1. Canada is bilingual; both English and French are the nation’s official languages.
2. The name ‘Canada’ originates from the aboriginal word ‘kanata’ for land, village, or settlement. The explorer Jacques Cartier was the first to use it on an expedition in 1535 up the St. Lawrence River. The Iroquois used the word kanata to tell Cartier about the route to the village of Stadacona. They referred to it by using the Huron-Iroquois word for settlement or village. Cartier used the word for the entire area, and the name ‘Canada’ was soon applied to the area north of the St. Lawrence River.
3. Canada has six separate time zones—Newfoundland, Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific.
4. The national animal of Canada is the beaver.
5. The national symbol of Canada is the maple leaf.
6. We do say eh… a lot.
7. Our currency is the Canadian dollar.
8. We eat, sleep and breathe hockey. NHL teams in Canada are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators,
Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and the Winnipeg Jets.
9. Canada became a nation at the time of Confederation in July 1 1867, Canada Day. On that day, Canada became a unified nation under the name Dominion of Canada.
10. The national anthem is “Oh Canada”
11. The national motto of Canada is, “A Mari usque ad Mare”, which is Latin for ‘from sea to sea.
12. Canada has one of the world’s most diverse and fascinating ecosystems. From whale watching in Victoria to exploring the remains of
65 million-year-old dinosaurs in the badlands of Alberta; there is much to see.
13. Canada’s forests, its wildlife, protected areas and water are well known around the world. Canada has more than 71,500 known species of plants and wild animals. It contains 20 percent of the world’s remaining wilderness and 10 percent of the world’s forests. Canada has seven percent of the world’s renewable freshwater supply and 25 percent of the world’s wetlands. Canada also has the longest coastline in the world.
14. Ten Provinces and three territories make up Canada which is the second-largest country by territory. The main difference between territories and provinces is that the former derive their powers and mandates from the federal government while the latter derive their authority and powers from the Constitution Act. In other words, the territories are not considered sovereign. The ten provinces are Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, New Foundland and Labrador, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
15. Aboriginal people make up the majority or 50.3 percent of the population. Nunavut is the newest and the largest Canadian territory, and it was separated from the Northwest Territories through two formal agreements. Nunavut is the size of Western Europe, and it is the least populous Canadian territory. Its population is around 31,900, and most residents are Inuit. Yukon is the smallest, westernmost Canadian federal territory, named after the Yukon River. The three territories are the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.
16. The findings of the Council of Canadian Academies when asked to assess the state of science and technology in Canada were as follows:
– Six research fields in which Canada excels: clinical medicine, historical studies, information and communication technologies (ICT), physics and astronomy, psychology and cognitive sciences, and visual and performing arts.
– With less than 0.5 per cent of the world’s population, Canada produces 4.1 per cent of the world’s research papers and nearly 5 per cent of the world’s most frequently cited papers.
– In a survey of over 5,000 leading international scientists, Canada’s scientific research enterprise was ranked fourth highest in the world, after the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.
– Canada is part of a network of international science and technology collaboration that includes the most scientifically advanced countries in the world. Canada is also attracting high-quality researchers from abroad, such that over the past decade there has been a net migration of researchers into the country.
– Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta are the powerhouses of Canadian S&T, together accounting for 97 per cent of total Canadian output in terms of research papers. These provinces also have the best performance in patent-related measures and the highest per capita numbers of doctoral students, accounting for more than 90 per cent of doctoral graduates in Canada in 2009.
– Several fields of specialization were identified in other provinces, such as: agriculture, fisheries, and forestry in Prince Edward Island and Manitoba; historical studies in New Brunswick; biology in Saskatchewan; as well as earth and environmental sciences in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.
These are just a few of the many observations that are considered in the Expert Panel’s report (http://scienceadvice.ca/en/assessments/completed/science-tech.aspx)
17. Finally, just for fun, did you know that a bear cub named Winnipeg was exported from Canada to the London Zoo in 1915. A little boy named Christopher Robin Milne loved to visit Winnipeg (or Winnie for short) and his love for the bear cub inspired the stories written by his father, A.A. Milne, about Winnie-the-Pooh.