English speaking countries (Canada, Australia, New Zealand)
Canada occupies the whole of the northern part of North America (except Alaska) and many islands (e.g. Newfoundland, Vancouver, Prince Edward Island etc.). Canada's area is about 10,000,000 sq. km - it is the second largest country in the world (after Russia). Its neighbours are the USA in the south, the Pacific Ocean and Alaska in the west, the Arctic Ocean in the north and the Atlantic Ocean in the east. Canada has a sea coast on the Arctic Ocean, giving it the longest coastline of any country.
Canada has large mountain 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 Frazer (they flow to the Arctic Ocean) and the River St. Lawrence (into the Atlantic).
More lakes can be seen in some part of the country. The biggest lakes are as follows - Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario. These are shared by the USA and Canada. Lakes which are entirely in Canada are Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake and Lake Winnipeg. There are also famous Niagara Falls between Lake Erie and Ontario.
The climate varies from Arctic climate in the North with winter temperatures as low as minus 50 C, to moderate climate in the east and west. The north of the country near the Arctic is a cold tundra with large and beautiful forests to the south. The central plains form the prairie.
Canada maintains 38 national parks. Banff is the oldest. Other is Tukut Nogait.
Canada's population is about 30 million inhabitants which means that the density is one of the lowest. The climatic conditions have a big influence on settlement. 89% of the land has no permanent population. More than 75% of the total population live in cities. More than 40% are of British origin, 30% of French origin, over 20% of continental European origin and the rest is made by Eskimos or Indians.
60% of population speak English and about 30% speak French.
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 crossing from Siberia to Alaska. The first Europeans here were the Vikings who discovered Canada more than a thousand years ago. During the Age of Discoveries (the 15th and 16th centuries) some navigators landed on the Canadian coast. First it was an Italian Giovanni Caboto in 1497 but the first real exploration took place only after 1534 when Jacques Cartier discovered the Gulf of St.Lawrence. Since the 16th century large territories were occupied by the French but France lost this country in frequent wars with England during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Canada became a British dominion in 1867.
The Canadian economy is among the worlds soundest. It belongs to the G-7 countries (the Group of Seven leading industrialized countries).
Canada is rich in mineral resources. These are especially gas, oil, gold, coal, copper, iron ore, nickel, uranium and zinc.
Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia with their large forests provide wood for building, furniture and paper production. Almost half of the land area of Canada is covered by forests.
Although only about 7% of the land is suitable for farming, agriculture is the world's fifth largest producer of wheat and the second largest wheat exporter. Other important agricultural items are livestock production, vegetables, fruits, tobacco, dairy products, leather.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a federal state and parliamentary democracy with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state (she is represented in Canada by the Governor-General).
The Canadian Parliament is composed of the Queen, the Senate and the House of Commons. The real executive authority is the Cabinet, under the direction of the Prime Minister.
Canada is divided into 10 provinces and 2 territories.
Canada has two official languages: English and French. The currency is Canadian dollar.
Canada is the member of many international organizations such as the UN, the Commonwealth, NATO.
The Canadian flag and anthem
Flag - it is red in the centre there is a white square with a simple red maple leaf. A maple leaf has been used as Canada's national symbol for the past century or more.
The Canadian anthem is called Oh, Canada.
The capital of Canada is Ottawa. The biggest city is Toronto. Other large cities are Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Quebec.