Canada is bordered at the 49th parallel by the United States, on the north by the North Pole, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. (9,093,507 square km) The country's motto, A mari usque ad mare (From sea unto sea) was taken from Psalm 72:8, "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth." Canada is huge, and described in superlative terms; biggest, tallest, deepest, coldest, most beautiful. It has six time zones and about two million lakes, covering nearly 7.6 percent of its landmass. A member of both the British Commonwealth of Nations and la Francophonie; Canada is a constitutional monarchy and a federal state, with a parliamentary/ democratic system of government. It is divided into ten provinces and three territories. The capital city is Ottawa, in the province of Ontario.
In 2011, the population was 33,476,688.
There are two official languages: English and French.
The country ranks sixth in the world in standard of living.
Basic health care, with the exception of dental services, is free at the point of delivery.
Canada recognizes and values its rich ethnic and racial diversity and passed the Canadian Multiculturalism Act in 1988.
Dates of Note in Canadian History:
1534 Jacques Cartier explores the Gulf of St. Lawrence as far as Québec City and Montreal and claims this land for France.
1541 The first French settlement at Charlesbourg-Royal, is established by Jacques Cartier and the Sieur de Roberval.
1608 Québec is founded by Samuel de Champlain.
1670 Hudson's Bay Company is established.
1713 The Treaty of Utrecht gives Britain possession of Hudson Bay, Newfoundland and Acadia (except for Cape Breton).
1812 On 18 June President James Madison declares war on Great Britain (which includes Canada).
1814 The Treaty of Ghent ends hostilities and sets the border between Upper and Lower Canada and the United States.
1867 The three provinces of British North America (Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick) are united in Confederation / The former province of Canada is divided into Ontario and Québec, and Canada West is renamed Ontario (1 July 1867). Canada is born!.
1914 (1914-1918) World War One.
1916 Manitoba is the first province to give women the right to vote.
1917 Canadian Corps takes Vimy Ridge, France (Canada defines itself as an independent nation).
1929 (18 Oct 1929) The 'Persons' Case Decision, Women are declared 'persons' by the British Privy Council.
1949 Newfoundland becomes Canada's 10th province.
1970 Canada 'adopts' the metric system.
1982 The Canadian Constitution Act creates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
1999 (1 Apr 1999) Nunavut becomes Canada's third territory.