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CANADA: AN OVERVIEW

DEMOGRAPHIC FEATURES

• Safe, clean, civilized, sophisticated, lively.


• Canada is the world’s second largest country after the Russian Federation.
• Canada has six time zones.
• Population in the year 2000 was 30.7 Million and almost 36% of the total
populations stay in 4 major cities viz. Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa
(NCC).
• 77% of the population lives in cities and towns.
• As per1998 census, the average family size was 3.1.
• As per 2000 census, the ratio of male to female population was 49.54:50.46.
• As per 1996 census, 65% of the families had children at home.
• Canadian Life expectancy is 79.1 years.
• The adult literacy rate is a high of 99%
• Main natural resources are Wood, Water, Natural Gas, Oil, Gold, Uranium, Coal,
Copper Iron ore, Zinc and Potassium.
• National Parks Constitutes 2% of country’s land mass.
• There are two million lakes in Canada covering 7.6% of the Canada’s total
landmass.
• Four Seasons: In summers one can enjoy the freshwater lakes and rivers. Autumn
leaves offer a storming array of colors. Winter invites you to ski down snow –
covered mountains. In spring, you and your friends can relax at one of the many
sidewalk cafés in the bustling cities.

LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

• Canada has a tolerant, multicultural, open-minded society.


• Canada prefers to be a “Cultural Mosaic” instead of “Melting Pot” as in USA,
where an Immigrant may feel the pressure of assimilating into society.
• Major religions followed are Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam and
Buddhism.
• English is the first language of 59% of the Canadians. French is the first language
of 23% of Canadians.
• Toronto is the third next important center for theatrical production in the English-
speaking world after New York and London.
• Montreal is the second largest French speaking cultural center in the world after
Paris.
• Ice hockey is the national sport.
• Canada encourages preservation of ethnic and religious identities and cultural
heritage. You need not change your name to be accepted in the society! Children
after landing feel comfortable at school since a significant percentage of their
classmates come from similar ethnic and religious background.
• You have access to wide variety of foreign / ethnic language, TV channels, audio
stations and newspapers / magazines as well as ethnic food.
• Since majority of residents are immigrants, Canada characterizes cultural
sophistication, just like India!
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BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

• Agriculture and forestry besides oil and petroleum, automobile, pulp and paper,
iron and steel, machinery and equipment manufacturing, mining and fossil fuels
are leading industries and major exports.

• Multi – cultural atmosphere ensures that immigrants are likely to be promoted and
reach managerial ranks faster in Canada than in the U. S., especially in Toronto
and Vancouver where immigrants constitute respectively 44% and 35% o the
population.

• Since the wage system is operational on hourly basis, the families having small
children can take up hourly jobs as per convenience.

MAJOR PROVINCES AND THEIR DISTINGUISHING FEATURES

• Ontario: Among provinces 60% of all newly immigrants to Canada settle in the
province of Ontario. Toronto is designated by the United Nations as one of the
world’s most multi-cultural cities. Almost 35% of Canadian population stays in
province of Ontario and this province contributes 40% of country’s gross
domestic product.

After automobile and forestry tourism and travel is the 3rd largest industries in
Ontario.
Half days drive put Ontario’s products within reach of 120 million American
consumers. Toronto is world’s 4th largest capital market and the stock exchange is
among world’s best.

• Located in British Columbia (BC), Vancouver has one of the worlds largest dry
cargo port. 56% of British Columbia’s total area is covered by forest. Lumber,
newsprint, pulp and paper products are major industries and exports. BC has
Canada’s most productive dairy cattle base and agriculture and fishing are two
other major sectors.
• Alberta has one of the world most productive agricultural economies and
produces 25% of Canada’s entire agricultural out put. It also maintains largest
live stock population and has 65% of country’s reserve of crude oil besides 80%
of natural gas. Food and beverage processing is the largest manufacturing
industry of Alberta. Other industries are petrochemical, pulp, food products,
mettle, refineries, aerospace and transportation equipments, manufacturing of
machinery, equipment, industrial and specialty chemicals. While 60% of
Alberta’s gross domestic product is contributed by service industries, 2/3 of
employment is in business and financial services, transportation, retail trade,
health & education and tourism.

• Quebec is Canada’s largest province and has an area that is three times that of
France and 7 times that of Great Britain.

14.4% of total global electricity production is done in Quebec and electricity is


Quebec’s major export. Other main industries include space and aeronautics,
pharmaceuticals, telecom, energy and transportation. In 1999 Quebec exported 57.7%
of her total Gross domestic product.

• Manitoba: The province of Manitoba is one of the sunniest province of Canada


and is known as the land of 100 thousand lakes. Being centrally located it’s a
major hub for transportation and distribution. This province is Canada’s leading
producer of sunflower seeds, peas and wheat. This province is a world major in
production of Nickel, Copper, Zinc and Petroleum. Other major industries
include

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manufacturing of food and transportation equipment, primary and fabricated


metals, economical goods, clothing and textile and printing and publishing.

• Other important Provinces: Among other province, Prince Edward Island has the
best red soil, which is good for growing potatoes and is her major export and 62%
of population lives in rural district. Agriculture, tourism and fishing are major
industries.
• Saskatchewan is Canada’s only province with man made boundaries and grows
54% of wheat grown in Canada. Average farm size is astonishing 420 hectare.
This province produces 20% of Canada’s total oil output and has worlds 2/3
potassium resources.

• The province of New Brunswick is called the call center capital of North America
because of the location of back office call centers of major companies that are
located there. Fishing, agriculture and tourism are major industries.

• The other provinces like Newfound land and Nova Scotia have fishing, iron ore
and newsprint, oil, forest products, coal production as their main industries.

FAMILY INCOME AND WAGE SYSTEM - COST OF LIVING

• Canada has a reasonable Cost of Living.


• As per 1998 census average total income of a four person family with two wage
earners was CAD75, 530 per annum.
• For two parent families with children and more than two earners the average in
the total income was CAD 85,652 per annum.
• For unattached individuals the average total income was CAD 25, 784 per annum.
• Of the entire population only 12.2 are having low income after tax. And of this
people within age group of 18-64 are only 8.1%.
• Of all families, 63.6% are double income families.
• 40.6% of all paid workers are covered by a registered pension plan.
• Average net worth of a family unit is CAD 1,99,664.
• Average number of rooms per dwelling is six.
• As per 1991 census, 83% Canadian Households had at least one car, while 97.5 %
had color televisions.
• As per the 1996 census, almost 73% of the families lived in owned premises!
• Of the owner occupied private dwellings, 25% were valued between CAD
100,000 to 149,999, 17% were valued at 150,000 – 199, 000, while 20% were
valued at more than CAD 200,000.
• Average gross rent was CAD 657 per month

POLITICAL & ECONOMIC SYSTEM AND BENEFITS TO IMMIGRANTS


• Canadian constitution provides for right of equality, mobility, legal including
freedom of speech and assembly. Parliamentary elections are held every 4 years.
The House of Commons have elected members whereas in senate the members
are appointed.
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• Immigrants are not treated as second-class citizens. They are accorded equal
rights, status and freedom as available to Canadian citizens.
• Canada has lowest inflation rate among the group of seven (G-7) Countries and
one of the highest rates of Economic Growth
• Unemployment rate has been steadily declining reflecting the increased demands
for skilled individuals.

QUALITY OF LIFE- FACTS

• As per a study rating 120 cities worldwide for their quality of life, Vancouver,
Toronto, Montreal and Calgary ranked first, fourth, seventh and twelfth in the
world respectively.
• For many years United Nations has placed Canada among top three countries as
per human development index that measures quality of life
• The World Bank has ranked Canadians the second wealthiest people in the world
in terms of the country’s natural, financial, human and social resources as on the
world’s highest gross domestic product.
• Canada is among world leaders on per capita spending. It directly reflects in the
quality of life
• Most of the restaurants and clubs remain open until 1.00 a.m. and up to 6.00 a.m.,
in same cases, on weekends. Some sidewalk cafés remain open 24 hours through
the year

EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM AND BENEFITS TO CHILDREN

• Educational system especially for citizens and residents is affordable.


• School Education is free of charge.
• Elementary grades normally start at age 6.
• High School has two streams:
o Prepares for university
o Post-secondary education at a community college/ institute of technology /
workplace.
• Private schools teach around 1 million students.
• Tuition costs for General Courses at Canadian Universities range from $ 2500 –
4000 annually. An average International student pays 3 – 6 times higher. Get that
benefit for your children!
• In Quebec, general and vocational colleges are also public funded and require a
minimal registration fee
• Canadian Universities offer an internationally renowned education that attracts
students from around the world.
• Campuses are safe and clean
• More than 90 Universities
• Education system is comprehensive, diversified and available to everybody.
• All children are required by law from 6/7 to 15/16 years to attend the school.
• Federal Government – Financial support/ subsidy for
o Labor market training
o Second language training

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• Canada student loans program assists 3,50,000 post secondary student every year,
wherein the program provides study loans and pays interest while student is in
school, provides easy repayment schedule
• Canada millennium scholarship foundation – assists 100000 students every year
o Excellence awards
 Up to CAD19, 200 from foundation up to 32 months
o Bursaries $ 3000
 Financial need/ merit
• Under Canadian Education Savings Grants Program (CESG) and Registered
Education Savings Plan (RESP), You can save up to tax-free income of CAD
4000 every year and government will contribute 20% of actual savings under the
programs subject to a maximum of CAD 7200 by the time child turns 17 years.
Through this contribution the Government is, in fact also paying for your child’s
University education!
• More then a million Canadians have availed and received benefits under RESG.
• 200 technical institutes and community colleges complement around 100
universities
• One million students are enrolled
• Only 11% of the total post secondary cost is funded by students, rest is subsidized
by federal and state government
• Full time enrollment - over ½ a million
• Women receive more than ½ the number of all degrees conferred.
• More than ½ population above 15 has had post secondary education. 9% had
bachelors, 6% had advanced degrees.

FAMILY BENEFITS: Medical benefits, unemployment allowance, maternity


benefits etc.

• As a permanent resident, your children is entitled to scholarships, grants and bank


loans for University and higher education. Most these facilities are exclusively
available to permanent residents and citizens.
• Therefore, it is far more advantageous for your children to be part of International
Education as a permanent resident. And with them, even you will be welcome to
upgrade your performance, technical and managerial skills by undertaking further
studies.
• Canada offers a Universal healthcare system accessible to all Canadian citizens
and permanent residents.
• In the year 1991, most of people over 65 and social aids recipients receive
majority of their prescriptions drugs free of charge
• Old age Pension
• Family Allowance
• Unemployment allowance
• Family Welfare Allowance
• Children Allowance
• Maternity benefits
• Flexible wage system

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CANADIAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WORLD

Canadian University research has given the world


• Insulin
• Artificial pacemaker
• First commercial electronic microscope
• New strives of wheat
• Innovations in media and communication theory
• First artificial pancreas
• Ultra-precise satellite navigation tools
• New methods of coping with pain and stress
• Genetic break through such as identification of the genes that cause cystic
fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and Lon Gehrig’s disease

International Artists Include Bryan Adams, Jim Carrey and Celine Dion.

LAW AND ORDER SYSTEM

• Canada is a relatively safe country as compared to other North American and


European countries
• Impeccably clean.
• Overall crime rate is extremely low.
• Homicide rate in Canada is estimated at ½ of the rate in the USA.
• Safety means lively nights, especially on weekends.
• Cosmopolitan atmosphere.
• Two real life incidents

*an American movie crew, after destroying a Toronto Street, went for a coffee break,
only to find it spotlessly clean again.

*Another movie crew filming an ‘attack’ scene, was twice interrupted by citizens of
Toronto hopping out of their cars to ‘rescue’ the actress.

CLOSE TIES TO US

• All citizens and permanents residents enter USA without a Visa.


• Access to huge and diverse US Market.
• NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) aims to abolish trade barriers
and tariffs between Canada, Mexico and USA.
• It means increased access to USA and Mexico to sell, trade, invest and work.
Under NAFTA, Canadian Citizens can be permitted to work in USA without obtaining a
validated job offer, leading to Green Card and subsequent US Citizenship if they so
desire.

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