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Things you should know about Canada

Canada’s capital city

The capital city of Canada is Ottawa in Ontario. Ottawa is also where the Canada’s seat of government is located.

The history of the Canadians has it that On New Year’s Eve 1857, Queen Victoria, as a symbolic and political gesture, was presented with the responsibility of selecting a location for the permanent capital of the Province of Canada. The ‘Queen’s choice’ turned out to be the small frontier town of Ottawa for two main reasons: Firstly, Ottawa’s isolated location in a back country surrounded by dense forest far from the Canada–US border and situated on a cliff face would make it more defensible from attack.Secondly, Ottawa was located approximately midway between Toronto and Kingston (in Canada West) and Montreal and Quebec City (in Canada East). Additionally, despite Ottawa’s regional isolation it had seasonal water transportation access to Montreal over the Ottawa River and to Kingston via the Rideau Waterway.

Official languages

In 1969, Canada declared English and French as its official languages. A greater percentage of Canadians speak English, with about 17% able to speak English and French but a vast majority of the french speaking Canadians live in Quebec. Being bilingual is one of the major criteria to work in any federal government agency or to be in a federal government position. Proficiency in English or french is also a requirement for immigration.

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Time zones

Canada has six time zones, surprised right?? This is possible because Canada covers a vast area. The six time zones are: Pacific Standard (PST), Mountain Standard (MST), Central Standard (CST), Eastern Standard (EST), Atlantic Standard (AST), and Newfoundland Standard (NST).

Image result for map showing canada time zones

Here is a map showing the six time zones of Canada

Total population

Statistics Canada in 2011 has revealed that the official population of Canada is 33.4 million while an estimate made in the first quarter of 2016 gave an estimate of 36.1 million. It has also been discovered that a great number of Canadians are descended from immigrants owing to the fact that Canada opened her doors to people from all over the world. It is also worthy to note that the original residents of Canada were the aborigines.

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Taxes

Canadian residents pay income taxes and sales taxes at both the provincial and federal levels. Income taxes are progressive, meaning the rate depends on your income. Meanwhile, everyone pays a Goods Sales Tax (GST) and Provincial Sales Tax (PST) for purchasing merchandise. GST is set at five per cent of the purchase price, while PST rates vary per province/territory. This may sound like you have to pay a lot of taxes, but considering the country’s efficient social services (think Medicare, Canada Child Benefit, newcomer settlement services, and other benefits), you may think otherwise.

Healthy air

A recent study by the WHO(World Health Organization) on the countries with the cleanest air on the planet has placed Canada at the 3rd position.

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Source of rare chemical elements

The country is the largest producer of natural uranium in the world. This mainly comes from the province of Saskatchewan. Over 80% of this element is exported for electricity generation. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of the world’s reserves of cesium are found in Bernic Lake, Manitoba. Cesium is used in building highly precise atomic clocks.

The longest coastline in the world

Canada has the longest coastline in the world. Canada’s coastline borders on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans with a length of 243, 791 kilometres

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