Canada



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Canada Government 2008


Country name: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Canada
Government type: constitutional monarchy that is also a parliamentary democracy and a federation
Capital: name: Ottawa geographic coordinates: 45 25 N, 75 42 W time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November note: Canada is divided into six time zones
Administrative divisions: 10 provinces and 3 territories*; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory*
Independence: 1 July 1867 (union of British North American colonies); 11 December 1931 (recognized by UK)
National holiday: Canada Day, 1 July (1867)
Constitution: made up of unwritten and written acts, customs, judicial decisions, and traditions; the written part of the constitution consists of the Constitution Act of 29 March 1867, which created a federation of four provinces, and the Constitution Act of 17 April 1982, which transferred formal control over the constitution from Britain to Canada, and added a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as procedures for constitutional amendments
Legal system: based on English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law system based on French law prevails; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Michaelle JEAN (since 27 September 2005) head of government: Prime Minister Stephen HARPER (since 6 February 2006) cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister usually from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament elections: 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 or the leader of the majority coalition in the House of Commons is automatically designated prime minister by the governor general
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (105 seats; members appointed by the governor general with the advice of the prime minister and serve until reaching 75 years of age) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (308 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve a maximum of five-year terms starting in 2009 elections) elections: House of Commons - last held 14 October 2008 (next to be held 19 October 2009) election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Conservative Party 37.6%, Liberal Party 26.2%, New Democratic Party 18.2%, Bloc Quebecois 10%, Greens 6.8%, other 1%; seats by party - Conservative Party 143, Liberal Party 76, New Democratic Party 37, Bloc Quebecois 50, other 1
Judicial branch: 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 and leaders: Bloc Quebecois [Gilles DUCEPPE]; Conservative Party of Canada [Stephen HARPER] (a merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party); Green Party [Elizabeth MAY]; Liberal Party [Stephane DION]; New Democratic Party [Jack LAYTON]
Political pressure groups and leaders: other: agricultural sector; automobile industry; business groups; chemical industry; commercial banks; communications sector; energy industry; environmentalists; public administration groups; steel industry; trade unions
International organization participation: ACCT, ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CDB, CE (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ESA (cooperating state), FAO, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAFTA, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SECI (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNMIS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Michael WILSON chancery: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001 telephone: [1] (202) 682-1740 FAX: [1] (202) 682-7701 consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson consulate(s): Anchorage, Houston, Philadelphia, Princeton (New Jersey), Raleigh, San Jose (California)
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador David H. WILKINS embassy: 490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8 mailing address: P. O. Box 5000, Ogdensburgh, NY 13669-0430; P.O. Box 866, Station B, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5T1 telephone: [1] (613) 688-5335 FAX: [1] (613) 688-3082 consulate(s) general: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg
Flag description: two vertical bands of red (hoist and fly side, half width), with white square between them; an 11-pointed red maple leaf is centered in the white square; the official colors of Canada are red and white

NOTE: The government information regarding Canada on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Canada Government 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Canada Government 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.