Canada Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

Canada Basic Information

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Official name of the state, brief commentary on the system of government, political tendencies and estimated outlook, composition of the government.

Canada, officially the Dominion of Canada, is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. The representative of the British Crown is the Governor-General. The representative of the legislative power is the parliament (together with the head of state or the governor-general). Canada has a bicameral parliament consisting of the House of Representatives (the lower house with 338 members, elected to represent citizens from their constituency), which is an elected institution for a maximum period of five years from the last election, and the Senate (the upper house, made up of 105 senators appointed by the Governor General, who represent the country’s regions), which is an unelected institution whose role is only marginal. Canada is a federal state, so responsibility for the exercise of state power is divided between the federal, ten provincial and three territorial governments (and other authorities). Executive power is formally vested in the monarch, on whose behalf it is carried out by the Governor-General, who acts on the proposal of the Prime Minister and the Government Cabinet. Judiciary is divided in its competences and powers between federal and provincial institutions. The highest court in the country is the Supreme Court of Canada. It consists of the President and eight other judges selected by the Prime Minister. The term of office is limited to the seventy-fifth year of the judge’s life. Check diseaseslearning to learn more about Canada political system.

The current Liberal Party government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau secured a second consecutive electoral victory in the October 2019 federal election, but lost its parliamentary majority. On September 20, 2021, an early parliamentary election was then held, which Prime Minister Trudeau announced with the aim of obtaining a parliamentary majority. Although the ruling Liberal Party won the election, it failed to win a majority in parliament again. Justin Trudeau thus took on the task of forming the Canadian government for the third time in a row. The election results more or less reflect the mood and satisfaction of the population with how the government dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic. Further development will then depend on the fulfillment of the pre-election plans to support the economy, as well as the impact of rising inflation on economic growth and the standard of living of the population. The next federal parliamentary election is scheduled to take place on 20 October 2025.

The government has 39 ministers, incl. Prime Minister. The position of Governor General has been held since July 26, 2021 by Mary May Simon, who is the first Indigenous representative to hold the position. The composition of the government cabinet is available here.

Foreign policy of the country

Canada’s most important partner remains the United States, despite the strain the partnership has undergone under President Trump. With the new President Joe Biden coming an expected change in political style, the countries began to focus on common goals and priorities including finishing the fight against COVID-19, taking strong climate action and building economic recovery. Although there are areas that divide the two countries (e.g. the cancellation of the construction of the Canadian Keystone XL oil pipeline, tax support for American electric vehicles, the increase in tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber or the violation of Canada’s trade obligations in the area of ​​imports of softwood products), the history of relations, geographical proximity and, above all, mutual the interconnectedness of the two countries speaks absolutely clearly in favor of the continuation of their above-standard partnership. Check themotorcyclers for Canada defense and foreign policy.

Important in this context is the new trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico CUSMA (USMCA), which replaced the previous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) after long negotiations. The usefulness of the new agreement, whose negotiations began already in 2017, was questioned by many Canadian experts, especially with regard to the possible negative impact on the automotive or dairy industries. However, more than 75% of Canadian exports go to the United States, and maintaining preferential access to this market was absolutely essential for Canada.

Canada’s strategic partner is of course the EU, which was its second largest trading partner in 2021. With the EU, Canada has strong bilateral relations across a broad spectrum of political, foreign and security policy. In 2017, the provisional implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between Canada and the EU began, setting out the framework for their political relationship.

China, Canada’s third-largest trading partner, continues to be an important trading partner of Canada, despite a long-standing diplomatic row mainly related to the detention in China of two Canadian citizens, whose arrest in 2018 was seen as retaliation for Huawei Technologies CFO Meng being detained in Canada Wanchou. Although the two Canadians were released in September 2021, the whole case significantly cooled the Canada-China relationship. The April 2022 foreign affairs ministers’ phone call, the first since 2020, may represent, at least on the Canadian side, an effort to restore contact with China, but only in some areas, such as climate change, environmental protection and response to pandemics.

International trade and the role of exports is vital to Canada, with exports equivalent to more than half of Canada’s GDP. Canadian companies therefore intend to make better use of the market access guaranteed by free trade agreements with Europe, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, South Korea, Chile, etc. The pillar of Canada’s foreign economic policy, in addition to maintaining strong ties to the USA, will therefore continue to be a diversification strategy and targeting other markets. Canadians are sensitive to the fact that the center of gravity of the international economy is shifting to Asia. In this context, on November 16, 2021, Canada agreed with ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to continue negotiations on a free trade agreement. At the same time, experts say Canada should return to greater engagement in Africa, home to the world’s fastest-growing population. Although Canadian activities in Africa have been significantly muted in recent years, even relatively modest investments in the form of deepening diplomatic relations could bear significant fruits in the long term. An ambition for Canada could also be to conclude a free trade agreement with the African Union.

Population

As of January 1, 2022, the country’s population was estimated at 38.4 million people. The number of inhabitants increases every year mainly due to high immigration. Indeed, Canada is the world leader in the area of ​​controlled immigration, which represented more than three quarters of the total population growth since 2016 and even reached 85.7% in 2019. Due to travel restrictions related to the spread of COVID-19, the number of immigrants decreased significantly in 2020, but the government set a goal of bringing more than 1 million new residents to the country by 2023 (e.g., in the second quarter of 2021, the number of immigrants increased year-on-year triple). The population density is 4 per 1 km2, which ranks Canada among the countries with the lowest population density in the world.

Most of the population lives in the southern part of Canada near the border with the USA, where the most populous Canadian cities Toronto with 3 million inhabitants (million with an agglomeration), Montreal with million inhabitants (with an agglomeration of million) are also located. ) and Vancouver with 675 thousand (with an agglomeration of million). The share of the economically active population is 2 million, i.e. 66% of the total population. The average life expectancy in 2020 was 80 years (80 for men and 84 for women).

A steady increase in immigration coupled with a consistently low birth rate is leading to a rapid diversification of Canada’s population. Based on the 2016 census (2021 census results will not be available until 2022), 250 ethnic groups reported non-Canadian ancestry. However, the majority still claim Canadian, British/Scottish and French ancestry. The national composition is as follows: Canadian 32%, English 18%, Scottish 14%, French 13.5%, Irish 13%, German 9.5%, Chinese 5%, Italian 4.5% and Aboriginal 9% (note: four out of ten claim more than one origin). About 150,000 people claim Czech origin in Canada. persons. In terms of religious composition, 67.3% of Canadians identify with Christianity, 3.2% with Islam, 1.5% with Hinduism, 1.4% with Sikhism, 1.1% with Buddhism.