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Canada is a country in the northern part of
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the
Atlantic
Atlantic
to the
Pacific The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. T ...

Pacific
and northward into the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
, covering , making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching , is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is
Ottawa Ottawa (, ; Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are ...

Ottawa
, and its three largest metropolitan areas are
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, most p ...

Toronto
,
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and w ...

Montreal
, and
Vancouver Vancouver ( ) is a major city in , located in the region of . As the in the province, the recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011. The area had a population of 2,463,431 in 2016, making it the . Vancouver has the highe ...

Vancouver
. Various
Indigenous peoples have continuously inhabited what is now Canada Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples *Indigenous (ecology), presence in a region as the result of only natural processes, with no human intervention *Indigenous (band), an American blues-rock band *Indigenous (horse), a Hong Kong racehorse ...
for thousands of years. Beginning in the 16th century,
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...
and French expeditions explored and later settled along the Atlantic coast. As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of
its colonies in North America
its colonies in North America
in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three
British North America British North America comprised the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or adminis ...
n colonies through
Confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in i ...
, Canada was formed as a
federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ''Federal state'' (federal system), a type of government characterized by both a central (federal) government and states or ...
dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the British Empire. "Dominion status" was formally accorded to Canada, Australia, Dominion of New Zealand, New Zealand, Dominion of Newfoundland ...

dominion
of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the
Statute of Westminster 1931 The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom In the United Kingdom an Act of Parliament is primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and ...
and culminated in the
Canada Act 1982 The Canada Act 1982 (1982 c. 11; french: Loi de 1982 sur le Canada) is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legisl ...
, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the
British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind ...
. Canada is a
parliamentary democracy A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (or subordinate entity) where the Executive (government), executive derives its democratic legitimacy fr ...
and a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
in the Westminster tradition. The country's
head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presi ...
is the
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpar ...
—who holds office by virtue of their ability to command the confidence of the elected
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporat ...
—and is appointed by the governor general, representing the
monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...
, who serves as
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
. The country is a
Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a perma ...
and is officially bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life,
economic freedom Economic freedom, or economic liberty, is the ability of people of a society to take economic actions. This is a term used in economic and policy debate Policy debate is a form of debate competition in which teams of two advocate for and against ...
, and education. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and
multicultural The term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of sociology, political philosophy, and colloquial use. In sociology and in everyday usage, it is a synonym for "Pluralism (political theory), ethnic pluralism", with the two ...
nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...
. A highly
developed country A developed country (or industrialized country, high-income country, more economically developed country (MEDC), advanced country) is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized governm ...
, Canada has the seventeenth-highest nominal per-capita income globally and the sixteenth-highest ranking in the
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age, and ot ...
. Its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
,
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance A military alliance is a formal agreement betwe ...
, the G7, the Group of Ten, the
G20 The G20 or Group of Twenty is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located ...

G20
, the
United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement The Agreement between the United States of America, the United Mexican States, and Canada, commonly known as the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) in the United States and the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) in ...
, the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
, the ''
Organisation internationale de la Francophonie The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF; sometimes shortened to the Francophonie, french: La Francophonie , but also called International Organisation of La Francophonie in English-language context) is an international organiza ...
'', the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC; ) is an inter-governmental forum for 21 member economies in the Pacific Rim The Pacific Rim comprises the lands around the rim of the Pacific Ocean. The ''Pacific Ocean, Pacific Basin'' include ...
forum, and the
Organization of American States The Organization of American States (OAS; es, Organización de los Estados Americanos, pt, Organização dos Estados Americanos, french: Organisation des États américains; ''OEA'') is an international organization that was founded on 30 April ...

Organization of American States
.


Etymology

While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of ''Canada'', the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word , meaning "village" or "settlement". In 1535, Indigenous inhabitants of the present-day
Quebec City Quebec City ( or ; french: Ville de Québec), officially Québec (), is the capital city of the Canadian province The provinces and territories of Canada () are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada under the juri ...

Quebec City
region used the word to direct French explorer
Jacques Cartier Jacques Cartier ( , also , , ; br, Jakez Karter; 31 December 14911 September 1557) was a French people, French-Breton people, Breton List of maritime explorers, maritime explorer for Kingdom of France, France. Jacques Cartier was the first ...

Jacques Cartier
to the village of
Stadacona Stadacona was a 16th-century St. Lawrence Iroquoian village not far from where Quebec City Quebec City ( or ; french: Ville de Québec), officially Québec (), is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provin ...
. Cartier later used the word ''Canada'' to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to
Donnacona Chief Donnacona (died Circa, c. 1539 in France) was the chief of the village of Stadacona, located at the present site of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. French explorer Jacques Cartier, concluding his second voyage to what is now Canada, returned to ...

Donnacona
(the chief at Stadacona); by 1545, European books and maps had begun referring to this small region along the
Saint Lawrence River The St. Lawrence River is a large river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its c ...
as ''Canada''. From the 16th to the early 18th century "
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...
" referred to the part of
New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the a ...

New France
that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called
Upper Canada The Province of Upper Canada (french: link=no, province du Haut-Canada) was a part Part, parts or PART may refer to: People *Armi Pärt Armi Pärt (born 18 June 1991) is an Estonian handballer, playing in French D2 for Massy Essonne H ...
and
Lower Canada The Province of Lower Canada (french: province du Bas-Canada) was a British colony Within the British Empire, a Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. ...
collectively named
the Canadas The Canadas is the collective name for the provinces of Lower Canada and Upper Canada The Province of Upper Canada (french: link=no, province du Haut-Canada) was a Province, part of The Canadas, British Canada established in 1791 by the Ki ...
; until their union as the British
Province of Canada The Province of Canada (or the United Province of Canada or the United Canadas) (french: link=no, Province du Canada) was a British colony Within the British Empire, a Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, ...
in 1841. Upon Confederation in 1867, ''Canada'' was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, and the word ''
Dominion The term dominion was used to refer to one of several self-governing nations of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other D ...

Dominion
'' was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth". The government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using ''Dominion'' in the statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada fully under Canadian control, referred only to ''Canada'', while later that year the name of the national holiday was . The term ''Dominion'' was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
the term ''federal'' had replaced ''dominion''.


History


Indigenous peoples

Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
,
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
, and
Métis The Métis (; ) are Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or au ...
, the last being a
mixed-blood The term mixed-blood in the United States is most often employed for individuals of mixed European Americans, European and Native Americans in the United States, Native American ancestry. Some of the most prominent in the 19th century were mixed-bl ...
people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations people married European settlers and subsequently developed their own identity. The first inhabitants of North America are generally hypothesized to have migrated from
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
by way of the
Bering land bridge Beringia is defined today as the land and maritime area bounded on the west by the Lena River The Lena (russian: link=no, Ле́на, ; evn, Елюенэ, ''Eljune''; sah, Өлүөнэ, ''Ölüöne''; bua, Зүлхэ, ''Zülkhe''; mn, З ...
and arrived at least 14,000 years ago. The
Paleo-Indian Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleo-Americans, were the first peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a ...
archeological sites at
Old Crow Flats Old Crow Flats is a wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. These Biotic co ...
and
Bluefish Caves Bluefish Caves is an archaeological site in Yukon Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Provinces and territories of Canada, Canada's three territories. It also is ...
are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Indigenous societies included permanent settlements, agriculture, complex societal hierarchies, and trading networks. Some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations. The
Indigenous population Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the b ...
at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000 and two million, with a figure of 500,000 accepted by Canada's
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) was a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or a ...
. As a consequence of European colonization, the Indigenous population declined by forty to eighty percent, and several First Nations, such as the
Beothuk The Beothuk ( or ; also spelled Beothuck) were a group of indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to rel ...
, disappeared. The decline is attributed to several causes, including the transfer of European diseases, such as
influenza Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), ...

influenza
,
measles Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to ...
, and
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious ...

smallpox
to which they had no natural immunity, conflicts over the fur trade, conflicts with the colonial authorities and settlers, and the loss of Indigenous lands to settlers and the subsequent collapse of several nations' self-sufficiency. Although not without conflict,
European Canadians European Canadians (french: les Canadiens Européens), also known as Euro-Canadians, are Canadians Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North Am ...
' early interactions with First Nations and Inuit populations were relatively peaceful. First Nations and Métis peoples played a critical part in the development of European colonies in Canada, particularly for their role in assisting European
coureur des bois A coureur des bois (; ) or coureur de bois (; plural: coureurs de(s) bois) was an independent entrepreneurial French-Canadian trader who traveled in New France and the interior of North America, usually to trade with Indigenous peoples of the Am ...

coureur des bois
and
voyageurs The voyageurs (; ) were 18th and 19th century French Canadians French Canadians (referred to as Canadiens mainly before the twentieth century ; french: Canadiens français, ; feminine form: , ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethni ...
in the exploration of the continent during the
North American fur trade#REDIRECT North American fur trade The North American fur trade, an aspect of the international fur trade, was the acquisition, trade, exchange, and sale of animal furs in North America. Indigenous peoples in Canada, Indigenous peoples and Native A ...
. The Crown and Indigenous peoples began interactions during the European colonization period, though the Inuit, in general, had more limited interaction with European settlers. However, from the late 18th century, European Canadians encouraged Indigenous peoples to assimilate into their own culture. These attempts reached a climax in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with forced integration and relocations. A period of redress is underway, which started with the appointment of the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC; french: Commission de vérité et réconciliation du Canada) was a truth and reconciliation commission A truth commission, also known as a truth and reconciliation commission or truth an ...
by the
Government of Canada The government of Canada (french: Gouvernement du Canada) is the body responsible for the federation, federal administration of Canada. A constitutional monarchy, the Crown is the Corporation sole#The Crown, corporation sole, assuming distinct r ...
in 2008.


European colonization

It is believed that the first European to explore the east coast of Canada was
Norse Norse is demonym for Norsemen, a medieval North Germanic ethnolinguistic group ancestral to modern Scandinavians, defined as speakers of Old Norse from about the 9th to the 13th centuries. Norse may also refer to: Culture and religion * Norse m ...

Norse
explorer
Leif Erikson Leif Erikson, Leiv Eiriksson or Leif Ericson; Icelandic: ''Leifur Eiríksson''; Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation an ...
. In approximately 1000 AD, the Norse built a small encampment that only lasted a few years at
L'Anse aux Meadows L'Anse aux Meadows () is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the peri ...

L'Anse aux Meadows
on the northern tip of
Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (, ) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, in the country's Atlantic Canada, Atlantic region. It is composed of the island of Newfoundland (island), Newfoundland and the continental ...

Newfoundland
. No further European exploration occurred until 1497, when Italian seafarer
John Cabot John Cabot ( it, Giovanni Caboto ; 1450 – 1500) was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian l ...

John Cabot
explored and claimed Canada's in the name of King
Henry VII of England Henry VII ( cy, Harri Tudur; 28 January 1457 – 21 April 1509) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of ...
. In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the
Gulf of Saint Lawrence The Gulf of St. Lawrence (French language, French: ''Golfe du Saint-Laurent'') is the outlet of the North American Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean. The gulf is a semi-enclosed sea, covering an area of about and conta ...

Gulf of Saint Lawrence
where, on July 24, he planted a cross bearing the words "Long Live the King of France" and took possession of the territory New France in the name of King Francis I. The early 16th century saw European mariners with navigational techniques pioneered by the
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to th ...

Basque
and
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...
establish seasonal whaling and fishing outposts along the Atlantic coast. In general, early settlements during the Age of Discovery appear to have been Population of Canada#Ephemeral European settlements, short-lived due to a combination of the harsh climate, problems with navigating trade routes and competing outputs in Scandinavia. In 1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, by the royal prerogative of Elizabeth I of England, Queen Elizabeth I, founded St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's, Newfoundland, as the first North American English overseas possessions, English seasonal camp. In 1600, the French established their first seasonal trading post at Tadoussac along the Saint Lawrence. French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in 1603 and established the first permanent year-round European settlements at Port Royal, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, Port Royal (in 1605) and Quebec City (in 1608). Among the French colonization of the Americas, colonists of New France, ''French Canadian, Canadiens'' extensively settled the Saint Lawrence River valley and Acadians settled the present-day The Maritimes, Maritimes, while fur traders and Catholic Church and the Age of Discovery, Catholic missionaries explored the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and the Mississippi watershed to Louisiana (New France), Louisiana. The Beaver Wars broke out in the mid-17th century over control of the North American fur trade. The English established additional settlements in Newfoundland (island), Newfoundland, beginning in 1610 and the Thirteen Colonies to the south were founded soon after. A series of French and Indian Wars, four wars erupted in colonial North America between 1689 and 1763; the later wars of the period constituted the North American theatre of the Seven Years' War. Mainland Nova Scotia came under British rule with the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, and Canada and most of New France came under British rule in 1763 after the Seven Years' War.


British North America

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 established First Nation treaty rights, created the Province of Quebec (1763–1791), Province of Quebec out of New France, and annexed Cape Breton Island to Nova Scotia. St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) became a separate colony in 1769. To avert conflict in Quebec, the British Parliament passed the Quebec Act, Quebec Act 1774, expanding Quebec's territory to the Great Lakes and Ohio River, Ohio Valley. More importantly, the ''Quebec Act'' afforded Quebec special autonomy and rights of self-administration at a time when the Thirteen Colonies were increasingly agitating against British rule. It re-established the French language in Canada, French language, Catholicism in Canada, Catholic faith, and Law of France, French civil law there, staving off the growth of an independence movement in contrast to the Thirteen Colonies. The Proclamation and the Quebec Act in turn angered many residents of the Thirteen Colonies, further fuelling anti-British sentiment in the years prior to the American Revolution. After the successful American War of Independence, the Treaty of Paris (1783), 1783 Treaty of Paris recognized the independence of the newly formed United States and set the terms of peace, ceding
British North America British North America comprised the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or adminis ...
n territories south of the Great Lakes and east of the Mississippi River to the new country. The American war of independence also caused a large out-migration of Loyalists, the settlers who had fought against American independence. Many moved to Canada, particularly Atlantic Canada, where their arrival changed the demographic distribution of the existing territories. New Brunswick was in turn split from Nova Scotia as part of a reorganization of Loyalist settlements in the Maritimes which led to the incorporation of Saint John, New Brunswick to become Canada's first city. To accommodate the influx of English-speaking Loyalists in Central Canada, the Constitutional Act 1791, ''Constitutional Act'' of 1791 divided the province of Canada into French-speaking Lower Canada (later Quebec#Canadian Confederation, Quebec) and English-speaking Upper Canada (later Ontario#Canada West, Ontario), granting each its own elected legislative assembly. The Canadas were the main front in the War of 1812 between the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom. Peace came in 1815; no boundaries were changed. Immigration resumed at a higher level, with over 960,000 arrivals from Britain between 1815 and 1850. New arrivals included refugees escaping the Great Irish Famine as well as Scottish Gaelic, Gaelic-speaking Scots displaced by the Highland Clearances. Infectious diseases killed between 25 and 33 percent of Europeans who immigrated to Canada before 1891. The desire for responsible government resulted in the abortive Rebellions of 1837. The Report on the Affairs of British North America, Durham Report subsequently recommended responsible government and the assimilation of French Canadians into English culture. The Act of Union 1840 merged the Canadas into a united Province of Canada and responsible government was established for all provinces of British North America by 1849. The signing of the Oregon Treaty by Britain and Mexican Cession, the United States in 1846 ended the Oregon boundary dispute, extending the border westward along the 49th parallel north, 49th parallel. This paved the way for British colonies on Colony of Vancouver Island, Vancouver Island (1849) and in Colony of British Columbia (1858–1866), British Columbia (1858). The Alaska Purchase of 1867 by the United States established the border along the Pacific coast, although there would continue to be some disputes about the exact demarcation of the Alaska–Yukon and Alaska–BC border for years to come.


Confederation and expansion

Following several constitutional conferences, the Constitution Act, 1867, British North America Act 1867 officially proclaimed Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, initially with four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Canada assumed control of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory to form the Northwest Territories, where the Métis' grievances ignited the Red River Rebellion and the creation of the province of Manitoba in July 1870. British Columbia and Vancouver Island (which United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, had been united in 1866) joined the confederation in 1871 on the promise of a transcontinental railway extending to Victoria in the province within 10 years, while Prince Edward Island joined in 1873. In 1898, during the Klondike Gold Rush in the Northwest Territories, parliament created the Yukon Territory. Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces in 1905. Between 1871 and 1896, almost one quarter of the Canadian population emigrated southwards, to the U.S. To open Western Canada, the West and encourage European immigration, Parliament approved sponsoring the construction of three transcontinental railways (including the Canadian Pacific Railway), opening the prairies to settlement with the ''Dominion Lands Act'', and establishing the North-West Mounted Police to assert its authority over this territory. This Post-Confederation Canada (1867–1914)#Expansion, period of westward expansion and National Policy, nation building resulted in the displacement of many Plains Indians, Indigenous peoples of the Canadian Prairies to "Indian reserves", clearing the way for ethnic European block settlements. This caused the collapse of the History of bison conservation in Canada#Plains bison, Plains Bison in western Canada and the introduction of European Agriculture in Canada, cattle farms and wheat fields dominating the land. The Indigenous peoples saw widespread famine and disease due to the loss of the bison and their traditional hunting lands The federal government did provide emergency relief, on condition of the Indigenous peoples moving to the reserves. During this time, Canada introduced the ''Indian Act'' extending its control over the First Nations to education, government and legal rights.


Early 20th century

Because Britain still maintained control of Canada's foreign affairs under the British North America Act, 1867, its declaration of war in 1914 automatically brought Military history of Canada during World War I, Canada into World War I. Volunteers sent to the Western Front (World War I), Western Front later became part of the Canadian Corps, which played a substantial role in the Battle of Vimy Ridge and other major engagements of the war. Out of approximately 625,000 Canadians who served in World War I, some 60,000 were killed and another 172,000 were wounded. The Conscription Crisis of 1917 erupted when the Unionist Party (Canada), Unionist Cabinet's proposal to augment the military's dwindling number of active members with conscription was met with vehement objections from French-speaking Quebecers. The ''Military Service Act'' brought in compulsory military service, though it, coupled with disputes over French language schools outside Quebec, deeply alienated Francophone Canadians and temporarily split the Liberal Party. In 1919, Canada joined the League of Nations independently of Britain, and the
Statute of Westminster 1931 The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom In the United Kingdom an Act of Parliament is primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and ...
affirmed Canada's independence. The Great Depression in Canada during the early 1930s saw an economic downturn, leading to hardship across the country. In response to the downturn, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Saskatchewan introduced many elements of a welfare state (as pioneered by Tommy Douglas) in the 1940s and 1950s. On the advice of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, Declaration of war by Canada#Nazi Germany, war with Germany was declared effective September 10, 1939, by King George VI, seven days after the United Kingdom. The delay underscored Canada's independence. The first Canadian Army units arrived in Britain in December 1939. In all, over a million Canadians served in the armed forces during World War II and approximately 42,000 were killed and another 55,000 were wounded. Canadian troops played important roles in many key battles of the war, including the failed 1942 Dieppe Raid, the Allied invasion of Italy, the Normandy landings, the Operation Overlord, Battle of Normandy, and the Battle of the Scheldt in 1944. Canada provided asylum for the Dutch monarchy while that country was Reichskommissariat Niederlande, occupied and is credited by the Netherlands for major contributions to Liberation Day (Netherlands), its liberation from Nazi Germany. The Canadian economy boomed during the war as its industries manufactured military materiel for Canada, Britain, Republic of China (1912–49), China, and the Soviet Union. Despite another Conscription Crisis of 1944, Conscription Crisis in Quebec in 1944, Canada finished the war with a large army and strong economy.


Contemporary era

The financial crisis of the Great Depression had led the Dominion of Newfoundland to relinquish responsible government in 1934 and become a Crown colony ruled by a British governor. After two 1948 Newfoundland referendums, referendums, Newfoundlanders voted to join Canada in 1949 as a province. Canada's post-war economic growth, combined with the policies of successive Liberal governments, led to the emergence of a new Canadian identity, marked by the adoption of the Flag of Canada, Maple Leaf Flag in 1965, the implementation of official bilingualism (English and French) in 1969, and the institution of Multiculturalism#Canada, official multiculturalism in 1971. Social democracy, Socially democratic programs were also instituted, such as Medicare (Canada), Medicare, the Canada Pension Plan, and Student loans in Canada, Canada Student Loans, though provincial governments, particularly Quebec and Alberta, opposed many of these as incursions into their jurisdictions. Finally, another series of constitutional conferences resulted in the UK's
Canada Act 1982 The Canada Act 1982 (1982 c. 11; french: Loi de 1982 sur le Canada) is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legisl ...
, the patriation of Canada's constitution from the United Kingdom, concurrent with the creation of the ''Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms''. Canada had established complete sovereignty as an independent country, although the monarch is retained as sovereign. In 1999, Nunavut became Canada's third territory after a series of negotiations with the federal government. At the same time, Quebec underwent profound social and economic changes through the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, giving birth to a secular Quebec nationalism, nationalist movement. The radical Front de libération du Québec, (FLQ) ignited the October Crisis with a series of bombings and kidnappings in 1970 and the Quebec sovereignty movement, Parti Québécois was elected in 1976, organizing an 1980 Quebec referendum, unsuccessful referendum on sovereignty-association in 1980. Attempts to accommodate Quebec nationalism constitutionally through the Meech Lake Accord failed in 1990. This led to the formation of the Bloc Québécois in Quebec and the invigoration of the Reform Party of Canada in the West. A 1995 Quebec referendum, second referendum followed in 1995, in which sovereignty was rejected by a slimmer margin of 50.6 to 49.4 percent. In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada, Supreme Court ruled Reference re Secession of Quebec, unilateral secession by a province would be unconstitutional and the ''Clarity Act'' was passed by parliament, outlining the terms of a negotiated departure from Confederation. In addition to the issues of Quebec sovereignty, a number of crises shook Canadian society in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These included the explosion of Air India Flight 182 in 1985, the largest mass murder in Canadian history; the École Polytechnique massacre in 1989, a school shooting, university shooting targeting female students; and the Oka Crisis of 1990, the first of a number of violent confrontations between the government and Indigenous groups. Canada also joined the Gulf War in 1990 as part of a United States–led coalition force and was active in several peacekeeping missions in the 1990s, including the UNPROFOR mission in the Yugoslav wars, former Yugoslavia. Canada sent Canada in the War in Afghanistan, troops to Afghanistan in 2001, but declined to join the United States–led 2003 Invasion of Iraq, invasion of Iraq in 2003. In 2011, Canadian forces participated in the NATO-led intervention into the Libyan Civil War (2011), Libyan Civil War, and also became involved in battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Islamic State insurgency in Iraq in the mid-2010s. The COVID-19 pandemic in Canada began on January 27, 2020 with wide social and economic disruption.


Geography

By total area (including its waters), Canada is the List of countries and outlying territories by total area, second-largest country in the world, after Russia. By land area alone, however, Canada List of countries and outlying territories by land area, ranks fourth, due to having the world's largest proportion of List of lakes of Canada, fresh water lakes. Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the east, along the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
to the north, and to the Pacific Ocean in the west, the country encompasses of territory. Canada also has vast maritime terrain, with the world's longest coastline of . In addition to sharing the Canada–United States border, world's largest land border with the United States—spanning —Canada shares a maritime boundary with Greenland to the northeast and with the France's overseas collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon to the southeast. Canada is also home to the world's northernmost settlement, CFS Alert, Canadian Forces Station Alert, on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island—latitude 82.5°N—which lies from the North Pole. The Geography of Canada#Physical geography, physical geography of Canada is widely varied. Taiga, Boreal forests prevail throughout the country, ice is prominent in Northern Canada, northern Arctic regions and through the Rocky Mountains, and the relatively flat Canadian Prairies in the southwest facilitate Agriculture in Canada, productive agriculture. The Great Lakes feed the St. Lawrence River (in the southeast) where the lowlands host much of Canada's economic output. Canada has over 2,000,000 lakes—563 of which are greater than —containing much of the world's fresh water. There are also fresh-water glaciers in the Canadian Rockies, the Coast Mountains and the Arctic Cordillera. Geology of Canada, Canada is geologically active, having List of earthquakes in Canada, many earthquakes and Volcanism of Canada, potentially active volcanoes, notably Mount Meager massif, Mount Garibaldi, Mount Cayley massif, and the Mount Edziza volcanic complex.


Biodiversity

Canada is divided into Ecozones of Canada, fifteen terrestrial and five marine ecozones. These ecozones encompass over 80,000 classified species of Wildlife of Canada, Canadian wildlife, with an equal number yet to be formally recognized or discovered. Due to human activities, invasive species and Environmental issues in Canada, environmental issues in the country, there are currently more than List of Wildlife Species at Risk (Canada), 800 species at risk of being lost. Over half of Canada's landscape is intact and relatively free of human development. The boreal forest of Canada is considered to be the largest intact forest landscape, intact forest on Earth, with approximately undisturbed by roads, cities or industry. Since the end of the last glacial period, Canada has consisted of Forests of Canada#Regions, eight distinct forest regions, with 42 percent of its land area covered by forests (approximately 8 percent of the world's forested land). Approximately 12.1 percent of the nation's landmass and freshwater are National Wildlife Area, conservation areas, including 11.4 percent designated as Protected areas of Canada, protected areas. Approximately 13.8 percent of its territorial waters are conserved, including 8.9 percent designated as protected areas. Canada's first National Parks of Canada, National Park, Banff National Park established in 1885, spans of mountainous terrain, with many glaciers and ice fields, dense pinophyta, coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes. Canada's oldest provincial park, Algonquin Provincial Park established in 1893, covers an area of is dominated by old-growth forest with over 2,400 lakes and 1,200 kilometers of streams and rivers. Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area is the world's largest freshwater protected area spanning roughly of lakebed, its overlaying freshwater, and associated shoreline on of islands and mainland's. Canada's largest national wildlife region is the Scott Islands Marine National Wildlife Area, which spans , protects critical breeding and nesting habitat for over 40 percent of British Columbia's seabirds. Canada's 18 Biosphere Reserves of Canada, UNESCO Biosphere Reserves cover a total area of .


Climate

Average winter and summer high Temperature in Canada, temperatures across Canada vary from region to region. Winters can be harsh in many parts of the country, particularly in the interior and Prairie provinces, which experience a continental climate, where daily average temperatures are near , but can drop below with severe wind chills. In non-coastal regions, snow can cover the ground for almost six months of the year, while in parts of the north snow can persist year-round. Coastal British Columbia has a temperate climate, with a mild and rainy winter. On the east and west coasts, average high temperatures are generally in the low 20s °C (70s °F), while between the coasts, the average summer high temperature ranges from , with temperatures in some interior locations occasionally exceeding . Much of Northern Canada is covered by ice and permafrost; however, the future of the permafrost is uncertain because the Arctic has been warming at three times the global average as a result of climate change in Canada. Canada's annual average temperature over land has warmed by , with changes ranging from in various regions, since 1948. The rate of warming has been higher across the North and in the Prairies. In the southern regions of Canada, Air pollution in Canada, air pollution from both Canada and the United States—caused by metal smelting, burning coal to power utilities, and vehicle emissions—has resulted in acid rain, which has severely impacted waterways, forest growth and agricultural productivity in Canada.


Government and politics

Canada is described as a "Democracy Index#Classification definitions, full democracy", with a tradition of liberalism, and an egalitarian, moderate political ideology. An emphasis on social justice has been a distinguishing element of Canada's political culture. Peace, order, and good government, alongside an implied bill of rights are founding principles of the Canadian government. At the federal level, Canada has been dominated by two relatively centrist parties practising "brokerage politics", the centre-left leaning Liberal Party of Canada and the centre-right leaning Conservative Party of Canada (or its Conservative Party of Canada#Predecessors, predecessors). The historically predominant Liberal Party position themselves at the centre of the Canadian political spectrum, with the Conservative Party positioned on the right and the New Democratic Party occupying the left-wing, left. Far-right and far-left politics have never been a prominent force in Canadian society. Five parties had representatives elected to the federal parliament in the 2019 Canadian federal election, 2019 election—the Liberal Party, who currently form a minority government; the Conservative Party, who are the Official Opposition (Canada), Official Opposition; the New Democratic Party; the Bloc Québécois; and the Green Party of Canada. Canada has a parliamentary system within the context of a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
—the monarchy of Canada being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The reigning monarch is , who is also monarch of 15 other Commonwealth countries and each of Canada's 10 provinces. The person who is the Canadian monarch is the same as the British monarch, although the two institutions are separate. The monarch appoints a representative, the governor general, with the advice (constitutional), advice of the
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpar ...
, to carry out most of her federal royal duties in Canada. While the monarchy is the source of authority in Canada, in practice its position is mainly symbolic. In practice, the use of the executive powers is directed by the Cabinet of Canada, Cabinet, a committee of Minister of the Crown, ministers of the Crown responsible to the elected
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporat ...
and chosen and headed by the prime minister (at present Justin Trudeau), the
head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presi ...
. The governor general or monarch may, though, in certain crisis situations exercise their power without ministerial advice (constitutional), advice. To ensure the stability of government, the governor general will usually appoint as prime minister the individual who is the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of a plurality (voting), plurality in the House of Commons. The Office of the Prime Minister (Canada), Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is thus one of the most powerful institutions in government, initiating most legislation for parliamentary approval and selecting for appointment by the Crown, besides the aforementioned, the governor general, Lieutenant governor (Canada), lieutenant governors, senators, federal court judges, and heads of Crown corporations of Canada, Crown corporations and government agencies. The leader of the party with the second-most seats usually becomes the Leader of the Official Opposition (Canada), leader of the Official Opposition and is part of an adversarial parliamentary system intended to keep the government in check. Each of the 338 members of parliament in the House of Commons is elected by simple plurality in an Canadian electoral district, electoral district or riding. Elections in Canada, General elections must be called by the governor general, either on the advice of the prime minister or if the government loses a confidence vote in the House. The ''Constitution Act, 1982'' requires that no more than five years pass between elections, although the ''Canada Elections Act'' limits this to four years with a fixed election date in October. The 105 members of the Senate, whose seats are apportioned on a regional basis, serve until age 75. Canada's federal structure divides government responsibilities between the federal government and the ten provinces. Legislative assemblies of Canadian provinces and territories, Provincial legislatures are unicameral and operate in parliamentary fashion similar to the House of Commons. Canada's three territories also have legislatures, but these are not sovereign and have fewer constitutional responsibilities than the provinces. The territorial legislatures also differ structurally from their provincial counterparts. The Bank of Canada is the central bank of the country. In addition, the Minister of Finance (Canada), minister of finance and Minister of Industry (Canada), minister of innovation, science and industry utilize the Statistics Canada agency for financial planning and economic policy development. The Bank of Canada is the sole authority authorized to issue currency in the form of Banknotes of the Canadian dollar, Canadian bank notes. The bank does not issue Coins of the Canadian dollar, Canadian coins; they are issued by the Royal Canadian Mint.


Law

The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of the country, and consists of written text and unwritten conventions. The ''Constitution Act, 1867'' (known as the British North America Acts, British North America Act prior to 1982), affirmed governance based on parliamentary precedent and divided powers between the federal and provincial governments. The Statute of Westminster 1931 granted full autonomy, and the ''Constitution Act, 1982'' ended all legislative ties to Britain, as well as adding a constitutional amending formula and the ''Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms''. The ''Charter'' guarantees basic rights and freedoms that usually cannot be over-ridden by any government—though a Section Thirty-three of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, notwithstanding clause allows the federal parliament and provincial legislatures to override certain sections of the ''Charter'' for a period of five years. Court system of Canada, Canada's judiciary plays an important role in interpreting laws and has the power to strike down Acts of Parliament that violate the constitution. The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court and final arbiter and has been led since December 18, 2017 by Richard Wagner (judge), Richard Wagner, the Chief Justice of Canada, chief justice of Canada. Its nine members are appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, minister of justice. All judges at the superior and appellate levels are appointed after consultation with non-governmental legal bodies. The federal Cabinet also appoints justices to superior courts in the provincial and territorial jurisdictions. Common law prevails everywhere except in Quebec, where civil law (legal system), civil law predominates. Criminal law of Canada, Criminal law is solely a federal responsibility and is uniform throughout Canada. Law enforcement, including criminal courts, is officially a provincial responsibility, conducted by provincial and municipal police forces. However, in most rural areas and some urban areas, policing responsibilities are contracted to the federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Canadian Aboriginal law provides certain Aboriginal land title in Canada, constitutionally recognized rights to land and traditional practices for Indigenous groups in Canada. Various treaties and case laws were established to mediate relations between Europeans and many Indigenous peoples. Most notably, a series of eleven treaties known as the Numbered Treaties were signed between the Indigenous peoples and the reigning monarch of Canada between 1871 and 1921. These treaties are agreements between the Canadian Queen-in-Council, Crown-in-Council with the duty to consult and accommodate. The role of Aboriginal law and the rights they support were reaffirmed by Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, section 35 of the ''Constitution Act, 1982''. These rights may include provision of services, such as health care through the Indian Health Transfer Policy, and exemption from taxation.


Foreign relations and military

Canada is recognized as a middle power for its role in international affairs with a tendency to pursue multilateralism, multilateral solutions. Canada's foreign policy based on international peacekeeping and security is carried out through coalitions and international organizations, and through the work of numerous federal institutions. Canadian peacekeeping, Canada's peacekeeping role during the 20th century has played a major role in its global image. The strategy of the Foreign relations of Canada#Foreign aid, Canadian government's foreign aid policy reflects an emphasis to meet the Millennium Development Goals, while also providing assistance in response to foreign humanitarian crises. Canada was a founding member of the United Nations and has membership in the World Trade Organization, the
G20 The G20 or Group of Twenty is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located ...

G20
and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Canada is also a member of various other international and regional organizations and forums for economic and cultural affairs. Canada acceded to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1976. Canada joined the
Organization of American States The Organization of American States (OAS; es, Organización de los Estados Americanos, pt, Organização dos Estados Americanos, french: Organisation des États américains; ''OEA'') is an international organization that was founded on 30 April ...

Organization of American States
(OAS) in 1990 and hosted the OAS General Assembly in 2000 and the 3rd Summit of the Americas in 2001. Canada seeks to expand its ties to Pacific Rim economies through membership in the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC; ) is an inter-governmental forum for 21 member economies in the Pacific Rim The Pacific Rim comprises the lands around the rim of the Pacific Ocean. The ''Pacific Ocean, Pacific Basin'' include ...
forum (APEC). Canada–United States relations, Canada and the United States share the world's longest undefended border, co-operate on military campaigns and exercises, and are each other's Canada–United States trade relations, largest trading partner. Canada nevertheless has an independent foreign policy, most notably maintaining full Canada–Cuba relations, relations with Cuba, and declining to officially participate in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Canada also maintains historic ties to the Canada–United Kingdom relations, United Kingdom and Canada–France relations, France and to other former British and French colonies through Canada's membership in the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Francophonie. Canada is noted for having a positive Canada–Netherlands relations, relationship with the Netherlands, owing, in part, to its contribution to the Netherlands in World War II#Liberation, Dutch liberation during World War II. Canada's strong attachment to the British Empire and Commonwealth led to major participation in British military efforts in the Second Boer War, World War I and World War II. Since then, Canada has been an advocate for multilateralism, making efforts to resolve global issues in collaboration with other nations. During the Canada in the Cold War, Cold War, Canada was a major contributor to UN forces in the Korean War and founded the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in cooperation with the United States to defend against potential aerial attacks from the Soviet Union. During the Suez Crisis of 1956, future prime minister Lester B. Pearson eased tensions by proposing the inception of the United Nations peacekeeping, United Nations Peacekeeping Force, for which he was awarded the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize. As this was the first UN peacekeeping mission, Pearson is often credited as the inventor of the concept. Canada has since served in over 50 peacekeeping missions, including every UN peacekeeping effort until 1989, and has since maintained forces in international missions in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere; Canada has sometimes faced controversy over its involvement in foreign countries, notably in the 1993 Somalia affair. In 2001, Canada Canada in the War in Afghanistan, deployed troops to Afghanistan as part of the U.S. stabilization force and the UN-authorized, NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. In February 2007, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Russia announced their joint commitment to a $1.5-billion project to help develop vaccines for developing nations, and called on other countries to join them. In August 2007, Canada's territorial claims in the Arctic were challenged after a Arktika 2007, Russian underwater expedition to the North Pole; Canada has considered that area to be sovereign territory since 1925. In September 2020, Canada joined the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) program, which aims to ensure equal access to a potential Coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19 vaccine for all member countries and to help lower-income countries secure doses. The nation employs a professional, volunteer military force of approximately 79,000 active personnel and 32,250 reserve personnel. The unified Canadian Forces (CF) comprise the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, and Royal Canadian Air Force. In 2013, Canada's List of countries by military expenditure, military expenditure totalled approximately , or around one percent of the country's GDP. Following the 2016 Defence Policy Review, called "Strong, Secure, Engaged", the Canadian government announced a 70 percent increase to the country's defence budget over the next decade. The Canadian Forces will acquire 88 fighter planes and 15 naval surface combatants based on the Type 26 frigate design, the latter as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Canada's total military expenditure is expected to reach by 2027. Canada's military currently has over 3000 personnel List of Canadian military operations, deployed overseas, including in Operation Impact, Iraq, Operation Unifier, Ukraine, and the Operation Caribbe, Caribbean Sea.


Provinces and territories

Canada is a federation composed of ten provinces and three territory (administrative division), territories. In turn, these may be grouped into List of regions of Canada, four main regions: Western Canada, Central Canada, Atlantic Canada, and Northern Canada (''Eastern Canada'' refers to Central Canada and Atlantic Canada together). Provinces have more autonomy than territories, having responsibility for social programs such as Health care in Canada, health care, Education in Canada, education, and Social programs in Canada, welfare. Together, the provinces collect more revenue than the federal government, an almost unique structure among federations in the world. Using its spending powers, the federal government can initiate national policies in provincial areas, such as the ''Canada Health Act''; the provinces can opt out of these, but rarely do so in practice. Equalization payments are made by the federal government to ensure reasonably uniform standards of services and taxation are kept between the richer and poorer provinces. The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces receive their power and authority from the ''Constitution Act, 1867'', whereas territorial governments have powers delegated to them by the Parliament of Canada. The powers flowing from the ''Constitution Act, 1867'' are divided between the federal government and the provincial governments to exercise exclusively. As the division of powers between the federal government and the provinces are defined in the constitution, any changes require a Amendments to the Constitution of Canada, constitutional amendment. The territories, being creatures of the federal government, changes to their role and division of powers may be performed unilaterally by the Parliament of Canada.


Economy

Canada is the world's List of countries by GDP (nominal), tenth-largest economy , with a nominal GDP of approximately US$1.73 trillion. It is one of the Corruption Perceptions Index, least corrupt countries in the world, and is one of the world's top ten trading nations, with a highly globalized economy. Canada has a mixed economy ranking above the U.S. and most western European nations on The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom, and experiencing a relatively low level of economic inequality, income disparity. The country's average household disposable income per capita is "well above" the OECD average. The Toronto Stock Exchange is the ninth-largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization, listing over 1,500 companies with a combined market capitalization of over US$2 trillion. In 2018, Canadian trade in goods and services reached  trillion. Canada's exports totalled over  billion, while its imported goods were worth over  billion, of which approximately  billion originated from the United States,  billion from non-U.S. sources.PDF version
/ref> In 2018, Canada had a trade deficit in goods of  billion and a trade deficit in services of  billion. Since the early 20th century, the growth of Canada's manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy to an urbanized, industrial one. Like many other developed country, developed countries, the Canadian economy is dominated by the Tertiary sector of the economy, service industry, which employs about three-quarters of the country's workforce. However, Canada is unusual among developed countries in the importance of its primary sector of the economy, primary sector, in which the Forestry in Canada, forestry and Petroleum production in Canada, petroleum industries are two of the most prominent components. Canada's economic integration with the United States has increased significantly since World War II. The Automotive Products Trade Agreement of 1965 opened Canada's borders to trade in the automobile manufacturing industry. In the 1970s, concerns over energy self-sufficiency and foreign ownership in the manufacturing sectors prompted Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's Liberal government to enact the National Energy Program (NEP) and the Foreign Investment Review Agency (FIRA). In the 1980s, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives abolished the NEP and changed the name of FIRA to Invest in Canada, Investment Canada, to encourage foreign investment. The Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA) of 1988 eliminated tariffs between the two countries, while the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) expanded the free-trade zone to include Mexico in 1994 (later replaced by the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement). Canada has a strong cooperative banking sector, with the world's highest per-capita membership in credit unions. Canada is one of the few developed nations that are net exporters of energy. Atlantic Canada possesses vast offshore drilling, offshore deposits of natural gas, and Alberta also hosts large oil and gas resources. The vastness of the Athabasca oil sands and other assets results in Canada having a 13 percent share of global oil reserves, comprising the world's third-largest share after Oil reserves in Venezuela, Venezuela and Oil reserves in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia. Canada is additionally one of the world's largest suppliers of agricultural products; the Canadian Prairies are one of the most important global producers of wheat, canola, and other grains. The federal Natural Resources Canada, Department of Natural Resources provides statistics regarding its major exports; the country is a leading exporter of zinc, uranium, gold, nickel, PGMs, platinoids, aluminum, steel, iron ore, coking coal, lead, copper, molybdenum, cobalt, and cadmium. Many towns in northern Canada, where agriculture is difficult, are sustainable because of nearby mines or sources of timber. Canada also has a sizeable manufacturing sector centred in southern Ontario and Quebec, with automobiles and aeronautics representing particularly important industries.


Science and technology

In 2018, Canada spent approximately on domestic research and development, of which around $7 billion was provided by the federal and provincial governments. , the country has produced fifteen List of Nobel laureates by country, Nobel laureates in Nobel Prize in Physics, physics, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, chemistry, and Nobel Prize in Medicine, medicine, and was ranked fourth worldwide for scientific research quality in a major 2012 survey of international scientists. It is furthermore home to the headquarters of a number of global technology firms. Canada List of countries by number of Internet users, has one of the highest levels of Internet access in the world, with over 33 million users, equivalent to around 94 percent of its total 2014 population. Some of the most notable scientific developments in Canada include the creation of the modern alkaline battery and the polio vaccine and discoveries about the interior structure of the atomic nucleus. Other major Canadian scientific contributions include the artificial cardiac pacemaker, mapping the visual cortex, the development of the electron microscope, plate tectonics, deep learning, multi-touch technology and the identification of the first black hole, Cygnus X-1. Canada has a long history of discovery in genetics, which include stem cells, site-directed mutagenesis, T-cell receptor and the identification of the genes that cause Fanconi anemia, cystic fibrosis and early-onset Alzheimer's disease, among numerous other diseases. The Canadian Space Agency operates a highly active space program, conducting deep-space, planetary, and aviation research, and developing rockets and satellites. Canada was the third country to design and construct a satellite after the Soviet space program, Soviet Union and the United States, with the 1962 Alouette 1 launch. Canada is a participant in the International Space Station (ISS), and is a pioneer in space robotics, having constructed the Canadarm, Canadarm2 and Dextre robotic manipulators for the ISS and NASA's Space Shuttle. Since the 1960s, Canada's aerospace industry has designed and built numerous marques of satellite, including Radarsat-1 and Radarsat-2, 2, ISIS (satellite), ISIS and Microvariability and Oscillations of STars telescope, MOST. Canada has also produced one of the world's most successful and widely used sounding rockets, the Black Brant (rocket), Black Brant; over 1,000 Black Brants have been launched since the rocket's introduction in 1961.


Demographics

The 2016 Canadian Census enumerated a Population of Canada by year, total population of 35,151,728, an increase of around 5.0 percent over the 2011 figure. Between 2011 and May 2016, Canada's population grew by 1.7 million people, with immigrants accounting for two-thirds of the increase. Between 1990 and 2008, the population increased by 5.6 million, equivalent to 20.4 percent overall growth. The main drivers of population growth are Immigration to Canada, immigration and, to a lesser extent, natural growth. Canada has one of the highest per-capita immigration rates in the world, driven mainly by Economic impact of immigration to Canada, economic policy and also Immigration to Canada#Immigration categories, family reunification. The Canadian public, as well as the major political parties, support the current level of immigration. In 2019, a total of 341,180 immigrants were admitted to Canada, mainly from Asia. India, Philippines and China are the top three countries of origin for immigrants moving to Canada. New immigrants settle mostly in major List of the 100 largest population centres in Canada, urban areas such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Canada also accepts large numbers of third country resettlement, refugees, accounting for over 10 percent of annual global Third country resettlement, refugee resettlements; it resettled more than 28,000 in 2018. Canada's population density, at , is among the lowest in the world. Canada spans latitudinally from the 83rd parallel north to the 41st parallel north, and approximately 95 percent of the population is found south of the 55th parallel north. About four-fifths of the population lives within of the border with the contiguous United States. The most densely populated part of the country, accounting for nearly 50 percent, is the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor in Southern Quebec and Southern Ontario along the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River. An additional 30 percent live along the British Columbia Lower Mainland and the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor in Alberta. The majority of Canadians (67.7 percent) live in family households, 28.2 percent report living alone, and those living with unrelated persons reported at 4.1 percent. 6.3 percent of households are multigenerational with 34.7 percent of young adults aged 20 to 34 living with their parents. 69.0 percent of households own their dwellings with 58.6 percent of those homes having an ongoing mortgage.


Health

Healthcare in Canada is delivered through the provincial and territorial systems of publicly funded health care, informally called Medicare. It is guided by the provisions of the ''Canada Health Act'' of 1984, and is Universal health care, universal. Universal access to publicly funded health services "is often considered by Canadians as a fundamental value that ensures national health care insurance for everyone wherever they live in the country." However, 30 percent of Canadians' healthcare is paid for through the private sector. This mostly goes towards services not covered or partially covered by Medicare, such as prescription drugs, dentistry and optometry. Approximately 65 to 75 percent of Canadians have some form of supplementary health insurance related to the aforementioned reasons; many receive it through their employers or utilizes secondary social service programs related to extended coverage for families receiving social assistance or vulnerable demographics, such as seniors, minors, and those with disabilities. In common with many other developed countries, Canada is experiencing a cost increase due to a demographic transition, demographic shift towards an older population, with more retirees and fewer people of working age. In 2006, the average age was 39.5 years; within twelve years it had risen to 42.4 years, with a life expectancy of 81.1 years. A 2016 report by the chief public health officer of Canada, chief public health officer found that 88 percent of Canadians, one of the highest proportions of the population among G7 countries, indicated that they "had good or very good health". 80 percent of Canadian adults self-report having at least one major risk factor for chronic disease: smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating or excessive alcohol use. Canada has one of the highest rates of adult obesity among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries attributing to approximately 2.7 million cases of diabetes (types 1 and 2 combined). Four chronic diseases—cancer (leading cause of death), cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes—account for 65 percent of deaths in Canada. In 2017, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported that healthcare spending reached $242billion, or 11.5 percent of Canada's gross domestic product (GDP) for that year. Canada's per-capita spending ranks as seventh on the list of countries by total health expenditure per capita in the OECD and above the average of 8.8 percent of GDP. Choose options from dropdown menus. Canada has performed close to, or above the average on the majority of OECD health indicators since the early 2000s. In 2017 Canada ranked above the average on OECD indicators for wait-times and access to care, with average scores for quality of care and use of resources. A comprehensive study from 2017 of the top 11 countries ranked Canada's health care system third-to-last. Identified weaknesses of Canada's system were comparatively higher infant mortality rate, the prevalence of chronic conditions, long wait times, poor availability of after-hours care, and a lack of prescription drugs and dental coverage.


Education

Education in Canada is for the most part provided public education, publicly, funded and overseen by Government of Canada, federal, Provinces of Canada, provincial, and local governments. Education is within provincial jurisdiction and the curriculum is overseen by the province. Education in Canada is generally divided into primary education, followed by secondary education and post-secondary. Education in both English and French is available in most places across Canada. Canadian provinces and territories are responsible for education provision. Canada has a large number of Universities, almost all of which are publicly funded. Established in 1663, Université Laval is the oldest post-secondary Higher education in Canada, institution in Canada. The largest university is the University of Toronto with over 85,000 students. Four universities are regularly ranked among the top 100 world-wide, namely University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University and McMaster University, with a total of 18 Rankings of universities in Canada, universities ranked in the top 500 worldwide. According to a 2019 report by the OECD, Canada is one of the most educated countries in the world; the country ranks first worldwide in the number of adults having tertiary education, with over 56 percent of Canadian adults having attained at least an undergraduate college or university degree. Canada spends about 5.3 percent of its GDP on education. The country invests heavily in tertiary education (more than US$20,000 per student). , 89 percent of adults aged 25 to 64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, compared to an OECD average of 75 percent. The Compulsory education, mandatory education age ranges between 5–7 to 16–18 years, contributing to an adult literacy rate of 99 percent. Just over 60,000 children are Homeschooling in Canada, homeschooled as of 2016. In 2002, 43 percent of Canadians aged 25 to 64 possessed a post-secondary education; for those aged 25 to 34, the rate of post-secondary education reached 51 percent. The Programme for International Student Assessment indicates Canadian students perform well above the OECD average, particularly in mathematics, science, and reading, ranking the overall knowledge and skills of Canadian 15-year-olds as the sixth-best in the world. Canada is a well-performing OECD country in reading literacy, mathematics, and science with the average student scoring 523.7, compared with the OECD average of 493 in 2015.


Ethnicity

According to the 2016 Canadian Census, the country's largest Ethnic origins of people in Canada, self-reported ethnic origin is Canadian (accounting for 32 percent of the population), followed by English Canadian, English (18.3 percent), Scottish Canadian, Scottish (13.9 percent), French (13.6 percent), Irish Canadian, Irish (13.4 percent), Canadians of German ethnicity, German (9.6 percent), Chinese Canadian, Chinese (5.1 percent), Italian Canadians, Italian (4.6 percent), First Nations (4.4 percent), Indo-Canadians, Indian (4.0 percent), and Ukrainian Canadian, Ukrainian (3.9 percent). There are 600 recognized List of First Nations peoples, First Nations governments or bands, encompassing a total of 1,525,565 people. The Indigenous population in Canada is growing at almost twice the national rate, and four percent of Canada's population claimed an Indigenous identity in 2006. Another 22.3 percent of the population belonged to a non-Indigenous visible minority. In 2016, the largest visible minority groups were South Asian Canadian, South Asian (5.6 percent), Chinese (5.1 percent) and Black Canadians, Black (3.5 percent). Between 2011 and 2016, the visible minority population rose by 18.4 percent. In 1961, less than two percent of Canada's population (about 300,000 people) were members of visible minority groups. Indigenous peoples are not considered a visible minority in Statistics Canada calculations.


Languages

A multitude of languages are used by Canadians, with Canadian English, English and Canadian French, French (the official languages) being the first language, mother tongues of approximately 56 percent and 21 percent of Canadians, respectively. As of the 2016 Census, just over 7.3 million Canadians listed a non-official language as their mother tongue. Some of the most common non-official first languages include Chinese (1,227,680 first-language speakers), Punjabi language, Punjabi (501,680), Spanish (458,850), Tagalog language, Tagalog (431,385), Arabic language, Arabic (419,895), German (384,040), and Italian (375,645). Canada's federal government practises Official bilingualism in Canada, official bilingualism, which is applied by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, commissioner of official languages in consonance with Section 16 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 16 of the ''Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms'' and the federal ''Official Languages Act (Canada), Official Languages Act''. English and French have equal status in federal courts, parliament, and in all federal institutions. Citizens have the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either English or French and official-minority language, language minorities are guaranteed their own schools in all provinces and territories. The 1977 ''Charter of the French Language'' established French as the official language of Quebec. Although more than 85 percent of French-speaking Canadians live in Quebec, there are substantial Francophone populations in Demographics of New Brunswick, New Brunswick, Franco-Albertan, Alberta, and Franco-Manitoban, Manitoba; Franco-Ontarian, Ontario has the largest French-speaking population outside Quebec. New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province, has a French-speaking Acadian minority constituting 33 percent of the population. There are also clusters of Acadians in southwestern Nova Scotia, on Cape Breton Island, and through central and western Prince Edward Island. Other provinces have no official languages as such, but French is used as a language of instruction, in courts, and for other government services, in addition to English. Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec allow for both English and French to be spoken in the provincial legislatures, and laws are enacted in both languages. In Ontario, French has some legal status, but is not fully co-official. There are 11 Languages of Canada#Aboriginal languages, Indigenous language groups, composed of more than 65 distinct languages and dialects. Several Indigenous languages have official status in the Northwest Territories. Inuktitut is the majority language in Nunavut, and is one of three official languages in the territory. Additionally, Canada is home to many sign languages, some of which are Indigenous. American Sign Language (ASL) is spoken across the country due to the prevalence of ASL in primary and secondary schools. Due to its historical relation to the francophone culture, Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) is spoken primarily in Quebec, although there are sizeable Francophone communities in New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba.


Religion

Canada is religiously diverse, encompassing a wide range of beliefs and customs. Canada has no official church, and the government is officially committed to religious pluralism. Freedom of religion in Canada is a constitutionally protected right, allowing individuals to assemble and worship without limitation or interference. The practice of religion is now generally considered a private matter throughout society and the state. With Christianity in decline after having once been central and integral to Canadian culture and daily life, Canada has become a Postchristianity, post-Christian, secularity, secular state. The majority of Canadians consider Importance of religion by country, religion to be unimportant in their daily lives, but still believe in God. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 67.3 percent of Canadians identify as Christian; of these, Catholic Church, Roman Catholics make up the largest group, accounting for 38.7 percent of the population. Much of the remainder is made up of Protestantism, Protestants, who accounted for approximately 27 percent in a 2011 survey. The largest Protestant Christian denomination, denomination is the United Church of Canada (accounting for 6.1 percent of Canadians), followed by the Anglican Church of Canada (5.0 percent), and Baptists in Canada, various Baptist sects (1.9 percent). Secularization has been growing since the 1960s. In 2011, 23.9 percent declared irreligion, no religious affiliation, compared to 16.5 percent in 2001. Islam in Canada, Islam is the largest non-Christian religion in Canada, constituting 3.2 percent of its population. It is also the fastest growing religion in Canada. 1.5 percent of the Hinduism in Canada, Canadian population is Hindu and 1.4 percent Sikhism in Canada, is Sikh.


Culture

Canada's culture draws influences from its broad range of constituent nationalities, and policies that promote a "just society" are constitutionally protected. Canada has placed emphasis on equality and inclusiveness for all its people. Multiculturalism in Canada, Multiculturalism is often cited as one of Canada's significant accomplishments, and a key distinguishing element of Canadian identity. In Quebec, cultural identity is strong, and there is a Culture of Quebec, French Canadian culture that is distinct from English Canadian culture. However, as a whole, Canada is, in theory, a cultural mosaic—a collection of regional ethnic subcultures. Canada's approach to governance emphasizing multiculturalism, which is based on selective economic migrant, immigration, social integration, and Suppression of dissent, suppression of far-right politics, has wide public support. Government policies such as publicly funded health care, Income taxes in Canada, higher taxation to Canadian federal budget, redistribute wealth, the outlawing of Capital punishment in Canada, capital punishment, strong efforts to eliminate poverty in Canada, poverty, strict Gun politics in Canada, gun control—alongside legislation with a social liberal attitude toward Feminism in Canada, women's rights (like Abortion in Canada, pregnancy termination), LGBT rights in Canada, LGBTQ rights, Euthanasia in Canada, assisted euthanasia and cannabis in Canada, cannabis use—are indicators of Canada's political and Canadian values, cultural values. Canadians also identify with the country's foreign aid policies, peacekeeping roles, the National Parks of Canada, National park system and the ''Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms''. Historically, Canada has been influenced by Culture of the United Kingdom, British, French culture, French, and Indigenous cultures and traditions. Through their language, Native American art, art and First Nations music, music, Indigenous peoples continue to influence the Canadian identity. During the 20th century, Canadians with African, Caribbean and Asian nationalities have added to the Canadian identity and its culture. Canadian humour is an integral part of the Canadian identity and is reflected in its Canadian folklore, folklore, literature, music, art, and media. The primary characteristics of Canadian humour are irony, parody, and satire. Many List of Canadian comedians, Canadian comedians have achieved international success such as in the Cinema of the United States, American television and film industries and are amongst the most recognized in the world. Canada has a well-developed Media of Canada, media sector, but its cultural output—particularly in Cinema of Canada, English films, Television in Canada, television shows, and List of Canadian magazines, magazines—is often overshadowed by imports from the United States. As a result, the preservation of a distinctly Canadian culture is 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).


Symbols

Canada's national symbols are influenced by natural, historical, and Indigenous sources. The use of the maple leaf as a Canadian symbol dates to the early 18th century. The maple leaf is depicted on Canada's Flag of Canada, current and Canadian Red Ensign, previous flags, and on the Arms of Canada. The Arms of Canada are closely modelled after the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom with French and distinctive Canadian elements replacing or added to those derived from the British version. Other prominent symbols include the national motto "" ("From Sea to Sea"), the sports of ice hockey and lacrosse, the beaver, Canada goose, common loon, Canadian horse, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Rockies, and more recently the totem pole and Inuksuk. Material items such as Canadian beer, maple syrup, Knit cap#Canadian tuque, tuques, canoes, nanaimo bars, butter tarts and the Quebec dish of poutine are defined as uniquely Canadian. Canadian coins feature many of these symbols: the loon on the loonie, $1 coin, the Arms of Canada on the 50-cent piece (Canadian coin), 50¢ piece, the beaver on the Nickel (Canadian coin), nickel. The penny (Canadian coin), penny, removed from circulation in 2013, featured the maple leaf. The Queen's image appears on Canadian dollar, $20 bank notes, and on the obverse of all current Canadian coins.


Literature

Canadian literature is often divided into French- and English-language literatures, which are rooted in the literary traditions of France and Britain, respectively. There are four major themes that can be found within historical Canadian literature; nature, frontier life, Canada's position within the world, all three of which tie into the garrison mentality. By the 1990s, Canadian literature was viewed as some of the world's best. Canada's ethnic and cultural diversity are reflected in its literature, with many of its most prominent modern writers focusing on ethnic life. Arguably, the best-known living Canadian writer internationally (especially since the deaths of Robertson Davies and Mordecai Richler) is Margaret Atwood, a prolific novelist, poet, and literary critic. Numerous other List of Canadian writers, Canadian authors have accumulated international literary awards, including Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel laureate Alice Munro, who has been called the best living writer of short stories in English; and Booker Prize recipient Michael Ondaatje, who is perhaps best known for the novel ''The English Patient'', which was adapted as a The English Patient (film), film of the same name that won the Academy Award for Best Picture.


Visual arts

Canadian visual art has been dominated by figures such as Tom Thomson – the country's most famous painter – and by the Group of Seven (artists), Group of Seven. Thomson's career painting Canadian landscapes spanned a decade up to his death in 1917 at age 39. The Group of Seven were painters with a nationalistic and idealistic focus, who first exhibited their distinctive works in May 1920. Though referred to as having seven members, five artists—Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley—were responsible for articulating the Group's ideas. They were joined briefly by Frank Johnston (artist), Frank Johnston, and by commercial artist Franklin Carmichael. A. J. Casson became part of the Group in 1926. Associated with the Group was another prominent Canadian artist, Emily Carr, known for her landscapes and portrayals of the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Since the 1950s, works of Inuit art have been given as gifts to foreign dignitaries by the Canadian government.


Music

The Canadian music industry is the sixth-largest in the world producing internationally renowned List of Canadian composers, composers, List of Canadian musicians, musicians and List of bands from Canada, ensembles. Music broadcasting in the country is regulated by the CRTC. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences presents Canada's music industry awards, the Juno Awards, which were first awarded in 1970. The Canadian Music Hall of Fame established in 1976 honours Canadian musicians for their lifetime achievements. Anthems and nationalistic songs of Canada, Patriotic music in Canada dates back over 200 years as a distinct category from British patriotism, preceding the Canadian Confederation by over 50 years. The earliest, ''The Bold Canadian'', was written in 1812. The national anthem of Canada, "O Canada", was originally commissioned by the lieutenant governor of Quebec, Théodore Robitaille, for the 1880 Fête nationale du Québec, St. Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony, and was officially adopted in 1980. Calixa Lavallée wrote the music, which was a setting of a patriotic poem composed by the poet and judge Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. The text was originally only in French before it was adapted into English in 1906.


Sports

The History of Canadian sports, roots of organized sports in Canada date back to the 1770s, culminating in the development and popularization of the major professional games of ice hockey, lacrosse, basketball, baseball and football. Canada's official national sports are ice hockey and lacrosse. Golf, soccer, baseball, tennis, skiing, badminton, volleyball, cycling, swimming (sport), swimming, bowling, rugby union, canoeing, equestrianism, equestrian, squash (sport), squash and the study of martial arts are widely enjoyed at the youth and amateur levels. Canada shares several Major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, major professional sports leagues with the United States. Canadian teams in these leagues include seven franchises in the National Hockey League, as well as three Soccer in Canada#Major League Soccer, Major League Soccer teams and one team in each of Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. Other popular professional sports in Canada include Canadian football, which is played in the Canadian Football League, National Lacrosse League lacrosse, and curling. Canada has participated in almost every Olympic Games since Canada at the 1900 Summer Olympics, its Olympic debut in 1900, and has hosted several high-profile international sporting events, including the 1976 Summer Olympics, the 1988 Winter Olympics, the 1994 Basketball World Championship, the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Most recently, Canada hosted the 2015 Pan American Games and 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto, the former being one of the largest sporting event hosted by the country. The country is also scheduled to co-host the 2026 World Cup, 2026 FIFA World Cup, alongside Mexico and the United States.


See also

* Index of Canada-related articles * Outline of Canada * List of Canada-related topics by provinces and territories, Topics by provinces and territories


Notes


References


Further reading


External links

Overviews
Canada
from University of Colorado Boulder, UCB Libraries GovPubs *
Canada profile
from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD
Canadiana: The National Bibliography of Canada
from Library and Archives Canada
Key Development Forecasts for Canada
from International Futures Government
Official website of the Government of Canada

Official website of the Governor General of Canada

Official website of the Prime Ministers of Canada
Travel
Canada's official website for travel and tourism

Official website of Destination Canada
Studies
A Guide to the Sources
from International Council for Canadian Studies {{Featured article Canada, 1867 establishments in Canada, Countries in North America English-speaking countries and territories Federal monarchies French-speaking countries and territories G20 nations G7 nations Group of Eight nations Member states of NATO Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie Member states of the United Nations States and territories established in 1867 Former British colonies