20 June 2013

Greater Canada


A land of vast distances and rich natural resources. Russian Alaska was added in 1856 at the end of the Crimean War. Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown. Economically and technologically, the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across the world's longest unfortified border. In 1962 Canada absorbed the West Indies Federation into its territory. In 1971 Belize also joined Canada. Canada faces the political challenges of meeting public demands for quality improvements in health care, education, social services, and economic competitiveness, as well as responding to the particular concerns of predominantly francophone Quebec. Canada also aims to develop its diverse energy resources while maintaining its commitment to the environment.
Location: North America
Area: 11,745,729 sq km (10,617,691 land, 1,129,038 water)
Coastline: 216,086 km

Climate: varies from tundra to tropical
People & Society
Nationality: Canadian

Languages: English, French, Spanish

Population: 41,388,622 (December 2012)

Population Growth Rate: 0.84%

Life Expectancy at Birth: 77.91 years male; 83.24 years female
Capital: Ottawa
Administrative Districts: 13 provinces and 3 territories(*); Alaska, Alberta, Belize, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, West Indies Federation, Yukon*

Independence: 1 July 1867 (union of British North American colonies); 11 December 1931 (recognized by UK)
National Holiday: Canada Day – 1 July (1867)
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General David Johnston (since 1 October 2010)
Head of Government: Prime Minister Stephen Joseph Harper (since 6 February 2006)
cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister usually from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister for a five-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition in the House of Commons generally designated by the governor general.

Legislative branch
Bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (113 seats; members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister and serve until 75 years of age) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (365 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve a maximum of four-year terms)
elections: House of Commons - last held on 2 May 2011 (next to be held no later than 19 October 2015)
election results: House of Commons - seats by party - Conservative Party 174, NDP 112, Liberal Party 41, PNP 9, JLP 8, Carribean 8, Bloc Quebecois 4, Greens 3, Alaskan 3, UDP 2, PUP 1

Judicial branch
Supreme Court of Canada (judges are appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister); Federal Court of Canada; Federal Court of Appeal; Tax Court of Canada; Provincial/Territorial Courts (these are named variously Court of Appeal, Court of Queen's Bench, Superior Court, Supreme Court, and Court of Justice)
Overview: An affluent, high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class. Canada has a diverse economy with many similarities to the United States

GDP: $1,800 billion (in 2012 US$)
GDP Per Capita: $43,500 (2012)
GDP Growth Rate: 1.6%

Government Revenues: $793.6 billion
Government Expenditures: $868.4 billion
Public Debt: 88.2% GDP
Inflation Rate: 1.9%

Agriculture Products: wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fish, forest products, bananas, cacao, citrus, sugar, shrimp, coffee, yams, ackees, poultry, goats, shellfish, flowers
Industries: transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, fish products, petroleum and natural gas, garment production, tourism, construction, bauxite/alumina, rum

Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Electricity Production: 631.92 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity Consumption: 581.76 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity by Source: Hydroelectric 57.2%, Fossil Fuels: 28.8%, Nuclear: 10.1%, Renewable: 3.9%

Crude Oil Production: 4.371 million bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude Oil - Proved Reserves: 205.936 billion bbl (2010 est.)
Natural Gas Production: 225.6 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural Gas - Proved Reserves: 3.834 trillion cu m (2011)
Telephones - Main Lines in Use: 12.639 million (2011)
Telephones - Mobile Cellular: 26.922 million (2011)
Internet Country Code: .ca
Internet Hosts: 9.282 million(2012)
Internet Users: 30.67 million (2012)
Airports: 1,828 (2012), 662 have paved runways
Heliports: 34 (2012)
Railways: 51,552 km standard gauge
Roadways: 1,107,748 km of which 522,548 km are paved

Ports & Terminals: Anchorage, Belize City, Big Creek, Cayman Brac, Discovery Bay (Port Rhoades), Fraser River Port, George Town, Halifax, Hamilton, Juneau, Ketchikan, Kingston, Montego Bay, Montreal, Port-Cartier, Port Esquivel, Port Fortin, Port Kaiser, Port Lisas, Port Spain, Quebec City, Rocky Point, Saint John (New Brunswick), Scarborough, Sept-Isles, Sitka, Skagway, Vancouver
Canadian Forces: Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, Canada Command (homeland security)

Military Expenditures as portion of GDP: 1.3%
Transnational Issues
US works closely with Canada to intensify security measures for monitoring and controlling legal and illegal movement of people, transport, and commodities across the international border; sovereignty dispute with Denmark over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland; commencing the collection of technical evidence for submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in support of claims for continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from its declared baselines in the Arctic, as stipulated in Article 76, paragraph 8, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

Guatemala persists in its territorial claim to half of Belize, but agrees to the Line of Adjacency to keep Guatemalan squatters out of Belize's forested interior; both countries agreed in April 2012 to hold simultaneous referenda, scheduled for 6 October 2013, to decide whether to refer the dispute to the ICJ for binding resolution; Belize and Mexico are working to solve minor border demarcation discrepancies arising from inaccuracies in the 1898 border treaty

Illicit drugs
illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic drug market and export to US; use of hydroponics technology permits growers to plant large quantities of high-quality marijuana indoors; increasing ecstasy production, some of which is destined for the US; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering because of its mature financial services sector

transshipment point for cocaine from South America to North America and Europe; illicit cultivation and consumption of cannabis; government has an active manual cannabis eradication program; corruption is a major concern; substantial money-laundering activity; Colombian narcotics traffickers favor Jamaica for illicit financial transactions

1) The CIA World Factbook was an ideal reference when coming up with this post.
2) The Wikipedia article on the West Indies Federation was also of help.
3) The map image is a modified version of the Canadian one on Wikipedia.
4) The flag is a combination of the flags of the West Indies Federation and Canada.

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