On July 1, 1867, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
formed a confederation. The British North America Act (BNA) officially
declared Canada a country. Canada celebrate Canada's national
day on July 1st as Canada Day. In 1965, Canada adopted the red
and white flag with the maple leaf as its flag.
Canada is the second largest country in the world
with 10 million square kilometers of landmass. The country has
a population of approximately 30 million people. The national
capital of Canada is Ottawa.
Canada is one the leading G-7 Nations.
It is a highly developed country with excellent working conditions,
an outstanding education system, a very high standard of living,
and a health care system ranked one of the best in the world.
Canada is a country composed of immigrants from
practically every country in the world. Canada's success is largely
due to the contributions made by these immigrants. Each year,
Canada welcomes several thousands new immigrants.
The diversified backgrounds and cultures are what make Canada
unique. Multiculturalism is promoted by both the federal and provincial
governments to help maintain this unique "melting pot".
Regardless of where you came from, once you are
a landed immigrant (permanent resident), you have all the rights
of a Canadian citizen. These rights are protected under the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Should you wish to become a citizen,
you can do so after you have lived in Canada for three years.
As a Canadian citizen, you can apply for a Canadian passport and
you are eligible to vote.
Canada is an independent constitutional monarchy and has three
tiers of government: federal, provincial, and municipal.
In 1982, the Constitution Act came into effect,
which allowed Canada to make constitutional changes without approval
from the British government. The Official language Act protects
English and French, the two official languages in Canada.
The political party with the most elected members
forms the federal government and its leader becomes the Prime
Minister. The party with a second largest number of elected members
becomes official opposition, and its role is to offer constructive
criticism to the government.
The four main political parties are:
The Liberal Party
The Progressive Conservative Party
The New Democratic Party
The Canadian Alliance
The federal government is based in the capital
city of Ottawa.
Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories. These include:
|1. New Found land
2. Nova Scotia
3. New Brunswick
4. Prince Edward Island
10. British Columbia
3. Northwestern Territories
Canada has one of the world's best health care systems. Every
citizen and permanent resident is covered by the insurance plan
of the province in which he or she resides. The health plan is
funded by tax measures and provides one of the world's best-quality
essential health services, including doctor's fees, hospital charges
and, in many cases, prescription drugs.
Quality of Education
Canada offers free primary and secondary education and
subsidized post-secondary studies. Every child must attend school
until the age of 16-17 years of age. Ninety-five percent of Canada's
children go to the public schools, which are free. Students are
assigned to a public school according to where they live. Primarily
the provinces fund the education system. And Canada spends more
on education than any other industrialized nation on the planet.
Canada is a welfare state. This
means that the government takes care of its citizen's basic social
services. These services are funded by taxes collected by the
various levels of government.
Some of these social services include:
Child Tax Benefit: The
Federal government makes a monthly payment for the well
being of Canada's children. This payment is remitted to
the parent of the child (generally to the mother) on the
child's behalf. The amount of child tax benefit is according
to the family income.
Social Assistance/ Welfare: Commonly
known as "welfare", Social Assistance payments
are meant to cover the people who are not entitled to other
benefits to pay for food, shelter, clothing, prescription
Pension Plans -- Old Age Security
Due to its low population growth rate and abundance of available
resources, Canada encourages skilled workers and business people
from all over the world to make Canada their homeland. Each year,
Immigrants to Canada become eligible for Canadian citizenship
within three years of arrival in Canada with landed immigrant
or permanent resident status.