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Angličtina - Canada

Autor: Tomáš Vostrý

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History: The Vikings first discovered it more than a thousand years ago, but the Europeans came there in the 15th century – in 1497 John Cabot discovered Canada. The name Canada derivers from the Indian word “Kanata”, which means a village or community. It first appears in narrative of Jacque Cartier and is used since 1860. After its discovery the land was first called New France, then British North America. Canada became a British dominion in 1867 (it was a British colony since 1793). Now it is a self-governing member of the British Commonwealth and since 1964 it has its own national flag and emblem (the maple leaf). Economically the neighbouring USA influences Canada.


Geography: Canada is the second largest country in the world. It covers more then half of the continent of North America and occupies a number of islands. The largest of them are: Vancouver in the west, New Scotland and Newfoundland in the east, Victoria and Baffin Islands in the north. Canada borders with USA in the south and Alaska in the north-west. In the east there is the Atlantic Ocean, in the west the Pacific Ocean. The surface is various: in the east Canada there are hills and mountains, the central part is covered by vast plains. In the west, there is the mountain range of the Rocky Mountains. The highest mountain is Mt. Logan (6,050 m high).

     Canada is a country of lakes, there are thousands of them. The largest are Lake Erie and Ontario. There are famous Niagara Falls between these lakes. Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Lake Winnipeg is an other well-known lake.

     The Niagara Falls are the major tourist attraction. The Canadian part is 900 m wide (the American 320 m). Goast Island reports the two part. The longest river is Mackenzie, other big rivers are the Yukon, the Fraser, the Columbia and the River St. Lawrence.


The climate: Most of the inhabited parts of Canada have a continental climate (with warm and sunny summers and long cold winters). On the Pacific coast the climate is milder, the North, mostly uninhabited, had the Arctic climate with winter temperatures about 500 C below zero.

     Canada has a population of about 24 mil. people. About 45 % are of British origin, about 30 % of French origin, over 20 % of continental European origin, about 300 000 Indians and 20 000 Eskimos. The Eskimo population ainhabts the Artic regions and Indians live mostly in the villages in the prairies. Most of the French Canadinas live in the province of Quebec. Both English and French are the official languages in Canada. Most inhabitants live near U.S. – Canadian borders. The capital city is Ottawa, the largest city is Montreal, next big cities are Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Quebec, Vancouver – important port on the west coast.


Natural resources: Canada is very rich in minerals and natural resources. There are large deposits of coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, copper, zinc, nickel, lead uranium etc. But its greatest resources are forests. Canada is the major exporter of lumber, wood, pulp and print paper.


Industry: The main mining provinces is Alberta. Hamilton and Sydney are main centers of iron and steel industry. Motorcar industry has biggest works in Chatham and Oshava. Ships are built on banks of Great Lakes and the River St. Lawrence. The province of Ontario and Newfoundland have large paper mills.


Agriculture: About 5 % of Canadian inhabitants are employed in farming. There are about 300 000 farms in Canada today. Grain farms (produce wheat, oats, barley), dairy farms, livestock farms, crop farms (tobacco, potatoes and vegetables). Canada is one of the biggest exporters of wheat. Winnipeg is the greatest wheat market in the world.

Export: Mainly wheat, flour, various other grains, fish, lumber, wood pulp, newsprint paper, metals, asbestos, uranium and some engineering products.


Import: Machinery, coal, crude oil, sugar.


The system of government, political system: Canada has a federal parliament consisting of two Houses:

  1. The House of Commons – 264 members elected for 5 years.
  2. The Senate – 102 members nominated for life

The Queen is represented by Governor General. The real head of state is the Prime Minister. He selects his own Cabinet. There are two leading parties: The Liberal Party and the Progressive Conservative Party.

     Canada is divided into 10 provinces and 2 territories (The Yukon Territory, The Northwest territory). The largest province is Quebec – mostly French speaking. Other provinces are: Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia.

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