Menu

Canada – Facts And Figures

Education has two main goals: to give individuals the opportunity to develop themselves, and to provide society with the skills it needs to evolve in its best interests. Canada’s educational system is based on finding a coordinated approach to the pursuit of these sometimes conflicting goals. Comprehensive, diversified, and available to everyone, the system reflects the Canadian belief in the importance of education. Education in Canada consists of 10 provincial and two territorial systems, including public schools, “separate” (i. . , denominational) schools, and private schools. Children are required by law to attend school from the age of 6 or 7 until they are 15 or 16. To make it possible to fulfil this obligation, all non-private education through secondary (or “high”) school is publicly funded. In Quebec, general and vocational colleges (CEGEPs, or Colleges d’enseignement general et professionnel) are also publicly funded and require only a minimal registration fee. Most other post-secondary schools, however, charge tuition fees.

A provincial responsibility Unlike many other industrialized countries, Canada has no federal educational ystem: the Constitution vested the exclusive responsibility for education in the provinces. Each provincial system, while similar to the others, reflects its particular region, history, and culture. The provincial departments of education–headed by an elected minister–set standards, draw up curriculums, and give grants to educational institutions. Responsibility for the administration of elementary and secondary schools is delegated to local elected school boards or commissions.

The boards set budgets, hire and negotiate with teachers, and shape school curriculums within provincial guidelines. A broad federal role The federal government plays an indirect but vital role in education. It provides financial support for post-secondary education, labour market training, and the teaching of the two official languages–especially second-language training. In addition, it is responsible for the education of Aboriginals, armed forces personnel and their dependants, and inmates of federal penal institutions.

Overall, the federal government pays over one-fifth of Canada’s yearly educational bill. One important part of this contribution is the Canada Student Loans Program, which assists students who do not have sufficient resources to pursue their studies. The program provides loan guarantees and, in the case of full-time students, interest subsidies to help meet the cost of studies at the post-secondary level. Provinces have complementary programs of loans and bursaries. Another federal initiative, scheduled to take effect in the year 2000, is Canada Millennium Scholarships.

Through an initial endowment of $2. 5 billion, this program will provide scholarships to more than 100,000 students each year over 10 years. This represents the largest single investment the federal government has ever made in support of universal access to post-secondary education. Scholarships will average $3,000 a year, and individuals can receive up to $15,000 over a maximum of four academic years. These scholarships could halve the debt load that recipients would otherwise face.

Elementary and secondary schools About five million children now attend public schools in Canada In some provinces, children can enter kindergarten at the age of four before starting the elementary grades at age six. General and fundamental, the elementary curriculum emphasizes the basic subjects of language, math, social studies, introductory arts and science. In general, high school programs consist of two streams. The first prepares students for university, the second for post-secondary education at a community college or institute of technology, or for the workplace.

There are also special programs for students unable to complete the conventional courses of study. In most provinces, individual schools now set, conduct and mark their own examinations. In some provinces, however, students must pass a graduation examination in certain key subjects in order to proceed to the post-secondary level. University entrance thus depends on course selection and marks in high school; requirements vary from province to province. Other schools For parents seeking alternatives to the public system, there are separate as well as private schools.

Some provinces have legislation that permits the establishment of separate schools by religious groups. Mostly Roman Catholic, separate schools, which in 1995 accounted for about one-fourth of Canada’s public school enrolment, offer a complete parochial curriculum from kindergarten through the secondary level in some provinces. Private or independent schools have a current enrolment of over a quarter of a million students, and offer a great variety of curriculum options based on religion, anguage, or academic status.

Teacher training Canada’s elementary and secondary education systems employ close to 300,000 full-time teachers. Their professional training generally includes at least four or five years of study (a Bachelor of Education degree normally requires university graduation plus one year of educational studies). Teachers are licensed by the provincial departments of education. Post-Secondary education For most of Canada’s history, post-secondary education was provided almost exclusively by its universities. These were mainly private institutions, many with a religious affiliation.

During the 1960s, however, as the demand for greater variety in post-secondary education rose sharply and enrolment mushroomed, systems of publicly operated post-secondary non-university institutions began to develop. Today in Canada, some 200 technical institutes and community colleges complement about 100 universities, attracting a total post-secondary enrolment of approximately 1 million. Student fees, owing to substantial government subsidies, account for only about 11% of the cost of Canadian post-secondary education.

Canada’s universities are internationally known for the quality of their teaching and esearch. Examples include the neurological breakthroughs of Wilder Penfield at McGill University and the discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto by Frederick Banting, C. H. Best, J. J. R. Macleod, and J. B. Collip. Full-time enrolment in Canadian universities stands at over half a million, with enrolments at individual institutions ranging from less than a 1,000 to over 35,000.

Women are well represented in the universities: they receive more than half of all degrees conferred. Canada’s school system: a national asset The Canadian belief in education is general and deep. And this belief is reflected in considerable financial commitment: Canada ranks among the world’s leaders in per capita spending on public education. Canada maintains this level of investment because it continues to generate healthy returns. Almost everywhere, the quality of education is directly related to the quality of life.

In Canada, the high educational level (almost half the population over the age of 15 now has some post-secondary schooling) has proven to be a powerful contributor to the country’s favourable standard of living, its growth of opportunity, and its reputation as a place where intellectual accomplishment is fostered and profitably pursued. Canada Canada’s Landmass Canada is the world’s second-largest country (9 970 610 km2), surpassed only by the Russian Federation. Capital Ottawa, in the province of Ontario.

Provinces and Territories Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories, each with its own capital city (in brackets): Alberta (Edmonton); British Columbia (Victoria); Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown); Manitoba (Winnipeg); New Brunswick (Fredericton); Nova Scotia (Halifax); Nunavut (Iqaluit); Ontario (Toronto); Quebec (Quebec City); Saskatchewan (Regina); Newfoundland (St. John’s); Northwest Territories (Yellowknife); and Yukon Territory (Whitehorse). Geography Diversity is the keynote of Canada’s geography, which includes fertile plains suitable for agriculture, vast mountain ranges, lakes and rivers.

Wilderness forests give way to Arctic tundra in the Far North. Climate There are many climatic variations in this huge country, ranging from the permanently frozen icecaps north of the 70th parallel to the luxuriant vegetation of British Columbia’s west coast. Canada’s most populous regions, which lie in the country’s south along the U. S. border, enjoy four distinct seasons. Here daytime summer temperatures can rise to 35C and higher, while lows of -25C are not uncommon in winter. More moderate temperatures are the norm in spring and fall.

Parks and Historic Sites Canada maintains 38 national parks, which cover about 2% of the country’s landmass. Banff, located on the eastern slopes of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, is the oldest (est. 1885); Tuktut Nogait, in the Northwest Territories, was established in 1996. There are 836 national historic sites, designated in honor of people, places and events that figure in the country’s history. Canada also has over 1000 provincial parks and nearly 50 territorial parks. Mountain Ranges Canada’s terrain incorporates a number of mountain ranges: the Torngats,

Appalachians and Laurentians in the east; the Rocky, Coastal and Mackenzie ranges in the west; and Mount St. Elias and the Pelly Mountains in the north. At 6050 m, Mount Logan in the Yukon is Canada’s tallest peak. Lakes There are some two million lakes in Canada, covering about 7. 6% of the Canadian landmass. The main lakes, in order of the surface area located in Canada (many large lakes are traversed by the Canada-U. S. border), are Huron, Great Bear, Superior, Great Slave, Winnipeg, Erie and Ontario. The largest lake situated entirely in Canada is Great Bear Lake (31 326 km2) in the Northwest Territories.

Rivers The St. Lawrence (3058 km long) is Canada’s most important river, providing a seaway for ships from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. The longest Canadian river is the Mackenzie, which flows 4241 km through the Northwest Territories. Other large watercourses include the Yukon and the Columbia (parts of which flow through U. S. territory), the Nelson, the Churchill, and the Fraser–along with major tributaries such as the Saskatchewan, the Peace, the Ottawa, the Athabasca, and the Liard. Time Zones Canada has six time zones.

The easternmost, in Newfoundland, is three hours and 0 minutes behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The other time zones are the Atlantic, the Eastern, the Central, the Rocky Mountain and, farthest west, the Pacific, which is eight hours behind GMT. Political System Canada is a constitutional monarchy and a federal state with a democratic parliament. The Parliament of Canada, in Ottawa, consists of the House of Commons, whose members are elected, and the Senate, whose members are appointed. On average, members of Parliament are elected every four years.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms Canada’s constitution contains a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which sets out ertain fundamental freedoms and rights that neither Parliament nor any provincial legislature acting alone can change. These include equality rights, mobility rights, and legal rights, together with freedoms such as speech, association, and peaceful assembly. National Emblem The maple leaf has been associated with Canada for some time: in 1868, it figured in coats of arms granted to Ontario and Quebec; and in both world wars, it appeared on regimental badges.

Since the 1965 introduction of the Canadian flag, the maple leaf has become the country’s most important symbol. The Canadian Flag Several people participated in designing the Canadian flag. Jacques St. Cyr contributed the stylized maple leaf, George Bist the proportions, and Dr. Gunter Wyszechi the colouration. The final determination of all aspects of the new flag was made by a 15-member parliamentary committee, which is formally credited with the design. After lengthy debate, the new flag was adopted by Parliament.

It officially became the national flag on February 15, 1965, now recognized as Canada’s Flag Day. National Anthem O Canada was composed in 1880, with music by Calixa Lavallee and words by Judge Adolphe-Basile Routhier. In 1908, Robert Stanley Weir wrote the translation on which the present English lyric is based. On July 1, 1980, a century after being sung for the first time, O Canada was proclaimed the national anthem. Currency The Canadian dollar is divided into 100 cents. Population As of the summer of 1996, Canada’s population was over 30 million.

Main Cities As of July 1, 1996, the leading Canadian cities are Toronto (4. 44 million), Montreal (3. 36 million), Vancouver (1. 89 million), Ottawa-Hull, the National Capital Region (1. 03 million). Distribution of Population A large majority of Canadians, 77 percent, live in cities and towns. Family Size At the time of the 1996 national census, the average family size was 3. 1, including 1. 2 children. Living Standard Canada ranks sixth in the world in standard of living (measured according to gross domestic product per capita), behind only the United States, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany, and Japan.

Canada’s rank among nations tends to rise even higher in assessments that consider GDP per capita along with other factors (e. g. , life expectancy, education) that contribute to “quality of life. ” Health Care and Social Security Basic health care, with the exception of dental services, is free at the point of elivery. And prescription drugs are in most cases dispensed without charge to people over 65 and social aid recipients. Canada also has an extensive social security network, including an old age pension, a family allowance, unemployment insurance and welfare.

Aboriginal Peoples In 1996, about 3% of Canadians belonged to one or more of the three Aboriginal groups recognized by the Constitution Act, 1982: North American Indian, Metis, or Inuit. Of this percentage, about 69% are North American Indian, 26% Metis, and 5% Inuit. Religion According to the 1991 census, more than four-fifths of Canadians are Christian, ith Catholics accounting for about 47% of the population and Protestants about 36%. Other religions include Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. Some 12. %, more than any single denomination except Roman Catholic, have no religious affiliation at all. Languages Canada has two official languages: English, the mother tongue of about 59% of Canadians; and French, the first language of 23% of the population. A full 18% have either more than one mother tongue or a mother tongue other than English or French, such as Chinese, Italian, German, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Ukrainian, Arabic, Dutch, Tagalog, Greek, Vietnamese, Cree, Inuktitut, or other languages.

The Official Languages Act makes French and English the official languages of Canada and provides for special measures aimed at enhancing the vitality and supporting the development of English and French linguistic minority communities. Canada’s federal institutions reflect the equality of its two official languages by offering bilingual services. Ethnic Origin In 1996, about 19% of the population reported “Canadian” as their single ethnic origin, with 17% reporting British Isles-only ancestry and 9% French-only ancestry.

About 10% reported a combination of British Isles, French, or Canadian origin, with another 16% reporting an ancestry of either British Isles, French or Canadian in combination with some other origin. Some 28% reported origins other than the British Isles, French or Canadian. Education The educational system varies from province to province and includes six to eight years of elementary school, four or five years of secondary school and three or four years at the university undergraduate level.

The 1996 census revealed that, among Canadians aged 15 and over, about 23% had graduated from secondary school, ome 9% had bachelor’s degrees, and about 6% had advanced degrees. Sports Canada’s most popular sports include swimming, ice hockey, cross-country and alpine skiing, baseball, tennis, basketball and golf. Ice hockey and lacrosse are Canada’s national sports. Main Natural Resources The principal natural resources are natural gas, oil, gold, coal, copper, iron ore, nickel, potash, uranium and zinc, along with wood and water.

Leading Industries These include automobile manufacturing, pulp and paper, iron and steel work, machinery and equipment manufacturing, mining, extraction of fossil fuels, forestry and agriculture. Exports Canada’s leading exports are automobile vehicles and parts, machinery and equipment, high-technology products, oil, natural gas, metals, and forest and farm products. National Cultural Institutions: An Overview CBC Since 1936, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), one of the world’s foremost public broadcasting organizations, has been helping Canadians to appreciate their nation and understand the Canadian experience.

It now operates two core national television networks (one in English, the other in French); four national radio networks (two French, two English); radio and television services for he North in English, French, and eight aboriginal languages; two self-supporting specialty cable television services (one English, one French); and an international shortwave radio service that broadcasts in seven languages. Working under the terms of the Broadcasting Act, the CBC provides a wide range of programming that informs and entertains Canadians from coast to coast.

Its public programming enjoys a high level of approval: over half of adult Canadians listen to CBC radio and about 9 out of 10 watch CBC television. National Film Board Created in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is public agency that produces and distributes films and other audiovisual works that reflect Canada to Canadians and the rest of the world. The NFB is a centre of filmmaking and video technology as well as a storehouse for an important part of the country’s audiovisual heritage.

Hailed over 3,000 times at major festivals, the NFB has won nine Oscars for its productions and an honorary Oscar “in recognition of its dedicated commitment to originate artistic, creative and technological activity and excellence in every area of filmmaking. ” Recent NFB productions include documentaries, animation shorts, CD-ROMS and interactive ideos. NFB founder John Grierson wanted to establish a national cinema that would “see Canada and see it whole: its people and its purpose. ” This early inspiration, through the work of the NFB, continues to consolidate the Canadian character and give shape to the national dream.

Canada Council The Canada Council is an independent, arm’s-length organization created by the Parliament of Canada in 1957 to “foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. ” To fulfill this mandate, the Council offers a broad range of grants and services to professional Canadian artists nd arts organizations working in music, writing, publishing, dance, theatre, visual arts and media arts. Each year, the Council awards some 4,200 grants in all disciplines and some 10,700 payments to authors through the Public Lending Right Commission.

The Council also administers the Killam Program of scholarly awards and prizes, and offers a number of other prestigious awards, including the Glenn Gould Prize, the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes and the Governor General’s Literary Awards. The Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Public Lending Right Commission also operate under its aegis. Canadian Film Development Corporation (Telefilm Canada) Telefilm Canada, a crown corporation, was created by Parliament in 1967. Telefilm’s role differs from that of the National Film Board in that Telefilm is a funding agency rather than a producer or distributor.

It has financed some 600 feature films and 1,500 television shows and series, helping to build what is now a multibillion-dollar Canadian industry. Telefilm support has also allowed Canadian talent and culture to acquire currency abroad: At international film festivals, works backed by Telefilm Canada have won more than 1,600 prizes in some 35 countries. Of all who appreciate Telefilm’s contribution, it is perhaps the audiovisual artists who best understand what it has meant to Canadian culture.

Filmmaker Denys Arcand (The Decline of the American Empire) states the perspective from his province in words that hold true from Newfoundland to British Columbia: “The existence of Telefilm determined the existence of a Quebec film industry. Once again, in a province such as Quebec, if there is no Telefilm, there is no film. ” Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) SSHRC is Canada’s federal funding agency for university-based research and graduate raining in the social sciences and humanities. Created as an independent body in 1977, SSHRC reports to Parliament through the Minister of Industry.

SSHRC contributes to Canada’s social and economic development through funding for research and training in fields such as health care, social and legal issues, culture and heritage, economics, and the environment. This research, besides being of academic interest, furnishes an important part of the practical knowledge required for sound decisions in matters affecting our standard of living and quality of life. National Gallery of Canada Founded in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada holds he country’s foremost collection of Canadian and European art.

The present gallery building, located on Sussex Drive in Ottawa, is a formidable work of art in its own right–a magnificent structure of rose granite, towering glass, and steel enclosing over 30,000 square metres of balanced space and light. The National Gallery has always devoted itself to making Canadian art better known, sending exhibitions to museums across Canada and around the world. The Gallery’s permanent collections of Canadian, Inuit, European, American, Asian, and contemporary art, together ith its special exhibitions and creative programming, give the Canadian public wide access to art of an exceptional range and quality.

Canadian Museum of Civilization The Canadian Museum of Civilization, located across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, is one of the most distinguished and best equipped museums in the world. Designed by Douglas Cardinal and opened in 1989, the building is notable for its rare combination of massiveness and sweep, which serves to bring the structure into accord with both its riverbank surroundings and the flow of time depicted in its interior. With an archaeological collection dating rom 1842, and a tradition of anthropological research going back to 1910, the Museum is an established centre for the study of human life in Canada.

Activities are based on four general areas of research: archaeology, ethnology, folklore, and history. Now the nation’s largest and most popular museum, the Canadian Museum of Civilization attracts over 1. 3 million visitors a year. Canadian War Museum Established in 1880, the Canadian War Museum is located in Ottawa at 330 Sussex Drive, next door to the National Gallery. It houses permanent and temporary exhibits about Canada’s accomplishments in war and eacekeeping. Artifacts of all types and periods illustrate Canada’s past military activities, from its days as a French colony to its modern missions in peacekeeping.

Life-size dioramas, displays, and a magnificent collection of war art allow visitors to experience a part of Canada’s military history. The museum reveals, in a way that words alone cannot, how Canadians fought and how the fighting affected Canada. More important, it stands as a memorial, and a tribute, to all Canadians who served in war and peacekeeping. National Library of Canada The National Library of Canada, at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, is home to Canada’s published heritage.

The National Library’s main role is to acquire, preserve, and promote the world’s most comprehensive collection of Canadiana for all Canadians, now and in years to come. The Library holds materials such as books, periodicals, sound recordings, manuscripts, and electronic documents. Founded in 1953 as a department of the federal government, the Library now contains some three million items. Notable strengths include Canadian music, newspapers, and official government publications. The Library is also a leading centre for Canadian rare books, city directories, literary manuscripts, nd literature for children and for adults.

National Archives of Canada Founded in 1872, the National Archives of Canada today contains millions of records that bring the past to life, including texts, photographs, films, maps, videos, books, paintings, prints, and government files. The National Archives acts as the collective memory of the nation, preserving an essential part of Canada’s heritage and making it available to the public through a variety of means–publications, exhibitions, special events, and reference and researcher services. Public records also provide much of the evidence required to phold rights, substantiate claims, and maintain justice.

The National Archives is located at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. National Arts Centre (NAC) The National Arts Centre, located on the banks of Ottawa’s Rideau Canal, is Canada’s leading bicultural theatre for the performing arts. Designed by Fred Lebensold, the triple-hexagon building contains three superb performance halls–the Opera, the Theatre, and the Studio–which together give the NAC a seating capacity of over 3600. By consistently encouraging artistic excellence, diversity, and youth, the National Arts Centre has helped to shape the careers of ountless Canadian artists.

The National Arts Centre gives the public year-round access to arts and entertainment, offering complete seasons of dance, English and French theatre, music and variety. Prominent attractions include Festival Canada, a summer celebration of the performing arts; and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, one of the finest ensembles of its kind in the world. Canada and the World International Public Opinion In 1997, a team of professional survey research firms under the supervision of the Angus Reid Group polled 5,700 adults living in 20 countries (including Canada).

The poll, which was conducted in 24 different languages, offers insight into the attitudes of people around the world toward Canada, and the views of Canadians themselves. This “snapshot” of international public opinion shows that Canada is held in very high regard indeed! Highlights of this public opinion survey include the following: Canada on the Top-Ten List Participants in 20 countries were asked to list their choices of countries to live in, after their own. A sizable majority in all 20 countries put Canada on their top-ten list of places in which to live. Residents of France, the United States and the United

Kingdom–countries with whom Canada maintains very strong political, cultural and trading relationships–are particularly impressed with our quality of life. In fact, Canada was the number one choice of people in the United States and France as the country they would most like to live in after their own. These results reflect the findings of the 1995, 1996 and 1997 United Nations Human Development Report, which stated that Canada’s overall quality of life makes it the best country in the world in which to live. Canadians also express contentment with their country and their quality of life.

Overwhelming numbers of Canadians (nine of every ten surveyed) ranked Canada as one of the three best places to live. The degree of personal freedom Canadians enjoy, health care, the environment and the peaceful nature of our country are considered key ingredients in their quality of life. Canada: What the World Likes … and Doesn’t Like Canada is best known abroad for its natural beauty. For many people in other countries, Canada is wide-open spaces, mountains, trees and lakes. They are also viewed favourably for being environmentally responsible.

In all countries, the vast majority of people polled consider Canadians to be honest, riendly, polite, well-educated, interesting and healthy. Throughout the world, they are known as a modern, progressive nation with an open and generous society, a country in which all people have the opportunity to grow and develop in their own way, and a country that upholds its international commitments. As for what the world doesn’t like about Canada, the first thing to be noted is that in half the countries surveyed the majority of respondents couldn’t think of a single bad thing to say about Canada.

But among those who did find something of concern, one issue was a standout: their climate! The French, the British, the Australians and the Chileans all registered this concern. Respecting Diversity Canadians are proud and appreciative of our cultural diversity. Throughout the world, they are regarded as a nation that respects the contributions and individuality of different cultures. In fact, Canada’s deserved reputation for warmth to all peoples is considered an important part of our country’s international reputation.

Caring For and Helping Others Canada has an excellent reputation for compassion towards its own citizens and also for the ways in which we help countries in need. Many of the people surveyed, and Canadians in particular, think our healthcare system is among the best in the world. We are also admired for our generous network of social assistance programs In 15 of the 20 countries surveyed, majorities agreed that Canada plays a “substantial role” in world peacekeeping efforts. Our continental neighbours in Central and South America offered high praise in this regard, as did those polled in the United States.

Canada has a solid reputation for generosity in providing aid to poorer countries. A majority of Canadians think we are better than other well-to-do countries at roviding aid and assistance to developing countries. In more than half of the other 19 countries there was majority support for the view that Canada is more generous than other developed countries. Multiculturalism Ethnic and Racial Diversity in Canada Multiculturalism is a fundamental characteristic of Canadian society. Our society has always been pluralist and diverse and is bound to become even more so.

Already approximately two-fifths of the Canadian population has one origin other than British, French or Aboriginal. What is Multiculturalism? In 1971, Canada became the first country in the world to adopt a multiculturalism olicy. In 1986 the government passed the Employment Equity Act and in 1988 it passed the Canadian Multiculturalism Act. Founded on a long tradition of Canadian human rights legislation, the Multiculturalism Policy affirms that Canada recognizes and values its rich ethnic and racial diversity.

The Canadian Multiculturalism Act gives specific direction to the federal government to work toward achieving equality in the economic, social, cultural and political life of the country. Through its multiculturalism policy, the government wants to help build a more inclusive society based on respect, equality nd the full participation of all citizens, regardless of race, ethnic origin, language or religion. In a recent report of the UNESCO World Commission on Culture and Development, Canada’s approach to multiculturalism was cited as a model for other countries.

Canada is recognized today as a world leader in this field. The Federal Government’s Multiculturalism Program In 1997, the department of Canadian Heritage restructured the federal Multicultural Program. The renewed program works towards three main goals: Identity. Fostering a society in which people of all backgrounds feel a sense of belonging and attachment to Canada Civic Participation. Developing citizens that are actively involved in shaping the future of their various communities and their country Social Justice.

Building a nation that ensures fair and equitable treatment and that respects and accommodates people of all origins Campaigns and Promotional Activities Promotional activities seek to improve public understanding of multiculturalism and racism and to encourage informed public dialogue and action on issues related to ethnic and racial diversity in Canada. March 21 Campaign: “Racism: Stop It! ” The March 21 Campaign is at the heart of the Multiculturalism Program’s ctivities. This nationwide campaign is intended to make the public aware of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The March 21 campaign features a broad range of activities throughout the country, involving community groups, schools, school boards, colleges, universities, private companies, parliamentarians and media. The Mathieu Da Costa Awards In 1996, the Multiculturalism Program established the Mathieu Da Costa Awards as part of Parliament’s official designation of February as Black History Month. This program encourages intercultural understanding and provides an excellent vehicle y which youth can develop an appreciation of the diversity and shared experiences that form the Canadian identity.

Multiculturalism in the Media The Broadcasting Act, passed in 1991, affirms that the Canadian broadcasting system should, through its programming and the employment opportunities it creates, serve the needs of a diverse society and reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada. The ‘mainstream’ media is slowly coming to reflect the diverse nature of the country. Successful television programs such as North of 60, Degrassi Junior High, Jasmine and Ces enfants d’ailleurs are eloquent examples of this trend.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television has a special Gemini award, called “The Canada Award/Prix Gemeaux du multiculturalisme,” which is sponsored by the Multiculturalism Program. It honours excellence in mainstream television programming that best reflects the cultural diversity of Canada. Ethnic radio and television broadcasting is also thriving in Canada. Nine radio stations in five cities devote much of their programming to specific ethnic groups, notably the Italian, Ukrainian, German, Greek, Portuguese and Chinese communities. Toronto has a full-time ethnic television station which is available hroughout Ontario.

Three ethnic specialty television services are licensed, and more than 60 radio stations include ethnic broadcasting in their schedules. Numerous cable companies carry programming in a variety of languages on community channels. In the print media, ethnic newspapers have flourished across Canada for more than 80 years. In Toronto alone, there are more than 100 daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly ethnic-language publications. More than 40 cultures are represented in Canada’s ethnic press; many of these publications are national in scope, such as the Chinese version of Maclean’s magazine.

Multiculturalism and Business Canada’s diversity is increasingly recognized as an asset in both the domestic and the international market, and as a major contributor to Canadian economic prosperity. The Conference Board of Canada has worked with other business, industry and trade associations to identify new ways for Canadian organizations to use Canada’s linguistic and cultural diversity to their advantage at home and abroad. Also, the Business Development Bank of Canada consults regularly with ethnocultural business associations in major centres. Canada’s multicultural nature will become even more of an asset in the emerging lobal economy.

Canadian companies already recognize the benefits and are drawing on the cultural diversity of our work force to obtain the language and cultural skills needed to compete successfully in international markets. The Arts Throughout the world, Canada is respected for its achievements in the arts. In music, dance, literature, theatre, cinema and visual arts Canadians are held in high regard. Music The talents of Canadian musicians can be heard in all types of music. Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Sarah McLachlan, Leonard Cohen, Roch Voisine and Daniel Lavoie are popular with rock fans all over the world.

The group Kashtin has added Montagnais to the list of languages in which Canadians songwriters and performers can become famous. Dance Three large Canadian ballet companies perform on the international circuit: the Royal Winnipeg Ballet; the Grands Ballets Canadiens; and the National Ballet of Canada. They have been the home base and stepping stone to international careers for dancers such as Karen Kain and Evelyn Hart. Fans of modern dance throughout the world are delighted by the performances of Canadian troupes that include: La La La Human Steps; the Toronto Dance Theatre; the Desrosiers Dance Theatre; and O Vertigo.

Every year, a growing number of independent choreographers and dancers mount performances in Canada and abroad. Among this group of more than 150 are Margie Gillis, Marie Chouinard, Ginette Laurin, Judith Marcuse, Peggy Baker and Jean-Pierre Perrault. Literature Canadian literature tells the story of Canada, in all its richness and diversity. Canadian novelists, essayists, playwrights and poets such as Gabrielle Roy, Jacques Ferron, Margaret Atwood, Robertson Davies, Alice Munro, Anne Hebert, Yves Beauchemin, Arlette Cousture, Michel Tremblay, Jacques Godbout, Hubert Aquin,

Gaston Miron, Northrop Frye, Michael Ondaatje, Nancy Huston, Tomson Highway and Mordecai Richler have given voice to the deepest thoughts and feelings of Canadians. Theatre If all the world is a stage, Canada’s role on that stage is prominent and much admired. The compelling nature and high quality of Canadian theatre is recognized internationally. The Shaw and Stratford Theatre festivals are well known abroad. Quebec theatre has become increasingly popular both at home and abroad in recent years, thanks in good measure to the plays of Michel Tremblay, which have now een translated into more than 20 languages.

Canadian theatre is distinguished by its innovative spirit and search for new forms. Companies such as Carbone 14, UBU and One yellow Rabbit tour the world and receive critical acclaim wherever they go. Others, like Green Thumb, Les Deux Mondes and Mermaid have channelled their energies into creating outstanding children’s theatre. The Cirque du Soleil has been revolutionizing entertainment under its yellow and blue big top since 1984. Millions of people around the world have marvelled at its spectacular productions, which blend theatre, acrobatics and music. Cinema

Canadian cinema is known throughout the world for its universality and relevance. International acclaim has been received by filmmaker David Cronenberg for his film, Naked Lunch; by Denys Arcand for his films, Decline of the American Empire and Jesus of Montreal; by Atom Egoyan for The Sweet Hereafter; by producer Lea Pool for Anne Trister; and by the late Jean-Claude Lauzon for Leolo and Night Zoo. The National Film Board (NFB), and Norman McLaren, in particular, have established Canada as an artistic force in the field of animation. The NFB has been nominated for 61 Oscars and has won 10.

Frederick Back’s 1987 Oscar-winning nimated work, The Man Who Planted Trees, is a brilliant continuation of this tradition. Computer-image animation is now providing fertile ground for the imaginations and talents of Canadian artists in this field. Visual Arts From the landscapes of Cornelius Krieghoff and the portraits of Theophile Hamel to the multidisciplinary works of Michael Snow and the hyperrealism of Alex Colville, the tradition of visual arts in Canada is rich and varied. Sports Think of sports in Canada and you’ll likely think of hockey. Some of the world’s best-known hockey players are Canadian.

And hockey is by far Canada’s favourite pectator sport and one of its most widely played recreational sports. But ask young Canadians to list their favourite sports activities and a much broader picture emerges. Those aged 13 to 24 cite swimming, downhill and cross-country skiing, soccer, baseball, tennis and basketball. Canadians view sports as an integral part of a well-rounded, healthy life. Sports on Ice and Snow More than 450,000 youngsters participate in organized hockey leagues. Many more play on streets, lakes and outdoor rinks and even dream of joining the National Hockey League (NHL).

The majority of the NHL players are Canadian and Canadians have fared extremely ell in international amateur hockey competition: the Men’s Junior National Team has won five consecutive World Junior Championships; the Men’s National Team captured silver medals in the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympic Games; and the Women’s National Team has won every world championship played to date (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997), as well as the silver medal in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. Canada’s Paralympic sledge hockey team won the silver at the 1998 Paralympic Games in Nagano. Skiing is a sport that has captured the hearts of Canadians.

The country boasts hundreds of ski areas, including world-renowned resorts in Banff, Alberta, and Whistler, British Columbia, as well as an abundance of cross-country ski trails. In international competition, Canadian skiers have excelled on the World Cup circuit and at the Winter Olympic Games. Canada’s Paralympians are champions on the slopes. At the 1998 Paralympics in Nagano, Dan Wesley put together a top-flight performance, winning gold in the men’s super G for sit skiers, and taking a bronze in downhill. Sports Variety A variety of warm-weather sports are played in Canada.

These include swimming, sailing, windsurfing, rowing, track and field, tennis, football, soccer, rugby, field hockey and golf. Swimming is not only one of the most popular recreational sports in Canada, it is also a powerhouse event for Canadian athletes in international competition. Canadians have won more than 50 Olympic medals in swimming events since the 1912 Summer Games in Stockholm and have held numerous world records. Canada’s swim team ended the 1998 World Cup short-course season in spectacular fashion, winning eight medals including a gold for Jessica Deglau of Vancouver in the women’s 200 m butterfly.

Canada has also been a world leader in synchronized swimming since the sport began more than 50 years ago. Synchronized swimming reached full medal status at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games, where Carolyn Waldo won two gold medals for Canada. At the Barcelona games in 1992, Sylvie Frechette was awarded the gold, while the duo of Penny and Vicky Vilagos captured the silver. At the Atlanta Games in 1996, the Canadian team won a silver medal. Rowing has also enjoyed a recent upsurge in popularity in Canada following tremendous success on the international circuit.

Canada won four gold and one bronze in rowing at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games, and followed up in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games by winning six medals. Soccer, the world’s most popular sport, is now entrenched in Canada with a large base of young competitors and a professional league. The sport of basketball, invented by Canadian James Naismith, is also very popular in Canada, with almost 650,000 participants. In addition, the sport of wheelchair basketball is one of the most popular sports for athletes with a disability. The Canadian Women’s Team is the reigning World and Paralympic champion.

In terms of spectator appeal, professional baseball and football rank with hockey at the top of the list. The annual Grey Cup game is traditionally one of the most atched sports events in Canada. Major-league baseball teams in Montreal and Toronto attract millions of spectators every season. In 1992, the Toronto Blue Jays became the first team outside the United States to win the World Series. The Blue Jays added to their fame by winning the World Series again in 1993. Baseball and softball are popular recreational sports in Canada, with countless local teams and leagues in operation in the summer and autumn.

The Department of Canadian Heritage, through Sport Canada, provides funding and support to high-performance sporting excellence and fairness in sport. It ontributes to the hosting of amateur competitions–international, national and interprovincial. It works with partners to support Canadian athletes and to link sport organizations at the community, provincial and national levels. International Role With more than 60 national teams participating in international competition, Canada has a wealth of technical and administrative sport expertise that it shares with other countries through various programs and exchanges.

Canada has hosted almost every major international sports competition: the Summer and Winter Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Pan-American Games, World University Games, and Special Olympics. The 1999 Pan-American Games will be taking place in Winnipeg. In 2001, Canada will host its first Jeux de la Francophonie in Ottawa-Hull. The Future Nothing unites Canadians like sport. Over 9 million Canadians participate regularly in one or more sports at some level. More than anything else, sport reflects what Canadians value most: the pursuit of excellence, fairness and ethics, inclusion, and participation.

Canada also supports international events because during such events the whole world becomes a global village, united in its love of sport and in its ppreciation for the excellence of all athletes. The federal government recently announced additional funding for sport of $10 million a year over five years. These funds will directly support high-perfomance athletes, employ additional full-time coaches, and provide additional opportunities for athletes to train and compete. Our National Anthem O Canada! Our home and native land!

True patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free! From far and wide, O Canada, We stand on guard for thee. God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, e stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. HISTORY “O CANADA” was proclaimed Canada’s national anthem on July 1, 1980, a century after it was first sung on June 24, 1880. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallee, a well-known composer; French lyrics to accompany the music were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier.

The song gained steadily in popularity. Many English versions have appeared over the years. The version on which the official English lyrics are based was written in 1908 by Mr. Justice Robert Stanley Weir. The official English version includes changes recommended in 1968 by a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons. The French lyrics remain unaltered. French Language and Identity: A Vibrant Presence According to the 1991 census, French is the mother tongue of 82 percent of Quebec’s population and is spoken at home by 83 percent of Quebeckers.

More than a million Francophones live outside Quebec. French is spoken by 8. 5 million people in Canada, 25 percent of whom live outside Quebec. Of this number, 6. 6 million have French as their mother tongue. More and more children are learning French in schools throughout Canada: nrolment in French immersion programs jumped from 40 000 in 1978 to some 313 000 in 1996. In 1995, 2. 7 million young people (54 percent of students) were studying French or English as a second language, an increase of 10 percent in 25 years.

According to the 1991 Statistics Canada census, the level of bilingualism among young Canadians aged 15 to 25 has risen from 16 percent to 23 percent in a single decade. Young Canadians in this age group are the most bilingual generation in our nation’s history. Internationally, it is estimated that some 800 million people speak English and 250 million speak French. As well, La Francophonie makes up 18 percent of the world economy and accounts for more than $100 billion in trade annually. Clearly, a knowledge of both languages provides a competitive edge in the battle to conquer new markets.

As a bilingual nation, Canada has that edge. The Official Languages Act makes French and English the official languages of Canada and provides for special measures aimed at enhancing the vitality and supporting the development of English and French linguistic minority communities. Canada’s federal institutions must reflect the equality of its two official languages by ffering bilingual services. The Constitution Act of 1982 makes French and English the official languages of Canada; the two languages have equal status in terms of their use in all the institutions of the Government of Canada.

The Societe Radio-Canada (the French-language division of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) broadcasts programs in French across the country. In addition, since January, 1995 the Reseau de l’information (RDI) has been broadcasting French-language television news and public affairs programs 24 hours a day. Its objective is to ensure a French current affairs presence throughout the ountry. The Government of Canada supports a group of television networks from Quebec and across Canada as part of an international Francophone broadcasting consortium known as TV5.

Today, the Government of Canada contributes $4 million annually so that TV5 can continue to provide high-quality domestic and international Francophone broadcasting for Canadians. History Aboriginal peoples are thought to have arrived from Asia thousands of years ago by way of a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska. Some of them settled in Canada, while others chose to continue to the south. When the European explorers arrived, Canada was populated by a diverse range of Aboriginal peoples who, depending on the environment, lived nomadic or settled lifestyles, were hunters, fishermen or farmers.

First contacts between the native peoples and Europeans probably occurred about 1000 years ago when Icelandic Norsemen settled for a brief time on the island of Newfoundland. But it would be another 600 years before European exploration began in earnest. First Colonial Outposts Seeking a new route to the rich markets of the Orient, French and British explorers plied the waters of North America. They constructed a number of posts — the French mostly along the St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River; the British around Hudson Bay and along the Atlantic coast.

Although explorers such as Cabot, Cartier and Champlain never found a route to China and India, they found something just as valuable — rich fishing grounds and teeming populations of beaver, fox and bear, all of which were valued for their fur. Permanent French and British settlement began in the early 1600s and increased throughout the century. With settlement came economic activity, but the colonies of New France and New England remained economically dependent on the fur trade nd politically and militarily dependent on their mother countries.

Inevitably, North America became the focal point for the bitter rivalry between England and France. After the fall of Quebec City in 1759, the Treaty of Paris assigned all French territory east of the Mississippi to Britain, except for the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, off the island of Newfoundland. Under British rule, the 65 000 French-speaking inhabitants of Canada had a single aim — to retain their traditions, language and culture. Britain passed the Quebec Act (1774), which granted official recognition to French civil laws and guaranteed eligious and linguistic freedoms.

Large numbers of English-speaking colonists, called Loyalists because they wished to remain faithful to the British Empire, sought refuge in Canada after the United States of America won its independence in 1776. They settled mainly in the colonies of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and along the Great Lakes. The increase in population led to the creation in 1791 of Upper Canada (now Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec). Both were granted their own representative governing institutions. Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada in 1837 and 1838 rompted the British to join the two colonies, forming the united Province of Canada.

In 1848 the joint colony was granted responsible government except in matters of foreign affairs. Canada gained a further measure of autonomy but remained part of the British Empire. A Country Is Born Britain’s North American colonies — Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland — grew and prospered independently. But with the emergence of a more powerful United States after the American Civil War, some politicians felt a union of the British colonies was the only way to fend off eventual nnexation.

On July 1, 1867, Canada East, Canada West, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick joined together under the terms of the British North America Act to become the Dominion of Canada. The government of the new country was based on the British parliamentary system, with a Governor General (the Crown’s representative) and a Parliament consisting of the House of Commons and the Senate. Parliament received the power to legislate over matters of national interest (such as taxes and national defence), while the provinces were given legislative powers over matters of “particular” interest (such s property, civil rights and education).

Westward Expansion Soon after Confederation, Canada expanded into the northwest. Rupert’s Land — an area extending south and west for thousands of kilometres from Hudson Bay — was purchased by Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Company, which had been granted the vast territory by King Charles of England in 1670. Westward expansion did not happen without stress. In 1869, Louis Riel led an uprising of the Metis in an attempt to defend their ancestral rights to the land. A compromise was reached in 1870 and a new province, Manitoba, was carved from Rupert’s Land.

British Columbia, already a Crown colony since 1858, decided to join the Dominion in 1871 on the promise of a rail link with the rest of the country; Prince Edward Island followed suit in 1873. In 1898, the northern territory of Yukon was officially established to ensure Canadian jurisdiction over that area during the Klondike gold rush. In 1905, two new provinces were carved from Rupert’s Land: Alberta and Saskatchewan; the residual land became the Northwest Territories. Newfoundland preferred to remain a British colony until 1949, when it became Canada’s 10th province.

The creation of new provinces coincided with an increase of immigration to Canada, particularly to the west. Immigration peaked in 1913 with 400 000 coming to Canada. During the prewar period, Canada profited from the prosperous world economy and established itself as an industrial as well as an agricultural power. A Nation Matures Canada’s substantial role in the First World War won it representation distinct from Britain in the League of Nations after the war. Its independent voice became more and more pronounced, and in 1931 Canada’s constitutional autonomy from Britain was confirmed with the passing of the Statute of Westminster.

In Canada as elsewhere, the onset of the Great Depression in 1929 brought hardship. As many as one out of every four workers was without a job and the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were laid waste by drought. Ironically, it was the need to supply the Allied armies during the Second World War that boosted Canada out of the Depression. Since World War II, Canada’s economy has continued to expand. This growth, combined with government social programs such as family allowances, old-age security, universal medicare and unemployment insurance has given Canadians a high standard of living and desirable quality of life.

Noticeable changes have occurred in Canada’s immigration trends. Before World War II, most immigrants came from the British Isles or eastern Europe. Since 1945, increasing numbers of southern Europeans, Asians, South Americans and people from the Caribbean islands have enriched Canada’s multicultural mosaic. On the international scene, as the nation has developed and matured, so has its reputation and influence. Canada has participated in the United Nations since its inception and is the only nation to have taken part in all of the UN’s major peacekeeping operations.

It is also a member of the Commonwealth, la Francophonie, the Group of Seven industrialized nations, the OAS (Organization of American States) and the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) defence pact. A New Federation in the Making The last quarter of a century has seen Canadians grapple once more with fundamental questions of national identity. Discontent among many French-speaking Quebeckers led to a referendum in that province in 1980 on whether Quebec should become more politically autonomous from Canada, but a majority voted to maintain the status quo.

In 1982, the process toward major constitutional reform culminated in the signing of he Constitution Act. Under this act, the British North America Act of 1867 and its various amendments became the Constitution Act, 1867-1982. The Constitution, its Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and its general amending formula redefined the powers of governments, entrenched the equality of women and men, and advanced the rights of individuals and ethnocultural groups.

Two major efforts were made to reform the constitutional system: the 1987 Meech Lake Accord which was not implemented since it did not obtain the legislative consent of all provinces and the 1991 Charlottetown Accord. The Charlottetown Accord would have reformed the Senate and made major changes in the Constitution. It was rejected in a national referendum held on October 26, 1992. The Parliament of Canada has since passed a bill, on February 2, 1996, guaranteeing Canada’s 5 major regions that no constitutional change concerning them would be made without their unanimous consent.

As well, less than a month after the Quebec sovereignty referendum of October 30, 1995, the Parliament of Canada passed a resolution recognizing Quebec as a distinct society within Canada. Federal evolution is also underway in Canada’s North. On April 1, 1999, the Northwest Territories was divided into two by Act of Parliament, creating a new 2 000 000 km2 territory called Nunavut (“our land” in Inuktitut, the Inuit language). Women Women have a long history of active involvement in all aspects of Canadian life. In 1918, after a long struggle, they won the right to vote in federal elections.

In 1929, they helped overturn a previous court ruling that barred women from appointments to the Senate on the grounds that they were not “persons” within the meaning of the law. There have been remarkable changes to society and to the lives of Canadian women since then. In 1929, less than 4 percent of women worked outside the home; in 1991, 60 percent were in the labour force. In previous generations, a typical Canadian family had a father as the only breadwinner and a mother working unpaid in the home, looking after the children and shouldering the responsibility for household tasks.

In 1992, only 16 percent of all Canadian families were still of this type. While the predominant family type is now the dual-earner couple, with or without children, 16 percent of families are headed by a lone female parent. Perhaps the most remarkable change in recent years has been the increased number f mothers who have young children and work outside their homes. A record 69 percent of mothers in two-parent families with children under age six are now in the paid labour force, while 47 percent of lone parent mothers with young children are in the same situation.

Not surprisingly, these rapid changes in family life have focussed attention on child care and the balancing of work and family responsibilities. It is estimated that 60 percent of families with children younger than 13 need some supplemental child care while the parents are at work. The federal government provides more than $1 billion year in support of child care through tax deductions and allowances. In the 1997 Budget, the Government of Canada allocated an additional $600 million in child benefits for low income families.

All jurisdictions in Canada give women a statutory right to take maternity leave without penalty, usually for a period of 17 weeks. An additional period of 24 weeks’ parental leave, which may be taken by either parent, is available to certain workers, mostly in the federal public service, banks, and transportation and communications companies. While these rights are for unpaid leave, the Employment Insurance Program rovides 15 weeks of maternity benefits for mothers and 10 weeks of parental benefits for natural or adoptive parents.

Women and The Economy Women now account for 45 percent of the Canadian labour force, compared with 36 percent in 1975. In fact, women accounted for almost three-quarters of all growth in employment between 1975 and 1991. However, women still tend to be concentrated in lower-paying occupations. On the other hand, the number of women who are employed in their own businesses has increased 172 percent since 1975. Women now make up 30 percent of all self-employed persons in Canada. A wage gap persists between women and men in the labour force: women working full-time for a full year in 1993 earned, on average, 72 percent of what men earned.

Equal pay for work of equal value laws have been in place at the federal level for more than a decade, and several provinces are also trying to integrate pay equity legislation in their jurisdictions, to which most Canadian workers are subject. The laws are based on an evaluation of jobs that takes into account the skill, effort and responsibility required to do a job, and the conditions under which the work is performed. Employers with more than 100 employees and those who want to do business with the federal government also fall under a program of employment equity.

Employers are required to report annually on their progress in integrating women and other target groups into their workforces. About one-quarter of employed women work part-time. In fact, 69 percent of all part-time workers are women. There is a growing trend to part-time work in the Canadian economy, particularly in the service sector, where the majority of women work. Increasingly, in Canada as elsewhere, a “feminization of poverty” particularly ffects lone female parents and their children, as well as elderly women.

Women who head lone parent families are now among the poorest of the poor: almost 62 percent of families living in poverty are headed by lone female parents. Poverty rates among the elderly have been declining, thanks to government programs such as the Old Age Security benefit and the Guaranteed Income Supplement. However, elderly women, especially those who have never been in the labour force, still face economic challenges. One of the keys to women’s economic equality is improved access for women and irls to education and training opportunities.

Of all women aged 15 and over, 40 percent have a high school diploma or better. Over 10 percent of women hold a university degree. Women make up more than 53 percent of full-time undergraduate students at Canadian universities. Federal, provincial and territorial governments have been working together to eliminate sexual stereotyping in school curricula, textbooks and career counselling. They also encourage greater participation by women and girls in non-traditional disciplines such as mathematics, science and technology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *