About Canada

About Canada

Canada comes from the St. Lawrence-Iroquoian word "Kanata", that means "village" or "settlement". Canada became a country on July1, 1867, when the British North America Act was passed by the British Parliament.

Newfoundland was the first part of Canada to be explored by Europeans and ironically the last area to become a province, in 1949.

The official languages of Canada are English and French.

The Canadian flag is known as The Maple Leaf and the Canadian motto is "A Mari Usque ad Mare", meaning "from Sea to Sea".

Canadian have made many important inventions, including kerosene, electron microscopes, the electronic organ, insulin, the IMAX film system, and even the game of Basketball was invented by a Canadian.


Canada is a federation of ten provinces and three territories. Under the Canadian constitution, provincial governments have exclusive responsibility for all levels of education. There is no ministry or department of education at the federal level. Canada's three territories, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, do not have the same constitutional status as the provinces, and are subject, in many areas, to more direct control from the federal government. With respect to education, however, the federal government has delegated this responsibility to the territorial governments, which, in turn, cooperate with the provinces to deliver postsecondary programs.


Canada is highly diverse culturally, with people from more than 200 ethnic origins and 200 first languages reported in the 2006 census. There are two major linguistic groups and two official languages, English and French. In 2006, over 57 per cent of the population reported English as their first language and almost 22 per cent reported French as their first language. The vast majority of francophones in Canada live in Quebec, where 79 per cent have French as their mother tongue. Almost 4 per cent of the Canadian population self-identified as Aboriginal. While ice hockey is Canada's most prevalent sport, lacrosse is the country's official sport.


Canada is the second largest country in the world with a land mass of 3,855,103 square miles. Because of its climate, there are no permanent settlements in nearly 90per cent of the country. Most of Canada's more than 35 million people live in highly urbanized centers in the south, within 300 kilometers of the border with the United States. The border between Canada and the United States is officially known as the International Boundary. At 5,525 miles, including 1,538 miles between Canada and Alaska, it is the world's longest border between two nations. Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world at 151,600 miles. Alert, in Nunavut territory, is the northernmost permanent settlement in the world.


Canada is a major industrialized trading nation, a member of the G7/8, the G20, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and many other international bodies. Alberta has 50% of the world's supply of bitumen.



Canada has one of the highest rates of postsecondary-education completion in the world. According to the 2006 census, six out of every 10 adults between 25 and 64 years of age had completed some form of postsecondary education. Universities are highly autonomous; they set their own admission standards and degree requirements, and have considerable flexibility in the management of their financial affairs and program offerings.