Canada is the second largest country in the world. The name Canada comes from the Indian word “Kanata”, which means village or community, and it has been used since 1860. It covers more than half of the North American continent and a number of islands. For example: Vancouver in the west, New Scotland, Newfoundland in the east, Victoria and Baffin Islands in the north. Canada borders with the USA in the south and Alaska in the northwest. The whole continent is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and by the Pacific Ocean on the west. The terrain is diverse: eastern Canada has many hills and mountains while the central part is covered by vast plains. In the west there are the Rocky Mountains; the highest mountain is Mt. Logan.
Canada is a country of lakes; there are thousands of them. The largest are Lake Erie and Ontario. Between them there are the famous Niagara Falls. It is a major tourist attraction and it lies on the Canadian border with the USA. The Canadian part is 900 meters wide while the American is 320 meters. Other well-known lakes are for example Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Leak or Lake Winnipeg. The longest river is Mackenzie. Other big rivers are Yukon, Fraser, Columbia and the St. Lawrence River.
The climate in Canada is mostly continental with warm and sunny summers and long cold winters. The North is mostly uninhabited since it has the Arctic climate. It was a britiah colony for a long time. Now it is a self-governing member of the British Commonwealth and it has its own national flag and emblem with a maple leaf.
Canada has a population of about 24 million people. English and French are both the official languages here. Most inhabitants live near the US-Canadian borders. The capital city is Ottawa and the largest city is Montreal. Other large cities are for example: Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Quebec and Vancouver.
Canada is very rich in minerals and natural resources, but the greatest resource is forests. Canada is also one of the biggest exporters of wheat.
Canada has a Federal Parliament consisting of two Houses: The House of Commons and the Senate. The Queen is represented by the Governor General. The real head of state is The Prime Minister. He selects his own Cabinet. There are two leading parties: The Liberal Party and the Progressive Conservative Party.
Canada is divided into 10 provinces and 2 territories.
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