- Economic Overview:As an affluent, high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and affluent 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 the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (which includes Mexico) touched off a dramatic increase in trade and economic integration with the US. Given its great natural resources, skilled labor force, and modern capital plant, Canada enjoys solid economic prospects. Top-notch fiscal management has produced consecutive balanced budgets since 1997, although public debate continues over the equitable distribution of federal funds to the Canadian provinces. Exports account for roughly a third of GDP. Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with its principal trading partner, the US, which absorbs 80% of Canadian exports each year. Canada is the US's largest foreign supplier of energy, including oil, gas, uranium, and electric power. During 2007, Canada enjoyed good economic growth, moderate inflation, and the lowest unemployment rate in more than three decades.CIA Factfile.
- Cultural Profile
Canadians are very sensitive to being confused with the United States, the converse is not such a problem. Be very careful of this one, especially if coming from a country other that the US as the Canadian accent (if English) is not that easy to distinguish, although totally obvious to US residents and Canadians. Do not refer to the US as America, this is the name of the continent of which Canada is by far the largest country.
Canada for the British is noticeably more British than the USA. The English language differences are less, measurements are metric, and the Queen is on the money. Quebec is French speaking, out of the tourist spots and large cities you will encounter people who do not speak English. All of Canadian government information is bilingual.
Some English language differences:
Table (verb): To bring up for discussion, as in a session of Parliament, same meaning as in the UK but importantly opposite to that in the USA, where table means to put to one side.
Washroom: Bathroom or restroom. Always a useful one to know!
Sweets are candies and there is no singular version.
Culture Shock!: Canada by Pang Guek Cheng, Robert Barlas (Contributor), Pang Guek Cheng-Chen
Part of the useful series on culture shock, a good introduction and a well presented series for a first impression of another culture.
Official Canada Government website
Canada's Parliament Promotes appreciation of the Parliament Buildings and the institutions they house: the House of Commons, the Senate and the Library of Parliament.
Agricultural Institute of Canada
Canada Site The starting point for access to departmental sites of the federal and provincial government departments and agencies.
Business Guide to Government Programs The complete guide to all levels Canadian government financial assistance programs available to new and expanding businesses.
Embassies and consulates
Russian Embassy in Canada Provides basic contact information about the embassy of the Russian Federation, including links to Russian travel visas.
The Canadian Embassy in France Explores doing business, touring, culture and politics in France. In both French and English.
The Canadian Embassy in Bangkok Information on visas, immigration, travel, international trade, education, current events, and the promotion of cultural exchange between Canada and Thailand.
Canadian Embassy to Belgium and Luxembourg Provides information on trade, culture, education, visas and Canada's role in the liberation of Belgium in the First and Second World Wars.
Canadian Consulate General in Buffalo Promotes business development, investment, tourism, and information exchange between Canada and the Niagara Frontier as well as providing consular assistance to Canadians.
Canadian Consulate General in Dallas Promotes business development, investment, tourism, and information exchange between Canada and the U.S. Southwest as well as providing consular assistance to Canadians.
South African High Commission in Canada Provides an introduction to news, business, politics and travel information in South Africa for Canadians.
British High Commission in Canada Provides Canadians with information about Britain. Includes the services offered by the High Commission and its offices across Canada.
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