Canada 1997Canada

 Canada | | | | | |
| | | :  |


Atlas VPN

Canada - Introduction 1997
top of page

Background: A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, from 1867 on Canada has enjoyed de facto independence while retaining, even to the present day, certain formal ties to the British crown. Economically and technologically the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across an unfortified border. Its paramount political problem continues to be the relationship of the province of Quebec, with its French-speaking residents and unique culture, to the remainder of the country.

Canada - Geography 1997
top of page

Location: Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and North Pacific Ocean, north of the conterminous US

Geographic coordinates: 60 00 N, 95 00 W

Map referenceNorth America

Total: 9,976,140 km²
Land: 9,220,970 km²
Water: 755,170 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than US

Land boundaries
Total: 8,893 km
Border countries: (1) US 8,893 km; (includes 2,477 km

Coastline: 243,791 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north

Terrain: mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast

Extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Mount Logan 5,950 m

Natural resources: nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 5%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 3%
Forests and woodland: 54%
Other: 38% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 7,100 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow

Note: second-largest country in world (after Russia; strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route; nearly 90% of the population is concentrated within 161 km of the US/Canada border

Canada - People 1997
top of page

Population: 30,337,334 (July 1997 est.)
Growth rate: 1.13% (1997 est.)

Noun: Canadian(s)
Adjective: Canadian

Ethnic groups: British Isles origin 40%, French origin 27%, other European 20%, Amerindian 1.5%, other, mostly Asian 11.5%

Languages: English (official), French (official)

Religions: Roman Catholic 45%, United Church 12%, Anglican 8%, other 35% (1991)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 20% (male 3,101,968; female 2,957,927)
15-64 years: 68% (male 10,333,085; female 10,201,996)
65 years and over: 12% (male 1,583,643; female 2,158,715) (July 1997 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.13% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 12.4 births/1000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 7.23 deaths/1000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 6.1 migrant(s)/1000 population (1997 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and damaging forests; metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and vehicle emissions impacting on agricultural and forest productivity; ocean waters becoming contaminated due to agricultural, industrial, mining, and forestry activities

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 5.7 deaths/1000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 78.96 years
Male: 75.61 years
Female: 82.48 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.66 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 97% (1986 est.)
Male: NA%
Female: NA%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Canada - Government 1997
top of page

Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Canada

Government type: confederation with parliamentary democracy

Capital: Ottawa

Administrative divisions: 10 provinces and 2 territories*; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory*
Note: the Northwest Territories will be split in two as of April 1999; the eastern section will be renamed Nunavut, the west is as yet unnamed

Dependent areas

Independence: 1 July 1867 (from UK)

National holiday: Canada Day, 1 July (1867)

Constitution: 17 April 1982 (Constitution Act; originally, the machinery of the government was set up in the British North America Act of 1867; charter of rights and unwritten customs

Legal system: based on English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law system based on French law prevails; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II of the UK (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Romeo LeBLANC (since 8 February 1995)
Head of government: Prime Minister Jean CHRETIEN (since 4 November 1993)
Cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament
Elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; governor general appointed by the queen on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons is automatically designated by the governor general to become prime minister

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (a body whose members are appointed to serve until reaching 75 years of age by the governor general and selected on the advice of the prime minister; its normal limit is 104 senators) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (295 seats; note - number of seats will rise to 301 at the time of the next election; members elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
Elections: House of Commons - last held 25 October 1993 (next to be held by 3 November 1998)
Election results: percent of votes by party - Liberal Party 41%, Reform Party 19%, Tories 16%, Bloc Quebecois 14%, New Democratic Party 7%, other 3%; seats by party - Liberal Party 177, Bloc Quebecois 53, Reform Party 52, New Democratic Party 9, Progressive Conservative Party 2, independents 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the prime minister through the governor general

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACCT, AfDB, AG (observer), APEC, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE (observer), EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, ESA (cooperating state), FAO, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NACC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNPREDEP, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Raymond A. J. CHRETIEN
In the us chancery: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,001
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 682-1740
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 682-7,726
In the us consulates general: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle
In the us consulates: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Princeton, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
From the us embassy: 100 Wellington Street, K1P 5T1, Ottawa
From the us mailing address: P. O. Box 866, Ogdensburg, NY 13,669-0430
From the us telephone: [1] (613) 238-5,335, 4,470
From the us FAX: [1] (613) 238-5,720
From the us consulates general: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, and Vancouver

Flag descriptionflag of Canada: three vertical bands of red (hoist side), white (double width, square), and red with a red maple leaf centered in the white band

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Canada - Economy 1997
top of page

Economy overview: As an affluent, high-tech industrial society, Canada today closely resembles the US in per capita output, market-oriented economic system, and pattern of production. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. Canada started the 1990s in recession, and real rates of growth have averaged only 1.1% so far this decade. Because of slower growth, Canada still faces high unemployment - especially in Quebec and the Maritime Provinces - and a large public sector debt. With its great natural resources, skilled labor force, and modern capital plant, however, Canada will enjoy better economic prospects in the future. The continuing constitutional impasse between English- and French-speaking areas is raising the possibility of a split in the confederation, making foreign investors somewhat edgy.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 1.4% (1996 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 3%
Industry: 31%
Services: 66% (1996)

Agriculture products: wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products; forest products; commercial fisheries provide annual catch of 1.5 million metric tons, of which 75% is exported

Industries: processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, transportation equipment, chemicals, fish products, petroleum and natural gas

Industrial production growth rate: 1.3% (1996)

Labor force
Total: 15.1 million (1996)
By occupation services: 74%
By occupation manufacturing: 15%
By occupation agriculture: 3%
By occupation construction: 5%
By occupation other: 3% (1994)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 9.7% (December 1996)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $94.3 billion
Expenditures: $115.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.7 billion (FY95/96 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Total value: $195.4 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
Commodities: newsprint, wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, machinery, natural gas, aluminum, motor vehicles and parts; telecommunications equipment
Partners: US, Japan, UK, Germany, South Korea, Netherlands, China

Total value: $169.5 billion (c.i.f., 1996 est.)
Commodities: crude oil, chemicals, motor vehicles and parts, durable consumer goods, electronic computers; telecommunications equipment and parts
Partners: US, Japan, UK, Germany, France, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $253 billion (1996)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Canadian dollars (Can$) per US$1 - 1.3486 (January 1997), 1.3635 (1996), 1.37241 (1995), 1.3656 (1994), 1.2901 (1993), 1.2087 (1992)

Canada - Energy 1997
top of page

Electricity access

Electricity production: 547.9 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 16,137 kWh (1995 est.)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Canada - Communication 1997
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: excellent service provided by modern technology
Domestic: domestic satellite system with about 300 earth stations
International: 5 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) and 2 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean Region)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Canada - Military 1997
top of page

Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $9 billion (FY95/96)
Percent of gdp: 1.6% (FY95/96)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Canada - Transportation 1997
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 1,139 (1996 est.)
With paved runways total: 816
With paved runways over 3047 m: 17
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 15
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 138
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 229
With paved runways under 914 m: 417 (1996 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 323
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 55
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 268 (1996 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 816
Over 3047 m: 17
2438 to 3047 m: 15
15-24 to 2437 m: 138
914 to 1523 m: 229
Under 914 m: 417 (1996 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 323
15-24 to 2437 m: 55
914 to 1523 m: 268 (1996 est.)

Heliports: 17 (1996 est.)

Pipelines: crude and refined oil 23,564 km; natural gas 74,980 km

Total: 70,176 km; note - there are two major transcontinental freight railway systems:Canadian National (privatized November 1995) and Canadian Pacific Railway; passenger service provided by government-operated firm VIA, which has no trackage of its own
Standard gauge: 70,000 km 1.435-m gauge (63 km electrified)
Narrow gauge: 176 km 0.914-m gauge (1995)


Waterways: 3,000 km, including Saint Lawrence Seaway

Merchant marine
Total: 60 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 557,941 GRT/775,391 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 14, cargo 9, chemical tanker 4, oil tanker 15, passenger 2, passenger-cargo 1, railcar carrier 2, roll-on/roll-off cargo 8, short-sea passenger 3, specialized tanker 2
Note: does not include ships used exclusively in the Great Lakes (1996 est.)

Ports and terminals

Canada - Transnational issues 1997
top of page

Disputes international: maritime boundary disputes with the US (Dixon Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Machias Seal Island; Saint Pierre and Miquelon is focus of maritime boundary dispute between Canada and France; in 1992 an arbitration panel awarded the islands an exclusive economic zone area of 12,348 km² to settle the dispute

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic drug market; use of hydroponics technology permits growers to plant large quantities of high-quality marijuana indoors; growing role as a transit point for heroin and cocaine entering the US market

You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it