country in North America
Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest binational land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
Indigenous peoples have continuously inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years. Beginning in the 16th century, British and French expeditions explored and later settled along the Atlantic coast. As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition. The country's head of government is the prime minister, who holds office by virtue of their ability to command the confidence of the elected House of Commons, and is appointed by the governor general, representing the monarch of Canada, the head of state. The country is a Commonwealth realm and is officially bilingual (English and French) at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education, gender equality and environmental sustainability. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture.
A highly developed country, Canada has the 24th highest nominal per capita income globally and the fifteenth-highest ranking on the Human Development Index. Its advanced economy is the eighth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, NATO, G7, Group of Ten, G20, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization (WTO), Commonwealth of Nations, Arctic Council, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and Organization of American States.
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author: Gregory R. Pohl, Jean-François Landry, Christian Schmidt, J. Donald Lafontaine, Jim Troubridge, Douglas Macaulay, Erik J. van Nieukerken, Jeremy R. deWaard, Jason J. Dombroskie, John Klymko, Vazrick Nazari, Ken H. Stead
Breach of trust, breach of faith : child sexual abuse in the Church and society : materials for discussion groups