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Maple Leaf

About Canada



Canada is the world's second-largest country by total area, occupying most of northern North America. Extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, Canada shares land borders with the United States to the south and to the northwest. Inhabited first by Aboriginal peoples, Canada was founded as a union of British and former French colonies. Canada gained independence from the United Kingdom in an incremental process that began in 1867 and ended in 1982.

Canada House

Canada is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. Comprising ten provinces and three territories, Canada is a bilingual and multicultural nation, with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. A technologically advanced and industrialized nation, Canada maintains a diversified economy heavily reliant on trade particularly with the United States, with which Canada has had a long and complex relationship and abundant natural resources.

Canada House

Canada's judiciary plays an important role in interpreting laws and has the power to strike down laws that violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court and final arbiter and is led by the Right Honourable Madam Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, P.C. Its nine members are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister. All judges at the superior and appellate levels are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the prime minister and minister of justice, after consultation with non-governmental legal bodies. The federal cabinet appoints justices to superior courts at the provincial and territorial levels. Judicial posts at the lower provincial and territorial levels are filled by their respective governments (see Court system of Canada for more detail).

Canada House

Canada has a close relationship with the United States, sharing the world's longest undefended border, co-operating on some military campaigns and exercises, and being each other's largest trading partners. Canada also shares history and long relationships with the United Kingdom and France, the two former imperial powers most influential in its founding. These relations extend to other former-members of the British and French empires, through Canada's membership in the Commonwealth of Nations and La Francophonie. Canada joined the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1990 and hosted the OAS General Assembly in Windsor in June 2000, and the third Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in April 2001. Canada seeks to expand its ties to Pacific Rim economies through membership in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC).

 

No man who worships education has got the best out of education.... Without a gentle contempt for education no man's education is complete.

 

- G.K. Chesterton