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Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area. Nikon D200 Digital Camera Battery

Canada's common border with the United States to the south and northwest is the longest in the world.

The land that is now Canada was inhabited for millennia by various groups of Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and Frenchexpeditions explored, and later settled, along the Atlantic coast. Acer PA-1650-02 Adapter

France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. Sony CYBER-SHOT DSC-T10  Battery

This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

Canada is a federal state that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.HP Compaq Business Notebook 6715b Battery

It is a bilingual nation with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. One of the world's highly developed countries, Canada has a diversified economy that is reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has had along and complex relationship. Kodak KLIC-7004 Battery

It is a member of the G7, G8, G20, NATO, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth, Francophonie, OAS, APEC, and UN. With theeighth-highest Human Development Index globally, it has one of the highest standards of living in the world.

Etymology

The name Canada comes from a St. Lawrence Iroquoian word, kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier towards the village of Stadacona. Cartier later used the wordCanada to refer not only to that particular village, but also the entire area subject to Donnacona (the chief at Stadacona); Canon Digital IXUS 90 IS   Battery

by 1545, European books and maps had begun referring to this region as Canada.

In the 17th and early 18th century, Canada referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River and the northern shores of the Great Lakes. HP 2133 Mini-Note PC Adapter

The area was later split into two British colonies, Upper Canada and Lower Canada. They were re-unified as the Province of Canada in 1841.Upon Confederation in 1867, the name Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country, and Dominion (a term from Psalm 72:8) was conferred as the country's title.Toshiba PA3536U-1BRS Battery

As Canada asserted its political autonomy from the United Kingdom, the federal government increasingly used simplyCanada on state documents and treaties, a change that was reflected in the renaming of the national holiday from Dominion Day to Canada Day in 1982.HP Compaq Business Notebook NX6110 Battery

Aboriginal peoples

Archaeological and genetic studies support a human presence in the northern Yukon from 26,500 years ago, and in southern Ontario from 9,500 years ago. Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the earliest archaeological sites of human (Paleo-Indians) habitation in Canada.HP Pavilion DV9000 Adapter

Among the First Nations peoples, there are eight unique stories of creation and their adaptations. The characteristics of Canadian Aboriginal societies included permanent settlements, agriculture, civic and ceremonial architecture, complex societal hierarchies and trading networks.Dell Studio 1537 battery

Some of these cultures had faded by the time of the first permanent European arrivals (c. late 15th–early 16th centuries), and have been discovered through archaeological investigations.

The aboriginal population is estimated to have been between 200,000 and two million in the late 15th century,with a figure of 500,000 currently accepted by Canada's Royal Commission on Aboriginal Health.HP PPP009H Adapter

Repeated outbreaks of European infectious diseases such as influenza, measles, andsmallpox (to which they had no natural immunity), combined with other effects of European contact, resulted in a forty to eighty percent aboriginal population decrease post-contact.Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

Aboriginal peoples in Canada include the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. The Métis are a mixed bloodpeople who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nation and Inuit married European settlers. The Inuit had more limited interaction with European settlers during the colonization period.Dell PA-12 Adapter

European colonization

Europeans first arrived when Norse sailors settled briefly at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland around 1000. No further European exploration occurred until 1497, when Italian seafarer Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) explored Canada's Atlantic coast for England.Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T7/B  Battery

Between 1498 and 1521, Basque and Portuguese mariners established seasonal whaling and fishing outposts along the Atlantic coast.In 1534 Jacques Cartier explored the Saint Lawrence River for France. French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in 1603 and established the first permanent European settlements at Port Royal in 1605 and Quebec City in 1608.Dell LATITUDE M65 Battery

Among French colonists of New France, Canadiens extensively settled the Saint Lawrence River valley and Acadians settled the present-day Maritimes, while French fur traders and Catholic missionaries explored the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and the Mississippi watershed toLouisiana. The Beaver Wars broke out over control of the North American fur trade. HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

The English established fishing outposts in Newfoundland around 1610 and established the Thirteen Colonies to the south.A series of four Intercolonial Wars erupted between 1689 and 1763.Mainland Nova Scotia came under British rule with the Treaty of Utrecht (1713); Acer AS07B41 Battery

the Treaty of Paris (1763) ceded Canada and most of New France to Britain after the Seven Years' War.

The Royal Proclamation (1763) carved the Province of Quebec out of New France and annexed Cape Breton Island to Nova Scotia.Dell Vostro 1310 Battery

St. John's Island (nowPrince Edward Island) became a separate colony in 1769.To avert conflict in Quebec, the British passed the Quebec Act of 1774, expanding Quebec's territory to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. It re-established the French language, Catholic faith, and French civil law there. HP Compaq Business Notebook 6910p Battery

This angered many residents of the Thirteen Colonies and helped to fuel the American Revolution.

The Treaty of Paris (1783) recognized American independence and ceded territories south of the Great Lakes to the United States.Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4S Battery

New Brunswick was split from Nova Scotia as part of a reorganization of Loyalist settlements in the Maritimes. To accommodate English-speaking Loyalists in Quebec, the Constitutional Act of 1791 divided the province into French-speaking Lower Canada (later theprovince of Quebec) and English-speaking Upper Canada (later Ontario), granting each its own elected Legislative Assembly. Dell PA-12 Adapter

Canada (Upper and Lower) was the main front in the War of 1812 between the United States and the British Empire. Following the war, large-scale immigration to Canada from Britain and Ireland began in 1815.[27] From 1825 to 1846, 626,628 European immigrants landed at Canadian ports.Sony NP-FH100 Battery

Between one-quarter and one-third of all Europeans who immigrated to Canada before 1891 died of infectious diseases. The timber industry surpassed the fur trade in economic importance in the early 19th century.

The desire for responsible government resulted in the aborted Rebellions of 1837. Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

The Durham Report subsequently recommended responsible government and the assimilation of French Canadians into British culture.[14] The Act of Union 1840 merged The Canadas into a united Province of Canada. Responsible government was established for all British North American provinces by 1849.Apple MacBook Pro Battery

The signing of the Oregon Treaty by Britain and the United States in 1846 ended the Oregon boundary dispute, extending the border westward along the 49th parallel. This paved the way for British colonies on Vancouver Island (1849)and in British Columbia (1858).Canada launched a series of exploratory expeditions to claim Rupert's Land and the Arctic region.Apple PowerBook G4 Battery

Confederation and expansion

Following several constitutional conferences, the Constitution Act, 1867 officially proclaimed Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, with four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.Dell Studio 1537 battery

Canada assumed control of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory to form the Northwest Territories, where the Métis' grievances ignited the Red River Rebellion and the creation of the province ofManitoba in July 1870. British Columbia and Vancouver Island (which had united in 1866)Acer BATBL50L6 Battery

and the colony of Prince Edward Island joined the Confederation in 1871 and 1873, respectively. Prime Minister John A. Macdonald's Conservative government established a National Policy oftariffs to protect nascent Canadian manufacturing industries.Canon EOS 450D Digital Camera Battery

To open the West, the government sponsored construction of three transcontinental railways (including the Canadian Pacific Railway), opened the prairies to settlement with the Dominion Lands Act, and established the North-West Mounted Police to assert its authority over this territory.Acer Travelmate 2400 Battery

In 1898, after the Klondike Gold Rush in the Northwest Territories, the Canadian government created the Yukon Territory. UnderLiberal Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, continental European immigrants settled the prairies, and Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces in 1905.Dell Inspiron 1525 Adapter

Early 20th century

Because Britain still maintained control of Canada's foreign affairs under the Confederation Act, its declaration of war in 1914 automatically brought Canada into the First World War. Volunteers sent to the Western Front later became part of the Canadian Corps.Compaq Presario 2100 Adapter

The Corps played a substantial role in the Battle of Vimy Ridge and other major battles of the war.Out of approximately 625,000 who served, about 60,000 were killed and another 173,000 were wounded.The Conscription Crisis of 1917 erupted when conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden brought in compulsory military service over the objection of French-speaking Quebecers.Acer Aspire 1362 Battery

In 1919, Canada joined the League of Nations independently of Britain and, in 1931, the Statute of Westminster affirmed Canada's independence.

The Great Depression brought economic hardship all over Canada.Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

In response, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Alberta and Saskatchewan enacted many measures of a welfare state (as pioneered by Tommy Douglas) into the 1940s and 1950s.Canada declared war on Germanyindependently during the Second World War under Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, three days after Britain. Dell XPS M1330 Battery

The first Canadian Army units arrived in Britain in December 1939.

Canadian troops played important roles in the failed 1942 Dieppe Raid in France, the Allied invasion of Italy, the Normandy landings, the Battle of Normandy, and the Battle of the Scheldt in 1944.Acer Travelmate 2200 Adapter

Canada provided asylum and protection for the monarchy of the Netherlands while that country was occupied, and is credited by the country for leadership and major contributions to its liberation from Nazi Germany. The Canadian economy boomed as industry manufactured military materiel for Canada, Britain, China, and the Soviet Union.HP Compaq 6735b Adapter

Despite another Conscription Crisis in Quebec, Canada finished the war with one of the largest armed forces in the world and the second-wealthiest economy.

Modern times

Newfoundland (now Newfoundland and Labrador) joined Canada in 1949. Dell Vostro 1000 Battery

Canada's post-war economic growth, combined with the policies of successive Liberal governments, led to the emergence of a new Canadian identity, marked by the adoption of the current Maple Leaf Flag in 1965, the implementation of official bilingualism (English and French) in 1969, and official multiculturalism in 1971.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

There was also the founding of socially democraticprogrammes, such as universal health care, the Canada Pension Plan, and Canada Student Loans, though provincial governments, particularly Quebec and Alberta, opposed many of these as incursions into their jurisdictions.Asus f82 battery

Finally, another series of constitutional conferences resulted in the 1982 patriation of Canada's constitution from the United Kingdom, concurrent with the creation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 1999, Nunavut became Canada's third territory after a series of negotiations with the federal government.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

At the same time, Quebec underwent profound social and economic changes through the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, giving birth to a modern nationalistmovement. The radical Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) ignited the October Crisis in 1970.HP Compaq Business Notebook 6910p Battery

The sovereignist Parti Québécois was elected in 1976 and organized an unsuccessful referendum on sovereignty-association in 1980.Attempts to accommodate Quebec nationalism constitutionally through theMeech Lake Accord failed in 1990. This led to the formation of the Bloc Québécois in Quebec and invigoration of the Reform Party of Canada in theWest.Compaq PRESARIO R3000 Battery

A second referendum followed in 1995, in which sovereignty was rejected by a slimmer margin of just 50.6 to 49.4 percent.In 1997, theSupreme Court ruled that unilateral secession by a province would be unconstitutional, and the Clarity Act was passed by parliament, outlining the terms of a negotiated departure from Confederation.HP Compaq Business Notebook NX6110 Battery

In addition to the issues of Quebec sovereignty, a number of crises shook Canadian society in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These included the explosion of Air India Flight 182 in 1985, the largest mass murder in Canadian history; the École Polytechnique massacre in 1989, a university shooting targeting female students;Dell Latitude D610 Adapter

and the Oka Crisis in 1990, the first of a number of violent confrontations between the government and Aboriginal groups. Canada also joined the Gulf War in 1990 as part of a US-led coalition force, and was active in several peacekeeping missions in the late 1990s.Asus Eee PC 701 Adapter

It sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001, but declined to send forces to Iraq when the US invaded in 2003.

Geography

Canada occupies a major northern portion of North America, sharing the land borders with the contiguous United States to the south and the U.S. state ofAlaska to the northwest, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; HP Compaq Business Notebook NX6325 Battery

to the north lies the Arctic Ocean. By total area (including its waters), Canada is the second-largest country in the world—after Russia.By land area, Canada ranks fourth. The country lies between latitudes 41° and 84°N, and longitudes 52° and 141°W.Dell Studio XPS 16 battery

Since 1925, Canada has claimed the portion of the Arctic between 60° and 141°W longitude, but this claim is not universally recognized. The northernmost settlement in Canada (and in the world) is Canadian Forces Station Alert on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island—latitude 82.5°N—817 kilometres (450 nautical miles, 508 miles) from the North Pole.Acer Aspire 5520 Battery

Much of the Canadian Arctic is covered by ice and permafrost. Canada also has the longest coastline in the world: 202,080 kilometres (125,570 mi).

Canada has strong democratic traditions upheld through a parliamentary government within the construct of constitutional monarchy; Acer TravelMate 5720 Adapter

the monarchy of Canadais the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II, who also serves as head of state of 15 other Commonwealth countries and each of Canada's ten provinces and resides predominantly in the United Kingdom. HP Compaq 6735s Adapter

As such, the Queen's representative, the Governor General of Canada (presently David Lloyd Johnston), carries out most of the federal royal duties in Canada.

The direct participation of the royal and viceroyal figures in any of these areas of governance is limited, though;Dell XPS M1330 Battery

in practice, their use of the executive powers is directed by the Cabinet, a committee of ministers of the Crown responsible to the elected House of Commons and chosen and headed by the Prime Minister of Canada (presently Stephen Harper[100]), the head of government.HP Compaq nc6230 Adapter

To ensure the stability of government, the governor general will usually appoint as prime minister the person who is the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of a plurality in the House of Commons.The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is thus one of the most powerful institutions in government, Dell T117C battery

initiating most legislation for parliamentary approval and selecting for appointment by the Crown, besides the aforementioned, the governor general, lieutenant governors, senators, federal court judges, and heads ofCrown corporations and government agencies.Asus x5dij-sx039c battery

The leader of the party with the second-most seats usually becomes the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition (presently Jack Layton) and is part of an adversarial parliamentary system intended to keep the government in check.

Each of the 308 Members of Parliament in the House of Commons is elected by simple plurality in an electoral district or riding.Dell Inspiron 1464 battery

General elections must be called by the governor general, on the advice of the prime minister, within four years of the previous election, or may be triggered by the government losing aconfidence vote in the House. The 105 members of the Senate, whose seats are apportioned on a regional basis, serve until age 75.HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

Five parties had representatives elected to the federal parliament in the 2011 elections: the Conservative Party of Canada (governing party), the New Democratic Party (theOfficial Opposition), the Liberal Party of Canada, the Bloc Québécois, and the Green Party of Canada. The list of historical parties with elected representation is substantial.Dell Latitude D630 Adapter

Canada's federal structure divides government responsibilities between the federal government and the ten provinces. Provincial legislatures are unicameraland operate in parliamentary fashion similar to the House of Commons. Canada's three territories also have legislatures, HP Pavilion dm4 battery

but these are not sovereign and have fewer constitutional responsibilities than the provinces and with some structural differences.

Law

The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of the country, and consists of written text and unwritten conventions.Sony NP-FS11 Battery

The Constitution Act, 1867 (known as the British North America Act prior to 1982) affirmed governance based on parliamentary precedent "similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom" and divided powers between the federal and provincial governments; the Statute of Westminster 1931 granted full autonomy;Dell Inspiron 1520 Adapter

and the Constitution Act, 1982, ended all legislative ties to the UK, added a constitutional amending formula, and added the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees basic rights and freedoms that usually cannot be overridden by any government—Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

though a notwithstanding clause allows the federal parliament and provincial legislatures to override certain sections of the Charter for a period of five years.

Although not without conflict, European Canadians' early interactions with First Nations and Inuit populations were relatively peaceful. Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

Combined with Canada's late economic development in many regions, this peaceful history has allowed Canadian Indigenous peoples to have a relatively strong influence on the national culture while preserving their own identity. The Crown and Aboriginal peoples began interactions during the European colonialization period.Acer Aspire 5920 Battery

Numbered treaties, the Indian Act, the Constitution Act of 1982, and case laws were established. A series of eleven treaties were signed between Aboriginals in Canada and the reigning Monarch of Canada from 1871 to 1921. IBM Thinkpad T40 Adapter

These treaties are agreements with the Government of Canada administered by Canadian Aboriginal law and overseen by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The role of the treaties was reaffirmed bySection Thirty-five of the Constitution Act, 1982, which "recognizes and affirms existing Aboriginal and treaty rights".Nikon COOLPIX 4300 Digital Camera Battery

These rights may include provision of services such as health care, and exemption from taxation. The legal and policy framework within which Canada and First Nations operate was further formalized in 2005, through the First Nations–Federal Crown Political Accord, which established cooperation as "a cornerstone for partnership between Canada and First Nations".Apple MB771 battery

Canada's judiciary plays an important role in interpreting laws and has the power to strike down laws that violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court and final arbiter and has been led by the Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, P.C. (the first female Chief Justice) since 2000.Sony DSC-P5 Digital Camera Battery

Its nine members are appointed by the governor general on the advice of the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice. All judges at the superior and appellate levels are appointed after consultation with nongovernmental legal bodies. The federal cabinet also appoints justices to superior courts at the provincial and territorial levels. Dell Inspiron 6400 Adapter

Judicial posts at the lower provincial and territorial levels are filled by their respective governments.

Common law prevails everywhere except in Quebec, where civil law predominates. Criminal law is solely a federal responsibility and is uniform throughout Canada.Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS Battery

Law enforcement, including criminal courts, is a provincial responsibility, but in rural areas of all provinces except Ontario and Quebec, policing is contracted to the federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police.Sony NP-FP50 Battery

Foreign relations and military

Canada and the United States share the world's longest undefended border, co-operate on military campaigns and exercises, and are each other's largest trading partner. Canada nevertheless has an independent foreign policy, most notably maintaining full relations with Cuba and declining to officially participate in the Iraq War.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

Canada also maintains historic ties to the United Kingdom and France and to other former British and French colonies through Canada's membership in the Commonwealth of Nations and the Francophonie. Canada is noted for having a positive relationship with the Netherlands, Dell Latitude D820 Adapter

and the Dutch government traditionally gives tulips, a symbol of the Netherlands, to Canada each year in remembrance of the latter's contribution to its liberation. Canada currently employs a professional, volunteer military force of over 67,000 regular and approximately 43,000 reserve personnel including supplementary reserves.Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

The unified Canadian Forces (CF) comprise the army, navy, and air force.

Strong attachment to the British Empire and Commonwealth led to major participation in British military efforts in the Second Boer War, the First World War, and the Second World War. Since then, Canada has been an advocate for multilateralism, making efforts to resolve global issues in collaboration with other nations.Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery

Canada was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945 and of NATO in 1949. During the Cold War, Canada was a major contributor to UN forces in the Korean War and founded the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in cooperation with the United States to defend against potential aerial attacks from the Soviet Union. Dell Latitude D830 Battery

During the Suez Crisis of 1956, future Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson eased tensions by proposing the inception of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force, for which he was awarded the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize. As this was the first UN peacekeeping mission, Pearson is often credited as the inventor of the concept.Toshiba Satellite M65 battery

Canada has since served in 50 peacekeeping missions, including every UN peacekeeping effort until 1989, and has since maintained forces in international missions in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere; Canada has sometimes faced controversy over its involvement in foreign countries, notably in the 1993 Somalia Affair.Toshiba NB100 Battery

The number of Canadian military personnel participating in peacekeeping missions has decreased greatly in the past two decades.

Canada joined the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1990 and hosted the OAS General Assembly in Windsor, Ontario, in June 2000 and the third Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in April 2001.Toshiba Satellite P10 Battery

Canada seeks to expand its ties to Pacific Rim economies through membership in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC).

Since 2001, Canada has had troops deployed in Afghanistan as part of the U.S. stabilization force and the UN-authorized, NATO-commanded International Security Assistance Force.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

Canada has committed to withdraw fromKandahar Province by 2011, by which time it will have spent an estimated total of $11.3 billion on the mission. Canada and the U.S. continue to integrate state and provincial agencies to strengthen security along the Canada-United States border through the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Sony VGN-FW11S Battery

In February 2007, Canada, Italy, Britain, Norway, and Russia announced their funding commitments to launch a $1.5 billion project to help develop vaccines they said could save millions of lives in poor nations, and called on others to join them. In August 2007, Canadian sovereignty in Arctic waters was challenged after a Russian underwater expedition to the North Pole; Hp pavilion dv6000 battery

Canada has considered that area to be sovereign territory since 1925 In July 2010 the largest purchase in Canadian military history, totaling C$9 billion for the acquisition of 65 F-35 fighters was announced by the federal government. Canada is one of several nations that assisted in the development of the F-35 and has invested over C$168 million into the program. Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery

Provinces and territories

Canada is a federation composed of ten provinces and three territories. In turn, these may be grouped into regions: Western Canada, Central Canada, Atlantic Canada, and Northern Canada (Eastern Canada refers to Central Canada and Atlantic Canada together). Provinces have more autonomy than territories.Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery

The provinces are responsible for most of Canada's social programs (such as health care, education, and welfare) and together collect more revenue than the federal government, an almost unique structure among federations in the world. Using its spending powers, the federal government can initiate national policies in provincial areas,HP NX8200 battery

such as the Canada Health Act; the provinces can opt out of these, but rarely do so in practice. Equalization payments are made by the federal government to ensure that reasonably uniform standards of services and taxation are kept between the richer and poorer provinces. HP NX7400 battery

Economy

Canada is one of the world's wealthiest nations, with a high per-capita income, and it is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the G8. It is one of the world's top ten trading nations.HP NW8440 battery

Canada is a mixed market, ranking above the U.S. on the Heritage Foundation's index of economic freedom and higher than most western European nations. The largest foreign importers of Canadian goods are the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.HP NW8200 battery

In the past century, the growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy to a more industrial and urban one. Like other First World nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians.HP NC6400 battery

Canada is unusual among developed countries in the importance of its primary sector, in which the logging and petroleum industries are two of the most important.

Canada is one of the few developed nations that are net exporters of energy.HP NC6200 battery

Atlantic Canada has vast offshore deposits of natural gas, and Alberta has large oil and gas resources. The immense Athabasca Oil Sands give Canada the world's second-largest oil reserves, behind Saudi Arabia.

Canada is one of the world's largest suppliers of agricultural products; the Canadian Prairies are one of the most important producers of wheat, canola, and other grains.HP NC6100 battery

Canada is the largest producer of zinc and uranium, and is a global source of many other natural resources, such as gold, nickel, aluminum, and lead. Many towns in northern Canada, where agriculture is difficult, are sustainable because of nearby mines or sources of timber.HP NC6000 battery

Canada also has a sizable manufacturing sector centred in southern Ontario and Quebec, with automobiles and aeronautics representing particularly important industries.

Economic integration with the United States has increased significantly since World War II. HP 6710B battery

The Automotive Products Trade Agreement of 1965 opened the borders to trade in the auto manufacturing industry. In the 1970s, concerns over energy self-sufficiency and foreign ownership in the manufacturing sectors prompted Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's Liberal government to enact the National Energy Program (NEP) and the Foreign Investment Review Agency (FIRA).HP 6530B battery

In the 1980s, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives abolished the NEP and changed the name of FIRA to "Investment Canada" in order to encourage foreign investment. The Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA) of 1988 eliminated tariffs between the two countries, while the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) expanded the free-trade zone to include Mexico in the 1990s.HP 6510B battery

In the mid-1990s, the Liberal government under Jean Chrétien began to post annual budgetary surpluses and steadily paid down the national debt. The 2008 global financial crisis caused a recession, which could increase the country's unemployment rate to 10 percent.HP Pavilion DV6-1020ED Battery

In 2008, Canada's imported goods were worth over $442.9 billion, of which $280.8 billion was from the United States, $11.7 billion from Japan, and $11.3 billion from the United Kingdom. The country’s 2009 trade deficit totaled C$4.8 billion, compared with a C$46.9 billion surplus in 2008.Dell Latitude E6400 battery

As of October 2009, Canada's national unemployment rate was 8.6 percent. Provincial unemployment rates vary from a low of 5.8 percent in Manitoba to a high of 17 percent in Newfoundland and Labrador. Between October 2008, and October 2010, the Canadian labour market lost 162,000 full-time jobs and a total of 224,000 permanent jobs.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO laptop battery

Canada's federal debt is estimated to be $566.7 billion for 2010–11, up from $463.7 billion in 2008–09. Canada’s net foreign debt rose by $40.6-billion to $193.8-billion in the first quarter of 2010.

Science and technology

Canada is an industrial nation with a highly developed science and technology sector.Apple A1281 battery

Nearly 1.88 percent of Canada's GDP is allocated to research & development (R&D). The country has eighteen Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry and medicine. Canada ranks 12 in the world for Internet usage with 28.0 million users, 84.3 percent of the total population.Apple A1280 battery

The Canadian Space Agency conducts space, planetary, and aviation research, as well as develops rockets and satellites. In 1984, Marc Garneau became Canada's first astronaut, serving as payload specialist of STS-41-G. Canada was ranked third among 20 top countries in space sciences.Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

Canada is a participant in the International Space Station and one of the world's pioneers in space robotics with the Canadarm, Canadarm2 and Dextre. Since the 1960s, Canada Aerospace Industries have designed and built 10 satellites, including RADARSAT-1, RADARSAT-2 and MOST.Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

Canada also produced one of the most successful sounding rockets, the Black Brant; over 1000 have been launched since they were initially produced in 1961. Universities across Canada are working on the first domestic landing spacecraft: the Northern Light, designed to search for life on Mars and investigate Martian electromagnetic radiation environment and atmospheric properties. Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/L Battery

If the Northern Light is successful, Canada will be the third country to land on another planet.

Demographics

The Canada 2006 Census counted a total population of 31,612,897, an increase of 5.4 percent since 2001.HP 448007-001 battery

Population growth is from immigration and, to a lesser extent, natural growth. About four-fifths of Canada's population lives within 150 kilometres (93 mi) of the United States border. A similar proportion live in urban areas concentrated in the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, the BC Lower Mainland, and the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor in Alberta.Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

According to the 2006 census, the largest self-reported ethnic origin is Canadian (32%), followed by English (21%), French (15.8%), Scottish (15.1%), Irish (13.9%),German (10.2%), Italian (4.6%), Chinese (4.3%), First Nations (4.0%), Ukrainian (3.9%), and Dutch (3.3%).HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

There are 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands encompassing 1,172,790 people.

Canada's Aboriginal population is growing at almost twice the national rate, and 3.8 percent of Canada's population claimed aboriginal identity in 2006. Another 16.2 percent of the population belonged to non-aboriginal visible minorities.Compaq CQ35-100 battery

The largest visible minority groups in Canada are South Asian (4.0%), Chinese (3.9%) andBlack (2.5%). In 2006, 51.0 percent of Vancouver's population and 46.9 percent of Toronto's population were members of visible minority groups. Between 2001 and 2006, the visible minority population rose by 27.2 percent.HP DV9700 battery

As of 2007, almost one in five Canadians (19.8%) were foreign-born. Nearly 60 percent of new immigrants come from Asia (including the Middle East). The leading emigrating countries to Canada were China, Philippines and India. By 2031, one in three Canadians could belong to a visible minority group. Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

Canada has one of the highest per-capita immigration rates in the world, driven by economic policy and family reunification, and is aiming for between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in 2011, the same number of immigrants as in recent years.HP Pavilion DV8 battery

New immigrants settle mostly in major urban areas like Toronto and Vancouver.Canada also accepts large numbers of refugees. The country resettles over one in 10 of the world’s refugees.

In common with many other developed countries, Canada is experiencing a demographic shift towards an older population, with more retirees and fewer people of working age. Compaq CQ50 battery

In 2006, the average age of the population was 39.5 years.

Support for religious pluralism is an important part of Canada's political culture. According to the 2001 census, 77.1 percent of Canadians identify as being Christians; of this, Catholics make up the largest group (43.6% of Canadians).HP Pavilion DV7 battery

The largest Protestant denomination is the United Church of Canada (9.5% of Canadians), followed by the Anglicans (6.8%), Baptists (2.4%), Lutherans (2%), and other Christians (4.4%).About 16.5 percent of Canadians declare no religious affiliation, and the remaining 6.3 percent are affiliated with non-Christian religions, the largest of which is Islam (2.0%), followed by Judaism (1.1%).Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

Canadian provinces and territories are responsible for education. Each system is similar, while reflecting regional history, culture and geography.  The mandatory school age ranges between 5–7 to 16–18 years,contributing to an adult literacy rate of 99 percent.Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

In 2002, 43 percent of Canadians aged 25 to 64 possessed a post-secondary education; for those aged 25 to 34, the rate of post-secondary education reached 51 percent.

Language

Canada's two official languages are English and French. Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

Official bilingualism is defined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Official Languages Act, and Official Language Regulations; it is applied by the Commissioner of Official Languages. English and French have equal status in federal courts, Parliament, and in all federal institutions. SONY VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

op.co.uk/sony-vaio-vgn-fw21e-battery.html">Citizens have the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either English or French, and official-language minorities are guaranteed their own schools in all provinces and territories.

English and French are the mother tongues of 59.7 and 23.2 percent of the population respectively.Asus M52N Battery

Approximately 98 percent of Canadians speak English or French: 57.8% speak English only, 22.1% speak French only, and 17.4% speak both. English and French Official Language Communities, defined by First Official Language Spoken, constitute 73.0 and 23.6 percent of the population respectively. Dell Latitude E6400 ATG Battery

The Charter of the French Language makes French the official language in Quebec. Although more than 85 percent of French-speaking Canadians live in Quebec, there are substantial Francophonepopulations in Ontario, Alberta, and southern Manitoba; Ontario has the largest French-speaking population outside Quebec.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery

New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province, has a French-speaking Acadian minority constituting 33 percent of the population. There are also clusters of Acadians in southwestern Nova Scotia, on Cape Breton Island, and through central and western Prince Edward Island.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery

Other provinces have no official languages as such, but French is used as a language of instruction, in courts, and for other government services in addition to English. Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec allow for both English and French to be spoken in the provincial legislatures, and laws are enacted in both languages. SONY VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery

In Ontario, French has some legal status but is not fully co-official. There are 11 Aboriginal language groups, made up of more than 65 distinct dialects.Of these, only Cree, Inuktitut and Ojibway have a large enough population of fluent speakers to be considered viable to survive in the long term.SONY VAIO VGN-FW33GW Battery

Several aboriginal languages have official status in the Northwest Territories. Inuktitut is the majority language in Nunavut, and one of three official languages in the territory.

Over six million people in Canada list a non-official language as their mother tongue.Dell XPS M1210 Battery

Some of the most common non-official first languages include Chinese (mainly Cantonese; 1,012,065 first-language speakers), Italian (455,040), German (450,570), Punjabi (367,505) and Spanish (345,345).  and the languages most spoken at home by 68.3 percent and 22.3 percent of the population respectively.Dell KM958 battery

Culture

Canada has a diverse makeup of nationalities and cultures, and has constitutional protection for policies that promote multiculturalism rather than a single national myth.Dell Studio 1555 battery

In Quebec, cultural identity is strong, and many French-speaking commentators speak of a culture of Quebec as distinguished from English Canadian culture, however as a whole Canada is a cultural mosaic — collection of several regional, aboriginal, and ethnic subcultures.Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

Government policies such as publicly-funded health care, higher taxation to distribute wealth, outlawing capital punishment, strong efforts to eliminate poverty, an emphasis on multiculturalism, imposing strict gun control, leniency in regard to drug use and most recently legalizing same-sex marriage are social indicators of how Canada's political and cultural evolution differs from that of the United States.Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery

Historically Canada has been influenced by British, French, and aboriginal cultures and traditions. Many North American Indigenous words, inventions and games have become part of Canadian language and use. Through their culture, art and music, aboriginals continue to influence the Canadian identity.Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery

Many Canadians value multiculturalism and see Canada as being inherently multicultural.However, the country's culture has been heavily influenced by that of the United States because of its proximity and the high rate of migration between the two countries.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery

The great majority of English-speaking immigrants to Canada between 1755 and 1815 were Americans from the Thirteen Colonies; during and immediately after the American Revolutionary War, 46,000Americans loyal to the British crown immigrated to Canada to join 20,000 Anglophone settlers who had largely immigrated earlier.Sony VGP-BPL9 battery

Between 1785 and 1812, thousands more Americans immigrated to Canada in response to promises of land. In 1812 the vast majority of English-speaking Canadians were immigrants from what had been the thirteen southern colonies or were their descendants.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery

American media and entertainment are popular, if not dominant, in English Canada; conversely, many Canadian cultural products and entertainers are successful in the United States and worldwide. Many cultural products are marketed toward a unified "North American" or global market. Sony VGP-BPL15 battery

The creation and preservation of distinctly Canadian culture are supported by federal government programs, laws, and institutions such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the National Film Board of Canada, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery

Canadian visual art has been dominated by Tom Thomson — Canada's most famous painter — and by the Group of Seven. Thomson's brief career painting Canadian landscapes spanned just a decade up to his death in 1917 at age 39. The Group were painters with a nationalistic and idealistic focus, who first exhibited their distinctive works in May 1920. HP Pavilion dv8000 battery

Though referred to as having seven members, five artists — Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley — were responsible for articulating the Group's ideas. They were joined briefly by Frank Johnston, and by commercial artist Franklin Carmichael. A. J. Casson became part of the Group in 1926.HP PAVILION DV6000 Battery

Associated with the Group was another prominent Canadian artist, Emily Carr, known for her landscapes and portrayals of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast.

The Canadian music industry has produced internationally renowned composers, musicians and ensembles.HP PAVILION DV8000 Battery

Canada's music broadcasting is regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences administers Canada's music industry awards, the Juno Awards, which commenced in 1970.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery

The national anthem of Canada O Canada adopted in 1980, was originally commissioned by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, the Honourable Théodore Robitaille, for the 1880 St. Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony. Calixa Lavalléewrote the music, which was a setting of a patriotic poem composed by the poet and judge Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier.HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

The text was originally only in French, before it was translated to English in 1906.

Canada's official national sports are ice hockey and lacrosse. Hockey is a national pastime and the most popular spectator sport in the country. It is also the sport most played by Canadians, with 1.65 million participants in 2004.HP Pavilion DV8000 battery

Canada's six largest metropolitan areas—Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, and Edmonton—have franchises in the National Hockey League (NHL), and there are more Canadian players in the NHL than from all other countries combined. Other popular spectator sports include curling and football; HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

the latter is played professionally in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Golf, baseball,skiing, soccer, cricket, volleyball, and basketball are widely played at youth and amateur levels, but professional leagues and franchises are not widespread.HP Pavilion DV8000 battery

Canada has hosted several high-profile international sporting events, including the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, and the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Canada was the host nation for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

Canada's national symbols are influenced by natural, historical, and Aboriginal sources. The use of the maple leaf as a Canadian symbol dates to the early 18th century. The maple leaf is depicted on Canada's current and previous flags, on the penny, and on the Coat of Arms.Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

Other prominent symbols include the beaver, Canada Goose, Common Loon, the Crown, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and more recently, the totem pole and Inukshuk.

Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery

Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area, and shares land borders with the United States to the south and northwest, and marine borders with France and Greenland on the east and northeast, respectively.Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery

The lands have been inhabited for millennia by various groups of aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored and later settled the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763 after the Seven Years War. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery

In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began anaccretion of additional provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom, Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/T Battery

highlighted by the Statute of Westminster in 1931 and culminating in the Canada Act in 1982 which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

Canada is a federation that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

It is a bilingual andmulticultural country, with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. Technologically advanced and industrialized, Canada maintains a diversified economy that is heavily reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has a long and complex relationship.Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery

The politics of Toronto begins with residents of Toronto, Ontario, Canada electing representatives to the federal, provincial, and municipallevels of government. A total of 23 Members of Parliament (MPs) representing Toronto sit in the House of Commons in Ottawa (the federal capital), Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery

and another 22 Members of Ontario's Provincial Parliament (MPPs) sit in the Legislative Assembly at Queen's Park, in Toronto. Being Ontario's capital, many provincial offices are located in the city.

n terms of electoral politics, Toronto has recently been an important source of support for the Liberal Party both federally and provincially, except in the downtown area which tends to support the NDP provincially.Dell Studio 1450 Battery

The federal Conservative Party and the provincial Progressive Conservative Party have historically been weaker in the city, although many of the more right-leaning members of the Liberal Party are from Toronto. However, Toronto has often supported the Progressive Conservative party in the past and in the 2011 Canadian Federal Election, Dell Studio 1457 Battery

Torontonians sent seven Conservative MPs to Ottawa. More recently, large parts of Toronto supported the right wing government of Mike Harris during the1995 and 1999 Ontario elections, and a right wing Mayor, Mel Lastman during the 1997 and 2000 Toronto elections.Dell Latitude D610 Battery

In the 2006 federal election, the Conservative Party was completely shut out of Toronto and was largely unsuccessful in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). At the same time, the NDP increased their seats in Toronto proper from one to three.Toshiba Satellite M60 battery

Recently, prominent federal politicians including Paul Martin and later Jack Layton (NDP leader and for 20 years aToronto City Councillor) began promising a "new deal for cities", and large banks began issuing papers on it. As of July 2005, signs point to some degree of awareness towards the problems facing the city by the two senior levels of governments, Dell Latitude D830 Battery

although willingness to address them remains uncertain. In the January 2006 federal election, the federal government was formed by Stephen Harper's Conservative Party, which won no seats in the three large urban centres, and appeared to have a very limited interest in big-city issues. This has thrown the "new deal" into even greater uncertainty.Dell Latitude D620 Battery

On December 14, 2005, new legislation regarding the governance of Toronto was introduced in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The new Stronger City of Toronto for a Stronger Ontario Act, 2005, is expected to grant broad powers, including the ability to switch to astrong mayor system, to the local government when approved .Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery

The Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto was a senior level of municipal government in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada area from 1954 to 1998. It was created out of York County and was a precursor to the later concept of a regional municipality, being formed of smaller municipalities but having more responsibilities than a county or district.Sony VGN-FW11S Battery

It was commonly referred to as "Metro" or "Metro Toronto" to avoid confusion with the former City of Toronto, which was one of its constituent municipalities. Passage of the 1997 City of Toronto Act caused the 1998 amalgamation, ending Metro Toronto.Sony VGN-FW11M Battery

The boundary of present-day Toronto is the same as that of Metropolitan Toronto at the time of its dissolution: Lake Ontario to the south, Etobicoke Creek and highway 427 to the west, Steeles Avenue to the north and the Rouge River to the east. Metropolitan Toronto consisted of all the hamlets, villages, townships, towns, and cities within those boundaries.Sony VGN-FW139E/H battery

City and suburbs

Prior to the formation of Metro, the municipalities surrounding the central City of Toronto were all independent towns and villages. All were members of York County, which provided a minimal amount of services. After 1912, the city no longer annexed suburbs.Dell Latitude E5400 Battery

The prevailing sentiment was that the higher costs of providing services in the suburbs provided nothing in return to the existing taxpayer in the City. At times the suburbs asked to be annexed but the city chose not to do so.Dell Latitude E4200 Battery

In 1924, Conservative cabinet minister George S. Henry, who had been a warden of York County, was the first to propose a 'metropolitan district' with its own council from the city and the county to administer shared services. He wrote a draft bill, but the government chose not to act on it.Dell Inspiron 300M Battery

The Great Depression saw almost all of the town and villages of the County go insolvent and taken over by the province. In 1933, Henry, now the premier, appointed a formal inquiry into forming a metropolitan district. York County proposed a 'metropolitan county' of Toronto, which would take over several services in the city and the surrounding suburbs. Dell Studio 1737 battery

The inquiry died with the defeat of Henry in 1934.

The Liberal government named the first minister of municipal affairs, David A. Croll, and introduced a draft bill to amalgamate the City and the built-up suburbs.Dell Inspiron E1505 battery

The draft bill faced strong opposition in Toronto and was withdrawn. The government then started its own inquiry into issues of the suburbs surrounding Toronto. Through consensus, it came to the conclusion that a metropolitan county was the best solution. The inquiry reported in September 1939, and its conclusions put aside for the duration of World War II.Dell RM791 battery

Two factors changed in the 1940s. The Conservatives were elected in 1943, with a changed policy, intending to promote economic growth through government action. Also in 1943, the first Master Plan was adopted in Toronto. It recognized that future growth would take place in the vacant land of adjacent suburbs.Acer Aspire One battery 10400mAh

Planning would have to take into account the whole metropolitan area.

Forest Hill reeve Fred Gardiner, who was well-connected to the Conservative premier George Drew through his political connections, now promoted the idea of ambitious new programs to lay the capital infrastructure for growth. Dell Precision M70 Battery

In 1946, the province passed the Planning Act required each urban municipality to have its own Planning Board. York County formed its own Toronto and Suburban Planning Board, under the chairmanship of James P. Maher, and the vice-chairmanship of Fred Gardiner. Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery

The Board promoted specific projects, and promoted a suburban 'green belt', a unified system of arterial roads and the creation of a single public transit network.

The Board was ineffective. Projects such as a bridge across the Don River Valley, and the Spadina Road Extension (the basis for the later Spadina Expressway) were rejected by the local municipalities. Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery

Gardiner, elected to chairman of the board in 1949, wrote to Premier Leslie Frost that only a unified municipality could measure up to the problems. In 1950, the City of Toronto Council voted to adopt an amalgamated city, while nearly all of the suburbs rejected the amalgamation.Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery

From 1950 until 1951 Ontario Municipal Board held hearings on the proposal, under the chairmanship of Lorne Cumming. The Board worked until 1953, releasing its report on January 20, 1953. Cumming's report proposed a compromise solution, two-tiered government,Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery

with the formation of a Metropolitan government, governed by a Metropolitan Council, to provide strategic functions, while existing municipalities would retain all other services. He rejected full amalgamation, citing a need to preserve 'a government which is very close to the local residents.' Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery

The Frost government moved immediately and on February 25, 1953, introduced the bill to create the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. The new municipality would have the power to tax real estate and borrow funds on its own. It would be responsible for arterial roads, major sewage and water facilities, Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery

regional planning, public transportation, administration of justice, metropolitan parks and housing issues as needed. The municipalities retained their individual fire and police departments, business licensing, public health and libraries. SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

The Council would have its own chairman, selected by the province initially, then to be elected by the Council itself after 1995. Premier Frost convinced Fred Gardiner, who still preferred amalgamation, over the metro scheme, to take the job. Gardiner was well known to Frost through the Conservative Party, was well-off, was felt to be beyond personal corruption.SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

Gardiner accepted the position partly due to his friendship with Frost, and he demanded that he retain his corporate connections. He also felt that the job would be "bigger than anything he had tried before." The bill to form Metro was passed on April 2, 1953. The Gardiner appointment was announced on April 7.Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

Formation

In Canada, the creation of municipalities falls under provincial jurisdiction. Thus it was provincial legislation, the Metropolitan Toronto Act, that created this level of government in 1953. When it took effect in 1954, Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery

the portion of York County south of Steeles Avenue, a concession road and township boundary, was severed from the county and incorporated as the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. The area north of Steeles remained in York County, which ultimately became York Region in 1971.Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

Metro Toronto was composed of the City of Toronto, the towns of New Toronto, Mimico, Weston, and Leaside; the villages of Long Branch, Swansea, andForest Hill; and the townships of Etobicoke, York, North York, East York, and Scarborough.Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

The Metropolitan Toronto Council initially consisted of 12 councillors from Toronto (including the mayor), and one representative (usually a mayor or reeve) from each of the surrounding municipalities. Metropolitan Toronto also had planning authority over the surrounding townships such as Vaughan,Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

Markham, andPickering, although these areas did not have representation on Metro Council.

Growth and mergers

Gardiner was Metro Chairman from 1953 until 1961. Under his leadership, Metropolitan Toronto invested in numerous infrastructure projects, including the opening of the first subway line, Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

start of construction of the second subway line, water and sewage treatment facilities, rental housing for the aged and the Gardiner Expressway, named after Gardiner. Metro also amalgamated the various police forces into one in 1956. It was a period of high growth. The city's population increased from one million to 1.6 million by the time he left office.Dell Inspiron Mini 12 battery

As a result of continued growth, the province reorganized Metro in 1967. The seven small towns and villages, which were no longer any denser than the surrounding areas, were merged into neighboring municipalities. This left the City of Toronto and the five townships, which at this time were redesignated as boroughs (all but East York later chose to be designated as cities).Dell Inspiron 1720 battery

Long Branch, New Toronto, and Mimico were absorbed back into Etobicoke; Weston was absorbed into York; Leaside into East York; and Swansea and Forest Hill, into Toronto. The reorganized Metropolitan Toronto adopted a flag and decal using a symbol of six rings representing the six municipalities.Dell Inspiron 1564 battery

As the seats on Metro Council were reapportioned according to population, the council was now dominated by the suburban majority; but it continued to address suburban and inner city issues in equal measure.Dell Inspiron 1464 battery

Political structure

Originally, members of the Metropolitan Toronto Council also sat on their respective lower-tier councils; they were not directly elected to the upper-tier council, and because Toronto councillors often voted in a bloc, inner-city issues tended to dominate. The arrangement was achieved by electing two members in each ward.Dell XPS 1340 battery

The person who achieved the greatest number of votes was named the senior alderman. The person with the second most votes was the junior alderman. Both aldermen sat on the local council. Only the senior alderman sat on Metro Council. The Province of Ontario changed this arrangement in 1988, requiring direct elections to Metro Council and severing the links between the two tiers. Dell INSPIRON 9100 battery

Now only the mayors of the six member municipalities sat on both the upper-tier and lower-tier councils. Metropolitan Toronto became more difficult to manage, and the incentive for the lower-tier councillors to scapegoat Metro council (which they no longer sat on) increased tensions.Dell Inspiron N4010 battery

The first Chairman of Metropolitan Toronto, Fred Gardiner, was appointed by the province; subsequent chairmen were elected by Metro Council itself. The Metro Chairman was, for many years, an ex-officio member of the Council without having to be elected to Metro Council by constituents as either a local mayor,controller, alderman or councillor. Dell N3010 battery

Beginning in 1988, the position of chairman was chosen by council members from amongst its own members (excluding mayors who could vote for Metro Councillor but could no longer run for the position).

As usual in Ontario municipalities, all of these councils were non-partisan, although in later years some councillors (and candidates) did identify themselves explicitly as New Democratic Party members. Metro councillors were elected by plurality.HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA battery

Amalgamation

By the 1990s, many people believed that Metropolitan Toronto, set up to encompass the urban region of Toronto, was no longer relevant since it constituted barely 50% of what was becoming known as the Greater Toronto Area. On the other hand, its residents often felt more concerned with local matters than Metro-wide ones. HP Pavilion DM4 battery

When a City of Toronto election ballot included a non-binding referendum question on eliminating the Metro level of government, there was a substantial vote in favour.

In the 1995 provincial election, Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Mike Harris campaigned on reducing the level of government in Ontario, and promised to examine Metropolitan Toronto with an eye to eliminating it.HP Pavilion DM3 battery

However, in the end the Harris government announced what they saw as a superior cost-saving plan: Metro Toronto would be amalgamated with its six member municipalities to form a new City of Toronto. In effect, the existing City of Toronto and the other five municipalities would be abolished and the larger Metro government retained.Compaq CQ35-100 battery

The announcement touched off vociferous public objections to what the media termed the "megacity" plan. In March 1997 a referendum in all six municipalities produced a vote of more than 3:1 against amalgamation; in April, both opposition parties held a filibuster in the provincial legislature. HP DV9700 battery

But the Harris government, with a large majority, passed the City of Toronto Act. The amalgamation would take place effective January 1, 1998, at which time a new City of Toronto came into existence.

City Hall and Metro Hall

At its inception in 1953, Metro was headquartered at a six-floor building at 67 Adelaide Street East (now home to Adelaide Resource Centre for Women). HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

When the new Toronto City Hall opened in 1965, one of its twin towers was intended for Metro Toronto offices and the other for the City of Toronto; the two councils shared the central Council Chamber. Eventually this space proved inadequate and committee facilities and councillors' offices were relocated to an office tower at the southwest corner of Bay and Richmond StreetHP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 battery

(390 Bay Street), across from City Hall; Metro Council continued to meet in the City Hall council chamber. Finally, in 1992, the Metro government moved out of Toronto City Hall altogether and into a newly constructed Metro Hall at 55 John Street, which was designed by Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects (BBB Architects).HP Pavilion ZD8227 battery

The amalgamated council chose to meet at City Hall, though it temporarily met at Metro Hall while City Hall was retrofitted for the enlarged council. Metro Hall continues to be used as office space by the City of Toronto.HP Compaq Business Notebook TC4400 battery

Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. Located in the Ottawa Valley, the city lies in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario on the Ottawa River, a major waterway forming the local boundary between the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL battery

Ottawa is connected by several bridges to its Quebec neighbour on the shores of the Ottawa River — the city of Gatineau. The two cities and surrounding area are designated the National Capital Region (NCR). Though governed by separate municipal governments, the federal lands within the region are administered by the National Capital Commission (NCC), Compaq Presario 300 battery

a federal crown corporation charged with the responsibility of planning and managing the federal government's interests in the NCR.

In 2006, the city of Ottawa had a population of 812,129, making it the fourth-largest municipality in the country and second-largest in Ontario.HP Compaq Business Notebook 6735S battery

The Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area had a 2006 population of 1,130,761, making it the fourth-largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada. TheNational Capital Region which encompasses Ottawa, Gatineau and surrounding suburbs and towns has an estimated population of 1,451,415.HP Pavilion DV2820EA battery

In 2009 Ottawa-Gatineau's population was estimated at 1,220,674, making it the fifth-largest CMA in Canada.In 2010, Ottawa had the 2nd highest quality of living of any city in the Americas, and 14th highest in the world according to the "Mercer Human Resource Consulting Quality of Living Survey".HP Pavilion DV6373EA battery

It was also considered the 3rd cleanest city in the world by Mercers 2010 eco-city ranking.

History

The Ottawa Valley was long the home of the Odawa or Odaawaa First Nations people. The Odawa are an Algonquian people who called the river the Kichi Sibi or Kichissippi meaning "Great River" or "Grand River".HP Compaq 572190-001 battery

Historical evidence indicates that the Algonquins over time have occupied portions of the lands of the Ottawa River watershed and travelled through surrounding territory as a hunting and gathering society. The Algonquins of Ontario assert that they never surrendered its territory by treaty, sale, or conquest and have made such claims since 1772. Compaq Presario CQ50-105EL battery

In 1983, the Algonquins of Golden Lake (Pikwàkanagàn) presented to the Government of Canada a claim to Aboriginal rights and title within the Ontario portion of the Ottawa and Mattawa River watersheds. Negotiations are ongoing.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

Early European explorers of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers sought new territories, claimed lands in the names of their kings and queens, and sought western passages to India and Asia as well as gold and other precious commodities. Among the first of commercial enterprises to evolve in theNew World after fishing, Compaq Presario CQ71 battery

the fur trade industry, largely influenced by the Hudson's Bay Company, used the Ottawa River and its tributaries as the local conveyance for the delivery of fur products to Europe through Montreal and Quebec City.

The first settlement in the region was led by Philemon Wright, a New Englander from Woburn,HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

Massachusetts who, on March 7, 1800,  arrived with his own and five other families along with twenty-five labourers to start an agricultural community on the north bank of the Ottawa River at the portage to the Chaudière Falls. Compaq Presario CQ70 battery

Food crops were not sufficient to sustain the community and Wright began harvesting trees as a cash crop when he determined that he could transport timber by river from the Ottawa Valley to the Montreal and Quebec City markets, which also exported to Europe. His first raft of squared timber and sawn lumber arrived in Quebec City in 1806.HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

Liked by many European nations for its extremely straight and strong trunk in heavy construction for shipbuilding and housing as well as for furniture, the white pine (Pinus strobus) was found throughout the Ottawa Valley, soon booming based almost exclusively upon the timber trade.HP TouchSmart TX2-1150EG battery

By 1812, the timber trade had overtaken the fur trade as the leading economic activity in the area  as Ottawa became a centre for lumber milling and square-cut lumber in Canada and North America.

In the years following the War of 1812, along with settling some military regiment families (such as the100th Regiment of Foot (Prince Regent's County of Dublin Regiment) at Richmond, Ontario),HP 520 battery

the government began sponsored immigration schemes which brought over Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants to settle the Ottawa area, which began a steady stream of Irish immigration there in the next few decades. Along with French Canadianswho crossed over from Quebec, Asus ADP-36EH C Adapter

these two groups provided the bulk of workers involved in the Rideau Canal project and the booming timber trade, both instrumental in putting Ottawa on the map.

The region's population grew significantly when the canal was completed by Colonel John By in 1832.Dell PA-10 Adapter

It was intended to provide a secure route between Montreal and Kingston on Lake Ontario, by-passing the stretch of the St. Lawrence River bordering New York State (the U.S invasions of Canada in the War of 1812 being a recent memory). Construction of the canal began at the northern end, Delta ADP-90FB Adapter

where Colonel By set up a military barracks on what later became Parliament Hill, and laid out a townsite that soon became known as Bytown. Original city leaders of Bytown include a number of Wright's sons, most notably Ruggles Wright. Nicholas Sparks, Braddish Billingsand Abraham Dow were the first to settle on the Ontario side of the Ottawa river.http://www.battery-pack.co.uk/

The west side of the canal, with its higher elevation, became known as "Uppertown" where the Parliament buildings are located, while the east side of the canal (wedged between the canal and Rideau River) was known as the "Lowertown". Lowertown was then a crowded, boisterous shanty town, Delta ADP-90FB Adapter

frequently receiving the worst of disease epidemics, such as the Cholera outbreak in 1832, and typhus in 1847. Bytown was renamed Ottawa in 1855, when it was incorporated as a city.

Canada's capital

On December 31, 1857, Queen Victoria was asked to choose a common capital for the Province of Canada (modern day Ontario and Quebec) and chose Ottawa.Dell PA-10 Adapter

While Ottawa is now a major metropolis and Canada's fourth largest city, at the time it was a sometimes unruly logging town in the hinterland, far away from the colony's main cities,Quebec City and Montreal in Canada East, and Kingston and Toronto in Canada West.Dell PA-12 Adapter

The Queen's advisers suggested she pick Ottawa for several important reasons: 1) it was the only settlement of any significant size located right on the border of Canada East and Canada West (today Quebec and Ontario), making it a compromise between the two colonies and their French and English populations;Asus ADP-36EH C Adapter

2) the War of 1812 had shown how vulnerable major Canadian cities were to American attack, since they were all located very close to the border, while Ottawa was then surrounded by dense forest far from the border; and 3) the government owned a large parcel of land on a spectacular spot overlooking the Ottawa River.Dell Inspiron 6400 Adapter

Ottawa's position in the back country made it more defensible, while still allowing easy transportation over the Ottawa River to Canada East, and over theRideau Canal to Canada West. Two other considerations were that Ottawa was at a point nearly exactly midway between Toronto and Quebec City (500 kilometres (310 mi)), Dell Inspiron 1520 Adapter

and that the small size of the town made it less likely that politically motivated mobs could go on a rampage and destroy government buildings, as had happened in the previous Canadian capitals. The Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal network meant that Ottawa could be supplied by water from Kingston and Montreal without going along the potentially treacherous US-Canada border.Dell Inspiron 1525 Charger

At the time of the decision, the Ottawa-to-Prescott, Ontario railway had already been in operation for two years. Thus, another factor in the advisement was the knowledge that Ottawa would soon have railway connections to Toronto and Montreal via Brockville (by 1859 it turned out), and thus access to other connecting rail lines in Canada and the United States in the very near future.HP Pavilion DV6000 Adapter

Thus, Ottawa would still be relatively isolated and thus defensible, but yet would soon be more easily accessible by water and rail, which would be essential for a permanent capital. In 1866, the legislature was finally moved to Ottawa, after a few years of alternating between Toronto and Quebec City.Dell Latitude D820 Charger

Regional master plan

The original Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa was destroyed by fire on February 3, 1916. The House of Commons and Senate were temporarily relocated to the recently constructed Victoria Memorial Museum, currently the Canadian Museum of Nature, located about 1 km (1 mi) south of Parliament Hill on McLeod Street at Metcalfe Street.HP Pavilion DV9000 AC Adapter

A new Centre Block was completed in 1922, the centrepiece of which is a dominant Gothicrevival styled structure known as the Peace Tower, which has become a common emblem of the city. Later on, French urban planner Jacques Greberwas hired to work on a master plan for the National Capital Region (the Greber Plan).Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

Jacques Greber was the creator of the National Capital Greenbelt, the Parkway System, as well as many other projects throughout the NCR. He was also responsible for taking out Ottawa's vast streetcar system and closing down historic Downtown Union Station in favour of a suburban station several kilometres to the east.Sony VGP-BPS9 Battery

In the 1960s through 1980s, the National Capital Region experienced a building boom, proportionally reflecting that of Montreal and Toronto.

Soviet espionage discovered

On September 5, 1945, only days after the end of World War II, Ottawa was the site of the event that many people consider to be the official start of theCold War. Sony VGP-BPS12 Battery

A Soviet cipher clerk, Igor Gouzenko, defected from the Soviet embassy with over 100 secret documents. At first, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) refused to take the documents, as the Soviets were still allies of Canada and Britain, and the newspapers were not interested in the story.Dell Inspiron 6400 Battery

After hiding out for a night in a neighbour's apartment, listening to his own home being searched, Gouzenko finally persuaded the RCMP to look at his evidence, which provided proof of a massive Soviet spy network operating in western countries, and, indirectly, led to the discovery that the Soviets were working on an atomic bomb to match that developed during the Manhattan Project.Dell Inspiron 1525 Battery

Regional amalgamation

In 2001, the old city of Ottawa (estimated 2005 population 350,000) was amalgamated with the suburbs of Cumberland (55,000), Gloucester (120,000), Kanata (85,000), Nepean (135,000), Orleans(84,695), Rockcliffe Park (2,100),Dell XPS M1530 Battery

and Vanier (17,000), and the rural townships of Goulbourn (24,000), Osgoode (13,000), Rideau (18,000), and West Carleton (18,000) along with the systems and infrastructure of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, to become one municipality.Dell Inspiron 6000 Battery

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