By Max Singh
As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, it is an opportunity to reflect on its rich, vibrant history. It is the second largest country in the world, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. Its coastline is the world’s longest, measuring 243,042 km. It has six time zones and has a population of 33.4 million, still hugely underpopulated. Canada is the envy of the world for it peaceful society, stable governments, a strong economy, excellent education, and universal healthcare and high standard of living.
The “First Nations” is Canada’s original indigenous people with a rich and valued history. French and British expeditions explored, colonized, and fought over various places in what constitutes present-day Canada. The colony of New France was established in 1534 and was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1763 after the French defeat in the Seven Years’ War. In 1867, the newly named Province of Canada was joined with two other British colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia through Confederation, forming a self-governing entity called Canada. The new dominion expanded by incorporating other parts of British North America, finishing with Newfoundland and Labrador in 1949. However, Great Britain continued to set its foreign and defense policies after the end of the First World War. With the passing of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, Canada became co-equal with the United Kingdom. Canada’s political structure is adopted from the British parliament and has a constitutional monarchy. The Head of state in Canada is still Queen Elizabeth II. After the Canadian constitution had been repatriated in 1982, the final vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament were removed.
There are now ten provinces in Canada: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador.The biggest province in Canada is Ontario, in the central-east of the country and is the manufacturing heart of the country. Canada’s most populous and diverse city is Toronto, a hotbed of finance and business. It is located in Ontario, where the country’s capital, Ottawa, is also located.
Quebec is the second most populous province in Canada. French is the official language of the province. British Columbia is the third populous province in Canada, in the western part of the country. Victoria is the capital city, located on Vancouver Island. The province’s moderate climate makes British Columbia an important place for tourism. Most of Canada’s national parks are here. Significant communities of Asian and South Asian have made their home here for over 100 years.
Alberta is the fourth most populous province in Canada, and its climate makes it one of the coldest and driest provinces in the country.Manitoba is the fifth most populous province in Canada. Winnipeg is both the capital and biggest city of the province and attracts immigrants from all over the world. Many Eastern Europeans and Scandinavians settled in these provinces, working primarily in agriculture.
Nova Scotia is one of the Maritime Provinces in Canada. Their capital city is Halifax. Also, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are Maritime Provinces. The main cultural influences of these provinces come from European settlers from Scotland and Ireland. The primary industries are fishing and natural resources.
Over centuries, elements of Aboriginal, French, British, and more recent immigrants from Asia and South Asia have combined to form a richly diverse Canadian culture that has also been strongly influenced by its linguistic, geographic, and economic neighbor—the United States. However, Canada has a unique culture and feel all of its own, a more laid back, liberal, and relaxed model that espouses personal freedom and expression. Since the conclusion of the Second World War, Canadians have supported multilateralism abroad and socioeconomic development domestically. Canada continually offers the highest standard of living and best quality of life in world rankings and is the most preferred destination for immigrants
worldwide. Its human rights record, open, under populated land, clean, livable cities, universal healthcare and education, and limitless opportunities for betterment truly make Canada one of the best places to live. Happy 150th birthday Canada!
Ten interesting facts about Canada
1) The largest Island in Canada is Baffin Island.
2) Canada is the largest producer of natural uranium in the world—20 to 30% of the world’s annual uranium output.
3) Canada is home to the largest freshwater island in the world. Manitoulin Island, in Lake Huron.
4) Canada’s highest mountain is Mount Logan, 5,959 meters (19,551 ft) high.
5) Basketball was invented by a Canadian—Dr. James Naismith.
6) Canada has more lakes than any other country in the world. Approximately 20 % of the world’s freshwater is in Canada.
7) Canada’s largest mountain national park – Jasper National Park
8) Canada’s first/oldest national park – Banff National Park
9) Canada has developed Canola Oil, invented the Omni Max, and Poutine.
10) Greatest outdoor show on earth – Calgary Stampede