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Canada is a vast country, bigger than the United States, bigger than the continent of Australia. It is in fact the second largest country after Russia. Its area is about 10 mln sq km. As Canada extends for thousands of miles from the Arctic Ocean to the United States and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, all kinds of weather conditions and scenery are to be found there.
The population of Canada is 29 mln people.
The capital of Canada is Ottawa, which is situated on the bank of the Ottawa River. It is famous for its beautiful parks. It is also known as the city of bridges. The main cities are Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
The word Canada comes from one of the Red Indian languages – "Kannata", meaning "a number of huts". Canada is often called the "Land of the Maple Leaf". The maple leaf is the national emblem of Canada.
The story of Canada goes back over 400 years. The French were the first settlers to this country. In 1759 Canada became a part of the British Empire. In 1931 it became independent from Britain.
Today Canada is an independent federative state, consisting of 10 provinces and 2 territories. It is a member of the Commonwealth, headed by the Queen of Great Britain.
Official languages of Canada are English and French. Nearly 60 percent of the population speak English and 27 percent speak French. But many other languages are spoken here too: Italian, Chinese, German, Polish and Greek. Canada is a country with very high standards of living. This country is particularly advanced in the areas of health, education, social protection and human rights.
Canada is very rich in forest, minerals and fur-bearing animals. It holds the first place in the world in the amount of forests. It is rich in the following natural resources: non-ferrous metals, uranium, oil, natural gas, coal.
Canadian industries produce cars, airliners, locomotives, sea vessels, snow-removal machines, and agricultural equipment. The most developed industries are timber, mining, chemical, meat and milk and food industries. Canada grows wheat, barley, flax, potatoes, vegetables and fruit. Fishing is also one of the prosperous industries.