National Anthem: ¡°O Canada¡±
Monetary unit: Canadian Dollar
Area: 3,832,702 sq. miles.
Estimated Population: 28,436,000
Official Languages: English and French
Major Exports: Vehicles, petroleum, aluminum, timber, wood pulp, and wheat.
Canada is located in Northern America, north of United States. In the western part of the country, there are the Rocky Mountains, and in the eastern part, there is the Canadian Shield, which most protects the land from harsh cold climate of the north. In central Canada, due to the multiple rivers that run through it, the land is flat, lush, and fertile. The climate in Canada is primarily offering cool summers, and mild winters. The temperatures range from -24¡ãF to 61¡ãF throughout the year.
The Canadian economy is one of the largest economies in the world. Canada is becoming an industrial economy increasingly. With its agricultural output weakening, and the growth of the industrial sector, Canada¡¯s economy is booming. More of its people work in service industry, which shows the growing importance of the industrial sector to the government. In all of its other exports, Canada is one of the world¡¯s top leading producers of the product. For example, it exports wheat; Canada is responsible for about 20% of all international wheat trade. In the early 1980s, when the world experienced an economic recession, Canada was damaged badly. One of the reasons was that the country has to stop mining for its mineral resources that it has in the Yukon Territory. The country started to recover economically from it in late 1991, where the government limited its spending. The Canadian economy is dependent on the United States economy and fluctuates the economy. Hence, since the early 1990s, the country¡¯s economy has prospered, with mining resuming in Canada soon.
of the Nation
Prior to the European exploration of modern-day Canada, the indigenous people who dwelt there traded amongst themselves on a local level, but trade was not extensive because the tribes were mostly self-supporting. The first European explorers charted much of Canada searching for the Northwest passage, a trade route to the far east that was thought to exist somewhere in North America. While the Northwest passage was never found, colonies were established, first by France and later England, in order to capitalize on the lucrative fur, whale oil, and cod fishing trades. When the English won the French and Indian war in 1763, France lost all claim to her Canadian colonies, and thus trade shifted mainly to Britain. The American Revolution did not extend to the Canadian colonies because they were more dependent on Britain than the 13 who rebelled, and thus Canada remained in British hands through the war of Independence and the war of 1812.
The fur trade dominated the economic scene in Canada in the early 1800¡¯s with two competing British companies, the Hudson Bay Trading Company and the Northwest Company finally merging in 1821 and creating a monopoly on the fur trade. Immigrants from Britain flooded into Canada during this period of time, and during Britain¡¯s continuing war with France, Canada became a major supplier of lumber for the British navy. Several gold rushes, including the Fraser River gold rush in 1858, which stimulated the gold trade and brought a new rush of immigrants. In 1871, a confederation that was separate from Britain yet still closely linked, was peacefully negotiated with the mother country. Trade was kept intact with Britain, and the completion of a trans-continental railroad in 1886 brought increased trade from the Pacific coast and heralded in a golden age of industrialization where the trade in coal and steel became extremely profitable. Gold was discovered in the Klondike region of the Yukon in 1896, bringing in more immigrants and expanding Canada¡¯s economy even further.
When World War One began in 1914, Canada had no independent foreign policy, and Britain used the extensive resources in Canada to supply her war machine. Afterwards, Canada grew more independent from Britain, and the U.S. became the biggest trading partner with Canada. The Great Depression of the 1930¡¯s sent Canada¡¯s trade plummeting, as it did with the rest of the world, not recovering completely until the outbreak of WWII in 1939 which stimulated industry and capital. Partnering closely with the U.S., Canada¡¯s economy and trade boomed after the war, and both nations were able to expand trade all over the world in competition with the Soviet Union. Canada took part in the globalization of trade, and formed many of the same bonds that the U.S. did. Today, Canada is one of the world¡¯s more complex economies, exporting a large variety of resources, from fur, fish, timber, and agricultural products. Canada is also one of the most industrialized countries in the world, with large manufacturing industries and is one of the bigger partners in the steel trade.
Canada¡¯s government is made up of a confederacy of states governed by a parliamentary government. Like the US, there are three different branches of the government. Canada does, however, have an executive branch that is ruled by a monarchical, hereditary leader. Essentially, to this day, Canada¡¯s governing ¡°president¡± received this status by being born into the position. Like the United States, Canada has a market-centric economic model with higher-living standards. This is accented through a strong trade surplus that leaves economists hopeful of a good future.
Canada also shares a close relationship with the United States on several trading agreements including the 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Canada has also joined NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), but because of geographical constraints, the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement influences this nation more. The close mirror between the United States¡¯ and Canada¡¯s economic relationship can be seen with the sluggishness apparent in the United States from 2001 to 2002. During that time, Canada also experienced a slowing in economic growth plus higher unemployment rates.
Many economists, nonetheless, have foresee a good future for Canada because of its high-skilled labor force and educated peoples with higher living standards and many natural resources. Canada does, though, face a few key issues. Because of its history with France and Britain, Canada has become vulnerable to a conflict between the French and English speaking parts of the federation which may in the future see a split (cause Canada to split). On top of that, another key issue in Canadian politics is the flux of Canadian skilled workers from Canada to the United States. Lured by higher paying US jobs and lower taxes plus a better infrastructure, many able Canadian workers are leaving to the United States, including students.
Canada¡¯s prime economic trading commodities include mainly industrial motor and plane parts and natural resources (natural gas, oil, sea products, etc). Besides that, Canada has had some environment and political issues dealing with whale hunting and fishing in the area around the Hudson and around the rim of Canada. Canada has also felt some political pressure from the United States because it is a major transit point for illicit drugs entering the US (Heroin being one of the most major). It¡¯s also interesting to note that because of its mature financial sector, Canada is fairly vulnerable to money laundering and narcotics deals.
Future and Beyond
Canada is a partner in the world¡¯s largest bilateral trading relationship with the US and heavily depends on the US market for their success. Canada¡¯s relationship with the US is probably the most extensive as they cooperate in fields from law enforcement to environmental issues and trade. In addition to sharing products, they also share energy as Canada serves as the largest foreign supplier of energy directly to the US. They ideally serve the model for an ideal bilateral relationship that many other countries in the world are trying to follow. With Canada¡¯s economic foundation of urban services and manufacturing, they produce a variety of products ranging from agriculture to machinery and parts. The border between Canada and the US is very crucial to mutual trade benefits since Canada serves as the largest export market for about four-fifths of the US. Canada is foreseen to prosper so long as healthy trade relations are kept with the US and the US economy is strong, so they remain situated in a very stable position. However, Canada is not immune to threats that may hold back their progress. The constitutional differences and stalemate between the English and French speaking provinces could pose problems for economic harmony, but the flow of Canadians into the US for higher wages, lower taxes and advanced foundation could also become a long-term threat to sustaining their own position.
Did you know?
Canada is the second-lergest nation in the world, behind Russia
The population of Canada is just over 32 million
Only 28% of Canada's population is of British descent
5% of Canada's land is arable
The largest city in Canada is Toronto, with 5.5 million citizens
English and French are the two official languages of Canada
74% of Canada's labor force are in services