NAME OF THE COUNTRY
Country name: Canada
The national flag of Canada is a red flag containing in its centre a white square with a single stylized 11-point red maple leaf. It was approved by Parliament in 1964 and proclaimed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 15 February 1965. Red and white are the official colors of Canada as appointed by King George V in 1921.
Canada occupies almost two-thirds of the North American continent. Its total area is 9,970,610 square kilometers including inland water. Canada is bounded on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by 12 states of the United States of America, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean and Alaska.
The capital of Canada is Ottawa.
Canada consists of 10 provinces and three territories in five main regions: Atlantic region, Central Canada, Prairies, West Coast and the North.
Canada has four (4) distinct seasons:
Spring (mid-March to mid-May), summer (mid-May to mid-September), autumn (mid-September to mid-November), and winter (mid-November to mid-March). During summer, daytime temperature can soar up to 30°C, while winter temperature can drop to as low as -25°C. Spring and fall temperatures are more moderate.
As of 2006, Canada’s population was estimated at 33,098,932. The British comprise the largest ethnic group in Canada accounting for twenty-eight percent (28%) of the total population. They are followed by the French, at twenty-three percent (23%); and other European ethnic groups at fifteen percent (15%); Amerindians compose two percent (2%) of the population, and other non-European ethnic groups, mostly Asian, African, and Arab account for six percent (6%). Almost 80% of Canada’s French population is concentrated in Quebec. The current population of Canada is 36,208,207 as of Sunday, April 10, 2016, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
English and French are the official languages in Canada.
Seventy-five percent (75%) of the population belong to three (3) dominant Christian denominations: Roman Catholic, United Church of Canada, and Anglican Church. The remaining twenty-five percent (25%) of the population are members of other religious sects which include Presbyterians, Lutherans and Baptist. The rest are Adventist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Memomites, Mormons, Pentecostals, Christian Reformed, Orthodox Christian, Ukranian Catholics and Salvation Army.
Canada is a federal state composed of 10 provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan; and three (3) territories: Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory and Nunavut Territory.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the British Monarch. It is headed by the Queen of the United Kingdom, likewise recognized as the Queen of Canada. The powers of the Crown are exercised on the Queen’s behalf by the Canadian Governor-General, whom she appoints upon the advice of the Prime Minister of Canada.
The parliament of Canada, which is based in Ottawa, is the nation’s chief governing body. It consists of the House of Commons and the Senate. The House of Commons basically initiates legislations, while the Senate exercises a general advisory function.
The members of the House of Commons are elected by popular election. Senators, on the other hand, are appointed by the Governor-General upon the advice of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is the nation’s chief political officer and likewise the head of the largest party in the House of Commons.
Canada is a federation, with a parliamentary system of government. Being a federation, government powers are divided between the federal government and the 10 provincial governments.
The federal government is responsible for defense, foreign policy and foreign relations, banking, postal service, criminal law, immigration and citizenship.
The provincial governments are responsible for education, and municipal institutions. They also share responsibility with the federal government for health services, farming, social assistance, transportation, and environment.
The Supreme Court is the highest appeal court of Canada in civil and criminal matters. At least three (3) of its nine (9) judges come from Quebec, with due regard to the special character of Quebec civil law. The body, likewise, extends advisory opinions to the Federal government in a special reference procedure made by the latter.
The Federal Court of Canada specifically deals with taxation cases, claims involving the Federal government, cases involving trademarks, copyrights and patents, admiralty law cases, and aeronautical cases.
Each province has inferior courts (family courts, juvenile courts, magistrate courts and small debt courts) which deal with minor civil and criminal matters. A great majority of cases are decided in these courts
Canada has a diversified economy. Natural resource industries, such as forestry, mining, oil and gas extraction, farming and fishing, are important sources of jobs and export earnings. Canada is also a world leader in the fields of telecommunications, biotechnology, aerospace technologies and pharmaceuticals. More and more jobs involve work in service industries or in information technology. Along with the United States and Mexico, Canada is a partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Elementary and Secondary School
The typical school year in Canada starts in the first week of September and ends in the first week of June. Each province observes its own elementary and secondary school system. The elementary-secondary education in most provinces extends over Grade 12. Elementary education generally starts from Kindergarten to Grade 6, while Junior High School is normally Grades 7 and 8. Senior High School is from Grades 9 to12, depending on one’s province of residence. By Canadian law, children must attend school between the ages of six (6) to sixteen (16). Education programs known as pre-school or kindergarten are also offered for children under six (6) years old.
The following documents may be required for enrollment:
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence
- Permanent Resident Card (Maple Leaf Card)
- Birth certificate or baptismal certificate
- Immunization and vaccination certificate
- Any previous school records
Admission to universities generally requires high school diploma with specific courses and standing. A bachelor’s degree (BA, BS, etc.) usually takes three (3) or four (4) years of eight (8) months each.
Public community colleges established in all provinces serve as an alternative to university education. Admission to these colleges requires completion of secondary education. Ineligible applicants with “mature students” status may be reconsidered for enrolment. Community colleges are also called as:
üCollege of Applied Arts and Technology
üPermanent Resident Card (Maple Leaf Card)
üBirth certificate or baptismal certificate
üImmunization and vaccination certificate
"O Canada" was proclaimed as Canada's national anthem on 1 July 1980, 100 years after it was first sung on 24 June 1880. The music was composed by Mr. Calixa Lavallée, a well-known composer while the French lyrics were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. Many English versions have appeared over the years. The version on which the official English lyrics is based was written in 1908 by Justice Robert Stanley Weir. The official English version includes changes recommended in 1968 by a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons. The French lyrics remain unaltered.
The Wild Rose (Rosa Acicularis) was adopted in 1930 and grows throughout the province of Alberta.
The Pacific Dogwood (Cornus Nauttallii) was adopted in 1956 as British Columbia's floral emblem. The Pacific Dogwood tree flowers in the spring and is known for its bright red berries and striking fall foliage.
The Prairie Crocus was adopted as Manitoba's flower in 1906.
The Purple Violet was adopted as the province's flower in 1936.
The Pitcher Plant was adopted as the province's emblem in 1954. It is found in marshy areas throughout Newfoundland. The pitcher plant has a hollow flower, shaped like a pitcher. Insects become trapped inside this hollow area when the leaves fill with water and become food for the plant.
The Mountain Avens was adopted as this province's flower in 1957.
The Mayflower (Epigaea Repens) was adopted as the official flower of the province in 1901.
Purple Saxifrage is an arctic-alpine ‘cushion' plant with beautiful lilac or magenta flowers. Purple saxifrage is found in Yukon, through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago to central Ellesmere Island, and from northern Quebec to Newfoundland.
White Trillium was adopted as the official flower of the province in 1937.
Prince Edward Island
Lady Slipper was adopted as the official flower of the province in 1947. This orchid gets its name from the "slipper shaped" petals.
Blue Flag (Iris Versicolor Linné) was adopted as the official flower of the province in 1999.
Red Western Tiger Lily was adopted as the official flower of the province in 1941.
Fireweed was adopted as the official flower of the province in 1957. It is the only flower to grow again in the burnt areas after a forest fire.