By Liz Jenson and Autumn Rimolde
A Constitutional Monarchy
Our country is founded on a constitutional monarchy. This means we have a constitution to describe our government and laws but it owes allegiance to a king or queen. Canada has a legislative and judicial branch. The executive branch is within the legislative. Our legislature is called Parliament.
One of our great past prime ministers is Pierre Trudeau. He helped us to add the Charter of Rights to our current constitution in 1982. This act accomplished the guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. It also protects our rights to vote and to receive a lawyer if arrested, and to work and live anywhere in Canada. The Charter also says anyone can have equal rights no matter what their race, religion, gender, age, or national origin is.
Industries of the True North
Since our beautiful land is full of trees, much of our economy depends on forestry, mostly in the southwestern area. Other industries include : Manufacturing, Commercial farming, Livestock farming, fishing, and many more! Almost 80% of our raw materials are exported. Our main exports are wood/paper products, fuel, minerals, aluminum, wheat, and oil.
Our geography can both help and hurt the way we get around. We have natural transportation corridors., including rivers and coastal waters. We also have natural transportation barriers, like snow and ice in the far north. Places like this are very hard to venture to.
Who We Are
Every country has a national identity, and ours is special. From 1994 to 200o, the UN rated us the best country for health, education, and wealth. Our citizens come from many different cultures and backgrounds.
A great part of our culture is that many of us are bilingual, speaking English and French. Francophones are people who speak French. French Canadians pronounce things differently than people in France. The highest percent of these speakers are located in Ontario and Quebec.
Arts and Entertainment
If you visit Canada, you'll really enjoy our range of entertainment. Canada Council for the Arts lends money to thousands of young artists each year. Our country takes pride in supporting our artists. Some of our world-famous musicians include: Celine Dion, Shania Twain, and Neil Young. Other Canadian actors are Dan Aykroyd and Jim Carrey.
Canadians practice many different religions, but the most widespread is Christianity. Other common beliefs include Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. In Canada, you are free to practice whichever religion you choose.