Canada (Kanada)

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Canada occupies the whole of the northern part of North America and many islands (e. g. Baffin Island, Newfoundland, Vancouver, Prince Edward Island, etc.). It is the second largest country in the world. It neighbours on the USA. This border is the longest undefined border in the world.

The Great Lakes Region is the largest area of fresh water in the world. There are famous Niagara Falls between Lake Erie and Ontario. We can find also other big and beautiful lakes in Canada, e. g. Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Lake Winnipeg etc.

Canada has large mountains areas - the Rocky Mountains, the Mackenzie Mountains, and the Melville Hills. The highest mountain is Mt. Logan in the Alaska Region. The longest river is the Mackenzie (flows from the Rocky Mountains to the Arctic Ocean). Other big rivers are the Yukon, the Columbia and the St. Lawrence River.

The climate varies from Arctic climate in the North to moderate climate in the east and west. The country is covered by cold tundra, large forests and the prairie.

Canada’s population is about 26 000 000 inhabitants. 80 per cent of the Canadians live in large urban centres located in the southern border. More than 40 per cent are of British origin, 30 per cent of French origin, over 20 per cent of continental European origin and the rest is made by Eskimos and Indians. The official language is English and French. 60 per cent of population speak English, 30 per cent speak French, the rest are languages spoken by various ethnic minorities. Interesting is that the name „Canada“ comes from the original inhabitants. Indians used the word „kanata“ which means „village“.

The original inhabitants came to Canada some 10.000 or 25.000 years ago from Asia. The first Europeans here were the Vikings who discovered Canada more than a thousand years ago. Since the 16th century large territories were occupied by the French. Originally it was called New France because it was a French colony. In 1773 the French were defeated by British. But during the War of Independence Canada remained the loyal to Britain because the people were afraid to becoming a part of the USA. But they were also not satisfied with the British rule. In the 19th century Britain was forced to establish a domination. Originally Canada had only 4 provinces.

Canada has mainly coal, metal, oil and gas, machine-building and chemical industries. Ships are built in Montreal and Toronto. Only 7 per cent of land is suitable for farming, agriculture is the fifth largest produce of wheat. Other important agricultural items are vegetables, fruits, tobacco, leather and dairy products. Valid currency is Canadian dollar.

Canada is an independent federal parliamentary system with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state. She is represented in Canada by the governor-general. The country’s supreme body is the Federal Parliament consisting of two houses. The house of Commons is elected every 5 years. The Senate consists of senators. The leading figure in political life is the Prime Minister.

Canada is divided into 10 provinces and 2 territories. The biggest province is Quebec.

The capital of Canada is Ottawa. The biggest city is Toronto. Other large cities are Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton, Quebec.

It´s a member of many international organisations and since 1964 it has its own flag. It is red and in the centre there is a white square with simple red maple leaf. The Canadian anthem is called Oh, Canada.


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