General: A land of great distances and rich resources, Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867, retaining ties to the British Crown. Economically and technologically, the country is developing in parallel with the United States, its neighbor south of the unequipped border line. Its most important political issue remains the relationship between the province of Quebec, with its francophone population and unique culture, and the rest of the country. See areacodesexplorer.com to know more about Canada History.
Location: Northern North America, North Atlantic and North Pacific coasts, north of mainland US.
Geographic coordinates: 60° 00′ N. latitude, 95° 00′ W
Reference map: North America.
Area: total: 9,976,140 km2; land surface area: 9,220,970 km2; water surface area: 755,170 km2
Comparative area: slightly larger than the US.
Land borders: total: 8,893 km; with neighboring states: with the USA 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska).
Coastline: 243,791 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 24 nautical miles; continental shelf: 200 nautical miles or to the outer limits of the continent; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: varies from temperate in the south to subarctic and arctic in the north.
Terrain: mostly plains with mountains in the west and plateaus in the southeast.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Logan 5,959 m.
Natural resources: iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, oil, natural gas, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 5%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 3%; forests and plantations: 54%; others: 38% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 7,100 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: Permafrost in the north is a major impediment to economic development; cyclonic hurricanes east of the Rocky Mountains, resulting from a mixture of Arctic, Pacific, and continental air masses, bring most of the rain and snow.
Current environmental issues: air pollution leads to acid rain, which seriously degrades lakes and damages forests; metallurgical production, coal burning and vehicle emissions harm agriculture and the forestry industry; ocean waters are polluted as a result of agricultural, industrial, mining and forestry activities.
International agreements on environmental protection: contributor: Air Pollution, Air Pollution – Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution – Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1985, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1994, Conservation of Marine Life in Antarctica, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Change, Hazardous Waste, Marine Pollution, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical Timber 1994, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Air Pollution – Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctica – Environmental Protection Protocol, Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation.
Note to the section “Geography”: the second largest country in the world (after Russia); strategic position between Russia and the USA on the way through the polar region; almost 85% of the population is concentrated in a strip 300 km wide from the US border.
Population: 31,592,805 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 18.95% (male 3,067,102; female 2,918,839); 15 to 64 years old: 68.28% (male 10,846,151; female 10,725,800); over 65: 12.77% (male 1,715,071; female 2,319,842) (2001 est.)
Population growth: 0.99% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 11.21 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 7.47 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 6.13 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.05 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 1.01 male/female; over 65: 0.74 male/female; for the general population: 0.98 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 5.02 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 79.56 years; men: 76.16 years; women: 83.13 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.6 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.3% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 49,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 400 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Canadian; adjective: Canadian.
Ethnic groups: British ancestry 28%, French ancestry 23%, other Europeans 15%, Indians 2%, other, mostly Asians, Africans, Arabs 6%, mixed ancestry 26%.
Believers: Roman Catholic 42%, Protestant 40%, other 18%.
Language(s): English 59.3% (official), French 23.2% (official), other 17.5%.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 97% (1986 est.); men: no data; women: no data.
Common long form: no;
conventional short form: Canada.
State structure: confederation with parliamentary democracy.
Administrative divisions: 10 provinces and 3 territories*: Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Nunavut* (Nunavut), New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Yukon*.
Independence: from July 1, 1867 (until 1867 – possession of Great Britain).
National holiday: Canada Day (Independence Day), July 1 (1867).
Constitution: adopted April 17, 1982 (Constitutional Act); the country had previously been governed under the British North America Act of 1867; charter of rights and uncodified customs.
Legal system: based on English common law, with the exception of the province of Quebec, where a civil law system based on French law prevails; subject to the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Adrienne CLARK-SON (since 7 October 1999);
head of government: Prime Minister Jean CHRETIEN (since 4 November 1993)
Government: federal ministers are appointed by the prime minister from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament; elections: no, hereditary monarchy; the governor general is appointed by the monarch on the proposal of the prime minister, his term of office is five years; after elections to the legislature, the governor-general automatically appoints the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons as prime minister.
Legislature: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (the powers of senators are limited to the age of 75, members of the Senate are appointed by the governor-general on the proposal of the prime minister; the number of senators usually does not exceed 104) and the House of Commons (301 seats; members are elected by direct universal suffrage for five years); elections: House of Commons – last held 27 November 2000 (next to be held in 2005); election results: distribution of votes between parties: Liberal Party 42%, Canadian Alliance 22%, Bloc Quebec 13%, New Democratic Party 4%, Progressive Conservative Party 4%; Party seat distribution as of January 2001: Liberal Party 172, Canadian Alliance 66, Bloc Québécois 38, New Democratic Party 13, Progressive Conservative Party 12.
Judiciary: Supreme Court of Canada, judges are appointed by the Prime Minister through the Governor General; Federal Court of Canada; Federal Court of Appeal; provincial courts (variously referred to as Court of Appeal, Court of Queen’s Bench, Supreme Court…).
Political parties and leaders: Bloc Québécois (Gilies DUCEPPE); Liberal Party (Jean CHRETIEN); New Democratic Party (Alexa MCDO-NOUGH); Progressive Conservative Party (Joe CLARK [Joe CLARK]); Canadian Alliance (Stockwell DAY).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ABEDA, ACCT, AfDB, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, ESA (cooperating state), FAO, G-7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURCA, MIPONUH, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNTAET, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Michael KERGIN; office: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001; phone:  (202) 682-1740; fax: [C (202) 682-7726; consulates general: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Seattle; Consulates: Miami, Princeton, San Francisco, San Jose.
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Gordon D. GIFFIN; embassy: 490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa K1N 1G8; mailing address: R. O. Box 5000, Ogdensburg, New York 13669-0430; phone:  (613) 238-5335, 238-4470; fax: [C (613) 238-5720; consulates general: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Vancouver.
Flag Description: three vertical stripes of red (right and left) and a wider stripe of white with a red maple leaf in the center of the white stripe.