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The Country of Canada
Canada is the second-largest country in the world (by area) and has the longest border shared by any two countries. It is a democratic monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. The country's capital is Ottawa, and the biggest metropolitan cities are Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. Though it's not a highly populated country, it is known for being home to multicultural immigrants.
The name Canada comes from the word Kanata, meaning settlement or village. The word originates from the language of the indigenous people who inhabited the land before the British and French expeditions.
First inhabitants and European colonization. The people who first populated the land came from Siberia around 14,000 years ago. In the 16th century, when the Europeans began arriving and settling, there were about 200,000 First Nations people. This number gradually declined as skirmishes for land took place and diseases such as smallpox, measles, and influenza wreaked havoc.
Some Indigenous populations have entirely disappeared due to British and French occupation of land. Today, almost a million people identify as First Nations people, which counts as around five percent of the total population.
British and French are the official languages of the country. English is spoken throughout the country, except for Quebec, where French takes the lead.
Because Canada is a multicultural land, around 15% of the population identifies a third language as their mother tongue. It is interesting to note the rise in the popularity of Chinese, which is a direct result of the growing Chinese population, followed by Punjabi and Spanish.
Canada does not have an official religion. Because the country has a multiethnic composition, it is inevitable for multiple religions to be part of the country's fabric.
The largest religion in Canada is Christianity; around 40% of the country follows Roman Catholic teachings. Approximately 24% of the population has declared themselves nonreligious. This is followed by Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.
Like any other settlement or civilization in the world, the rationale behind choosing a region to lay down roots depends on the availability of resources for survival. The First Nations people were hunters and gatherers, and because they were nomadic, they were also scattered across the land resulting in a low density of population.
When the Europeans arrived, settlements along the ports flourished. They also invested in developing those areas to facilitate the export of resources such as minerals, fur, and fish. When the raw material would reach its end, the settlement would disappear and pop up in another area ripe for exploitation.
Other than sports, other areas of the country that saw a rise in its population density were plains that had agricultural promise. These areas occur sporadically over the land and are not contained in one region.
Commercial agricultural activities paved the way for villages and towns that evolved into cities. This industry also gave way to manufacturing and service industries, which resulted in these areas becoming the country's urban centers.
Canada welcomes immigrants with the intention of strengthening its workforce and increasing the population. People from certain industries and with specific academic degrees or talents are encouraged to apply to reinforce the homegrown market. This makes Canada an attractive new home for skilled labor across the globe.
With the arrival of the British and French colonizers, the initial trend of the economy was essentially exploiting the land for its raw materials and exporting its natural resources. A thriving agricultural and mining industry led to the eventual development of manufacturing and service industries.
Canada has transitioned from a rural economy to an urban one. It is recognized as one of the least corrupt nations globally, ranking at eight when it comes to having the largest economies in the world. Most of the enterprises are privatized, save for a few utilities and transportation services.
Almost entirely, the agricultural sector is privatized. However, it depends on government subsidies to ensure competition with the agricultural markets of the EU and the US. Around 8 percent of the land is suitable for agriculture; however, the climate conditions of these regions ensure excellent yield. The industry produces wheat, oilseeds, maize, soybeans, and white beans.
Canada is bookended by the Atlantic and the Pacific coasts, enabling a thriving fishing industry. The mountain streams and plenty of shallow continental shelves on the western coastline allow for salmon spawning and catching herring. The catch of the eastern waters is redfish, tuna, pollock, mackerel, lobster, flounder, sole, and halibut. Given the population, the internal consumption of fish is low. Therefore it's a leading export.
Up to 50% of the country's land is covered with forests. This is an ample natural source for timber production and paper. The exports of this industry are greater than the combined exports of minerals, the fishing industry, and the farming sector.
Forests don't just benefit Canada financially but also contribute to the ecological balance. Therefore, it is crucial to minimize harmful practices of the industry and protect them against insects, disease, and fire.
The metamorphic rocks that make up the Canadian terrain have large deposits of metallic minerals and these makeup for a large amount of the exports. It leads the production of zinc, copper, uranium, titanium, sulfur, cadmium, and nickel. It is a leading producer of iron, coal, copper, silver, gold, and lead.
Given the country's terrain, 60% of the power generated is from hydroelectric sources. As nuclear power generation is being curtailed for safety purposes, people are leaning into thermal energy derived from the coal industry. Canada is rich in resources; it is self-sufficient when it comes to petroleum reserves and even boasts additional reserves of natural gas.
To understand how the country operates, it is crucial to understand the kind of people living in that country and the resources of the land. The relationship between these two elements explains its history and dictates the country's future. Whether natives, explorers, or immigrants, people will settle where resources naturally occur. This will result in how their lifestyle, sustenance, and industries are shaped.