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Canada is situated on the north of Northern America, washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the east, the Pacific Ocean in the west, and the Arctic Ocean in the north and in the northeast by the Baffin Bay and the Davis Strait, which separate it from Greenland, In the south and in the north Canada borders on the USA. It is a land of vast distances and rich natural resources. Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown. Canada's territory is the world's second largest country, surpassed in size only by Russia. It includes many islands, notably the Canadian Arctic Islands, also called Arctic Archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Economically and technologically the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbour to the south. The total area is about 10 million sq km. Canada is slightly larger than the US. It is an important manufacturer, and its major cities, such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg are centres of commerce and industry.
The climate of Canada varies from temperate in the south to subarctic and arctic in the north. The highest Canadian point is Mount Logan 5,959 m. The population of Canada is about 32 million people. There are two state languages: English and French. English is spoken by 60 % of population; French is spoken by 23 % of people.
Most of Canada's inhabitants live in the southern part of the country and vast areas of the north are sparsely inhabited. The country is divided into ten provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan) and three territories (Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, Nunavut Territory). The third territory called Nunavut, to be carved from the present Northwest Territories, was created in 1999.
The name Canada is derived from an Iroquoian term meaning «village».
Among the great rivers of Canada there are the Saint Lawrence River, draining the Great Lakes and emptying into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence; the Ottawa and the Saguenay rivers, the principal affluents of the Saint Lawrence River; the Saint John River, emptying into the Bay of Fundy.
The government type is confederation with parliamentary democracy. The capital of Canada is Ottawa.
Canada became independent from the United Kingdom on July, 1, 1867. Legal system is based on the English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law system based on the French law prevails.
The racial and ethnic makeup of the Canadian people is diversified. About 35 percent of the population is composed of people of the British origin. People of the French origin total about 25 percent of the population. The vast majority of French-speaking Canadians reside in Quebec, where they make up about three-fourths of the population; large numbers also live in Ontario and New Brunswick.