Canada is a part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Its status is a Dominion. The official head is the British Queen Elizabeth II. In Canada she is represented by the Governor General. The actual head of the executive power is the Prime Minister. He selects his own Cabinet. Canada is a federation and consist of 10 provinces and 2 territories. There is a Federal Government for the whole area of Canada and Provincial Government it there are provinces. The Federal Parliament consists of the House of Commons and the Senate. The members of the House of Commons are elected for five yars elections terms. Members of the Senate are nominated for life long service by the Governor General. The capital city of Canada is Ottawa. Other big cities are Toronto, Quebec, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg or Calgery. Canada is situated on the whole northern part of North America. The only exception is Alaska which is a part of the USA. Canada is the second largest country in the world. It neighbours upon the USA, its continenatal states, Great Lakes Area and Alaska.
The number of population of Canada is about 28.8 million people. The density of population is very low. The country is rather cold. More than 40 percent of the population are the British origin, then French, German, Polish, Italian and Dutch origin and the rest are Eskimos and Indians. The name Canada is of Indian origin, too. Indians used the word “kanata” which means “village.” The main occupation of Indians and Eskimos is fishing, hunting and reindeer raising. The western part of Canada is very mountanious and rocky. All the mountain ranges are called the Cordilleras (The Rocky Mountains, Mackenzie Mountains, Melville Hills). Between the mountains in the West and in the East there are large prairies suitable for agriculture especially for the wheat growing because the soil is very fertile there. Important rivers are the Meckenzie, the Yukon, the Fraser, the Columbia and the St. Lawrence River.
The Greak Lakes are situated in the southern part of Canada. They are Lake Superior, Huron, Erie and Ontario. The border of the USA goes through these lakes. The famous Niagara Falls are situated between the Lake Erie and Ontario. Other beautiful lakes are the Lake of Wood, Lake Winnipeg, Reindeer Lake, Athabasca, Great Slave Lake or Graet Bear Lake. As for the climate, summers are hot and long while winters are rather cold.
On the Pacific coast the climate is milder and in the uninhabited north there is an arctic climate. Canada is an English and French speaking country. Most inhabitants in Quebec speak French. Originally Canada was called New France because it was a French colony. The first settlers were French arriving from Europe in the 17th century. In 1763 the French were defeated by the British and Canada became a British colony. They did not take part in the War of Independence because they were afraid of becoming a part of the USA and they did not want to. But it does not mean they were satisfied with British rule. There was a strong movement for political independence during the 19th century in Canada. This forced Great Britain to establish Canada as a Dominion in 1867. Now the English language spoken in Canada sounds more like American than British English. Canada’s natural resources are well-known. They are gold, uranium, other metal ores, oil and gas. Hamilton and Gydney are the main centres of iron and steel industries. In Montreal and Toronto ships are made and in Chatham and Ottawa there is a car industry. There is a large forests provide wood for buildings, furniture and paper production. Canada is the fifth larges producer of wheat and the second largest wheat exporter. Other important agricultural products are live-stock, oats, vegetables, fruits, tabacooo, etc. The Canadian education system varies from province to province and includes six to eight years of elementary schools, four or five years of secondery school and three or four years at the university undergraduate level. The children must attend school until the age of 15.
Canada is member of many international organizations such as GATT, UNESCO or NATO. Canada has its own national flag since 1964.