A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown. Economically and technologically the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across an unfortified border. Canada's paramount political problem is meeting public demands for quality improvements in health care and education services after a decade of budget cuts. Canada also faces questions about integrity in government following revelations regarding a corruption scandal in the federal government which has helped revive the fortunes of separatists in predominantly francophone Quebec.
Canada is the second-largest country in world (after Russia). It has strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route. Approximately 90% of the population is concentrated within 160 km of the US border. It is located in Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the north and north of the US on the south. The Capital of Canada is Ottawa. It has 10 provinces and 3 territories.
In total it covers the land and waters of 9,984,670 square kilometers. It has coastline in total length of 202,080 km.
Climate varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north. Lowest point is Atlantic Ocean 0 m and
highest point is Mount Logan 5,959 m.
Natural resources are iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydropower.
Population of Canada is 32,805,041 (data from July 2005, only estimated number). Total fertility rate is 1.61 children born/woman (2005 estimated).
Ethnic groups are devided into British Isles origin-28%, French origin-23%, other European-15%, Amerindian-2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab-6%, mixed background-26%.
Languages spoken in Canada are English (official) 59.3%, French (official) 23.2% and other 17.5%.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy that is also a parliamentary democracy and a federation. Independence was announced on 1 July 1867. Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), is the Chief of State, represented by Governor General Michaelle JEAN (since 27 September 2005). The head of government is Prime Minister Paul MARTIN (since 12 December 2003); Deputy Prime Minister Anne MCLELLAN (since 12 December 2003).
Lately, air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affected lakes and damaged forests. Ocean waters became contaminated due to agricultural, industrial, mining, and forestry activities.
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Facts about Canada
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Zdroje: CIA World Fact Book