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Canada

Basic Information

Area: 9,984,670 km²

Calling code: +1

Population: 33,356,000

Official Language: English, French

Time zone: (UTC−3.5 to −8), Local time: 11:27

Overview

By total area, Canada is the second largest country in the world and one of the North American countries. It is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the south by the United States, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The common border that Canada shares with the US is the world’s longest, unfortified border. Until the latter part of the 15th century, the country had been inhabited by various aboriginal peoples for thousands of years.

At that point in time, the British and French expeditions began and settling the country was soon to follow, most of which occurred along the coast of the Atlantic. Canada was originally formed when France ceded all of its North American settlements. The country was originally comprised of only four provinces when it became a federal dominion, but it now consists of 10.

Economy

Canada resembles the US where affluent living standards, market-oriented economy, and patterns of production are concerned. Its affluent and high-tech industrialised society, as well as a flourishing retail business sector is now in the trillion-dollar class. Since the Second World War, Canada’s impressive economic growth in three sectors (manufacturing, mining, and service) has seen what was once a primarily agricultural nation, transform itself into an industrial and highly urbanised country. It is one of the wealthiest nations in the world and enjoys a high per capita income.

A dramatic increase in trade and integration of its economy with the US began in 1989 with the FTA (US-Canada Free Trade Agreement and was further enhanced in 1994 with the passage of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) NAFTA included Mexico whereas the former FTA did not. However, the US is still its primary trading partner and absorbs about 75% of Canada’s export business (2009-2010). This has created a number of investment opportunities for other foreign nations as well. Despite the global economic downturn of 2009, Canada’s major banks recovered from this financial crisis to become some of the strongest financial institutions in the world.

Infrastructure

Canada has 1,404 airports (514 have paved runways) and 12 heliports (2010). There is 46,688km (29,010 miles) of railways, and 1,042,300km (647,655 miles) of roadways. Paved roadways account for 415,600km (258,241 miles) of the total and include some 17,000km (10,563 miles) of expressways (2010). Additionally, the Saint Lawrence Seaway (3,769km or 2,342 miles) is the primary waterway (2009). There are 184 Merchant Marine vessels (only 15 are foreign owned) that frequent the following Canadian ports and terminals:

• Fraser River Port.
• Halifax.
• Hamilton.
• Montreal.
• Port-Cartier.
• Quebec City.
• Saint John (New Brunswick).
• Sept-Isles.
• Vancouver.

The telephone systems are rated as excellent and all are driven by modern technology. Currently there are 18.25 million landlines and 23.08 million mobile cellular lines (2009). There are 7.77 million internet hosts (2010) and 26.96 million internet users (2009). There is a domestic satellite system that is composed of approximately 300 Earth stations.
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