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A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, 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. 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.


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Geography

Location
Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the north, north of the conterminous US

Geographic coordinates
60 00 N, 95 00 W

Map references
North America

Area World Ranking: 2
Total 9,984,670 sq km
Land 9,093,507 sq km
Water 891,163 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly larger than the US

Land boundaries
Total 8,893 km
Border countries
US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska)
Note
Canada is the World's largest country that borders only one country

Coastline
202,080 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea 12 nm
Contiguous zone 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone 200 nm
Continental shelf
200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate
Varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north

Terrain
Mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest point Mount Logan 5,959 m

Natural resources
Iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, rare earth elements, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower

Land use
Arable land 4.57%
Permanent crops 0.65%
Other 94.78% (2005)

Irrigated land
8,550 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
3,300 cu km (1985)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 44.72 cu km/yr (20%/69%/12%)
Per capita 1,386 cu m/yr (1996)

Natural hazards
Continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow east of the mountains
Volcanism
The vast majority of volcanoes in Western Canada's Coast Mountains remain dormant

Environment - current issues
Air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and damaging forests; metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and vehicle emissions impacting on agricultural and forest productivity; ocean waters becoming contaminated due to agricultural, industrial, mining, and forestry activities

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified
Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note
Second-largest country in world (after Russia); strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route; approximately 90% of the population is concentrated within 160 km of the US border


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  Canada (Ottawa):


  GPS points from Canada (Ottawa)

Winter Harbour British Columbia

Dundas Ontario


Martin Lake British Columbia


Stuart Lake British Columbia

Landrienne Quebec

Mackay Alberta




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