The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          





A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown. Economically and technologically the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across an unfortified border. Its paramount political problem continues to be the relationship of the province of Quebec, with its French-speaking residents and unique culture, to the remainder of the country.


Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the north, north of the conterminous US


Geographic coordinates: 60 00 N, 95 00 W

Map references: North America

Area: total: 9,976,140 sq km, land: 9,220,970 sq km, water: 755,170 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than the US

Land boundaries: total: 8,893 km, border countries: US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska)

Coastline: 243,791 km

Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM, territorial sea: 12 NM, continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin, exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

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

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

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m, highest point: Mount Logan 5,959 m

Natural resources: iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower

Land use:arable land: 5%, permanent crops: 0%, other: 95% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 7,200 sq km (1998 est.)

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

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

Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note: second-largest country in world (after Russia); strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route; approximately 85% of the population is concentrated within 300 km of the US/Canada border


Population: 31,902,268 (July 2002 est)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.7% (male 3,059,023; female 2,910,203), 15-64 years: 68.4% (male 10,975,701; female 10,857,869), 65 years and over: 12.9% (male 1,743,654; female 2,355,818) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.96% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 11.09 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 7.54 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 6.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female, under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female, 15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female, total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 4.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.69 years, female: 83.25 years (2002 est.), male: 76.3 years

Total fertility rate: 1.6 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.3% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 49,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: 400 (1999 est.)

Nationality: noun: Canadian(s), adjective: Canadian

Ethnic groups: British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%

Religions: Roman Catholic 46%, Protestant 36%, other 18%
note: based on the 1991 census

Languages: English 59.3% (official), French 23.2% (official), other 17.5% 

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write, total population: 97% (1986 est.), male: NA%
female: NA%


Country name: conventional long form: none, conventional short form: Canada

Government type: confederation with parliamentary democracy

Capital: Ottawa

Administrative divisions: 10 provinces and 3 territories*; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory*

Independence: 1 July 1867 (from UK)

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


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

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Adrienne CLARKSON (since 7 October 1999)
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister for a five-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons is automatically designated by the governor general to become prime minister
head of government: Prime Minister Jean CHRETIEN (since 4 November 1993); Deputy Prime Minister John MANLEY (since NA January 2002)
cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (members appointed by the governor general with the advice of the prime minister and serve until reaching 75 years of age ; its normal limit is 104 senators) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (301 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Commons - last held 27 November 2000 (next to be held by 2005)
election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Liberal Party 41%, Conservative Alliance 26%, Bloc Quebecois 11%, New Democratic Party 9%, Progressive Conservative Party 12%; seats by party - Liberal Party 172, Conservative Alliance 66, Bloc Quebecois 38, New Democratic Party 13, Progressive Conservative Party 12; note - percent of vote by party as of January 2002 - Liberal Party 51%, Canadian Alliance 10%, Bloc Quebecois 10%, New Democratic Party 9%, Progressive Conservative Party 18%; seats by party - Liberal Party 172, Canadian Alliance 66, Bloc Quebecois 38, New Democratic Party 13, Progressive Conservative Party 12

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Canada (judges are appointed by the prime minister through the governor general); Federal Court of Canada; Federal Court of Appeal; Provincial Courts (these are named variously Court of Appeal, Court of Queens Bench, Superior Court, Supreme Court, and Court of Justice)

Political parties and leaders: Bloc Quebecois [Gilles DUCEPPE]; Canadian Alliance [Stephen HARPER]; Liberal Party [Jean CHRETIEN]; New Democratic Party [Alexa McDONOUGH]; Progressive Conservative Party [Joe CLARK]

Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

International organization participation: ACCT, AfDB, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB, CE (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, ESA (cooperating state), FAO, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURCA, MIPONUH, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOVIC, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Michael F. KERGIN
chancery: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
FAX: [1] (202) 682-7726
telephone: [1] (202) 682-1740
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle
consulate(s): Miami, Princeton, San Francisco, and San Jose

Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Paul CELLUCCI
embassy: 490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8
mailing address: P. O. Box 5000, Ogdensburg, NY 13669-0430
telephone: [1] (613) 238-5335, 4470
FAX: [1] (613) 238-5720
consulate(s) general: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, and Vancouver

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


Economy - overview: As an affluent, high-tech industrial society, Canada today closely resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high living standards. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. The 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (which includes Mexico) touched off a dramatic increase in trade and economic integration with the US. As a result of the close cross-border relationship, the economic downturn in the United States in 2001 had a negative impact on the Canadian economy. Real growth averaged nearly 3% during 1993-2000, but declined in 2001. Unemployment is up, with contraction in the manufacturing and natural resource sectors. Nevertheless, with its great natural resources, skilled labor force, and modern capital plant Canada enjoys solid economic prospects. Two shadows loom, the first being the continuing constitutional impasse between English- and French-speaking areas, which has been raising the possibility of a split in the federation. Another long-term concern is the flow south to the US of professionals lured by higher pay, lower taxes, and the immense high-tech infrastructure.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $875 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1.9% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $27,700 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 2%
industry: 29%
services: 69% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 2.8%, highest 10%: 23.8% (1994)

Distribution of family income - Gini index: 31.5 (1994)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.8% (2001 est.)

Labor force: 16.4 million (2001 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: services 74%, manufacturing 15%, construction 5%, agriculture 3%, other 3% (2000)

Unemployment rate: 7.2% (2001 est.)

Budget: revenues: $178.6 billion, expenditures: $161.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY00/01 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 0.5% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production: 576.218 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 25.3%, hydro: 61.22%, other: 1.56% (2000), nuclear: 11.92%

Electricity - consumption: 499.766 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports: 48.802 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports: 12.685 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products; forest products; fish

Exports: $273.8 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities: motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment; chemicals, plastics, fertilizers; wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, natural gas, electricity, aluminum

Exports - partners: US 86%, Japan 3%, UK, Germany, South Korea, Netherlands, China (1999)

Imports: $238.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, crude oil, chemicals, electricity, durable consumer goods

Imports - partners: US 74%, EU 9%, Japan 3% (2000)

Debt - external: $1.9 billion (2000)

Economic aid - donor: ODA, $1.3 billion (1999)

Currency: Canadian dollar (CAD)

Currency code: CAD

Exchange rates: Canadian dollars per US dollar - 1.6003 (January 2002), 1.5488 (2001), 1.4851 (2000), 1.4857 (1999), 1.4835 (1998), 1.3846 (1997)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


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

Railways: total: 36,114 km
standard gauge: 36,114 km 1.435-m gauge (156 km electrified)
note: Canada has two major transcontinental freight railway systems: Canadian National (privatized November 1995) and Canadian Pacific Railway; passenger service is provided by the government-operated firm VIA, which has no trackage of its own (2000 est.)

Highways:total: 901,902 km, paved: 318,371 km (including 16,571 km of expressways), unpaved: 583,531 km (1999)

Waterways: 3,000 km (including Saint Lawrence Seaway)

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

Ports and harbors: Becancour (Quebec), Churchill, Halifax, Hamilton, Montreal, New Westminster, Prince Rupert, Quebec, Saint John (New Brunswick), St. John's (Newfoundland), Sept Isles, Sydney, Trois-Rivieres, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Windsor

Merchant marine: total: 122 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,797,240 GRT/2,680,223 DWT
ships by type: barge carrier 1, bulk 66, cargo 13, chemical tanker 5, combination bulk 2, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 18, railcar carrier 2, roll on/roll off 8, short-sea passenger 3, specialized tanker 1
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Germany 3, Monaco 16, United Kingdom 1, United States 1 (2002 est.)

Airports: 1,419 (2001)

Military branches: Canadian Armed Forces (comprising Land Forces Command, Maritime Command, Air Command, Communications Command, Training Command)

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