Throughout Canada's history, millions of immigrants have helped to build this country. Today, Canada, a country with two official languages, welcomes people from more than 150 countries each year.
Canada is proud that many different cultural and ethnic groups live and work in harmony. In a country as large and diverse as Canada, the idea of equality is very important. We have shown how much we value this idea by having it written into the Constitution as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Throughout Canada's history, millions of immigrants have come to build this country. Today, Canada welcomes people from more than 150 countries every year.
In Canada, we also believe in the importance of working together and helping one another. People who help others without being paid are called volunteers. There are millions of volunteers across Canada. Some people join community groups and help with local projects. Others help friends and neighbours in need. There are hundreds of different ways you can help others in your community.
Canada's economy is based on a combination of many industries. There are three main types of industries in Canada: natural resources, manufacturing and services.
Canada is a very large country with an area of 10 million square kilometres, but it has a fairly small population. About 36 million people live here. Most Canadians live in the southern parts of Canada.
The national capital of Canada is Ottawa, Ontario. The federal government and the Parliament are located in Ottawa. The largest important cities of Canada are Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec City and Halifax. Canada has 10 provinces and three territories. Each province and territory has its own provincial parliament and government.
The Canadian Way of Life
Canada is an immense country. It is very diverse in its people, its landscape, its climate and its way of life. However, Canadians do share the same important values. These values guide and influence much of our everyday life. These are values of pride, a belief in equality and diversity and respect for all individuals in society. Women, men, children and seniors are all equally respected in Canada. Canadians may be different from each other but it is these shared values that make Canada a friendly, caring, peace loving and secure society in which to live.
Fairness, Tolerance and Respect
Canadians want fairness and justice for themselves, their children and their families. And most are fair and just to others, no matter who they are or where they come from.
Diversity and Cooperation
Canadians understand the value of cooperation. In a country as large and diverse as Canada, people must be able to learn to resolve or ignore small conflicts in order to live happily and peacefully.
Canadians believe in equality. Each person is equal before the law and is treated equally by the law. Women and men have the same opportunity for success. Canadians let people live as they wish, as long as they do not limit how others live.
Canadians appreciate their rights and freedoms, which are the same without regard to gender, race, or ethnicity. Most also want to contribute to our society. As a newcomer, you should be aware of your rights and responsibilities. The right to participate in Canadian society implies an obligation to help it succeed. Canadian citizenship is about caring enough to want to get involved and make Canada even better.
Canadians are especially conscious of their natural environment and the need to both respect and protect it for the future. For example, individual Canadians participate in recycling programs that help convert "garbage" into usable materials. Canadians also like to keep their parks and streets clean, by putting their garbage into garbage cans and cleaning up after their pets. In many public places, smoking is not permitted.