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The first people that lived in Canada were native Indian people, primarily the Inuit (Eskimos). According to history the explorer Leiv Eriksson reached the coast of East Canada around the year 1000. The Italian-English voyager John Cabot rediscovered the country in1497.
Canada was taken by the French in 1534 by a man called Jacques Cartier. He called the land “New France”. At the time the population in Canada was almost only French. In the next few decades thousands of British immigrants moved to Canada. During the 17th century the French and the British fought against each other and the French were forced to give up Canada. The country became a British colony in 1867.
Today Canada is an independent member of the British Commonwealth.
Canada is the northern part of the North American continent and the area is larger then the area of the USA (9,984,670 km²) Canada has an extremely varied topography. There are a lot of lakes and ranges of mountains. The highest point in Canada is (6050 m)
The capital of Canada is (in Ontario). Other large cities are Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.
(The 1988 Olympic Winter Games took place in Calgary)
Canada is a federation of ten provinces:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Quebec, and Saskatchewan
And three territories
- Northwest Territories
Canada is governed by its own House of Commons. The governor-general is officially the representative of Queen Elizabeth II. In fact the governor-general acts only on the advice of the Canadian prime minister.
The governor-general is called Michaëlle Jean and the prime minister’s name is Paul Martin (Elected in 2003)
Population, language and religion.There are about 32 000 000 inhabitants in Canada. The official languages are English and French. Most people belong to the Roman Catholic church (46%), and the Protestants (36%)
Industry and trade.
Canada has large natural resources like timber, natural gas, oil, fish, nickel, silver and zinc. The country is the world’s largest producer of paper for the newspaper industry. Canada’s export is worth $315.6 billion, and the import is worth $245.1 billion. The major trading partners are the USA, Japan, UK and China.
The president of China, Hu Jintao, ended his 10-day visit to North America on Saturday 17th of September with a speech in Vancouver. The president said that he wanted China and Canada to increase trade and economic co-operation. He invited the Canadians to spend more time and money in China. Hu Jintao ended his speech by saying: “I look forward to seeing you in China either for sightseeing, investment or business”.