Canada

 

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 neighbour to the south across an unfortified border. Canada faces the political challenges of meeting public demands for quality improvements in health care and education services, as well as responding to separatist concerns in predominantly francophone Quebec. Canada also aims to develop its diverse energy resources while maintaining its commitment to the environment.

 

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
People:
Population: 34,300,083 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15.7% (male 2,736,737/female 2,602,342)

15-64 years: 68.5% (male 11,776,611/female 11,517,972)

65 years and over: 15.9% (male 2,372,356/female 3,024,571) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Canada

Government type: constitutional monarchy that is also a parliamentary democracy and a federation
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

Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 16.438 million (2011)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 25.858 million (2011)
Transportation:
Airports: 1,453 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 522

over 3,047 m: 19

2,438 to 3,047 m: 20

1,524 to 2,437 m: 148

914 to 1,523 m: 257

under 914 m: 78 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Canadian Forces: Land Forces Command (LFC), Maritime Command (MARCOM), Air Command (AIRCOM), Canada Command (homeland security) (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 17 years of age for voluntary male and female military service (with parental consent); 16 years of age for Reserve and Military College applicants; Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status required; maximum 34 years of age; service obligation 3-9 years (2012)

Economy:

As an affluent, high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and affluent living standards. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. The 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (which includes Mexico) touched off a dramatic increase in trade and economic integration with the US. Given its great natural resources, skilled labour force, and modern capital plant, Canada enjoys solid economic prospects.

Transnational Issues:

managed maritime boundary disputes with the US at Dixon Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and around the disputed Machias Seal Island and North Rock; US works closely with Canada to intensify security measures to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across the international border; sovereignty dispute with Denmark over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland