| || || |
| || || |
9.9 million sq. km. (3.8 million sq. mi.); second-largest country in the world.
Cities: Capital--Ottawa (pop. 1.1 million). Other major cities--Toronto
(4.7 million), Montreal (3.4 million), Vancouver (2.0 million).
plains with mountains in the west and lowlands in the southeast.
Temperate to arctic.
Noun and adjective--Canadian(s).
Population (2005 estimate): 32.4 million.
Ethnic groups: British/Irish 28%, French 23%, other European 15%, Asian/Arab/African
6%, indigenous Amerindian 2%, mixed background 26%.
Religions: Roman Catholic
44.4%, Protestant 29%, other Christian 4.2%, Muslim 2%, other 4%.
Education: Literacy--99% of population aged 15 and
over has at least a ninth-grade education.
Health: Infant mortality rate--5.2/1,000.
Life expectancy--77.1 yrs. male, 82.2 yrs. female.
Work force (2005,
16.3 million): Goods-producing sector: 25%, of which: manufacturing 15%; construction
6%; agriculture 2%; natural resources 2%; utilities 1%. Service-producing sector:
75%, of which: trade 16%; health care and social assistance 11%; educational services
7%, accommodation and food services 7%; professional, scientific, and technical
services 7%; finance 6%; public administration 5%; transportation and warehousing
5%; information, culture, and recreation 5%; other services 4%.
Confederation with parliamentary democracy.
Confederation: July 1, 1867.
The amended British North America Act of 1867 patriated to Canada on April 17,
1982, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and unwritten custom.
Elizabeth II (head of state represented by a governor general), prime minister
(head of government), cabinet. Legislative--bicameral parliament (308-member
House of Commons; 105-seat Senate). Judicial--Supreme Court.
political parties: Liberal Party, Conservative Party of Canada, Bloc Quebecois,
New Democratic Party.
Subdivisions: 10 provinces, 3 territories.
GDP (2005): $1.077 trillion.
Real GDP growth rate (2005): 2.8%.
per capita GDP (2005): $32,800.
Natural resources: Petroleum and natural gas,
hydroelectric power, metals and minerals, fish, forests, wildlife, abundant fresh
Agriculture: Products--wheat, livestock and meat, feed grains,
oil seeds, dairy products, tobacco, fruits, vegetables.
vehicles and parts, machinery and equipment, aircraft and components, other diversified
manufacturing, fish and forest products, processed and unprocessed minerals.
Merchandise exports (2005, FOB basis)--$364.8 billion: crude petroleum
and products, natural gas, motor vehicles and spare parts, lumber, wood pulp and
newsprint, crude and fabricated metals, wheat. In 2005 85% of Canadian exports
went to the United States. Merchandise imports (2005, FOB basis)--$317.7
billion: motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, crude petroleum, chemicals,
agricultural machinery. In 2005, 59% of Canadian imports came from the United
relationship between the United States and Canada is probably the closest and
most extensive in the world. It is reflected in the staggering volume of bilateral
trade--the equivalent of $1.2 billion a day in goods, services, and investment
income--and people, more than 200 million crossings of the U.S.-Canadian border
every year. In fields ranging from law enforcement cooperation to environmental
cooperation to free trade, the two countries work closely on multiple levels from
federal to local. In addition to their close bilateral ties, Canada and the U.S.
work closely through multilateral fora.
charter signatory to the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO)--takes an active role in the United Nations, including peacekeeping operations,
and participates in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Canada joined the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1990 and hosted the
OAS General Assembly in Windsor in June 2000, and the third Summit of the Americas
in Quebec City in April 2001. Canada seeks to expand its ties to Pacific Rim economies
through membership in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC), and
will host the winter Olympic Games in Vancouver-Whistler, British Columbia in
Although Canada views good relations
with the U.S. as crucial to a wide range of interests, it occasionally pursues
independent policies at odds with the United States. In 2003, Canada did not participate
in the U.S.-led military coalition that liberated Iraq (although it has contributed
financially to Iraq’s reconstruction). Other examples are Canada’s leadership
in the creation of and on-going support for the UN-created International Criminal
Court (ICC) for war crimes--which the U.S. opposes due to fundamental flaws in
the treaty that leave the ICC vulnerable to exploitation and politically motivated
prosecutions--and Canada’s decision in early 2005 not to participate directly
in the U.S. missile defense program. The United States and Canada also differ
on the issue of landmines. Canada is a strong proponent of the Ottawa Convention,
which bans the use of anti-personnel mines. The United States, while the world’s
leading supporter of demining initiatives, declined to sign the treaty due to
unmet concerns regarding the protection of its forces and allies, particularly
those serving on the Korean Peninsula, as well as the lack of exemptions for mixed
U.S. defense arrangements
with Canada are more extensive than with any other country. The Permanent Joint
Board on Defense, established in 1940, provides policy-level consultation on bilateral
defense matters and the United States and Canada share NATO mutual security commitments.
In addition, U.S. and Canadian military forces have cooperated since 1958 on continental
air defense within the framework of the North American Aerospace Defense Command
(NORAD). The military response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
both tested and strengthened military cooperation between the United States and
Canada. In December 2002, the two countries established a Binational Planning
Group to develop joint plans for maritime and land defense and for military support
to civil authorities in times of emergency. Since 2002, Canada has participated
in joint military actions in Afghanistan. Canadian Forces led the NATO International
Stabilization Force (ISAF V) there for half of 2004, and in the summer of 2005,
Canada deployed a 250-member Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar. It is
planning for the deployment of a 1,000-person battle group in early 2006. Canada
has also contributed to stabilization efforts in Haiti, including by deploying
over 500 Canadian troops.
and Canada also work closely to resolve transboundary environmental issues, an
area of increasing importance in the bilateral relationship. A principal instrument
of this cooperation is the International Joint Commission (IJC), established as
part of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to resolve differences and promote
international cooperation on boundary waters. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
of 1972 is another historic example of joint cooperation in controlling transboundary
water pollution. The two governments also consult semiannually on transboundary
air pollution. Under the Air Quality Agreement of 1991, both countries have made
substantial progress in coordinating and implementing their acid rain control
programs and signed an annex on ground level ozone in 2000. In June 2003, Canada
and the U.S. announced a new border air quality initiative designed to increase
cooperation in combating cross-border air pollution, including particulate matter.
Three regional projects have been selected for initial joint action.
ratified the Kyoto Accord at the end of 2002, despite concern among business groups
and others that compliance would place Canada’s economy at a lasting competitive
disadvantage vis-à-vis the United States. Canada’s federal government has committed
about U.S. $8 billion over seven years to achieving greenhouse gas emission reductions,
plus modest additional funds for research and long-term technology development.
Canada participates in the U.S.-led International Carbon Sequestration Leadership
Forum, which researches effective ways to capture and store carbon dioxide. Canada
is also a founding member of the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy
and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, both of which are designed
to address climate change and are supported by the U.S. In early 2005, Canada
joined the U.S.-led Methane to Markets initiative, which focuses on transferring
technology to developing countries for the capture and use of methane from pipelines,
landfills and other sources. In late 2005, Canada hosted the United Nations Climate
Change Conference in Montreal.
law enforcement cooperation and coordination were excellent prior to the terrorist
attacks on the United States of September 11, they have since become even closer
through such mechanisms as the Cross Border Crime Forum. Canada, like the United
States, has strengthened its laws and realigned resources to fight terrorism.
U.S.-Canada bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the fight is exemplary.
Canada is a significant source for the United States of marijuana, as well as
precursor chemicals and over-the-counter drugs that are used to produce illicit
synthetic drugs. Implementation and strengthening of 2003 regulations in Canada
and increased U.S.-Canadian law enforcement cooperation have had a substantial
impact in reducing trafficking of precursor chemicals and synthetic drugs, but
cannabis cultivation, because of its profitability and relatively low risk of
penalty, remains a thriving industry.
is a major aid donor and targets its annual assistance of nearly $3 billion toward
priority sectors such as good governance; health (including HIV/AIDS; basic education;
private-sector development; and environmental sustainability.
The United States and Canada enjoy an economic partnership
unique in the world. The two nations share the world’s largest and most comprehensive
trading relationship, which supports millions of jobs in each country. In 2005,
total merchandise trade between the two countries (FOB basis) was $483 billion,
translating into over $1.2 billion in goods crossing the border every day. The
two-way trade that crosses the Ambassador Bridge between Michigan and Ontario
equals all U.S. exports to Japan. Canada's importance to the United States is
not just a border-state phenomenon: Canada is the leading export market for 39
of the 50 U.S. States, and ranked in the top three for another 8 States. In fact,
Canada is a larger market for U.S. goods than all 25 countries of the European
Community combined, whose population is more than 15 times that of Canada.
The comprehensive U.S.-Canada Free Trade
Agreement (FTA), which went into effect in 1989, was superseded by the North American
Free Trade Agreement among the United States, Canada and Mexico (NAFTA) in 1994.
NAFTA, which embraces the 406 million people of the three North American countries,
expanded upon FTA commitments to move toward reducing trade barriers and establishing
agreed upon trade rules. It has also resolved long-standing bilateral irritants
and liberalized rules in several areas, including agriculture, services, energy,
financial services, investment, and government procurement. Since the implementation
of NAFTA in 1994, total two-way merchandise trade between the United States and
Canada has more than doubled, creating many new challenges for the bilateral relationship.
The Security and Prosperity Partnership, launched by all three NAFTA countries
in March 2005, represents an effort to address these challenges on a continental
Canada is an urban services-dependent
economy with a large manufacturing base. Since Canada is the largest export market
for most states, the U.S.-Canada border is extremely important to the well-being
and livelihood of millions of Americans.
U.S. is Canada's leading agricultural market, taking nearly one-third of all food
exports. However, imports of Canadian livestock products, particularly ruminants,
fell drastically after the discovery of a single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy
(BSE, mad cow disease) in spring 2003. Shipments of most Canadian beef to the
U.S. were resumed in late 2003 and trade in live cattle under 30 months resumed
in July 2005. Conversely, Canada is the second-largest U.S. agricultural market
(after Japan), primarily importing fresh fruits and vegetables and livestock products.
The U.S. and Canada enjoy the largest
energy trade relationship in the world. Canada is the single largest foreign supplier
of energy to the United States--providing 17% of U.S. oil imports and 18% of U.S.
natural gas demand. Recognition of the commercial viability of Canada’s oil sands
has raised Canada’s proven petroleum reserves to 180 billion barrels, making it
the world’s second-largest holder of reserves after Saudi Arabia. The electricity
grids of the United States and Canada are closely linked and meet jointly developed
reliability standards. Quebec is a major source of electricity for New England.
While 98% of U.S.-Canada trade flows
smoothly, there are frequent bilateral trade disputes over the remaining 2%. Usually,
however, these issues are managed through bilateral consultative forums or referral
to World Trade Organization (WTO) or NAFTA dispute resolution procedures. For
example, in response to WTO challenges by the United States, the U.S. and Canadian
Governments negotiated an agreement on magazines that will provide increased access
for the U.S. publishing industry to the Canadian market, and Canada amended its
patent laws to extend patent protection to 20 years. Canada currently has a number
of challenges pending in NAFTA and WTO dispute settlement mechanisms related to
U.S. trade remedy law, including actions taken by the U.S. Government on softwood
lumber. The U.S. and Canada resolved a WTO dispute over dairy products in 2003.
The United States and Canada also have resolved several major issues involving
fisheries. By common agreement, the two countries submitted a Gulf of Maine boundary
dispute to the International Court of Justice in 1981; both accepted the Court's
October 12, 1984 ruling that delineated much of the boundary between the two countries’
Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).
United States and Canada signed a Pacific Salmon Agreement in June 1999 that settled
differences over implementation of the 1985 Pacific Salmon Treaty. In 2001, the
two countries reached agreement on Yukon River Salmon, implementing a new abundance-based
resource management regime and effectively realizing coordinated management over
all West Coast salmon fisheries. The United States and Canada recently reached
agreement on sharing another transboundary marine resource, Pacific Hake. The
two countries also have a treaty on the joint management of Albacore Tuna in the
Pacific, and closely cooperate on a range of bilateral fisheries issues and international
high seas governance initiatives.
1995, the United States and Canada signed a liberalized aviation agreement, and
air traffic between the two countries has increased dramatically as a result.
U.S. immigration and customs inspectors provide preclearance services at seven
airports in Canada, allowing air travelers direct connections in the United States,
and preclearance operations are expected to begin in Halifax soon. The two countries
also share in operation of the St. Lawrence Seaway, connecting the Great Lakes
to the Atlantic Ocean.
Canada and the
U.S. have one of the world’s largest investment relationships. The U.S. is Canada's
largest foreign investor. Statistics Canada reports that at the end of 2004, the
stock of U.S. foreign direct investment in Canada was $175 billion, or about 65%
of total foreign direct investment in Canada. U.S. investment is primarily in
Canada's mining and smelting industries, petroleum, chemicals, the manufacture
of machinery and transportation equipment, and finance.
is the seventh-largest foreign investor in the United States. At the end of 2004,
the U.S. Commerce Department estimates that Canadian investment in the United
States, including investments from Canadian holding companies in the Netherlands,
was $134 billion at historical cost basis. Canadian investment in the United States
is concentrated in manufacturing, wholesale trade, real estate, petroleum, finance,
and insurance and other services.
U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--David H. Wilkins
Chief of Mission--John Dickson
Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs--Brian
Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs--Brian Mohler
for Public Affairs--James Williams
Minister-Counselor for Commercial Affairs--Thomas
Minister-Counselor for Consular Affairs--Keith Powell
General Vancouver--Lewis Lukens
Consul General Calgary --Naim Ahmed
General Toronto--Jessica Lecroy
Consul General Montreal--Mary Marshall
General Quebec--Abigail Friedman
Consul General Halifax--Leonard Hall
Embassy in Canada is located at 490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario. The mailing
address is P.O. Box 866, Station B, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5T1 (tel. 613-238-5335).
Canada is a constitutional
monarchy with a federal system, a parliamentary government, and strong democratic
traditions. The 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees basic rights in
many areas. Queen Elizabeth II, as Queen of Canada, serves as a symbol of the
nation's unity. She appoints a governor general, who serves as her representative
in Canada, on the advice of the prime minister of Canada, usually for a 5-year
term. The prime minister is the leader of the political party in power and is
the head of the cabinet. The cabinet remains in office as long as it retains majority
support in the House of Commons on major issues.
parliament consists of an elected House of Commons and an appointed Senate. Legislative
power rests with the 308-member Commons, which is elected for a period not to
exceed 5 years. The prime minister may ask the governor general to dissolve parliament
and call new elections at any time during that period. Vacancies in the 105-member
Senate, whose members serve until the age of 75, are filled by the governor general
on the advice of the prime minister. Recent constitutional initiatives have sought
unsuccessfully to strengthen the Senate by making it elective and assigning it
a greater regional representational role.
law, based largely on British law, is uniform throughout the nation and is under
federal jurisdiction. Civil law is also based on the common law of England, except
in Quebec, which has retained its own civil code patterned after that of France.
Justice is administered by federal, provincial, and municipal courts.
province is governed by a premier and a single, elected legislative chamber. A
lieutenant-governor appointed by the governor general represents the Crown in
Head of State--Queen Elizabeth II
Prime Minister--Stephen Harper
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Peter
Ambassador to the United States--Frank McKenna (has tendered resignation)
to the United Nations--Allan Rock
maintains an embassy in the
United States at 501 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (tel. 202-682-1740).
February 6, 2006, Stephen Harper was sworn in as Canada’s twenty-second Prime
Minister, succeeding Liberal Party leader Paul Martin. An admitted "policy specialist,"
Harper rose from the ranks of conservative political party staffers. Prior to
becoming Prime Minister, he sat as a Member of Parliament, including as Leader
of the Opposition since 2002 when he became head of the western-based Canadian
Alliance. He was elected the first leader of the Conservative Party of Canada
when it was created in 2003 through the merger of Canadian Alliance and Peter
MacKay’s Progressive Conservative Party. The January 23, 2006 election victory
by the Conservative Party ended twelve years of Liberal Party rule that, in the
end, was tainted by corruption and ethics concerns, despite the economic progress
Canada achieved while the Liberals were in power.
the January 2006 elections, the Conservatives made unexpected gains in Quebec,
winning ten seats. Many observers have noted how a reinvigorated Conservative
option in Quebec represents a boost for national unity. Harper’s government is
in a minority position in the House of Commons, however, and has a slimmer minority
than was enjoyed by the preceding Liberal government. The Conservatives now hold
125 seats and the Liberals 102. The separatist Bloc Quebecois (BQ) has a majority
(51) of Quebec’s 75 seats (the BQ offers candidates only in Quebec). The left-leaning
New Democratic Party (NDP) increased its seat count to 29, but fell short of the
number that would have guaranteed it the power broker role it played in the previous
Liberal minority government.
Minister Harper’s Conservatives began the 39th Parliament in the spring
of 2006 with several objectives that were featured during the later election campaign:
accountability and ethics in government; cutting the federal value-added sales
tax; measures to fight crime and urban violence; reducing wait times for medical
procedures in Canada’s national health system; and providing a tax credit to parents
for young children’s day care. Harper’s Cabinet choices on February 6 included
his Quebec advisor and campaign co-chair Michael Fortier, who was appointed to
the Senate and given the portfolio for the Department of Public Works and Government
Services, and former Liberal Industry minister David Emerson, who crossed the
floor immediately after the election to become the Conservative Government’s Minister
of International Trade. Former Deputy Opposition leader Peter MacKay was named
In Canada's political
system, a key challenge for any federal government is balancing the conflicting
interests of Canada’s 10 provinces and 3 territories. Recognizing the advantages
of a coordinated approach in dealing with the federal government, the provinces
and territories created a Council of the Federation in 2003, with their leaders
(Canada’s premiers) meeting regularly in that forum to develop common positions.
Quebec, which represents 23% of the
national population (and has a similar proportion of seats in the House of Commons),
seeks to preserve its distinctive francophone nature, and is perceived by the
less-populous western provinces as wielding undue influence on the Federal Government.
At least until January 2006’s election of Albertan Stephen Harper as Prime Minister,
the western provinces had sometimes expressed concern that their interests were
not fully attended to by Ottawa. Ontario, for its part, believes that it pays
out significantly more to the Federal Government than it gets back in revenues;
and the Atlantic provinces seek to assert greater control over fishing and mineral
rights off their shores. The Federal Government, which had been led by the Liberal
Party from 1993 until February 2006, has ceded some power in a few areas of provincial
jurisdiction, while seeking to strengthen the federal role in many other areas
such as inter-provincial trade and the regulation of securities. Former Prime
Minister Martin’s minority government made significant concessions to the provinces,
including a revenue sharing agreement with the Atlantic provinces over offshore
energy earnings, and a revenue transfer agreement with Ontario. In the September
2004 First Minister’s conference, Martin made a CN$41 billion health care transfer
deal to the provinces. This included a separate deal for Quebec that came to be
seen as reinforcing "asymmetric federalism," a view that accepts that not all
provinces must be treated the same by the Federal Government to be treated equitably.
Prior to the health agreement, reduced federal support to the provinces for health
care services had been a major point of contention between provincial leaders
and the previous Liberal governments, as it was perceived to have contributed
to sustained fiscal deficits in many provinces while the Federal Government ran
sustained surpluses (the so-called "vertical fiscal imbalance").
The election in April 2003 of Premier Jean Charest and the Liberal
Party of Quebec to govern Canada’s second most populous province was a significant
victory for the federal government, which over the years has struggled, under
the threat of secession, to accommodate the aspirations of the French-speaking
province. Though for now most Quebec voters seem to appreciate the economic benefits
of remaining in the confederation and prefer seeking to advance their separate
francophone identity with that confederation, 47% of Quebec voters still identify
themselves as desiring "sovereignty," although the precise meaning of the term
in a Quebec context remains ambiguous. Anger over the "sponsorship" program has
reignited talk of sovereignty and increased support for the separatist Bloc Quebecois
and Parti Quebecois, while seriously damaging support for provincial Liberals.
However, it is too early to predict how this will play out in the next Quebec
provincial election, not likely to be held before 2007 or 2008.
TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION
Department of State's Consular Information Program provides Consular Information
Sheets, Travel Warnings, and Public Announcements. Consular Information Sheets
exist for all countries and include information on entry requirements, currency
regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and security, political
disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts in the country. Travel Warnings
are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel to
a certain country. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate
information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term conditions
overseas that pose significant risks to the security of American travelers. Free
copies of this information are available by calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs
at 202-647-5225 or via the fax-on-demand system: 202-647-3000. Consular Information
Sheets and Travel Warnings also are available on the Consular Affairs Internet
home page: http://travel.state.gov/. Consular
Affairs Tips for Travelers publication series, which contain information on obtaining
passports and planning a safe trip abroad, are on the Internet and hard copies
can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing
Office, telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.
information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be obtained from the Office
of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225. For after-hours emergencies,
Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-4000.
National Passport Information Center (NPIC) is the U.S. Department of State's
single, centralized public contact center for U.S. passport information. Telephone:
1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778). Customer service representatives and operators
for TDD/TTY are available Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time,
excluding federal holidays.
can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at 877-FYI-TRIP (877-394-8747) and
a web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/index.htm
give the most recent health advisories, immunization recommendations or requirements,
and advice on food and drinking water safety for regions and countries. A booklet
entitled Health Information for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280)
is available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, tel.
Information on travel
conditions, visa requirements, currency and customs regulations, legal holidays,
and other items of interest to travelers also may be obtained before your departure
from a country's embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see
"Principal Government Officials" listing in this publication).
citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas are encouraged
their travel via the State Department’s travel registration web site at https://travelregistration.state.gov/
or at the Consular section of the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a country by filling
out a short form and sending in a copy of their passports. This may help family
members contact you in case of an emergency.
Department of State Web Site. Available on
the Internet at http://www.state.gov/, the Department
of State web site provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy
information, including Background Notes and
daily press briefings
along with the directory of key officers
of Foreign Service posts and more.
provides a portal to all export-related assistance and market information offered
by the federal government and provides trade leads, free export counseling, help
with the export process, and more.
a service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides authoritative economic,
business, and international trade information from the Federal government. The
site includes current and historical trade-related releases, international market
research, trade opportunities, and country analysis and provides access to the
National Trade Data Bank.
US State Department