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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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Government

Country name
Conventional long form None
Conventional short form Canada

Government type
A parliamentary democracy, a federation, and a constitutional monarchy

Capital
Name Ottawa
Geographic coordinates 45 25 N, 75 42 W
Time difference
UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
Note
Canada is divided into six time zones

Administrative divisions
10 provinces and 3 territories*; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon*

Independence
1 July 1867 (union of British North American colonies); 11 December 1931 (recognized by UK per Statute of Westminster)

National holiday
Canada Day, 1 July (1867)

Constitution
Made up of unwritten and written acts, customs, judicial decisions, and traditions; the written part of the constitution consists of the Constitution Act of 29 March 1867, which created a federation of four provinces, and the Constitution Act of 17 April 1982, which transferred formal control over the constitution from Britain to Canada, and added a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as procedures for constitutional amendments

Legal system
Common law system except in Quebec where civil law based on the French civil code prevails

International law organization participation
Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

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 prime minister by the governor general

Legislative branch
Bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (105 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 (308 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 - percent of vote by party - Conservative Party 39.6%, New Democratic Party 30.6%, Liberal Party 18.9%, Bloc Quebecois 6%, Greens 3.9%; seats by party - Conservative Party 166, New Democratic Party 103, Liberal Party 34, Bloc Quebecois 4, Greens 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)

Political parties and leaders
Bloc Quebecois [Daniel PAILLE]; Conservative Party of Canada [Stephen HARPER]; Green Party [Elizabeth MAY]; Liberal Party [Robert RAE (interim)]; New Democratic Party [Nycole TURMEL(interim)]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Other
Agricultural sector; automobile industry; business groups; chemical industry; commercial banks; communications sector; energy industry; environmentalists; public administration groups; steel industry; trade unions

International organization participation
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CD, CDB, CE (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAFTA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Gary DOER
Chancery
501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
Telephone [1] (202) 682-1740
FAX [1] (202) 682-7701
Consulate(s) general
Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco/Silicon Valley, Seattle
Consulate(s)
Anchorage, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Diego

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador David C. JACOBSON
Embassy
490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8
Mailing address
P. O. Box 5000, Ogdensburg, NY 13669-0430; P.O. Box 866, Station B, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5T1
Telephone [1] (613) 688-5335
FAX [1] (613) 688-3082
Consulate(s) general
Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg

Flag description
Two vertical bands of red (hoist and fly side, half width) with white square between them; an 11-pointed red maple leaf is centered in the white square; the maple leaf has long been a Canadian symbol; the official colors of Canada are red and white

National symbol(s)
Maple leaf

National anthem
Name "O Canada"
Lyrics/music
Adolphe-Basile ROUTHIER [French], Robert Stanley WEIR [English]/Calixa LAVALLEE
Note
Adopted 1980; originally written in 1880, "O Canada" served as an unofficial anthem many years before its official adoption; the anthem has French and English versions whose lyrics differ; as a Commonwealth realm, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)


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  Canada (Ottawa):


  GPS points from Canada (Ottawa)


Bruce Peninsula Ontario

Aubichon Arm Saskatchewan

Marvin Islands Nunavut

Cape Alfred Nunavut

Cambrian Lake Quebec

Swamp Portage Ontario

Angling River Manitoba




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