About Canada and the Canadians.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system, a bilingual and multicultural country where English and French are recognized as official at the federal level. Technologically advanced and industrially developed, Canada has a diversified economy based on rich natural resources and trade (in particular, with the United States, with which Canada has been collaborating since the existence of the colonies and the founding of the Confederation).
Founded by the French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1534, Canada originates from the French colony in place of the modern city of Quebec, populated primarily by indigenous peoples. After the period of English colonization, the Canadian Confederation was born from the alliance of the British colonies (which were before the territories of New France). Canada gained independence from the United Kingdom as a result of the peace process from 1867 to 1982.
Currently, Canada is a federal state, consisting of 10 provinces and 3 territories. The province with the predominant French-speaking population is Quebec, the rest are mainly English-speaking provinces, also called "English Canada" in comparison with the French-speaking Quebec. Being one of the nine predominantly English-speaking provinces, New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual Canadian province. The territory of the Yukon is officially bilingual (English and French), and the Northwest Territories and the Nunavut Territory recognize 11 and 4 official languages respectively (among which English and French are also present).
Administrative division of Canada.
Canada consists of ten provinces and three territories.
Provinces are states existing on the basis of the Canadian constitution and possessing the highest power within the limits of their competence, regardless of the federal government.
Canadian territories are administrative units under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Federal Parliament, a customary law that grants certain powers to their local administrations.
Ten modern provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan. Three territories: Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon.
The provinces are responsible for most of Canada's social programs within their borders, such as health care, education and "in general for everything related to nature exclusively of local significance or owned by them". In general, all the provinces taken together receive more profit than the federal government - this is a unique structure among federations around the world. Despite the fact that only the province can "issue laws concerning subjects from their area of interest," the federal government can begin to implement a state policy in the province's competence (for example, the Canadian Health Act). However, each province has the right to refuse this program or not to accept it. The federal government provides equalization payments to ensure acceptable standards of public and tax services, common for both richer and poorer provinces.
All provinces have elected and unicameral legislative assemblies, accountable to the lieutenant-governor, and politically to the prime minister appointed in the same way as the Prime Minister of Canada. The lieutenant-governor represents the Crown and holds the same post as the Governor-General of Canada, but at the provincial level, he is appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister of Canada and after consultations with the provincial governments, each year becoming increasingly protracted.
Population and immigration.
The population of Canada at the beginning of 2010 is 34 million people. The 2006 census recorded a 5.4% increase compared to 2001.
Despite the large area, approximately 75% of Canada's population lives within 160 km of the border with the United States. A similar proportion exists in urban areas concentrated in the Quebec-Windsor Corridor (in particular the urban agglomerations of Toronto-Hamilton, Montreal and Ottawa-Gatineau), on the continental plains of British Columbia (from the Vancouver area to the end of the Fraser Valley) and in the Calgary- Edmonton in Alberta. The 2001 census registered 30 007 094 Canadian. According to the Canadian Statistical Service, the population of the country in March 2009 was about 33.5 million people, 8 million of whom are French-speaking. The population growth is mainly due to immigration. Although the main economic returns from immigration come from independent qualified immigrants, half of all entering the country falls under the family reunification program (spouses, underage children or parents of new Canadian sponsors).
Canada is a very diverse country from an ethnic point of view. According to the 2006 census, there are 43 ethnic groups living in Canada, consisting of at least 100,000 people. The largest ethnic group calls itself "Canadians" (30.9%), since most Canadians, especially those whose ancestors came during colonization, see themselves as the Canadian people. Then follow those who call themselves English (20.1%), French (15.1%), Scots (14.5%), Irish (13.3%), Germans (9.7%), Italians (4 , 4%), Chinese (4.1%), Indians (3.8%), Ukrainians (3.7%), Dutch (3.2%), Poles (3%), Austronesians (3%), Russians (1.5%).
Canada is a country of immigrants. Canada's global reputation as a highly developed, peaceful country free from ethnic turmoil and conflict, where it is possible to raise children in a calm environment, certainly contributes to the growth of immigration to the country. New Canadians, as it is customary to call new immigrants here, overwhelmingly settle in large cities, which is due to the labor market situation and existing contacts. After a while, almost all move to the suburbs, ringing any North American city. Immigration brings a significant contribution to the economy of the country, starting with government fees and fees for processing applications to the financial contribution of the incoming, especially family, from buying real estate and furniture to future tax revenues to the budget. The ethnic composition of the country has undergone tremendous changes over the past thirty years, which is caused by a drastic change in the course of immigration policy. According to 2001, only 39.4% of those living in the country refer to the descendants of immigrants from the UK, Ireland and France. Anyone wishing to immigrate to Canada has open access to the conditions of entry and the requirements for potential immigrants published on the official website of the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
The main migration routes within Canada for many years have been the outflow of young people from rural areas and small towns to large cities, as well as the massive exodus of skilled labor (engineers, nurses, designers, etc.) and university graduates to work in the United States. Toronto certainly can be called the most powerful magnet of intra-Canadian migration in the east of the country. In connection with the rapid growth of the oil and gas industry and construction in Alberta and British Columbia, there is a strong trend of outflow of mobile young people from Central Canada, from the prairies and Atlantic provinces to Western Canada. It also continues the exodus from Quebec to other provinces of the English-speaking population, tired of years of separatist sentiment and unwilling, in the words of the departing, to feel second-class citizens.
Over the past decades, the ethnic composition of the largest Canadian cities - Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver - has significantly changed in the direction of increasing the weight of the population from the countries of the Middle East, China, India, Latin America and other regions of the world.
The federal policy of bilingualism (bilingualism) and the languages of Canada.
Canada is officially a bilingual country. Since July 7, 1969, according to the Law on Official Languages, English and French have equal status in the parliament, in the federal court and state institutions. This measure reflects the important historical, political and cultural role of French-speaking Quebec. The Prime Minister of Canada traditionally makes speeches in Parliament and at public events in part in English, partly in French. The chairmen of all four federal parties speak both languages. All Canadian federal employees who serve the population in institutions and on the phone must be able to explain both in English and in French. All federal literature, from tax returns to brochures and reports, is published in both languages.
English is native to 57.8% of the population, French - to 22.1%. 98.5% of Canadians speak at least one of the official languages (only English speaks 67.5%, only French 13.3%, both languages are spoken by 17.7%). About 5,200,000 people. indicated at the census that their mother tongue is one of the unofficial languages - in the first place in terms of the number of speakers recently confidently affirmed Chinese (including Cantonese), with 853,745 people, followed by Italian (469,485), followed by German (438,080) and, thanks to the most numerous Sikh population outside of India, Punjabi (271,220). However, it must be borne in mind that these data do not fully reflect the ethnic composition of Canada, since their native languages are only for first-generation immigrants and elderly parents - their children and grandchildren quickly pass on arrival to English or French, or already speak these languages from childhood. Attempts to give the Ukrainian language the status of the third state language, started several decades ago, when the percentage of the Slavic population for which this language was native, was very significant, lost their relevance due to the fact that the third or fourth generation of Ukrainian immigrants speaks only English .
The main official language in all provinces and territories, excluding Quebec and New Brunswick, is English, however, all documents and other official texts are required to be duplicated in French. In Quebec the official language is French. 85% of French-speaking Canadians live in Quebec. Significant groups of French-speaking populations live in northern New Brunswick, as well as in eastern and northern Ontario, southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In English-speaking provinces of Canada, schools with the teaching of some or all subjects in French (the "French immersion program") are very popular: parents write their children in them long before the beginning of the lessons, since bilingualism is a big advantage when they are assigned to the civil service. Numerous local languages are recognized as official in the Northwest Territories. In Nunavut, the new Canadian territory in the far north, the native language for the majority of the population (Inuit) is Inuktitut (dialect of the Eskimo language), one of the three official languages of this territory.
Canada is one of the richest countries in the world with high per capita income, and is a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the G8. This is one of the ten most traded countries in the world. Canada has a mixed economy, according to the Heritage Foundation index it has a lower degree of economic freedom than the US, but higher than most Western European countries.
In the last century, the growth of production, mining and services has transformed the country from predominantly agricultural to industrial and urban. As in other developed countries, the Canadian economy is dominated by the services sector, which employs almost three quarters of Canadians. Canada is unusual among the developed countries because of the importance of its commodity sector, in which logging and the oil industry are the most important industries.
Canada is one of the few industrialized countries that are net energy exporters. Atlantic coast of Canada has huge sea deposits of natural gas and large oil and gas resources in Alberta. The huge reserves of bituminous sands in the Athabasca region make Canada the world's second-largest country in oil reserves after Saudi Arabia.
Canada is one of the world's largest suppliers of agricultural products; Canadian prairies are one of the largest producers of wheat, rapeseed and other grains, and the export policy in this area is determined by the Canadian Grain Commission. Canada is the largest producer of zinc and uranium, and is also the source of many other natural resources, such as gold, nickel, aluminum and lead. In many cities in northern Canada, where agriculture is difficult, there are thanks to nearby mines or sources of wood. Canada also has a developed manufacturing industry, whose industries are concentrated in the south of Ontario (the automobile industry represented by American and Japanese factories) and Quebec (the national aerospace industry).
Representatives of the USA, Canada and Mexico sign the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1992. Economic integration with the United States has grown significantly since the Second World War. This attracted the attention of Canadian nationalists who are worried about cultural and economic autonomy in the era of globalization, while American goods and products of the American media have become ubiquitous. An agreement on the sale of motor vehicle products from 1965 opened the borders for the trade in cars and related products. In the 1970s, concerns about energy self-sufficiency and foreign capital in the manufacturing sectors prompted the liberal government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to adopt the National Energy Program and the establishment of the Agency for the Supervision of Foreign Investments.
About Canada and the Canadians.