Capital City: Ottawa
Largest City: Toronto
Area: 9.9 million sq. Km (3.8 million sq. Miles)
Languages: English & French
Monetary Unit: 1 Canadian dollar
GDP Growth: 3.1% (2010 est.)
Unemployment: 8% (2010 est.)
Canada is a progressive country, has an excellent infrastructure and is considered one of the leading economies of the world, offering stability and modern structures of governance and policy that make Canada a strong and powerful nation. The country has a reputation as being a nation extremely welcoming to the visitor and exemplary in its acceptance of all people. Canada ranks as one of the happiest and highest life satisfaction countries in the OECD, according to the OECD Better Life Index, who added that happier countries are generally more economically prosperous nations. For decades, Canada has encouraged foreigners to its shores, instilling policies of openness and tolerance. Canada for many represents a world of opportunity and security.
Canada encompasses a variety of geoclimatic regions extending approximately 6,000 kilometres across east to west and northwards to the Arctic Circle. It also boasts the world’s longest coastline, which measures 202,080 kilometres (125,570 miles). Within the country’s vast land mass, there are 10 provinces and three territories. Canada crosses six time zones and borders three of the world’s four oceans.
Iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, rare earth elements, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower (Source: CIA World Factbook).
Canada is ranked as one of the world’s richest nations thanks to an abundance of natural resources, most notably large fossil fuel deposits. As well as having huge oil reserves – projected to produce 2.7 million barrels a day by 2025 ranking as the 3rd largest crude oil reserves in the world next to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – the country is endowed with increasingly valuable natural resources such as potash and uranium. The grand expanse of Prairie lands produce wheat and grains, a substantial part of the country’s natural resource supply. Diamonds are also mined in Canada.
Canada gained independence from the UK in 1982 and is governed as a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.
Canada has a parliamentary government with strong democratic traditions. The current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is the 22nd prime minister of Canada and the leader of the conservative party. Harper has instituted programs and initiatives designed to stimulate growth and prosperity within the country, with an eye to creating new jobs and industry in the energy and ecology business sectors.
The Canadian economy enjoys a healthy position as the world’s 10th biggest nation.
Through diligent policies and regulation, Canada has avoided many of the problems that the US has had to face – mountains of public debt, a banking system in crisis, the housing debacle and a weakened currency. Canada’s economy, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is expected to grow at a rate of 2.8% in 2011 and 2.6% in 2012. Canada has the lowest debt burden of any G7 country, according to the IMF, and less than half the per capita debt burden of the U.S.
Canada was the only country in the industrialised world not to experience one single bank failure or bail-out in the financial or mortgage sectors during the credit crunch of 2008/2009. Canada’s banking system is ranked amongst the healthiest in the world.
Canada has shown itself to be a pretty good manager of the financial system – President Barack Obama
As a prosperous nation, Canada boasts a large domestic and foreign tourist industry. Canada’s incredible geographical variety is a significant tourist attracter. Canada’s three largest Cities; Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal are major metropolitan areas, well-known for their culture and diversity. Canadian historical sites – 958 sites in total – are also important to the tourist industry.