|Official language||English France|
|Form of government||parliamentary monarchy|
|Time zone||UTC -3.5 to -8|
|Telephone area code||001 (Source: ALLCITYCODES)|
Canada occupies almost the entire north of the North American continent and is the second largest country in the world after Russia. With 9 970 610 km², its national area is about 28 times that of Germany. In the north the country is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean, in the east by the Atlantic, in the west by the Pacific ; in the south and in the southeast it borders on the northern states of the USA, in the west on Alaska.
Different geographical large landscapes can be distinguished from west to east:
The Canadian Shield in the northeast of the country includes both the land mass around the Hudson Bay with Newfoundland and Labrador on or in the Atlantic as well as the southern islands of the Arctic Ocean, Baffinland, Victoria and Banks Island, Ellesmereland and Queen Elizabeth Island, all of which are Canadian -Arctic archipelago form. In the west, the shield is bordered by the coastal plain on the Arctic Ocean and the Great Plains (in German: Great Plains), in the south by the central lowlands near the Great Lakes and in the southeast by the hilly foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. This mountain system ranges from Canadian Newfoundland to Alabama in the United States.
The area west of the Sankt-Lorenz-Strom and north of the Great Lakes is called the Inner Plain, to the west of it the Great Plains begin, which are in layers up to just before the Rocky Mountains from about 300 m to the west Increase 1 500 m. The Rocky Mountains form part of the coastal cordillera that stretches along the entire west coast of North and South America. Together with the inner plateaus and the coastal mountains on the Pacific, they form western Canada. The mountain ranges are between 3,000 m and 4,000 m high and reach their highest peak in the Saint Elias Mountains in the far northwest with the highest mountain in Canada, Mount Logan (5 959 m). Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands lie in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast.
Canada’s largest lake is Great Bear Lake with an area of 31,153 km² (55 times Lake Constance), other large lakes are Great Slave Lake with 28,570 km² and Lake Winnipeg with 24,190 km². In addition, Canada has shares in four of the five Great Lakes on the border with the USA, including the largest of them, Lake Superior (Upper Lake) with a water area of 82,414 km². The country’s main rivers are the economically significant Saint Lawrence River, which connects the Atlantic to the Great Lakes, the Nelson River and the Churchill River, both of which flow into the Hudson Bay, and the 4,240 km Mackenzie River in the northwest, that flows into the Arctic Ocean.
The capital of Canada is Ottawa with 1.15 million residents in the metropolitan area, the most populous city is Toronto with 5.20 million residents (agglomeration).
The climate in Canada is predominantly continental and consistently colder than at the corresponding latitudes in Europe. Long cold winters and short inland hot summers determine the climate in most of Canada. Exceptions are the Canadian-Arctic archipelago and the northeastern mainland, which are both in the arctic zone, and the western and central northern part of the country, which is located in the subarctic climate region.
The average temperatures and rainfall are correspondingly different both in the region and in the year comparison. The average temperatures for January and July (in brackets) are -11 °C (21 °C) in the capital Ottawa, -28 °C (12 °C) in the northernmost seaport of Churchill, -18 in Winnipeg in the state of Manitoba, 5 °C (12 °C), in French-speaking Quebec at -12.5 °C (19 °C), in Toronto, the largest city in the country, at -5 °C (22 °C) and in Vancouver on the Pacific coast at -3 °C (17 °C). The annual average rainfall is highest in Vancouver (1,065 mm) and Quebec (1,005 mm), in Toronto it is 790 mm; it is lowest in Winnipeg (530 mm) and Churchill (405 mm).
Flora and fauna
The flora of Canada can be divided into the northern tundra regions and the forest and prairie regions further south. Treeless tundra is characteristic of the arctic and sub-arctic region, whose permafrost is covered with lichens and mosses. In the transition regions to the subarctic climate zone there is coniferous forest in addition to tundra vegetation. This passes into a boreal coniferous forest region, which is the second largest of its kind in the world after Russia. Fir, larch, pine and spruce grow here. At the southern transition areas of the boreal coniferous forest, prairie landscapes begin in the inner plains, otherwise hardwoods such as birch, poplar, alder, willow and ash are mixed with the conifers that still exist. Dwarf shrub species such as wild strawberries and blueberries occur. The south of Canada is one of the so-called wet medium widths, its vegetation consists mainly of deciduous forests; A special case are the forests on the Pacific coast, which are very densely overgrown due to very high rainfall and include Douglas fir.
The country has a very rich wildlife. The typical animal species in the polar region are sea lions and polar bears, other predators from the Arctic region are wolf and various types of fox. Lemmings have adapted to the sparse vegetation of the tundra region. Only a few bird species succeeded, including the owls, but also some migratory birds that nest in the tundra region (such as the snow and Canada goose), but migrate south in winter. Other animal species have adapted to the harsh winters, for example numerous species of spiders, snails and insects fall into cold stiffness in winter. Numerous fur animals live in the boreal coniferous forests. The most striking among them are musk oxen, which owe their name to the fact
The caribou, striking with its large antler shovels, is native to the south-eastern subarctic forests. In addition to this reindeer species, numerous other animal species live in the forest areas, including wolves, mountain hares, bison, elk, foxes and beavers; further south also badgers and squirrels. Deer prefer less dense forest areas with clearings. Smaller mammals include squirrels, mink (which are also bred in large numbers in Canada), skunks, rabbits, marmots, mice and moles. Regionally restricted animal species include turkeys in the area of southern Ontario and sheep, goats and black bears in the Rocky Mountains.
Canada’s population is very heterogeneous in origin. The country was and is a typical immigration country with a very low population density. Exceptions to this are the Toronto-Montreal region in the east and to a lesser extent Vancouver in the west and some other cities. Just over half of Canada’s approximately 32.81 million citizens are of British or French descent. In the country’s largest province, Quebec, about 80% of citizens are of French descent, while in Newfoundland there is a similar majority for English-born British. The numerous other nationalities are often concentrated on the main areas of settlement. Immigrant Ukrainians prefer to live in the country’s prairie regions, Dutch in southwestern Ontario, where flat fertile farmland is available.
In addition to the immigrants in modern times, about 200,000 Indians and Inuit (Eskimos) live in Canada, this number only including the Indians who acquired the status as such according to the “Indian Act” of 1876. The Indians mostly live in one of the approximately 2 150 reserves that have been set up for the 542 officially recognized tribes. According to COUNTRYAAH, the approximately 27,000 Inuit in the polar north do not live in reservations, but are scattered across the region in small settlements.
Both English and French are official languages, with the proportion of native French speakers being around a quarter of the total population according to recent surveys. 87% of the population are Christian. The most important Protestant churches are the Church of Canada, the Anglican Church and the Lutheran Church. In Quebec, over 80% of the population is Roman Catholic, and most other provinces have Protestant majorities.
The population of Canada grows by an average of 1.0% annually; As in many western industrialized countries, life expectancy is 80 years.
Canada, according to its 1982 constitution, is a federally organized parliamentary monarchy within the Commonwealth. The head of state is the British monarch (Elizabeth II, since 1952), represented by a governor general (David Johnston, since October 2010), which is proposed by the Canadian government. The government is led by a prime minister (Stephen Harper, since February 2006) and is responsible to the lower house.
The bicameral parliament consists of the Senate with a maximum of 105 representatives appointed by the Governor-General on the proposal of the Prime Minister (who remain senators until they reach the age of 75), and the House of Commons, whose 308 deputies are directly elected by the people for five years. The most important parties in Canada are the Conservative Party (CP), the Social Democrats from the New Democratic Party (NDP), the Liberal Party (LPC) and the separatist Bloc Qu¨¦b¨¦cois (limited to Quebec).
The legal system is based on England’s civil law, with the exception of the State of Quebec, where civil law is based on French law. The Supreme Court judges are appointed by the Governor General at the behest of the Prime Minister.
The state consists of ten provinces and three federal territories (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon). All of them have their own constitution and legislative and executive organs.
Thanks to the liberal and highly technological economic structure, Canada developed from an agricultural country to one of the richest countries in the world. The country has rich mineral resources, extremely fertile soils and a very high level of education of its population, which can be classified as multicultural. Economic growth in 2011 was 2.5%, unemployment was 7.5%.
The agricultural sector contributes only 2% to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP), but only 2% of the population work here. Canada is primarily a wheat producer; the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Sasketchewan are among the largest growing areas worldwide. In addition, tobacco, rapeseed, potatoes, soybeans, fruits and vegetables are grown. Canada has a large stock of dairy cattle. Mink, beaver and foxes are raised in fur farms; fishing contributes to export profits with large quantities of tuna, lobster and cod. Forestry is an important factor due to the extensive forest areas, which cover over 45% of the national area. Canada is the world’s largest exporter of wood.
Canada has extensive raw material deposits including oil, natural gas, potash salts and oil sands, uranium, zinc, gold, silver and cobalt and is one of the largest exporters of mineral fuels. It ranks 3rd worldwide in natural gas and 6th in oil production. The country has the second largest oil reserves in the world, primarily in the form of oil sands, and is the second largest uranium producer in the world. The country is also one of the largest diamond producers in the world.
There are also industrial plants for food, wood, crude oil and mineral processing. Almost three quarters of the exports, which also include motor vehicles, industrial machines and IT products, are delivered to the neighboring USA. From there, Canada also buys half of the machinery and vehicles, electricity and consumer goods it needs. China is the second largest trading partner in imports.
The currency is the Canadian dollar (= 100 cents).