve until reaching 75 years of age) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (308 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms starting in 2009 elections)
elections: House of Commons - last held 23 January 2006 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Conservative Party 36.3%, Liberal Party 30.2%, New Democratic Party 17.5%, Bloc Quebecois 10.5%, Greens 4.5%, other 1%; seats by party - Conservative Party 124, Liberal Party 102, New Democratic Party 29, Bloc Quebecois 51, other 2; seats by party as of November 2007 - Conservative Party 125, Liberal Party 96, New Democratic Party 30, Bloc Quebecois 49, other 4, vacant 4
Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Canada (judges are appointed by the prime minister through the governor general); Federal Court of Canada; Federal Court of Appeal; Provincial Courts (these are named variously Court of Appeal, Court of Queens Bench, Superior Court, Supreme Court, and Court of Justice)
Political parties and leaders: Bloc Quebecois [Gilles DUCEPPE]; Conservative Party of Canada [Stephen HARPER] (a merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party); Green Party [Elizabeth MAY]; Liberal Party [Stephane DION]; New Democratic Party [Jack LAYTON]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ACCT, ADB (nonregional members), AfDB, APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CDB, CE (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ESA (cooperating state), FAO, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAFTA, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SECI (observer), UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Michael WILSON
chancery: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
telephone: [1] (202) 682-1740
FAX: [1] (202) 682-7701
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson
consulate(s): Anchorage, Houston, Philadelphia, Princeton (New Jersey), Raleigh, San Jose (California)
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador David H. WILKINS
embassy: 490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8
mailing address: P. O. Box 5000, Ogdensburgh, NY 13669-0430; P.O. Box 866, Station B, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5T1
telephone: [1] (613) 688-5335
FAX: [1] (613) 688-3082
consulate(s) general: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg
Flag description: two vertical bands of red (hoist and fly side, half width), with white square between them; an 11-pointed red maple leaf is centered in the white square; the official colors of Canada are red and white
Culture

Canadian culture has historically been influenced by British, French, and Aboriginal cultures and traditions. It has also been influenced by American culture because of its proximity and migration between the two countries. American media and entertainment are popular if not dominant in English Canada; conversely, many Canadian cultural products and entertainers are successful in the US and worldwide.[75] Many cultural products are marketed toward a unified "North American" or global market.

The creation and preservation of distinctly Canadian culture are supported by federal government programs, laws and institutions such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).[76]

Canada is a geographically vast and ethnically diverse country. There are cultural variations and distinctions from province to province and region to region. Canadian culture has also been greatly influenced by immigration from all over the world. Many Canadians value multiculturalism, and see Canadian culture as being inherently multicultural.[20] Multicultural heritage is the basis of Section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

National symbols are influenced by natural, historical, and First Nations sources. Particularly, the use of the maple leaf as a Canadian symbol dates back to the early 18th century and is depicted on its current and previous flags, the penny, and on the coat of arms.[77] Other prominent symbols include the beaver, Canada goose, common loon, the Crown, and the RCMP.[77]

Canada's official national sports are ice hockey (winter) and lacrosse (summer).[78] Hockey is a national pastime and the most popular spectator sport in the country. It is the most popular sport Canadians play, with 1.65 million active participants in 2004.[79] Canada's six largest metropolitan areas - Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, and Edmonton - have franchises in the National Hockey League (NHL), and there are more Canadian players in the league than from all other countries combined. After hockey, other popular spectator sports include curling and football; the latter is played professionally in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Golf, baseball, skiing, soccer, volleyball, and basketball are widely played at youth and amateur levels,[79] but professional leagues and franchises are not as widespread.

Canada has hosted several high-profile international sporting events, including the 1976 Summer Olympics, the 1988 Winter Olympics, and the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Canada will be the host country for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia.

Economy Economy - 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 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. Given its great natural resources, skilled labor force, and modern capital plant, Canada enjoys solid economic prospects. Top-notch fiscal management has produced consecutive balanced budgets since 1997, although public debate continues over the equitable distribution of federal funds to the Canadian provinces. Exports account for roughly a third of GDP. Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with its principal trading partner, the US, which absorbs 80% of Canadian exports each year. Canada is the US's largest foreign supplier of energy, including oil, gas, uranium, and electric power. During 2007, Canada enjoyed good economic growth, moderate inflation, and the lowest unemployment rate in more than three decades.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.274 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $1.406 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.7% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $38,200 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2.1%
industry: 28.8%
services: 69.1% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 17.9 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 2%, manufacturing 13%, construction 6%, services 76%, other 3% (2006)
Unemployment rate: 5.9% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: 10.8%; 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 (2005)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 24.8% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 32.1 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.4% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 22% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $565.8 billion
expenditures: $551.2 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 64% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products; forest products; fish
Industries: transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, fish products, petroleum and natural gas
Industrial production growth rate: 1.6% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 609.6 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 28%
hydro: 57.9%
nuclear: 12.9%
other: 1.3% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 540.2 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 42.93 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 19.33 billion kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 3.092 million bbl/day (2005)
Oil - consumption: 2.29 million bbl/day (2005)
Oil - exports: 2.274 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 1.185 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 178.8 billion bbl
note: includes oil sands (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 178.2 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 92.76 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 101.9 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 9.403 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 1.537 trillion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: $28.46 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $440.1 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment; chemicals, plastics, fertilizers; wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, natural gas, electricity, aluminum
Exports - partners: US 81.6%, UK 2.3%, Japan 2.1% (2006)
Imports: $394.4 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, crude oil, chemicals, electricity, durable consumer goods
Imports - partners: US 54.9%, China 8.7%, Mexico 4% (2006)
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $3.9 billion (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $39.31 billion (2007 est.)
Debt - external: $758.6 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $398.4 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $458.1 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $1.481 trillion (2005)
Currency (code): Canadian dollar (CAD)
Currency code: CAD
Exchange rates: Canadian dollars per US dollar - 1.0724 (2007), 1.1334 (2006), 1.2118 (2005), 1.301 (2004), 1.4011 (2003)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 20.78 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 17.017 million (2005)
Telephone system: general assessment: excellent service provided by modern technology
domestic: domestic satellite system with about 300 earth stations
international: country code - 1; submarine cables provide links to the US and Europe; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) and 2 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region) (2007)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 245, FM 582, shortwave 6 (2004)
Radios: 32.3 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 80 (plus many repeaters) (1997)
Televisions: 21.5 million (1997)
Internet country code: .ca
Internet hosts: 4.196 million (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 760 (2000 est.)
Internet users: 22 million (2005)
Transportation Airports: 1,343 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 509
over 3,047 m: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 149
914 to 1,523 m: 248
under 914 m: 78 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 834
1,524 to 2,437 m: 68
914 to 1,523 m: 356
under 914 m: 410 (2007)
Heliports: 11 (2007)
Pipelines: crude and refined oil 23,564 km; liquid petroleum gas 74,980 km (2006)
Railways: total: 48,068 km
standard gauge: 48,068 km 1.435-m gauge (2006)
Roadways: total: 1,042,300 km
paved: 415,600 km (includes 17,000 km of expressways)
unpaved: 626,700 km (2006)
Waterways: 636 km
note: Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with United States (2007)
Merchant marine: total: 171 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,191,099 GRT/2,815,416 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 60, cargo 10, carrier 1, chemical tanker 9, combination ore/oil 1, container 2, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 64, petroleum tanker 12, roll on/roll off 6
foreign-owned: 8 (Germany 3, Netherlands 1, Norway 1, US 3)
registered in other countries: 130 (Australia 2, Bahamas 13, Barbados 9, Cambodia 6, Cyprus 2, Denmark 1, Honduras 1, Hong Kong 39, Liberia 3, Malta 15, Marshall Islands 4, Panama 17, St Vincent and The Grenadines 6, Taiwan 3, US 4, Vanuatu 5) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Fraser River Port, Halifax, Hamilton, Montreal, Port-Cartier, Quebec City, Saint John (New Brunswick), Sept-Isles, Vancouver
Military Military branches: Canadian Forces: Land Forces Command (LFC), Maritime Command (MARCOM), Air Command (AIRCOM), Canada Command (homeland security) (2008)
Military service age and obligation: 16-34 years of age for voluntary military service; women comprise approximately 11% of Canada's armed forces (2006)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 8,216,510
females age 16-49: 8,034,939 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 6,740,490
females age 16-49: 6,580,868 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 223,821
females age 16-49: 212,900 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.1% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: managed maritime boundary disputes with the US at Dixon Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and around the disputed Machias Seal Island and North Rock; US works closely with Canada to intensify security measures to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across the international border; sovereignty dispute with Denmark over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland
Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic drug market and export to US; use of hydroponics technology permits growers to plant large quantities of high-quality marijuana indoors; increasing ecstasy production, some of which is destined for the US; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering because of its mature financial services sector