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About Canada

Canada: A land of beauty

Canada is the second largest country in the world. It is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with varied landscapes - snow capped mountains and glaciers, numerous lakes, golden fields and rich coastlines. It is abundant in natural resources and one of the most industrialized and technologically advanced nations in the world. It is a peace-loving country with a very high standard of living.

It is situated in North America and is a federation made up of ten provinces and three territories. It is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Its north is sparsely inhabited due to extremely cold conditions. It shares its southern border with the United States of America. It is the world\\\'s largest unguarded border and thousands of people from both countries cross over the border each day for work, leisure and tourism purposes. A majority of its population lives within 150kms of the United States border.

Canada is a federation that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. She is represented in Canada by the Governor-General. The parliament is headed by the Prime Minister who is the leader of the ruling party. Canada has a multi-party democracy. The provinces and territories are autonomous in many respects however major portfolios such as immigration (with the exception of Quebec), defense, foreign affairs, etc. are the domain of the Federal government. It a bilingual nation with both English and French as official languages. English and French have equal status in federal courts, Parliament, and in all federal institutions. Citizens have the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either English or French, and official-language minorities are guaranteed their own schools in all provinces and territories.

One of the world\\\'s highly developed countries, Canada has a diversified and stable economy that is reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade-particularly with the United States, which is Canada\\\'s biggest trading partner. Due to its conservative and sensible banking system, it has been affected to a far lesser extent by the recession that has plagued the United States and many European countries in recent years. Canada is a prominent member of the G8, G20, NATO, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth, Francophone, OAS, APEC, and UN.

Canada is an industrial nation with a highly developed science and technology sector. It is one of the world\\\'s wealthiest nations, with a high per-capita income. It is a mixed market, ranking above the U.S. on the Heritage Foundation\\\'s index of economic freedom and higher than most western European nations.

Canada\\\'s 2006 census counted a total population of 31,612,897, an increase of 5.4% since 2001. Population growth is from immigration and, to a lesser extent, natural growth.

Canada has the highest per-capita immigration rate in the world, driven by economic policy and family reunification, and is aiming for between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in 2010. Canada also accepts large numbers of refugees. New immigrants settle mostly in major urban areas like Toronto and Vancouver.

Canadian culture has been greatly influenced by immigration from all over the world. Many Canadians value multiculturalism and see Canada as being inherently multicultural. Canadians value human rights very deeply and its constitution guarantees basic human rights to each and every one of its residents. Canada is known for the quality of life and high standard of living it offers to its citizens. No wonder it has been voted repeatedly, for several years in a row, as one of the best places in the world to live in by the United Nations.

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