Canadian F1 Grand Prix
11.06.2017 | Montreal - Gilles Villeneuve Circuit
Location: North America.
Area: 9,984,670 sq km (3,855,103 sq miles).
Population: 33,500,000 (2011).
Population Density: 3.4 per sq km.
Government: Constitutional monarchy.
Geography: Canada is the second largest country in the world after Russia, covering an area of 9,984,670 sq km (3,855,103 sq miles). It is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean and Alaska, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the northeast by Greenland (across the Nares Strait), and to the south by the 'Lower 48' states of the USA. The polar ice cap lies to the north.
Canada stretches 4,634km (2,879 miles) from its northernmost point on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut to its southermost point on Middle Island, Lake Erie, Ontario. The longest distance east to west is 5,514km (3,426 miles) from Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador to the Yukon-Alaska border. Canada also has the world’s longest coastline at 202,080km (125,566 miles). The country’s highest mountain with a peak at 5,959m (19,550ft) is Mt Logan in the Yukon Territory.
The landscape is diverse, ranging from the Arctic tundra of the north to the great prairies of the central area. Westward are the Rocky Mountains, and in the southeast are the Great Lakes, the St Lawrence River and Niagara Falls. The country is divided into 10 provinces and three territories.
Language: Canada is officially bilingual (English and French). The use of the two languages reflects the country's mixed colonial history - Canada has been under both British and French rule. However, while the federal government must operate in both languages as much as is practical, use of each language outside government varies widely across the country. In almost all of the province of Québec, as well as parts of New Brunswick and Ontario, French is the dominant language; in most of the rest of the country, English predominates. Montréal, Ottawa and Moncton have large concentrations of fluently bilingual people. Immigration has also changed the language picture considerably; while not official languages, Chinese, Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic and other languages are often heard on the streets of Canada's largest cities.
Religion: Around 70% of the population belong to the Christian faith; over half are Roman Catholic, followed by the United Church of Canada and Anglican denominations. There are numerous other active denominations and religions.
Time: Canada spans six time zones. Information on which time zone applies where may be found in the regional entries following this general introduction. The time zones are listed below:
Pacific Standard Time: GMT - 8 (GMT - 7 from second Sunday in March to first Sunday in November).
Mountain Standard Time: GMT - 7 (GMT - 6 from second Sunday in March to first Sunday in November).
Central Standard Time: GMT - 6 (GMT - 5 from second Sunday in March to first Sunday in November). Most of Saskatchewan does not observe DST.
Eastern Standard Time: GMT - 5 (GMT - 4 from second Sunday in March to first Sunday in November).
Atlantic Standard Time: GMT - 4 (GMT - 3 from second Sunday in March to first Sunday in November).
Newfoundland Standard Time: GMT - 3.5. (GMT - 2.5 from second Sunday in March to first Sunday in November).
Social Conventions: Handshaking predominates as the normal mode of greeting. Close friends often exchange kisses on the cheeks, particularly in French-speaking areas. Codes of practice for visiting homes are the same as in other Western countries: flowers, chocolates or a bottle of wine are common gifts for hosts, and dress is generally informal and practical according to climate. It is common for black tie and other required dress to be indicated on invitations. Exclusive clubs and restaurants often require more formal dress. Smoking has been banned in most public areas.
Electricity: 110-120 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style (flat) two-pin and three-pin (grounded) plugs are standard.
Head of Government: Prime Minister Stephen Harper since 2006.
Head of State: HM Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor General David Johnston since 2010.
Recent History: Long-serving Jean Chrétien stepped down as Prime Minister in late 2003, replaced by Paul Martin. It seemed as if restoring relations with the USA was a primary concern of Martin's since the USA had barely concealed their frustrations with their neighbour for the refusal to support the 2003 war against Iraq.
However, soon after being sworn in, Martin's liberal government became embroiled in a scandal concerning the misappropriation of millions of dollars of public money, with the Liberal Party supposedly receiving kickbacks from advertising contracts awarded in Québec in the late 1990s. Martin barely survived a confidence motion in parliament in May 2005: just one vote saved him. However, in November 2005, his government lost a confidence vote, parliament was dissolved and an election was called for January 2006.
After 12 years of Liberal rule, Canada swung to the right in the 2006 general election with conservative Stephen Harper succeeding Paul Martin as prime minister. Conservative leader Stephen Harper has pledged to cut taxes and tackle violent crime and corruption.