Canada

Geography

Canada occupies the whole of the northern part of North America and many islands (e. g. Baffin Island, Newfoundland, Vancouver Island, Prince Edward Island, etc.). It is the second largest country in the world. It borders the USA. This border is the longest defined border in the world. Canada is divided into ten provinces and three territories: Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon Territory. The Great Lakes Region is the largest area of fresh water in the world. There are the famous Niagara Falls between Lake Erie and Ontario. We can also find other big and beautiful lakes in Canada, e. g. Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Lake Winnipeg etc. Canada has large mountainous areas - the Rocky Mountains, the Mackenzie Mountains, and the Melville Hills. The highest mountain is Mt. Logan in the Alaska Region. The longest river is the Mackenzie. Other big rivers are the Yukon, the Columbia and the St. Lawrence River. The climate is mostly continental with warm summers and cold winters.

People

Canada´s capital is Ottawa. The largest city, Montreal, is the second largest French-speaking city in the world. Canada’s population is about 26 000 000 inhabitants. 80 per cent of the Canadians live in large urban centers located on the southern border. More than 40 per cent are of British origin, 30 per cent are of French origin, over 20 per cent are of continental European origin, and the rest consist of Eskimos and Indians. The official languages are English and French. 60 per cent of the population speaks English, 30 per cent speaks French, and the rest are languages spoken by various ethnic minorities (Italian, German, Chinese etc.)

Provinces and Territories

Alberta has more sunshine than any other parts of Canada. It is sparsely populated and it has rich natural resources. There are many national parks here which are popular with the tourists. Prince Edward Island is Canada´s smallest province. More than one-half of the island is used for agriculture.Yukon contains one-fifth of the population of all American Indians and Inuits. The highest mountain, Mt. Logan, is here. Saskatchewan is a sparsely populated bush country with many lakes and the tundra. The economy is traditionally based on extracting oil, gas, and potash. New Brunswick is 90% covered by forest. Forestry and lumbering are the province´s largest industries. Ontario is the second largest province of Canada. The region has vast mineral reserves. It is Canada´s chief mining province. Newfoundland is where the World’s finest fishing grounds, the Grand Banks, are located. The Northwest Territories reach into the Arctic Circle and include thousands of islands. One half of the population consists of American Indians and Eskimos. Mining is the principal industry there. Quebec is an eastern province. The capital is the oldest city in Canada. The province is famous for hockey. The majority of people here are of French origin. Nova Scotia is a province famous for its shipbuilding. Manitoba is where there are many forests, rivers, and lakes. British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada. A lot of immigration to this area occurred with the gold rush in 1858. Nunavut is the most inaccessible part of Canada. It is sparsely populated. The official languages here are English and Inuktitut.

History

The original inhabitants were Eskimos and Indians and it is interesting that the name ”Canada” comes from their language. Indians used the word „Kanata,“ which means ”village”.“ The first Europeans here were the Vikings who discovered Canada more than a thousand years ago. Since the 16 century, large territories were occupied by the French. Originally it was called New France because it was a French colony. In 1773, the French were defeated by the British; but during the War of Independence, Canada remained loyal to Britain because the people were afraid to becoming a part of the USA. In 1877, Canada became a British dominion.

Economy

Canada´s economy is traditionally based on natural resources and agriculture. Canada has mainly coal, oil and gas, metal, machine-building, and chemical industries. In 1896, gold was discovered in the Yukon and the greatest gold rush in history started. Ships are built in Montreal and Toronto. Only 7 per cent of the land is suitable for farming and agriculture. Canada is the fifth largest producer of wheat. Other important agricultural items are vegetables, fruits, tobacco, leather, and dairy products. The valid currency is the Canadian dollar.

Government

Canada 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 re-elected every 5 years. The Senate consists of senators. The leading figure in political life is the Prime Minister.




Přidal: slu.sna.di.v.ka 30. 5. 2010
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