Canada is the second largest country in the world and a country with very high living standards. It lies in the north of the North American Continent and it stretches from the Pacific coast in the west to the Atlantic coast in the east. In the north it is washed by the cold Artic Ocean and in the south it borders with the USA. In the north-west Canada borders with Alaska. The boundary with the US is partly formed by the region of The Great Lakes and partly by the 49th parallel. The largest island on the west coast is Newfoundland. There are 5 Great Lakes – Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and Lake Michigan. Four of the lakes belong both to Canada and the USA; only Lake Michigan belongs to USA. Between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, on the boundary between the 2 states are the Niagara Falls – a great tourist attraction. There are 3 falls. The Bridal Veil and the American Fall are on the American side but the biggest of them – the Horseshoe Fall belongs to both states. The water falls can be heard for the miles. In the past the Indian tribes living around this lake had a tradition that every year they sacrified the prettiest girl of the tribe to the gods of the falls. The chosen girl was dressed in beautiful clothes and they gave on the boat presents for gods. Then the boat was sent down the rapids. She drowned. Political system
Canada is a federation of 10 federal states called provinces and 2 territories. There are Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Newfoundland Saskatchewan, British Columbia, New Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba. Two territories are Yukon Territory and North-West Territory. The territories are almost uninhabited. The only people who live here are Eskimo tribes. The name of the country comes from the Indian word “kanata” which means a village or a settlement.
Canada is a member of British Commonwealth of Nations. It is a loose association of English speaking countries. The official head is the British queen but she has no real political or any power in them.
The system of government
Each of the ten provinces has its own provincial capital city and its own provincial government. The Queen is represented by the Governor General but he in not appointed by her but by the Canadian government. Canada has a parliamentary system. The head of the executive is Prime Minister. The legislative body is Parliament composed of the Senate and the House of Commons.
The highest are the Rocky Mountains on the western part of the country. The other mountains are Mackenzie Mts. and Melville Hills. On the east there are mostly lowlands. Between the mountains and the lowlands there is a region of prairies and woods. This is a region with very good fertile soil suitable for agriculture especially for wheal.
Northern parts of Canada lie in the Artic zone and are covered with tundra. The region is very cold with very low temperatures and ever frozen soil. The biggest river is the Lawrence River in the east witch empties in the Atlantic Ocean. There is the Yukon River which flows in the Artic Ocean. It became famous during the Alaskan gold-rush. The Columbia River empties in the Pacific Ocean. Canadian are very rapid deep and rich in water and very suitable for building water power plants. The larges lakes are the Great Bear Lake and Great Slave Lake.
The original population of Canada is Eskimos who now live only in Labrador, Newfoundland and on the island in the Artic ocean and Indians who live on reservation or in towns. The origin inhabitants were Inuit – Eskimos – their language was called Inuktitut. The fist people who came and settled Canada were the French and later the country got under the English rule. There are also many minority groups for example the Chinese, the Polish, the Italian…
Canadian English s different from Standard British English in grammar, intonation, pronunciation and vocabulary. It is more like American English but there are differences. The Canadian have their own expressions and idioms. Canadian French is different from the language spoken in present day France. English and French has been influenced by other languages on the new continent. The important towns are:
Montreal near Great Lakes
Toronto – near Saskatchewan River
Vinepag – near Lake Vinipag
Vancouver – on the east coast
Halifax – New Scotland.