вторник, 30 сентября 2008 г.

Canadian culture

Canadian culture has historically been influenced by British, French, and Aboriginal cultures and traditions. It has also been influenced heavily by American culture because of its proximity and migration between the two countries. The great majority of English speaking immigrants to Canada between 1755-1815 were Americans from the Lower Thirteen Colonies who were drawn there by promises of land or exiled because of their loyalty to Britain during the American War for Independence. American media and entertainment are popular, if not dominant, in English Canada; conversely, many Canadian cultural products and entertainers are successful in the U.S. and worldwide.[89] Many cultural products are marketed toward a unified "North American" or global market.

The creation and preservation of distinctly Canadian culture are supported by federal government programs, laws and institutions such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).[90]

Canada is a geographically vast and ethnically diverse country. Canadian culture has also been greatly influenced by immigration from all over the world. Many Canadians value multiculturalism and see Canadian culture as being inherently multicultural.[21] Multicultural heritage is the basis of Section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Hockey game, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec (1901) Hockey game, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec (1901)

National symbols are influenced by natural, historical, and First Nations sources. Particularly, the use of the maple leaf as a Canadian symbol dates back to the early 18th century and is depicted on its current and previous flags, the penny, and on the coat of arms.[91] Other prominent symbols include the beaver, Canada Goose, Common Loon, the Crown, the RCMP,[91] and more recently the totem pole and Inukshuk.

Canada's official national sports are ice hockey in the winter and lacrosse in the summer.[92] Ice hockey is a national pastime and the most popular spectator sport in the country. It is the most popular sport Canadians play, with 1.65 million active participants in 2004.[93] Canada's six largest metropolitan areas – Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, and Edmonton – have franchises in the National Hockey League (NHL), and there are more Canadian players in the league than from all other countries combined. After hockey, other popular spectator sports include curling and football; the latter is played professionally in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Golf, baseball, skiing, soccer, volleyball, and basketball are widely played at youth and amateur levels,[93] but professional leagues and franchises are not as widespread.

Canada hosted several high-profile international sporting events, including the 1976 Summer Olympics, the 1988 Winter Olympics, and the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Canada will be the host country for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia.[94][95]

Canadian Economics

Canada is one of the world's wealthiest nations, with a high per-capita income, and is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the G8. It is one of the world's top 10 trading nations.[62] Canada is a mixed market,[63] ranking lower than the U.S. but higher than most western European nations on the Heritage Foundation's index of economic freedom.[64] Since the early 1990s, the Canadian economy has been growing rapidly with low unemployment and large government surpluses on the federal level. Today Canada closely resembles the U.S. in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high living standards.[2] As of October 2007, Canada's national unemployment rate of 5.9% is its lowest in 33 years. Provincial unemployment rates vary from a low of 3.6% in Alberta to a high of 14.6% in Newfoundland and Labrador.[65] According to the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world's largest companies in 2008, Canada had 69 companies in the list, ranking 5th next to France.[66] As of 2008, the Canada’s total government debt burden is the lowest in the G8. The OECD projects that Canada’s net debt-to-GDP ratio will decline to 19.5% in 2009, less than half of the projected average of 51.9% for all G8 countries. According to these projections, Canada’s debt burden will have fallen over 50 percentage points from the peak in 1995, when it was the second highest in the G8.[67]

In the past century, the growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. As with other first world nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians.[68] However, Canada is unusual among developed countries in the importance of the primary sector, with the logging and oil industries being two of Canada's most important.

Canada is one of the few developed nations that are net exporters of energy.[2] Atlantic Canada has vast offshore deposits of natural gas and large oil and gas resources are centred in Alberta. The vast Athabasca Oil Sands give Canada the world's second largest oil reserves behind Saudi Arabia.[69] In Quebec, British Columbia, Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba, hydroelectricity is a cheap and clean source of renewable energy.

Canada is one of the world's most important suppliers of agricultural products, with the Canadian Prairies one of the most important suppliers of wheat, canola and other grains.[70] Canada is the world's largest producer of zinc and uranium and a world leader in many other natural resources such as gold, nickel, aluminium, and lead;[71] many towns in the northern part of the country, where agriculture is difficult, exist because of a nearby mine or source of timber. Canada also has a sizeable manufacturing sector centred in southern Ontario and Quebec, with automobiles and aeronautics representing particularly important industries. Representatives of the Canadian, Mexican, and United States governments sign NAFTA in 1992. Representatives of the Canadian, Mexican, and United States governments sign NAFTA in 1992.

Economic integration with the United States has increased significantly since World War II. This has prompted Canadian nationalists to worry about cultural and economic autonomy in an age of globalization as American television shows, movies and corporations have become omnipresent.[72] The Automotive Products Trade Agreement in 1965 opened the borders to trade in the auto manufacturing industry. In the 1970s, concerns over energy self-sufficiency and foreign ownership in the manufacturing sectors prompted Pierre Trudeau's Liberal government to set up the National Energy Program (NEP) and Foreign Investment Review Agency (FIRA).[73] In the 1980s, Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives abolished the NEP and changed the name of FIRA to Investment Canada to encourage foreign investment. The Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA) of 1988 eliminated tariffs between the two countries, while North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) expanded the free trade zone to include Mexico in the 1990s. In the mid-1990s, the Liberal government under Jean Chretien began posting annual budgetary surpluses and began steadily paying down the national debt. Since 2001, Canada has successfully avoided economic recession and has maintained the best overall economic performance in the G8.[74]

Geography of Canada

Canada occupies a major northern portion of North America, sharing land borders with the continental United States to the south and with the U.S. state of Alaska to the northwest, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; to the north lies the Arctic Ocean. By total area (including its waters), Canada is the second largest country in the world—after Russia—and largest on the continent. Rolling hills on Prince Edward Island. Rolling hills on Prince Edward Island.

By land area it ranks fourth.[48] Since 1925, Canada has claimed the portion of the Arctic between 60°W and 141°W longitude,[49] but this claim is not universally recognized. The northernmost settlement in Canada and in the world is Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island—latitude 82.5°N—just 817 kilometres (450 nautical miles) from the North Pole.[50] Canada has the longest coastline in the world: 243,000 kilometres.[51]

The population density, 3.5 inhabitants per square kilometre (9.1/sq mi), is among the lowest in the world.[52] The most densely populated part of the country is the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor along the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River in the southeast.[53]

To the north of this region is the broad Canadian Shield, an area of rock scoured clean by the last ice age, thinly soiled, rich in minerals, and dotted with lakes and rivers. Canada by far has more lakes than any other country and has a large amount of the world's freshwater.[54][55] A Maritime scene at Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia, which has long been sustained by the Atlantic fishery A Maritime scene at Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia, which has long been sustained by the Atlantic fishery

In eastern Canada, most people live in large urban centres on the flat Saint Lawrence Lowlands. The Saint Lawrence River widens into the world's largest estuary before flowing into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The gulf is bounded by Newfoundland to the north and the Maritimes to the south. The Maritimes protrude eastward along the Appalachian Mountain range from northern New England and the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are divided by the Bay of Fundy, which experiences the world's largest tidal variations. Ontario and Hudson Bay dominate central Canada. West of Ontario, the broad, flat Canadian Prairies spread toward the Rocky Mountains, which separate them from British Columbia.

In northwestern Canada, the Mackenzie River flows from the Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean. A tributary of a tributary of the Mackenzie is the South Nahanni River, which is home to Virginia Falls, a waterfall about twice as high as Niagara Falls. Mount Robson, Canadian Rockies in British Columbia. Mount Robson, Canadian Rockies in British Columbia.

Northern Canadian vegetation tapers from coniferous forests to tundra and finally to Arctic barrens in the far north. The northern Canadian mainland is ringed with a vast archipelago containing some of the world's largest islands.

Average winter and summer high temperatures across Canada vary depending on the location. Winters can be harsh in many regions of the country, particularly in the interior and Prairie provinces which experience a continental climate, where daily average temperatures are near ?15 °C (5 °F) but can drop below ?40 °C (?40 °F) with severe wind chills.[56] In non-coastal regions, snow can cover the ground almost six months of the year (more in the north). Coastal British Columbia is an exception and enjoys a temperate climate with a mild and rainy winter.

On the east and west coast, average high temperatures are generally in the low 20s °C (70s °F), while between the coasts the average summer high temperature ranges from 25 to 30 °C (75 to 85 °F) with occasional extreme heat in some interior locations exceeding 40 °C (104 °F).[57][58] For a more complete description of climate across Canada see Environment Canada's Website.[59]

Canada is also geologically active, having many earthquakes and potentially active volcanoes, notably Mount Meager, Mount Garibaldi, Mount Cayley and the Mount Edziza volcanic complex.[60] The volcanic eruption of Tseax Cone in 1775 caused a catastrophic disaster, killing 2,000 Nisga'a people and the destruction of their village in the Nass River valley of northern British Columbia; the eruption produced a 22.5 km (14 mi) lava flow and according to legend of the Nisga'a people, it blocked the flow of the Nass River.[61]

Government of Canada

Canada is a constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, as head of state and the Prime Minister as the head of the government.[25][26] The country is a parliamentary democracy with a federal system of parliamentary government and strong democratic traditions.

Executive authority is formally and constitutionally vested in the monarch.[27] However, by convention, the monarch and her appointed representative, the Governor General, act in a predominantly ceremonial and apolitical role, deferring the exercise of executive power to the Cabinet,[28][29] which is made up of ministers generally accountable to the elected House of Commons, and headed by the Prime Minister, who is normally the leader of the party that holds the confidence of the House of Commons. Thus, the Cabinet is typically regarded as the active seat of executive power.[30][27] This arrangement, which stems from the principals of responsible government,[31][28] ensures the stability of government, and makes the Prime Minister's Office one of the most powerful organs of the system, tasked with selecting, besides the other Cabinet members, Senators, federal court judges, heads of Crown corporations and government agencies, and the federal and provincial viceroys for appointment.[32] However, the sovereign and Governor General do retain their right to use the Royal Prerogative in exceptional constitutional crisis situations.[33]

The leader of the party with the second most seats usually becomes the Leader of the Opposition and is part of an adversarial parliamentary system that keeps the government in check. Michaelle Jean has served as Governor General since September 27, 2005; Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, has been Prime Minister since February 6, 2006; and Stephane Dion, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, has been Leader of the Opposition since December 2, 2006. The chamber of the House of Commons The chamber of the House of Commons

The federal parliament is made up of the Queen (represented by the Governor General) and two houses: an elected House of Commons and an appointed Senate.[34][35] Each member in the House of Commons is elected by simple plurality in a riding or electoral district. General elections are either every four years as determined by fixed election date legislation, or triggered by the government losing the confidence of the House (usually only possible during minority governments). Members of the Senate, whose seats are apportioned on a regional basis, are chosen by the Prime Minister and formally appointed by the Governor General, and serve until age 75.

Five parties have had representation in the federal parliament since 2006 elections: the Conservative Party of Canada (governing party), the Liberal Party of Canada (Official Opposition), the New Democratic Party (NDP), Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party of Canada. The list of historical parties with elected representation is substantial.

In line with Canada's federalist structure, the constitution divides government responsibilities between the federal government and the ten provinces, whose unicameral provincial legislatures operate in parliamentary fashion similar to the federal House of Commons. Canada's three territories also have legislatures, but with less constitutional responsibilities than the provinces, and with some structural differences (for example, the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut has no parties and operates on consensus).

History part 2

Canada automatically entered World War I in 1914 with Britain's declaration of war, sending volunteers to the Western Front, who played a substantial role in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The Conscription Crisis of 1917 erupted when conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden brought in compulsory military service over the objection of French-speaking Quebecers. In 1919, Canada joined the League of Nations independently of Britain; in 1931 the Statute of Westminster affirmed Canada's independence.

The Great Depression brought economic hardship to all of Canada. In response, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Alberta and Saskatchewan presaged a welfare state as pioneered by Tommy Douglas in the 1940s and 1950s. Canada declared war on Germany independently during World War II under Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, three days after Britain. The first Canadian Army units arrived in Britain in December 1939.[19] Canadian troops played important roles in the Battle of the Atlantic, the failed 1942 Dieppe Raid in France, the Allied invasion of Italy, the D-Day landings, the Battle of Normandy and the Battle of the Scheldt in 1944. Canada is credited by the Netherlands for having provided asylum and protection for its monarchy during the war after the country was occupied and the Netherlands credits Canada for its leadership and major contribution to the liberation of Netherlands from Nazi Germany. The Canadian economy boomed as industry manufactured military materiel for Canada, Britain, China and the Soviet Union. Despite another Conscription Crisis in Quebec, Canada finished the war with one of the largest armed forces in the world.[19] In 1945, during the war, Canada became one of the first countries to join the United Nations.

In 1949, Newfoundland joined Confederation. Post-war prosperity and economic expansion ignited a baby boom and attracted immigration from war-ravaged European countries.[20] The Constitution Act, 1982 during the official signing ceremony by Queen Elizabeth II in Ottawa on April 17, 1982 The Constitution Act, 1982 during the official signing ceremony by Queen Elizabeth II in Ottawa on April 17, 1982

Under successive Liberal governments of Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, a new Canadian identity emerged. Canada adopted its current Maple Leaf Flag in 1965. In response to a more assertive French-speaking Quebec, the federal government became officially bilingual with the Official Languages Act of 1969. Non-discriminatory Immigration Acts were introduced in 1967 and 1976, and official multiculturalism in 1971; waves of non-European immigration changed the face of the country. Social democratic programs such as universal health care, the Canada Pension Plan, Canada Student Loans, the Foreign Investment Review Agency, and the National Energy Program were established in the 1960s and 1970s; provincial governments, particularly Quebec and Alberta, opposed many of these as incursions into their jurisdictions. Finally, constitutional conferences led by Prime Minister Trudeau resulted in the patriation of the constitution from Britain, enshrining a Charter of Rights and Freedoms based on individual rights in the Constitution Act of 1982. Canadians continue to take pride in their system of universal health care, their commitment to multiculturalism, and human rights.[21]

Quebec underwent profound social and economic changes during the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s. Quebec nationalists under Jean Lesage began pressing for greater autonomy.[22] The radical Front de liberation du Quebec (FLQ) ignited the October Crisis in 1970 with bombings and kidnappings demanding Quebec independence. The more moderate Parti Quebecois of Rene Levesque came to power in 1976 and held an unsuccessful referendum on sovereignty-association in 1980. Efforts by the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney to constitutionally recognize Quebec as a "distinct society" with the Meech Lake Accord collapsed in 1989. Regional tensions ignited by the constitutional debate helped fledgling regional parties, the Bloc Quebecois under Lucien Bouchard and the Reform Party under Preston Manning in Western Canada, relegate the Progressive Conservatives to fifth place in the federal election. A second Quebec referendum on sovereignty in 1995 was rejected by a slimmer margin of just 50.6% to 49.4%.[23] In 1997, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession by a province to be unconstitutional, and the Liberal government of Jean Chretien passed the "Clarity Act" outlining the terms of a negotiated departure.[23] The Reform Party expanded to become the Canadian Alliance and merge with the Progressive Conservatives to form the Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. The Conservatives were elected as a minority government under Stephen Harper in the 2006 federal election. Later that year, Canada's parliament passed a symbolic motion to recognize the Quebecois as a nation within Canada.[24]

Years of neglect and abuse by government agencies prompted aboriginal First Nations in the 1960s to use federal courts to press land claims and initiate negotiations with federal and provincial governments to recognize historical treaty rights. In the 1990s, frustration at the slow pace of negotiations gave way to violent confrontations in Oka, Ipperwash, and Gustafsen Lake. However, in 1999 Canada recognized Inuit self-government with the creation of Nunavut, and settled Nisga'a claims in B.C. In 2008, Canada's government officially apologized for the creation of residential schools set up to culturally assimilate aboriginal peoples which resulted in multiple abuses towards aboriginal people in these schools.

History of Canada part 1

First Nation and Inuit traditions maintain that aboriginal peoples have resided on their lands since the beginning of time. Archaeological studies support a human presence in the northern Yukon from 26,500 years ago, and in southern Ontario from 9,500 years ago.[10][11] Europeans first arrived when the Vikings settled briefly at L'Anse aux Meadows around AD 1000. Canada's Atlantic coast would next be explored John Cabot in 1497 for England[12] and Jacques Cartier in 1534 for France;[13] seasonal Basque whalers and fishermen subsequently exploited the region between the Grand Banks and Tadoussac for over a century.[14]

French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in 1603 and established the first permanent European settlements at Port Royal in 1605 and Quebec City in 1608. These would become respectively the capitals of Acadia and Canada. Among French colonists of New France, Canadiens extensively settled the Saint Lawrence River valley, Acadians settled the present-day Maritimes, while French fur traders and Catholic missionaries explored the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay and the Mississippi watershed to Louisiana. The French and Iroquois Wars broke out over control of the fur trade. The Death of General Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham at Quebec in 1759, part of the Seven Years' War The Death of General Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham at Quebec in 1759, part of the Seven Years' War

The English established fishing outposts in Newfoundland around 1610 and colonized the Thirteen Colonies to the south. A series of four Intercolonial Wars erupted between 1689 and 1763. Mainland Nova Scotia came under British rule with the Treaty of Utrecht (1713); the Treaty of Paris (1763) ceded Canada and most of New France to Britain following the Seven Years' War.

The Royal Proclamation (1763) carved the Province of Quebec out of New France and annexed Cape Breton Island to Nova Scotia. It also restricted the language and religious rights of French Canadians. In 1769, St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) became a separate colony. To avert conflict in Quebec, the Quebec Act of 1774 expanded Quebec's territory to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley and re-established the French language, Catholic faith, and French civil law in Quebec; it angered many residents of the Thirteen Colonies, helping to fuel the American Revolution.[15] The Treaty of Paris (1783) recognized American independence and ceded territories south of the Great Lakes to the United States. Approximately 50,000 United Empire Loyalists fled the United States to Canada.[16] New Brunswick was split from Nova Scotia as part of a reorganization of Loyalist settlements in the Maritimes. To accommodate English-speaking Loyalists in Quebec, the Constitutional Act of 1791 divided the province into French-speaking Lower Canada and English-speaking Upper Canada, granting each their own elected Legislative Assembly.

Canada (Upper and Lower) was the main front in the War of 1812 between the United States and British Empire. Its defence contributed to a sense of unity among British North Americans. Large-scale immigration to Canada began in 1815 from Britain and Ireland. The timber industry surpassed the fur trade in importance in the early nineteenth century. Fathers of Confederation by Robert Harris, an amalgamation of Charlottetown and Quebec conference scenes Fathers of Confederation by Robert Harris, an amalgamation of Charlottetown and Quebec conference scenes

The desire for responsible government resulted in the aborted Rebellions of 1837. The Durham Report subsequently recommended responsible government and the assimilation of French Canadians into British culture.[17] The Act of Union 1840 merged The Canadas into a United Province of Canada. French and English Canadians worked together in the Assembly to reinstate French rights. Responsible government was established for all British North American provinces by 1849.

The signing of the Oregon Treaty by Britain and the United States in 1846 ended the Oregon boundary dispute, extending the border westward along the 49th parallel and paving the way for British colonies on Vancouver Island (1849) and in British Columbia (1858). Canada launched a series of western exploratory expeditions to claim Rupert's Land and the Arctic region. The Canadian population grew rapidly because of high birth rates; British immigration was offset by emigration to the United States, especially by French Canadians moving to New England. An animated map, exhibiting the growth and change of Canada's provinces and territories since Confederation An animated map, exhibiting the growth and change of Canada's provinces and territories since Confederation

Following several constitutional conferences, the Constitution Act, 1867 brought about Confederation creating "one Dominion under the name of Canada" on July 1, 1867, with four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.[18] Canada assumed control of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory to form the Northwest Territories, where Metis' grievances ignited the Red River Rebellion and the creation of the province of Manitoba in July 1870. British Columbia and Vancouver Island (which had united in 1866) and the colony of Prince Edward Island joined Confederation in 1871 and 1873, respectively.

Prime Minister John A. Macdonald's Conservative Party established a National Policy of tariffs to protect nascent Canadian manufacturing industries. To open the West, the government sponsored construction of three transcontinental railways (most notably the Canadian Pacific Railway), opened the prairies to settlement with the Dominion Lands Act, and established the North-West Mounted Police to assert its authority over this territory. In 1898, after the Klondike Gold Rush in the Northwest Territories, the Canadian government created the Yukon territory. Under Liberal Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, continental European immigrants settled the prairies, and Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces in 1905.

Canada in general

Canada is a country occupying most of northern North America, extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area,[2] and shares land borders with the United States to the south and northwest.

The land occupied by Canada was inhabited for millennia by various aboriginal people. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored and later settled the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces.[4][5][6] This began an accretion of additional provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom, highlighted by the Statute of Westminster in 1931, and culminating in the Canada Act in 1982 which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

A federation comprising ten provinces and three territories, Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual and multicultural country, with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. Technologically advanced and industrialized, Canada maintains a diversified economy that is heavily reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has had a long and complex relationship.