Foreign Affaires and International Trade

Minister of International Development

UN Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations

Canada Culture and Symbols

Flag: ( )

The National Flag of Canada

Proportions and Description of the flag

Birth of the Canadian flag

 First "Canadian flags"

 Flag Etiquette in Canada

National Anthem

O Canada was proclaimed Canada's national anthem on July 1, 1980, 100 years after it was first sung on June 24, 1880. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée, a well-known composer; French lyrics to accompany the music were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. Since then many English versions have been written for O Canada. However the version that gained the widest currency was made in 1908 by Robert Stanley Weir, a lawyer and at the time Recorder of the City of Montréal. Following further minor amendments, the first verse of Weir's poem was proclaimed as Canada's national anthem in 1980. The version adopted pursuant to the National Anthem Act in 1980 reads as follows:

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North, strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free !
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.


Head of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General; the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister for a five-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons is automatically designated by the governor general to become prime minister

Head of government: Prime Minister Harper
cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament

bicameral Parliament or Parliament consists of the Senate or Senate (members appointed by the governor general with the advice of the prime minister and serve until reaching 75 years of age; its normal limit is 105 senators) and the House of Commons or Chamber des Communes (301 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: at least every 5 years Members elected to House of Commons

Supreme Court of Canada (judges are appointed by the prime minister through the governor general); Federal Court of Canada; Federal Court of Appeal; Provincial Courts (these are named variously Court of Appeal, Court of Queens Bench, Superior Court, Supreme Court, and Court of Justice)

Political Parties:

Liberal Party,Bloc Quebecois, New Democratic Party, Conservative Party

Location: Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the north, north of the conterminous US

Land Boundaries: total: 8,893 km
border countries: US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska)

Coastline 243791 KM


total: 9,976,140 sq km, land: 9,220,970 sq km, water: 755,170 sq km

Maritime Claim:

contiguous zone: 24 NM , territorial sea: 12 NM , continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

Natural Resources:
iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower

Land Use
arable land: 4.94% , permanent crops: 0.02% , other: 95.04% (1998 est.)

Environment Current Issues: air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and damaging forests; metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and vehicle emissions impacting on agricultural and forest productivity; ocean waters becoming contaminated due to agricultural, industrial, mining, and forestry activities

Environment International agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation

Population in 2003 Approximately 32,000,000
0-14 years: 18.7% (male 3,059,023; female 2,910,203)
15-64 years: 68.4% (male 10,975,701; female 10,857,869)
65 years and over: 12.9% (male 1,743,654; female 2,355,818) (2002 est.)

Population Growth Rate .96%; Birth Rate 11.09 births per 1,000 population; Death Rate 7.54 deaths/ 1000 population

Net migration rate: 6.07 migrants/ 1000 population

Sex Ratio
at birth: 1.05 males)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 males)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 males)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 males)/female
total population: 0.98 males)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality Rate: 4.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.69 years
female: 83.25 years (2002 est.)
male: 76.3 years

Ethnic Group: British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%
Religion: Roman Catholic 46%, Protestant 36%, other 18%
note: based on the 1991 census

Languages: English 59.3% (official), French 23.2% (official), other 17.5%

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97% (1986 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%

Jim Retson's Summary of Canada Foreign Policy

International organization participation: ACCT, AfDB, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB, CE (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, ESA (cooperating state), FAO, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURCA, MIPONUH, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOVIC, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Economy - overview:

As an affluent, high-tech industrial society, Canada has a market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high living standards. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. The 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (which includes Mexico) touched off a dramatic increase in trade and economic integration with the US. As a result of the close cross-border relationship, the economic downturn in the United States in 2001 had a negative impact on the Canadian economy. Real growth averaged nearly 3% during 1993-2000, but declined in 2001. Unemployment is up, with contraction in the manufacturing and natural resource sectors. Nevertheless, with its great natural resources, skilled labor force, and modern capital plant Canada enjoys solid economic prospects.

Disputes - international: maritime boundary disputes with the US (Dixon Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Machias Seal Island)

Regionalism:  Canada has often been scene as a nation of Regions as much as a whole.

The Following sites from the Mount Allison University Canadian Studies are worth looking at

Identity and Region

Dimensions of Canadian Regionalism

Geography, Demography and the Economy
The Social Dimension: Classes and Elites
Political Institutions, Processes and Policies
Regional Cultures

Region and Nation

Canadian And American Regionalism

Regional Identities Today

Other Web Sites

Canadian Foreign Policy

Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN

-Foreign Affairs Department

Government of Canada

-Canadian Studies Program Mount Allison
-Background Notes - U.S. Dept. of State



Overview: The International Policy Statement sets out the Government’s
international direction and priorities, described in greater detail in the attached
documents on diplomacy, defence, international commerce and development. Each of
these documents stands on its own as a complete statement of the Government’s
policy in each field.
CANADA’S INTERNATIONAL POLICY STATEMENT “A Role of Pride and Influence in the World” April 19, 2005

Collaborate with the United States and Mexico to protect North American territory and citizens from 21st century threats.
• Strengthen coordination of cross-border law enforcement and counterterrorism programs
• Continue joint efforts to build a 21st century border that can expedite the movement of low-risk people
and goods, and interdict threats before they reach North America
• Strengthen the three planks in North America’s critical infrastructure: transportation links,
energy resources, and cybernetic and communications networks
• Build a trilateral emergency response capability that can deal in particular with infectious disease
• Negotiate renewal of the NORAD agreement, while pursuing other measures to strengthen maritime
and land defence cooperation with the United States

Protect Canada and Canadians by implementing the National Security Policy, and updating the
approach that the Canadian Forces take to domestic operations.

• Revise command structures to create a unified national operational “Canada Command” reflecting the
new priority given to domestic operations
• Improve Canada’s maritime, land, air and space surveillance capabilities
• Increase the Canadian Forces’ capacity to monitor and respond to events in the North
• Strengthen the Forces’ ability to respond to terrorist acts on Canadian territory by expanding the
counterterrorism unit (Joint Task Force 2) and the Joint Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defence
• Build on the domestic strength of the Reserves by adding 3,000 personnel

2. PROSPERING IN NORTH AMERICA Establish Canada as an attractive business gateway for those establishing a foothold in North America
Develop deeper knowledge of, and new channels of influence with, the United States and Mexico
Collaborate with our regional partners to build a competitive economic space that facilitates the free
movement of goods, services, capital, and people and enhances the quality of life of all North Americans.
• Maintain the integrity and improve the effectiveness of trade dispute mechanisms for North
• Reduce rules of origin costs on goods traded among the three NAFTA partners
• Reach for the best continent-wide standards and regulations that both promote the
competitiveness of businesses and ensure the health and safety of North America citizens
• Expand the FAST and NEXUS programs to facilitate border clearance by shippers and travellers
• Expand technological partnerships that promote the clean and efficient use of North American
energy resources, including initiatives in clean coal, hydrogen and renewable energy
• Intensify our advocacy efforts with U.S. decision makers through the newly established
parliamentary and provincial/territorial secretariat in Washington and our expanded consulate
• Improve trade research and policy capacity in Canada through the establishment of networks
such as the North American Forum


1.1 Countering Terrorism

Contribute to UN, NATO and G8 efforts to counteract terrorist organizations and cut off their support
• Increase Canada’s diplomatic contributions to the resolution of regional disputes that are exploited by
terrorists to mobilize their support
• Push for full implementation of international conventions to combat terrorism and terrorist financing
• Provide technical assistance to countries willing to combat terrorism through a new Counterterrorism
Capacity Building Program, anchored in Foreign Affairs
• Increase the Canadian Forces’ capacity to participate with allies in counterterror operations
1.2 Stabilizing Failed and Fragile States

Establish a Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START) to plan and coordinate rapid and integrated civilian responses to international crises. KEY INITIATIVES
• Establish links between START and crucial partner departments, especially National Defence and
• Establish a Global Peace and Security Fund to support START and other urgent civilian contributions
to crisis response operations

• Create links with counterpart taskforces in partner countries such as the United States and the United

Maintain combat-capable Canadian Forces, focused on the challenge of restoring peace and stability to
failed and fragile states.
• Focus on integrated operations to get the best mix of forces to the right place, at the right time, and to
the right effect
• Increase the size of the Regular Forces by 5,000, effectively doubling the army’s ability to deploy and
sustain operations overseas
• Equip the Canadian Forces to carry out missions abroad, through initiatives such as the Joint Support
Ships, the Mobile Gun System and guaranteed access to airlift
• Continuously review and modernize the Canadian Forces’ capabilities

1.3 Combatting Proliferation

Prevent the spread and reduce the existing stocks of WMD. Strengthen international export control regimes on proliferation-sensitive technologies and build the
capacity of countries to enforce them.

• Protect Canadian ports against their potential use for illicit activities, including the movement of drugs,
weapons and other contraband
• Participate in joint training missions and information sharing with other partners in the Proliferation
Security Initiative
• Expand the G8 Global Partnership Program
• Use the 2005 NPT Review Conference to promote the strengthening of the Treaty’s commitment to
non-proliferation, disarmament ,and peaceful uses of nuclear energy
• Contribute Canadian technology to strengthening the international community’s WMD compliance and
verification mechanisms
• Use the Conference on Disarmament to re-engage key countries in talks on the Prevention of an Arms
Race in Outer Space
2.1 Strengthening Canada’s Global Competitiveness

Get the economic framework right at home.

• Facilitate immigration integration through new admissions processing, credential recognition,
training and support programs
• Implement the recommendations of the External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulations
• Promote the internationalization of education through student exchange programs and direct
institutional links
• Support international science and technology partnerships

2.2 Increasing Trade and Investment

Develop new frameworks to promote trade and investment with our mature markets, while reaching out to take advantage of emerging economic giants. Create a level playing field in international trade and investment through active participation in the WTO.

• Implement the Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement with the EU
• Establish a new economic framework arrangement between Canada and Japan, with a particular
focus on technology
• Explore targeted trade and investment efforts with China and Brazil within the context of
regional engagement with Asia and Latin America
• Pursue discussions with South Korea about negotiating a free trade agreement
• Expand on our current relationship with India, specifically in information and communications
• Advocate for an ambitious outcome to the Doha Round, seeking fairer rules for farm trade and a more
liberal environment for goods and services trade

2.3 Promoting Sustainable Development
Pursue sustainable development through both domestic and international strategies. KEY INITIATIVES
• Design an action plan to implement our Kyoto commitments in a timely fashion
• Contribute to the reform of the United Nations Environmental Programme
• Support implementation of the 2002 Cartagena Agreement on improvements in international
environmental governance
• Build on Canada’s Oceans Action Plan and work internationally to close gaps in the management of
oceans resources
• Launch a reform process for international fisheries governance at the May 2005 Conference on High
Seas Fisheries and the UN Fish Agreement
3.1 Respecting Human Rights

3.2 Building Genuine Development

Refocus Canadian development assistance to target states with the greatest need and greatest potential
for successful intervention.

• Double international assistance by 2010 from its 2001 level
• Restructure the International Assistance Envelope to ensure greater coherence between aid and nonaid
• Establish long-term programming with a limited number of “Development Partners” chosen on the basis
of greatest need, demonstrated ability to use aid effectively, and current level of Canadian involvement
• Concentrate at least two-thirds of Canada’s bilateral aid budget on Development Partner countries by
• Double aid to Africa by 2008-09 from its 2003-04 level
• Maintain increases beyond 2010, and accelerate the projected rate of growth in international
assistance as Canada’s fiscal position continues to improve

Focus our contribution to the Millenium Development Goals on governance, private sector development, health, basic education and environmental sustainability. Ensure our development assistance efforts systematically incorporate gender equality throughout. KEY INITIATIVES
• Provide additional funding to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria through the World Health
Organization’s “3 by 5” initiative and the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria
• Encourage implementation of Canada’s new generic drug legislation in other countries
• Focus education assistance on improving community access to schools, increasing the quality
of teaching and supporting life skills training
• Launch the Canada Investment Fund for Africa to provide risk capital to support growth-generating
private sector development
• Renew Canada’s Climate Change Development Fund as an important mechanism to help combat the
challenges of global warming in developing countries

Establish Canada Corps as a key mechanism for providing governance assistance to developing countries. KEY INITIATIVES
• Use Canada Corps to develop collaborative partnerships across government, and with nongovernmental
organizations, the private sector and Canadian citizens
• Create coherent governance assistance programs with a focus on sharing Canadian expertise in the rule of law and human rights
• Create a single portal for Canadians to access international volunteer opportunities


Contribute ideas, expertise and resources to reform efforts aimed at improving the effectiveness and
legitimacy of existing international institutions.
• Actively support the reform agenda of the 2004 UN High Level Panel Report, particularly its
recommendations relating to the Responsibility to Protect, the creation of a civilian Peacebuilding
Commission, and reform of the UN Human Rights Commission
• Encourage the creation of an effective division of labour between the UN and key regional
• Contribute to the ambitious transformation of NATO, as set out in the Prague Capabilities Commitment
• Lead the diplomatic efforts to create and define the agenda for an “L20,” comprising leaders from the
developing and developed world

Revitalize Canada’s core international relationships, while strengthening our ties with key “pathfinder” states and organizations. Strengthen Canada’s influence in the western hemisphere. KEY INITIATIVES
• Develop new bilateral strategies for key regional players, such as South Africa, Jordan, Mexico and
South Korea, to make Canada’s presence more coherent and better known in their respective regions
• Strengthen Canada’s presence in the OAS and support greater hemispheric cooperation through the
Summit of theAmericas process
• Promote cooperation within the transatlantic community in areas of common concern, such as the
Israeli-Palestinian peace process
• Devote special attention to the G8, where we hold our most influential membership and can influence
the industrialized world’s economic and development policy
• Use our developing economic relationship with India, Brazil and China to build stronger political ties
• Engage Canadian diasporas in the creation and renewal of bilateral and regional relationships


Create a new framework for international policy making that engages multiple departments and levels of government.

• Facilitate wider Canadian involvement—both inside and outside government—in the Canada-
U.S. relationship
• Cooperate with the Federation of Municipalities to promote sustainable cities and strengthen
local governance and capacity building in the developing world. Establish a “Democracy
Council,” comprising government departments and organizations such as the Parliamentary
Centre, the IDRC, the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Elections Canada, the
Forum of Federations, and Rights and Democracy, to guide good governance policy making

Support the good international work of existing networks of Canadians.

• Seek regular input from Canadian NGOs, labour unions, business groups, academics and
professional bodies
• Expand the international public diplomacy program to promote Canadian culture, innovation,
education and business opportunities
• Reform our consular services to provide high-quality support to Canadians
• Encourage academic networking among Canadian institutions through the International
Academic Mobility Initiative
• Support the efforts of Canadian diasporas to forge transnational political, economic and cultural links
• Collaborate with the provinces on a “Smart Networks” initiative



Best Books

Cooper, Andrew F. Canadian Foreign Policy, Scarborough: Prentice Hall Allyn and Bacon, 1997

Donaldson, Gordon (1997) The Prime Ministers of Canada, Toronto: Doubleday Canada

Grant, George (2000) Ocean to Ocean, Sandford Fleming's Expedition Through Canada in 1872, Toronto: Prospero