Canada is the second largest country in the world. Canada is bordered in the north by the Arctic Ocean and in the South by the United States. The highest peak in canada is Mont Logan. The chief rivers are St. Lawrence, the Ottawa, the Nelson, the Mackenzie, the Fraser, the Columbia and the Yukon. There are lakes like Great lakes, Ontario, Michigan. Between lake Ontario and Erie are situated Niagara Falls; "Niagara" means thunder of waters. Canada is a multinational country, because there live more than 28 million people of different national and cultural groups. There are Anglo and French Canadians, Canadian Indians, Inuits and there are also German, Scottish, Irish and Asians ethnic groups. Most of Canadians live within 200 miles of the US unprotected border and the rest of the country is very thinly populated. All the largest cities, e.g. Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa (the capital), and Quebec are situated near Canada's southern border. English and French are both official languages, but only 13% of the population is bilingual; 67% speaks only English, 19% only French and 1% other languages. Canada was first discovered by the Viking Leif Ericson about 1000 A.D. John Cabot rediscovered Newfoundland for England in 1497. The French explorer Jacques Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence River and later the French colony of Quebec was founded. Quebec was taken by the English, but the French colonists were allowed to stay and keep their culture, religion and language. In the 19th century the West and North were explored. For Canada's economy, the Canadian Pacific Railway, connecting the eastern and western provinces and the St. Lawrence Seaway, allowing big ships to sail 2000 miles inland up to the Canadian lakes, are of the greatest importance. Canada is rich in raw materials including gold, silver, nickel, uranium (40%), copper, zinc, coal, natural gas and oil. Canada is the leading exporter of wood products. Canada's highly developed agriculture produces wheat, dairy products, fruit, fur, tobacco and vegetables. Fishing and forestry are also important. The standard of living is very high in Canada. The chief industries are food products, steel and iron, paper goods, transport equipment, metal products, industrial chemicals, petroleum refining. Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The official Head of State is the Queen of Great Britain represented by a Governor General.
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