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Languages   37 languages are spoken in Canada. We have 5168 products available for 35 of those languages.

Capital: Ottawa
Population: 29,463,000
Description: English and French are the two official languages. English is the mother tongue of approximately 13 million Canadians, French of approximately 7 million. Nearly 6 million of the 7 million French speakers live in the province of Quebec, where they outnumber speakers of English by eight to one. Many Canadians are bilingual, speaking both English and French with equal, or nearly equal, facility.
Some 3 million Canadians claim another language as their mother tongue. According to the 1971 census, German is the mother tongue of 475,000 people, Italian of 512,000, Ukrainian of 195,000, Dutch of 140,000, and Polish of 195,000. Others include Chinese (492,000), Portuguese (210,000), Hungarian (85,000), Serbo-Croatian (75,000), and Yiddish (50,000).
Many Indian languages are also spoken in Canada. The two most important are Cree (85,000 speakers) and Ojibwa, or Chippewa (25000), both spoken in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Micmac is spoken by about 6,000 people, mainly in Nova Scotia, Naskapi by about the same number in northern Quebec. Mohawk has about 400 speakers in Ontario and Quebec. Chipewyan is spoken by about 3,000 people in northern Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta; Assiniboin by about 1,000 people in Saskatchewan and Alberta. In Alberta there is also Blackfoot, with about 4000 speakers. British Columbia has a large number of Indian languages, most with fewer than 1,000 speakers. Okanagan is spoken along the river of the same name, Lilboet, Shuswap, Thompson, and Carrier along the Fraser River, Chilcotin along the Chilcotin River, and Tsimshian along the Skeena and Nass rivers. Nootka is spoken on Vancouver Island, Kwakiutl on northern Vancouver and the adjacent mainland facing Hecate Strait, and Haida on the Queen Charlotte Islands. In the far north there are about 25,000 speakers of Eskimo.
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Canada Map


Location: Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and North Pacific Ocean, north of the conterminous US

Geographic coordinates: 60 00 N, 95 00 W

Map references: North America

total: 9,976,140 sq km
land: 9,220,970 sq km
water: 755,170 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than US

Land boundaries:
total: 8,893 km
border countries: US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska)

Coastline: 243,791 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north

Terrain: mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Logan 5,950 m

Natural resources: nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas

Land use:
arable land: 5%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures : 3%
forests and woodland: 54%
other: 38% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 7,100 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow

Environment - current issues: air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and damaging forests; metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and vehicle emissions impacting on agricultural and forest productivity; ocean waters becoming contaminated due to agricultural, industrial, mining, and forestry activities

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea

Geography - note: second-largest country in world (after Russia); strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route; nearly 90% of the population is concentrated within 161 km of the US/Canada border


Population: 31,902,268 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.7% (male 3,059,023; female 2,910,203)
15-64 years: 68.4% (male 10,975,701; female 10,857,869)
65 years and over: 12.9% (male 1,743,654; female 2,355,818) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.96% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 11.09 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 7.54 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 6.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over:0.74 male(s)/female
total population : 0.98 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 4.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population:79.69 years
male: 76.3 years
female: 83.25 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.6 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Canadian(s)
adjective: Canadian

Ethnic groups:British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%

Religions:Roman Catholic 46%, Protestant 36%, other 18% note: based on the 1991 census

Languages: English (official), French (official)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97% (1986 est.)
male : NA%
female: NA%


Country name:
conventional long form : none
conventional short form: Canada

Data code: CA

Government type: confederation with parliamentary democracy

National capital: Ottawa

Administrative divisions: 10 provinces and 3 territories*; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory*
note: the Northwest Territories will be split in two as of April 1999; the eastern section will be renamed Nunavut, the west is as yet unnamed

Independence: 1 July 1867 (from UK)

National holiday: Canada Day, 1 July (1867)

Constitution: 17 April 1982 (Constitution Act); originally, the machinery of the government was set up in the British North America Act of 1867; charter of rights and unwritten customs

Legal system: based on English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law system based on French law prevails; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Adrienne CLARKSON (since 7 October 1999)
head of government: PPrime Minister Jean CHRETIEN (since 4 November 1993); Deputy Prime Minister John MANLEY (since NA January 2002)
cabinet : Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament
elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; governor general appointed by the queen on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons is automatically designated by the governor general to become prime minister

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (a body whose members are appointed to serve until reaching 75 years of age by the governor general and selected on the advice of the prime minister; its normal limit is 104 senators) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (295 seats; note - number of seats will rise to 301 at the time of the next election; members elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Commons - last held 27 November 2000 (next to be held by 2005)
election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Liberal Party 41%, Conservative Alliance 26%, Bloc Quebecois 11%, New Democratic Party 9%, Progressive Conservative Party 12%; seats by party - Liberal Party 172, Conservative Alliance 66, Bloc Quebecois 38, New Democratic Party 13, Progressive Conservative Party 12; note - percent of vote by party as of January 2002 - Liberal Party 51%, Canadian Alliance 10%, Bloc Quebecois 10%, New Democratic Party 9%, Progressive Conservative Party 18%; seats by party - Liberal Party 172, Canadian Alliance 66, Bloc Quebecois 38, New Democratic Party 13, Progressive Conservative Party 12

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the prime minister through the governor general

Political parties and leaders:Bloc Quebecois [Gilles DUCEPPE]; Canadian Alliance [Stephen HARPER]; Liberal Party [Jean CHRETIEN]; New Democratic Party [Alexa McDONOUGH]; Progressive Conservative Party [Joe CLARK]

International organization participation: ACCT, AfDB, AG (observer), APEC, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE (observer), EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, ESA (cooperating state), FAO, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NACC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNPREDEP, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Michael F. KERGIN
chancery: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
telephone: [1] (202) 682-1740
FAX: [1] (202) 682-7726
consulate(s) general : Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle
consulate(s): Cincinnati, Cleveland, Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Princeton, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Paul CELLUCCI
embassy : 100 Wellington Street, K1P 5T1, Ottawa
mailing address: P. O. Box 866, Ogdensburg, NY 13669-0430
telephone : [1] (613) 238-5335, 4470
FAX: [1] (613) 238-5720
consulate(s) general: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, and Vancouver

Flag description: three vertical bands of red (hoist side), white (double width, square), and red with a red maple leaf centered in the white band


Economy - overview: As an affluent, high-tech industrial society, Canada today closely resembles the US in per capita output, market-oriented economic system, and pattern of production. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. Canada started the 1990s in recession, and real rates of growth have averaged only 1.1% so far this decade. Because of slower growth, Canada still faces high unemployment - especially in Quebec and the Maritime Provinces - and a large public sector debt. With its great natural resources, skilled labor force, and modern capital plant, however, Canada will enjoy better economic prospects in the future. The continuing constitutional impasse between English- and French-speaking areas is raising the possibility of a split in the confederation, making foreign investors somewhat edgy.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $875 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1.9% (2001 est.)

GDP purchasing power parity - $875 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2%
industry: 29%
services : 69% (2001 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index:2.8% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total: 16.4 million (2001 est.)
by occupation : sservices 74%, manufacturing 15%, construction 5%, agriculture 3%, other 3% (2000)

Unemployment rate: 7.2% (2001 est.)

revenues: $178.6 billion
expenditures: expenditures: $161.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY00/01 est.)

Industries: processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, transportation equipment, chemicals, fish products, petroleum and natural gas

Industrial production growth rate: 0.5% (2001 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 113.65 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 576.218 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 499.766 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products; forest products; commercial fisheries provide annual catch of 1.5 million metric tons, of which 75% is exported

total value: $273.8 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities : newsprint, wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, machinery, natural gas, aluminum, motor vehicles and parts; telecommunications equipment
partners: US 86%, Japan 3%, UK, Germany, South Korea, Netherlands, China (1999)

total value: $238.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities : crude oil, chemicals, motor vehicles and parts, durable consumer goods, electronic computers; telecommunications equipment and parts
partners: US 74%, EU 9%, Japan 3% (2000)

Debt - external: $1.9 billion (2000)

Economic aid:
donor: ODA, $1.3 billion (1999)

Currency: 1 Canadian dollar (Can$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Canadian dollars (Can$) per US$1 - 1.3486 (January 1997), 1.3635 (1996), 1.37241 (1995), 1.3656 (1994), 1.2901 (1993), 1.2087 (1992)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


Telephones:18.5 million (1999)

Telephone system: excellent service provided by modern technology
domestic : domestic satellite system with about 300 earth stations
international: 5 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) and 2 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean Region)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 535, FM 53, shortwave 6 (1998)

Radios:32.3 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 80 (plus many repeaters) (1997)

Televisions: 21.5 million (1997)


total:36,114 km
note - there are two major transcontinental freight railway systems: Canadian National (privatized November 1995) and Canadian Pacific Railway; passenger service provided by government-operated firm VIA, which has no trackage of its own
standard gauge: 36,114 km 1.435-m gauge (156 km electrified)

total:901,902 km
paved: 318,371 km (including 16,571 km of expressways)
unpaved:583,531 km (1999)

Waterways: 3,000 km, including Saint Lawrence Seaway

Pipelines: crude and refined oil 23,564 km; natural gas 74,980 km

Ports and harbors: Becancour (Quebec), Churchill, Halifax, Montreal, New Westminister, Prince Rupert, Quebec, Saint John (New Brunswick), Saint John's (Newfoundland), Seven Islands, Sydney, Three Rivers, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Windsor

Merchant marine:
total: 122 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,797,240 GRT/2,680,223 DWT
ships by type: barge carrier 1, bulk 66, cargo 13, chemical tanker 5, combination bulk 2, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 18, railcar carrier 2, roll on/roll off 8, short-sea passenger 3, specialized tanker 1
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Germany 3, Monaco 16, United Kingdom 1, United States 1 (2002 est.)

Airports: 1,419 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 519
over 3,047 m: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m:16
1,524 to 2,437 m : 138
914 to 1,523 m: 244
under 914 m: 90 (2001)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 151

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 900
1,524 to 2,437 m:74
914 to 1,523 m: 364
under 914 m: 462 (2001)

Heliports: 18 (2001)


Military branches: Canadian Armed Forces (includes Land Forces Command or LC, Maritime Command or MC, Air Command or AC, Communications Command or CC, Training Command or TC), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

Military manpower - military age: 17 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 8,361,475 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males :7,139,068 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 217,516 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $7,860,500,000 (FY01/02)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.1% (FY01/02)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: maritime boundary disputes with the US (Dixon Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Machias Seal Island); Saint Pierre and Miquelon is focus of maritime boundary dispute between Canada and France; in 1992 an arbitration panel awarded the islands an exclusive economic zone area of 12,348 sq km to settle the dispute

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic drug market; use of hydroponics technology permits growers to plant large quantities of high-quality marijuana indoors; growing role as a transit point for heroin and cocaine entering the US market

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