Canada

Canada

Canada is a country in North America consisting of 10 provinces and 3 territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. At 9.98 million square kilometers in total, Canada is the world’s second-largest country by total area, and its common border with the United States is the world’s longest land border shared by the same two countries.

Canada occupies a major northern portion of North America, sharing land borders with the contiguous United States to the south (the longest border between two countries in the world) and the US state of Alaska to the northwest. Canada stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; to the north lies the Arctic Ocean. Greenland is to the northeast, while Saint Pierre and Miquelon is south of Newfoundland. By total area (including its waters), Canada is the second-largest country in the world, after Russia. By land area alone, Canada ranks fourth. The country lies between latitudes 41° and 84°N, and longitudes 52° and 141°W.

Canada has a parliamentary system within the context of a constitutional monarchy, the monarchy of Canada being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II, who also serves as head of state of 15 other Commonwealth countries and each of Canada’s ten provinces. As such, the Queen’s representative, the Governor General of Canada (at present David Lloyd Johnston), carries out most of the federal royal duties in Canada.

The major Canadian city that falls outside the continental climate schema is Vancouver, which experiences an oceanic climate with a marked summer dry season. Of the eight largest Canadian cities, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto have the warmest summers, Winnipeg the coldest winters, with Vancouver’s winters are far milder than any other large city in Canada.

Canadian culture is a term that embodies the artistic, culinary, literary, humor, musical, political and social elements that are representative of Canada and Canadians. Throughout Canada’s history, its culture has been influenced by European culture and traditions, especially British and French, and by its own indigenous cultures. Over time, elements of the cultures of Canada’s immigrant populations have become incorporated into mainstream Canadian culture. The population has also been influenced by American culture because of a shared language, proximity and migration between the two countries.

Canadian cuisine varies widely depending on the regions of the nation. The three earliest cuisines of Canada have First Nations, English, Scottish and French roots, with the traditional cuisine of English Canada closely related to British and Scottish cuisines, while the traditional cuisine of French Canada has evolved from French cuisine and the winter provisions of fur traders. With subsequent waves of immigration in the 19th and 20th century from Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe, South Asia, East Asia, and the Caribbean, the regional cuisines were subsequently augmented.

Canada has the eleventh or 14th-largest economy in the world (measured in US dollars at market exchange rates), is one of the world’s wealthiest nations, and is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Group of Seven (G7). As with other developed nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians. 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 also has a sizable manufacturing sector, centered in Central Canada, with the automobile industry and aircraft industry especially important. With a long coastal line, Canada has the 8th largest commercial fishing and seafood industry in the world. Canada is one of the global leaders of the entertainment software industry.

Geography

Canada occupies a major northern portion of North America, sharing land borders with the contiguous United States to the south (the longest border between two countries in the world) and the US state of Alaska to the northwest. Canada stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; to the north lies the Arctic Ocean. Greenland is to the northeast, while Saint Pierre and Miquelon is south of Newfoundland. By total area (including its waters), Canada is the second-largest country in the world, after Russia. By land area alone, Canada ranks fourth. The country lies between latitudes 41° and 84°N, and longitudes 52° and 141°W.

Since the end of the last glacial period, Canada has consisted of eight distinct forest regions, including extensive boreal forest on the Canadian Shield. Canada has around 31,700 large lakes more than any other country, containing much of the world’s fresh water. There are also fresh-water glaciers in the Canadian Rockies and the Coast Mountains. Canada is geologically active, having many earthquakes and potentially active volcanoes, notably Mount Meager, Mount Garibaldi, Mount Cayley, and the Mount Edziza volcanic complex. The volcanic eruption of the Tseax Cone in 1775 was among Canada’s worst natural disasters, killing 2,000Nisga’a people and destroying their village in the Nass River valley of northern British Columbia. The eruption produced a 22.5-kilometre (14.0 mi) lava flow, and, according to Nisga’a legend, blocked the flow of the Nass River. Canada’s population density, at 3.3 inhabitants per square kilometer (8.5 /sq. mi), is among the lowest in the world. The most densely populated part of the country is the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, situated in Southern Quebec and Southern Ontario along the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

Government and Politics

Canada has a parliamentary system within the context of a constitutional monarchy, the monarchy of Canada being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II, who also serves as head of state of 15 other Commonwealth countries and each of Canada’s ten provinces. As such, the Queen’s representative, the Governor General of Canada carries out most of the federal royal duties in Canada.

Canada’s federal structure divides government responsibilities between the federal government and the ten provinces. Provincial legislatures are unicameral and operate in parliamentary fashion similar to the House of Commons. Canada’s three territories also have legislatures, but these are not sovereign and have fewer constitutional responsibilities than the provinces. The territorial legislatures also differ structurally from their provincial counterparts.

Climate

The average maximum/minimum temperatures of Canada of various cities across Canada, based on the climate period from 1981-2010 for the months of January and July (generally the lowest/highest average temperature months, but not in all cases).

The major Canadian city that falls outside the continental climate schema is Vancouver, which experiences an oceanic climate with a marked summer dry season. Of the eight largest Canadian cities, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto have the warmest summers, Winnipeg the coldest winters, with Vancouver’s winters are far milder than any other large city in Canada.

Culture

Canadian culture is a term that embodies the artistic, culinary, literary, humor, musical, political and social elements that are representative of Canada and Canadians. Throughout Canada’s history, its culture has been influenced by European culture and traditions, especially British and French, and by its own indigenous cultures. Over time, elements of the cultures of Canada’s immigrant populations have become incorporated into mainstream Canadian culture. The population has also been influenced by American culture because of a shared language, proximity and migration between the two countries.

Canada is often characterized as being “very progressive, diverse, and multicultural” Canada’s culture draws influences from its broad range of constituent nationalities, and policies that promote a just society are constitutionally protected. Canadian Government policies – such as publicly funded health care; higher and more progressive taxation; outlawing capital punishment; strong efforts to eliminate poverty; an emphasis on cultural diversity; strict gun control; and most recently, legalizing same-sex marriage – are social indicators of Canada’s political and cultural values.

Historical Influences

For tens of thousands of years, Canada was inhabited by Aboriginal peoples from a variety of different cultures and of several major linguistic groupings. Although not without conflict and bloodshed, early European interactions with First Nations and Inuit populations in what is now Canada were arguably peaceful. First Nations and Métis peoples played a critical part in the development of European colonies in Canada, particularly for their role in assisting European coureur des bois and voyageurs in the exploration of the continent during the fur trade. Combined with late economic development in many regions, this comparably nonbelligerent history has allowed Aboriginal Canadians to have a lasting influence on the national culture while preserving their own identity (see: The Canadian Crown and Aboriginal peoples). Over the course of three centuries, countless North American Indigenous words, inventions, concepts, and games have become an everyday part of Canadian language and use. Many places in Canada, both natural features and human habitations, use indigenous names. The name “Canada” itself derives from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word meaning “village” or “settlement”.[14] The name of Canada’s capital city Ottawa comes from the Algonquin language term “adawe” meaning “to trade”.

Canada until the 1940s saw itself in terms of English and French cultural, linguistic and political identities, and to some extent aboriginal. Legislative restrictions on immigration (such as the Continuous journey regulation and Chinese Immigration Act) that had favored British, American and other European immigrants (such as Dutch, German, Italian, Polish, Swedish and Ukrainian) were amended during the 1960s, resulting in an influx of diverse people from Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. By the end of the 20th century, immigrants were increasingly Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Jamaican, Filipino, Lebanese and Haitian. As of 2006, Canada has grown to have thirty four ethnic groups with at least one hundred thousand members each, of which eleven have over 1,000,000 people and numerous others are represented in smaller numbers. 16.2% of the population self-identify as a visible minority.

Cuisine

poutineChips

A Classic Canadian Dish “Poutine”

Canadian cuisine varies widely depending on the regions of the nation. The three earliest cuisines of Canada have First Nations, English, Scottish and French roots, with the traditional cuisine of English Canada closely related to British and Scottish cuisines, while the traditional cuisine of French Canada has evolved from French cuisine and the winter provisions of fur traders. With subsequent waves of immigration in the 19th and 20th century from Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe, South Asia, East Asia, and the Caribbean, the regional cuisines were subsequently augmented.

The former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark has been paraphrased to have noted: “Canada has a cuisine of cuisines. Not a stew pot, but a smorgasbord.” There are considerable overlaps between Canadian food and the rest of the cuisine in North America, many unique dishes (or versions of certain dishes) are found and available only in the country. Common contenders for the Canadian national food include Poutine and Butter tarts. A noteworthy fact is that Canada is the world’s largest producer of Maple syrup.

Economy

Canada has the eleventh or 14th-largest economy in the world (measured in US dollars at market exchange rates), is one of the world’s wealthiest nations, and is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Group of Seven (G7). As with other developed nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians. 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 also has a sizable manufacturing sector, centered in Central Canada, with the automobile industry and aircraft industry especially important. With a long coastal line, Canada has the 8th largest commercial fishing and seafood industry in the world. Canada is one of the global leaders of the entertainment software industry.

International trade makes up a large part of the Canadian economy, particularly of its natural resources. In 2009, agricultural, energy, forestry and mining exports accounted for about 58% of Canada’s total exports. Machinery, equipment, automotive products and other manufactures accounted for a further 38% of exports in 2009. In 2009, exports accounted for approximately 30% of Canada’s GDP. The United States is by far its largest trading partner, accounting for about 73% of exports and 63% of imports as of 2009. Canada’s combined exports and imports ranked 8th among all nations in 2006.

The Canadian economy in 2012, composed of the industries below, had a relative weighting by value of GDP

  • 12.34 Real estate and rental and leasing
  • 10.86 Manufacturing
  • 07.96 Mining quarrying and oil or gas extraction
  • 07.03 Health care and social assistance
  • 06.90 Public administration
  • 06.55 Finance and insurance
  • 05.41 Wholesale trade
  • 05.41 Retail trade
  • 05.38 Educational services
  • 05.21 Professional scientific and technical services
  • 04.20 Transportation and warehousing
  • 03.31 Information and cultural industries
  • 02.58 Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services
  • 02.46 Utilities
  • 02.10 Accommodation and food services
  • 02.04 Other services (except public administration)
  • 01.59 Agriculture forestry fishing and hunting
  • 00.76 Management of companies and enterprises
  • 00.75 Arts entertainment and recreation

Transport

Canada is a developed country whose economy includes the extraction and export of raw materials from its large area. Because of this, it has a transportation system which includes more than 1,400,000 kilometers (870,000 mi) of roads, 10 major international airports, 300 smaller airports, 72,093 km (44,797 mi) of functioning railway track, and more than 300 commercial ports and harbors that provide access to the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans as well as the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. In 2005, the transportation sector made up 4.2% of Canada’s GDP, compared to 3.7% for Canada’s mining and oil and gas extraction industries.

Road

The Motor Vehicle Safety Act was established in 1971 in order to create safety standards for cars in Canada. The department also acts as the federal government’s funding partner on jointly-funded provincial transportation infrastructure projects for new highways.

Rail

  • Transport Canada’s role in railways include:
  • Railway safety
  • Surface and intermodal security
  • Strategies for rail travel accessibilitySafety of federally regulated railway bridges
  • Safety and security of international bridges and tunnels (US/CAN border)
  • Inspecting and testing traffic control signals, grade crossing warning systems
  • Rail operating rules regulations, standards and services for safe transport of dangerous goods.
  • Canadian Transport Emergency Centre to assist emergency response and handling dangerous goods emergencies.

Marine

Transport Canada is responsible for the waterways inside and surrounding Canada. These responsibilities include: –

  • Responding and investigating marine accidents within Canadian waters
  • Enforcing marine acts and regulations
  • Establishing and enforcing marine personnel standards and pilotage
  • Marine Safety
  • Marine Security
  • Regulating the operation of marine vessels in Canadian waters

Aviation

Transport Canada’s role in aviation seems to be the most detailed. Until 1996, Transport Canada was responsible for both regulation of aviation and the operation of air traffic services, as well as the operation of most major airports. On November 1, 1996, these responsibilities were split: Transport Canada remains responsible for regulation, but a new regulated non-profit company, NAV CANADA, took over responsibility for all civilian air traffic services. This change was (and remains) controversial because NAV CANADA began charging for services that were previously funded through general tax revenue. In 2005, the United States was discussing a similar delegation of the FAA’s air traffic services to an “arm’s-length” government corporation.

Tourism

toronto-55116_640

Toronto Bridge

Canada has a large domestic and foreign tourism industry. The second largest country in the world, Canada’s incredible geographical variety is a significant tourist attractor. Much of the country’s tourism is centered around Canada’s four largest metropolitan areas, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa, well known for their culture, diversity, as well as the many national parks and historic sites. In 2012, over 16 million tourists arrived in Canada, bringing US$17.4 billion in international tourism receipts to the economy.

British Columbia

Canada’s most mountainous province and has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. Alpine skiing is a major draw for the province. Vancouver, the largest Canadian metropolitan area west of Toronto, is one of Canada’s most multi-cultural cities. There is a large community of people of Asian origin. Vancouver is a harbor city and provides beautiful landscapes of mountains and ocean.

Alberta

A province in Canada’s western prairies next to the Rocky Mountains. Its two major cities are Calgary, and Edmonton, the provincial capital. Edmonton is well known for West Edmonton Mall, the largest mall in North America, formerly the largest in the world. Alberta also contains significant natural scenery, including 5 of Canada’s 17 UNESCO World heritage sites. These are Banff and Jasper National Parks, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Wood Buffalo National Park, Dinosaur Provincial Park and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

Saskatchewan

Offers two major cities, Regina and Saskatoon. Regina is home to one of Canada’s most significant attractions, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Academy at Depot Division. Saskatoon is home to the largest branch of the Western Development Museum, which houses important artefacts and recreations of the early settlement of the Canadian prairies.

Manitoba

5th province to enter confederation in 1870. The province is home to many lakes and rivers with over 14.5% of the land area covered by lakes. This offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, hunting, fishing, boating, and some of the finest beaches in North America.

Ontario

The most populous and second largest province in Canada. Southern Ontario is home to the Nation’s capital, Ottawa and Canada’s largest city, Toronto, which is the provincial capital and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. The forests and numerous lakes of Central Ontario and Northern Ontario also provide popular hiking and camping destinations.

Quebec

A majority francophone province, is a major tourist draw. Quebec City is a taste of old France in the new world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Montreal, the second largest francophone city in the world, has several tourist attractions.

New Brunswick

Renowned for its sandy beaches especially along the Northumberland Strait which in summer has the warmest water north of Virginia. Saint John, The largest city in New Brunswick and the oldest Incorporated in Canada at the mouth of the St. John River. The port city has numerous Victorian houses and amazing 18th and 19th century architecture in the Uptown area.

Immigration

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada), foreign nationals may work temporarily in Canada under certain conditions, generally being a job offer, a confirmation of the job offer and a work permit.

Once a foreign national receives a job offer, it must be approved by Human Resources and Development Canada. Upon approval of the job offer, an immigration officer will decide if the foreign worker qualifies for the work permit and assess the person’s health and security requirements. A work permit is usually valid only for a specified job, employer and time period. In most cases, applications must be submitted from outside of Canada.

Some temporary foreign workers do not require work permits, including: –

  • Some commercial speakers, seminar leaders and guest speakers.
  • Some performing artists, students, athletes, sports officials, journalists and providers of emergency services.
  • Business visitors; and Diplomats, consular officers and other representatives or officials of other countries.

Visa

The Canadian federal and provincial governments are constantly updating their programs to ensure that Canadian immigration is successful, both for newcomers and for Canada. With many options to choose from, David Cohen and the Campbell Cohen Law Firm can help you determine what your best options are for Canada immigration.

Immigration to Canada

To immigrate to Canada and become a Canadian Permanent Resident, you will need to apply for and be issued a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa.

People outside of Canada often refer to a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa as a “Canada Green Card”. The term Green Card, of course, pertains only to U.S. immigration status.

  • Skilled Workers (Professionals).
  • Provincial Nomination Programs.
  • Business Immigration.
  • Family Class Sponsorship.
  • Canadian Experience Class.

Quebec Immigratio n- Skilled Worker Program

The Quebec Immigration selection system for Quebec Skilled Workers is designed to indicate which applicants are likely to become economically established upon immigration to Quebec.

An applicant can qualify for the Quebec Skilled Worker category if they hold either a validated job offer in Quebec or achieve sufficient points on the Quebec Selection Grid.

From April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, the Government of Quebec will accept a maximum of 6,500 applications under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.

There are various programs under which you may qualify for Canadian immigration, but it’s important to identify the best one for your particular situation.

Canada Business/Investor Immigration

If you are a business person or manager looking to immigrate to Canada, the Business/Investor Immigration Program may be an important fast-track Canadian immigration option for you.

Business Immigration seeks to attract individuals with business and/or managerial experience who will contribute to the development of the Canadian economy.

Canada Business Immigration

If you’re looking to make an investment in Canada or to start/acquire a business in Canada, there are several avenues for you to choose from. You can either apply under the federal program or, if you know which province/territory in which you plan to reside, you can make your business immigration investment through one of the provincial business immigration programs.

Types: –

  • Quebec Business Immigration.
  • PNP Business Immigration.

Canada Family Class Immigration

Immigration to Canada through Canadian Family Class Sponsorship
Canadian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor close family members for Canadian immigration.
Canada has one of the most generous family reunification programs in the developed world. The government is committed to keeping families together whenever possible, and prioritizes the processing of sponsorship applications.

Types: –

  • Spousal Sponsorship – Help your spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner become a Canadian Permanent Resident. You may sponsor your partner regardless of whether they are currently living inside or outside of Canada.
  • Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship – This popular immigration stream allows Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents for Permanent Residency.
  • Parent and Grandparent Super Visa – Another option for bringing parents and grandparents to Canada is the Super Visa program. Successful applicants receive a 10-year, multiple-entry visitor visa that allows parents and grandparents to spend an extended period of time with their loved ones in Canada.
  • Provincial Family Class Sponsorship – Many Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs) have Family Class sponsorship categories, which are separate from federal sponsorship. Residences of provinces that facilitate family sponsorship may wish to consider these additional options for bringing family to Canada.
  • Dependent Child and Other Sponsorship – Dependent children may be eligible to come to Canada in order to reside with their parent(s). This includes adopted children. An orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild may also be eligible under this category. In exceptional circumstances, other family members may also be eligible.

Canada Study Permit

Each year, 130,000 students come from abroad to study in Canada.
A Study Permit is a document issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that allows a foreign individual to study in Canada for a limited time.
Most international students will require a Study Permit to study in Canada.

Obtaining a first study permit:

  • If you are a prospective student, you should first decide what sort of program they wish to pursue, and determine what institution is the best fit for your field of study.
  • Once one or more places of study have been pinpointed, you should learn what you must do to get admission.
  • Once admission to one or more schools has been obtained, you can begin applying for a study permit and, if necessary, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). A TRV may be required if you are a citizen of a country from which Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) requires TRVs for entry into Canada. This is not required for citizens of visa exempt countries.

When applying for a study permit, it is important to remember that CIC may require you to undergo medical examinations and provide Police Clearance Certificates.

If you wish to study in Montreal or another city in the Province of Quebec you will also require approval from immigration authorities of the Government of Quebec.

After arrival:
Once you arrive in Canada, you must maintain your student permit and obtain work authorization.

  • After obtaining a study permit, students may need to renew or change the study permit during the course of their studies in Canada.
  • Depending on your program, you may be eligible to work while studying.

After graduation, many students choose to stay in Canada to live and work:

  • Many graduates are eligible to receive post-graduation work permits to facilitate their stay.
  • A post-graduation work permit may help facilitate an application for Canadian Permanent Residency, especially through either the Canadian Experience Class or Quebec Experience Class.

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