About Canada

Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Canada is the world's second-largest country by total area, and its common border with the United States is the world's longest land border. The country is officially bilingual and multicultural at the federal level, with a population of approximately 33.4 million as of 2011.

Canada's advanced economy is one of the world's largest and relies largely upon its natural resources and international trade, particularly with the United States. Per capita income is the world's ninth highest, and Canada ranks sixth globally in human development. It performs favourably in international rankings of education, quality of life, government transparency, and economic freedom. Canada is a member of the G7, G8, G20, NATO, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth of Nations, Francophonie, OAS, APEC, and the United Nations.

With a rich history of immigration, Canada is an extremely plural, multicultural society. Canada always needs the skills, talents and enthusiasm of newcomers to continue to grow.

Today, Canada is home to immigrants from all over the world, and it continues to attract people from all over the world who want to migrate to Canada and live there.

Immigrants are attracted to this beautiful country as it promises stability, prosperity and peace.

Two Official Languages

Canada's two official languages are Canadian English and Canadian French.

  • English and French are the first languages of 59.7 and 23.2 percent of the population respectively. Approximately 98 percent of Canadians speak English or French. More than 85 percent of French-speaking Canadians live in Quebec. Ontario has the largest French-speaking population outside Quebec.
  • English and French have equal status in federal courts, Parliament, and in all federal institutions. Citizens have the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either English or French.

Arts & Culture

Historically, Canada has been influenced by British, French, and aboriginal cultures and traditions. Through their language, art and music, aboriginal peoples continue to influence the Canadian identity. Many Canadians value multiculturalism and see Canada as being inherently multicultural.

In Quebec, cultural identity is strong, and many French-speaking commentators speak of a culture of Quebec that is distinct from English Canadian culture. However, as a whole, Canada is in theory a cultural mosaic – a collection of several regional, aboriginal, and ethnic subcultures.

Government policies such as publicly funded health care, strong efforts to eliminate poverty, an emphasis on multiculturalism and the legalization of same-sex marriage are further social indicators of Canada's political and cultural values.

Sports

Canada's official national sports are ice hockey and lacrosse.

Other popular spectator sports in Canada include curling and football; Football is played professionally in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Golf, baseball, skiing, soccer, cricket, volleyball, rugby league and basketball are widely played at youth and amateur levels.

Canada's National Symbols

Canada's national symbols are influenced by natural, historical, and Aboriginal sources. The use of the maple leaf as a Canadian symbol dates to the early 18th century. The maple leaf is depicted on Canada's current and previous flags, on the penny, and on the Arms of Canada.

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