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From the history:

The coast of Canada was discovered in 1497. But the first permanent settlers were the French in the 17th century, who called their colony New France. Anglo-French rivalry in Canada resulted in the defeat of the French and in 1763 Canada became a British colony. In 1867 Canada was granted self-government and became the first Dominion in the British Empire.

It consisted of only four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick. Present-day Canada is politically divided into ten provinces and two territories. The territories lie to the north of the provinces.


Canada is the second largest country in the world, but most of the territory is very thinly populated. The most densely populated provinces are close to the U.S. border (Ontario and Quebec). The western half of Canada is mountainous (the Cordilleras). Between the Cordilleras and eastern Lowlands there is a region of prairies with rich soil, especially suitable for wheat-growing. This is the principal agricultural area.

The principal rivers are: the Mackenzie, flowing to the north, the St. Lawrence, which flows to the Atlantic and the Fraser river, which flows to the Pacific.

Lakes and rivers in the north are ice-covered for a great part of the year. Canada owns the northern part of the Great Lakes with the exception of Lake Michigan. The interior of Canada possesses various other lakes, the largest of them is Great Slave Lake and the Great Bear Lake in the north.

Most of the inhabited part of Canada has a continental climate (warm and sunny summers, long cold winters). On the Pacific coast the climate is milder. In the uninhabited north the winters are very severe (arctic climate).

Natural resources:

Canada possesses varied natural resources: Uranium, non-ferrous metals (cooper, zinc, nickel, lead), precious metals (gold, silver, platinum), coal, iron-ore, gas, oil.

Population and towns:

Population in 1976 was about 23 mil. The density of people is various. Vast stretches of land in the north are completely uninhabited. There are only isolated mining settlements, fur trading stations and settlements of Indians and Eskimos, whose main occupation is hunting and fishing. In the whole of Canada there are some 350.000 Indians and 30.000 Eskimos. The most densely populated areas are the Central provinces (Ontario accounts about one of three (1/3) of Canada´s populations). English is the mother tongue of the majority of Canadians.

30% are French Canadians. Both English and French are the official languages of Canada.

The federal capital is Ottawa. The largest cities are Toronto and Montreal (about 3 million). They are followed by Vancouver, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary (over 1 million), etc.

National Economy:

Canada is a highly developed industrial and agrarian country: industry accounts for 80% of her national product. At the same time agriculture plays a very important role. The main industries are: Wood and paper industry, food industry, mining.

Agriculture is highly productive with a high grade of mechanization. The western prairies (in the provinces Manitoba and Saskatchewan) are the basic agricultural area. After the U.S.A, Canada is the largest wheat producer.

The system of Government:

Canada is a federation of ten provinces. There is a Federal government for the whole of Canada, and provincial Governments in each of the provinces.

The Federal Parliament consists of two Houses, the House of Commons and the Senate. The seat of the FP is Ottawa.

The executive power is in the hands of the Queen of England, represented by the General Governor. But the actual head of the executive is the Canadian Prime Minister who selects his own Cabinet.

Texty na opakovanie: Talking about Canada, 3. roč., str. 157

More facts about Canada, 3. roč., str.178.

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