Education in CanadaEducation has two main goals: to give individuals the opportunity to developthemselves, and to provide society with the skills it needs to evolve in its bestinterests. Canada's educational system is based on finding a coordinated approachto the pursuit of these sometimes conflicting goals. Comprehensive, diversified, andavailable to everyone, the system reflects the Canadian belief in the importance ofeducation.Education in Canada consists of 10 provincial and two territorial systems, includingpublic schools, "separate" (i.e., denominational) schools, and private schools.Children are required by law to attend school from the age of 6 or 7 until they are15 or 16. To make it possible to fulfil this obligation, all non-private educationthrough secondary (or "high") school is publicly funded. In Quebec, general andvocational colleges (CEGEPs, or Colleges d'enseignement gnral et professionnel)are also publicly funded and require only a minimal registration fee. Most otherpost-secondary schools, however, charge tuition fees.A provincial responsibilityUnlike many other industrialized countries, Canada has no federal educationalsystem: the Constitution vested the exclusive responsibility for education in theprovinces. Each provincial system, while similar to the others, reflects its particularregion, history, and culture. The provincial departments of education--headed by anelected minister--set standards, draw up curriculums, and give grants to educationalinstitutions.Responsibility for the administration of elementary and secondary schools isdelegated to local elected school boards or commissions. The boards set budgets, hireand negotiate with teachers, and shape school curriculums within provincialguidelines.A broad federal roleThe federal government plays an indirect but vital role in education. It providesfinancial support for post-secondary education, labour market training, and theteaching of the two official languages--especially second-language training. Inaddition, it is responsible for the education of Aboriginals, armed forces personneland their dependants, and inmates of federal penal institutions. Overall, the federalgovernment pays over one-fifth of Canada's yearly educational bill.One important part of this contribution is the Canada Student Loans Program,which assists students who do not have sufficient resources to pursue their studies.The program provides loan guarantees and, in the case of full-time students, interestsubsidies to help meet the cost of studies at the post-secondary level. Provinces havecomplementary programs of loans and bursaries.Another federal initiative, scheduled to take effect in the year 2000, is CanadaMillennium Scholarships. Through an initial endowment of $2.5 billion, thisprogram will provide scholarships to more than 100,000 students each year over 10years. This represents the largest single investment the federal government has evermade in support of universal access to post-secondary education. Scholarships willaverage $3,000 a year, and individuals can receive up to $15,000 over a maximum offour academic years. These scholarships could halve the debt load that recipientswould otherwise face.Elementary and secondary schoolsAbout five million children now attend public schools in Canada In some provinces,children can enter kindergarten at the age of four before starting the elementarygrades at age six. General and fundamental, the elementary curriculum emphasizesthe basic subjects of language, math, social studies, introductory arts and science.In general, high school programs consist of two streams. The first prepares studentsfor university, the second for post-secondary education at a community college orinstitute of technology, or for the workplace. There are also special programs forstudents unable to complete the conventional courses of study.In most provinces, individual schools now set, conduct and mark their ownexaminations. In some provinces, however, students must pass a graduationexamination in certain key subjects in order to proceed to the post-secondary level.University entrance thus depends on course selection and marks in high school;requirements vary from province to province.Other schoolsFor parents seeking alternatives to the public system, there are separate as well asprivate schools. Some provinces have legislation that permits the establishment ofseparate schools by religious groups. Mostly Roman Catholic, separate schools,which in 1995 accounted for about one-fourth of Canada's public school enrolment,offer a complete parochial curriculum from kindergarten through the secondarylevel in some provinces.Private or independent schools have a current enrolment of over a quarter of amillion students, and offer a great variety of curriculum options based on religion,language, or academic status.Teacher trainingCanada's elementary and secondary education systems employ close to 300,000full-time teachers. Their professional training generally includes at least four or fiveyears of study (a Bachelor of Education degree normally requires universitygraduation plus one year of educational studies). Teachers are licensed by theprovincial departments of education.Post-Secondary educationFor most of Canada's history, post-secondary education was provided almostexclusively by its universities. These were mainly private institutions, many with areligious affiliation. During the 1960s, however, as the demand for greater variety inpost-secondary education rose sharply and enrolment mushroomed, systems ofpublicly operated post-secondary non-university institutions began to develop.Today in Canada, some 200 technical institutes and community colleges complementabout 100 universities, attracting a total post-secondary enrolment of approximately1 million. Student fees, owing to substantial government subsidies, account for onlyabout 11% of the cost of Canadian post-secondary education.Canada's universities are internationally known for the quality of their teaching andresearch. Examples include the neurological breakthroughs of Wilder Penfield atMcGill University and the discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto byFrederick Banting, C.H. Best, J.J.R. Macleod, and J.B. Collip. Full-time enrolmentin Canadian universities stands at over half a million, with enrolments at individualinstitutions ranging from less than a 1,000 to over 35,000. Women are wellrepresented in the universities: they receive more than half of all degrees conferred.Canada's school system: a national assetThe Canadian belief in education is general and deep. And this belief is reflected ina considerable financial commitment: Canada ranks among the world's leaders inper capita spending on public education. Canada maintains this level of investmentbecause it continues to generate healthy returns. Almost everywhere, the quality ofeducation is directly related to the quality of life. In Canada, the high educationallevel (almost half the population over the age of 15 now has some post-secondaryschooling) has proven to be a powerful contributor to the country's favourablestandard of living, its growth of opportunity, and its reputation as a place whereintellectual accomplishment is fostered and profitably pursued.CanadaCanada's LandmassCanada is the world's second-largest country (9 970 610 km2), surpassed only by theRussian Federation.CapitalOttawa, in the province of Ontario.Provinces and TerritoriesCanada has 10 provinces and 3 territories, each with its own capital city (inbrackets): Alberta (Edmonton); British Columbia (Victoria); Prince Edward Island(Charlottetown); Manitoba (Winnipeg); New Brunswick (Fredericton); Nova Scotia(Halifax); Nunavut (Iqaluit); Ontario (Toronto); Quebec (Quebec City);Saskatchewan (Regina); Newfoundland (St. John's); Northwest Territories(Yellowknife); and Yukon Territory (Whitehorse).GeographyDiversity is the keynote of Canada's geography, which includes fertile plains suitablefor agriculture, vast mountain ranges, lakes and rivers. Wilderness forests give wayto Arctic tundra in the Far North.ClimateThere are many climatic variations in this huge country, ranging from thepermanently frozen icecaps north of the 70th parallel to the luxuriant vegetation ofBritish Columbia's west coast. Canada's most populous regions, which lie in thecountry's south along the U.S. border, enjoy four distinct seasons. Here daytimesummer temperatures can rise to 35C and higher, while lows of -25C are notuncommon in winter. More moderate temperatures are the norm in spring and fall.Parks and Historic SitesCanada maintains 38 national parks, which cover about 2% of the country'slandmass. Banff, located on the eastern slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains, is theoldest (est. 1885); Tuktut Nogait, in the Northwest Territories, was established in1996. There are 836 national historic sites, designated in honor of people, places andevents that figure in the country's history. Canada also has over 1000 provincialparks and nearly 50 territorial parks.Mountain RangesCanada's terrain incorporates a number of mountain ranges: the Torngats,Appalachians and Laurentians in the east; the Rocky, Coastal and Mackenzieranges in the west; and Mount St. Elias and the Pelly Mountains in the north. At6050 m, Mount Logan in the Yukon is Canada's tallest peak.LakesThere are some two million lakes in Canada, covering about 7.6% of the Canadianlandmass. The main lakes, in order of the surface area located in Canada (manylarge lakes are traversed by the Canada-U.S. border), are Huron, Great Bear,Superior, Great Slave, Winnipeg, Erie and Ontario. The largest lake situatedentirely in Canada is Great Bear Lake (31 326 km2) in the Northwest Territories.RiversThe St. Lawrence (3058 km long) is Canada's most important river, providing aseaway for ships from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. The longest Canadianriver is the Mackenzie, which flows 4241 km through the Northwest Territories.Other large watercourses include the Yukon and the Columbia (parts of which flowthrough U.S. territory), the Nelson, the Churchill, and the Fraser--along with majortributaries such as the Saskatchewan, the Peace, the Ottawa, the Athabasca, and theLiard.Time ZonesCanada has six time zones. The easternmost, in Newfoundland, is three hours and30 minutes behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The other time zones are theAtlantic, the Eastern, the Central, the Rocky Mountain and, farthest west, thePacific, which is eight hours behind GMT.Political SystemCanada is a constitutional monarchy and a federal state with a democraticparliament. The Parliament of Canada, in Ottawa, consists of the House ofCommons, whose members are elected, and the Senate, whose members areappointed. On average, members of Parliament are elected every four years.Charter of Rights and FreedomsCanada's constitution contains a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which sets outcertain fundamental freedoms and rights that neither Parliament nor any provinciallegislature acting alone can change. These include equality rights, mobility rights,and legal rights, together with freedoms such as speech, association, and peacefulassembly.National EmblemThe maple leaf has been associated with Canada for some time: in 1868, it figured incoats of arms granted to Ontario and Quebec; and in both world wars, it appearedon regimental badges. Since the 1965 introduction of the Canadian flag, the mapleleaf has become the country's most important symbol.The Canadian FlagSeveral people participated in designing the Canadian flag. Jacques St. Cyrcontributed the stylized maple leaf, George Bist the proportions, and Dr. GunterWyszechi the colouration. The final determination of all aspects of the new flag wasmade by a 15-member parliamentary committee, which is formally credited with thedesign. After lengthy debate, the new flag was adopted by Parliament. It officiallybecame the national flag on February 15, 1965, now recognized as Canada's FlagDay.National AnthemO Canada was composed in 1880, with music by Calixa Lavalle and words byJudge Adolphe-Basile Routhier. In 1908, Robert Stanley Weir wrote the translationon which the present English lyric is based. On July 1, 1980, a century after beingsung for the first time, O Canada was proclaimed the national anthem.CurrencyThe Canadian dollar is divided into 100 cents.PopulationAs of the summer of 1996, Canada's population was over 30 million.Main CitiesAs of July 1, 1996, the leading Canadian cities are Toronto (4.44 million), Montreal(3.36 million), Vancouver (1.89 million), Ottawa-Hull, the National Capital Region(1.03 million).Distribution of PopulationA large majority of Canadians, 77 percent, live in cities and towns.Family SizeAt the time of the 1996 national census, the average family size was 3.1, including1.2 children.Living StandardCanada ranks sixth in the world in standard of living (measured according to grossdomestic product per capita), behind only the United States, Switzerland,Luxembourg, Germany, and Japan. Canada's rank among nations tends to rise evenhigher in assessments that consider GDP per capita along with other factors (e.g.,life expectancy, education) that contribute to "quality of life."Health Care and Social SecurityBasic health care, with the exception of dental services, is free at the point ofdelivery. And prescription drugs are in most cases dispensed without charge topeople over 65 and social aid recipients. Canada also has an extensive social securitynetwork, including an old age pension, a family allowance, unemployment insuranceand welfare.Aboriginal PeoplesIn 1996, about 3% of Canadians belonged to one or more of the three Aboriginalgroups recognized by the Constitution Act, 1982: North American Indian, Mtis, orInuit. Of this percentage, about 69% are North American Indian, 26% Mtis, and5% Inuit.ReligionAccording to the 1991 census, more than four-fifths of Canadians are Christian,with Catholics accounting for about 47% of the population and Protestants about36%. Other religions include Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.Some 12.5%, more than any single denomination except Roman Catholic, have noreligious affiliation at all.LanguagesCanada has two official languages: English, the mother tongue of about 59% ofCanadians; and French, the first language of 23% of the population. A full 18%have either more than one mother tongue or a mother tongue other than English orFrench, such as Chinese, Italian, German, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Punjabi,Ukrainian, Arabic, Dutch, Tagalog, Greek, Vietnamese, Cree, Inuktitut, or otherlanguages.The Official Languages Act makes French and English the official languages ofCanada and provides for special measures aimed at enhancing the vitality andsupporting the development of English and French linguistic minority communities.Canada's federal institutions reflect the equality of its two official languages byoffering bilingual services.Ethnic OriginIn 1996, about 19% of the population reported "Canadian" as their single ethnicorigin, with 17% reporting British Isles-only ancestry and 9% French-only ancestry.About 10% reported a combination of British Isles, French, or Canadian origin,with another 16% reporting an ancestry of either British Isles, French or Canadianin combination with some other origin. Some 28% reported origins other than theBritish Isles, French or Canadian.EducationThe educational system varies from province to province and includes six to eightyears of elementary school, four or five years of secondary school and three or fouryears at the university undergraduate level. The 1996 census revealed that, amongCanadians aged 15 and over, about 23% had graduated from secondary school,some 9% had bachelor's degrees, and about 6% had advanced degrees.SportsCanada's most popular sports include swimming, ice hockey, cross-country andalpine skiing, baseball, tennis, basketball and golf. Ice hockey and lacrosse areCanada's national sports.Main Natural ResourcesThe principal natural resources are natural gas, oil, gold, coal, copper, iron ore,nickel, potash, uranium and zinc, along with wood and water.Leading IndustriesThese include automobile manufacturing, pulp and paper, iron and steel work,machinery and equipment manufacturing, mining, extraction of fossil fuels, forestryand agriculture.ExportsCanada's leading exports are automobile vehicles and parts, machinery andequipment, high-technology products, oil, natural gas, metals, and forest and farmproducts.National Cultural Institutions: An OverviewCBC Since 1936, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), one of the world'sforemost public broadcasting organizations, has been helping Canadians toappreciate their nation and understand the Canadian experience. It now operatestwo core national television networks (one in English, the other in French); fournational radio networks (two French, two English); radio and television services forthe North in English, French, and eight aboriginal languages; two self-supportingspecialty cable television services (one English, one French); and an internationalshortwave radio service that broadcasts in seven languages. Working under theterms of the Broadcasting Act, the CBC provides a wide range of programming thatinforms and entertains Canadians from coast to coast. Its public programmingenjoys a high level of approval: over half of adult Canadians listen to CBC radioand about 9 out of 10 watch CBC television.National Film Board Created in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) isa public agency that produces and distributes films and other audiovisual worksthat reflect Canada to Canadians and the rest of the world. The NFB is a centre offilmmaking and video technology as well as a storehouse for an important part ofthe country's audiovisual heritage. Hailed over 3,000 times at major festivals, theNFB has won nine Oscars for its productions and an honorary Oscar "inrecognition of its dedicated commitment to originate artistic, creative andtechnological activity and excellence in every area of filmmaking." Recent NFBproductions include documentaries, animation shorts, CD-ROMS and interactivevideos. NFB founder John Grierson wanted to establish a national cinema thatwould "see Canada and see it whole: its people and its purpose." This earlyinspiration, through the work of the NFB, continues to consolidate the Canadiancharacter and give shape to the national dream.Canada Council The Canada Council is an independent, arm's-length organizationcreated by the Parliament of Canada in 1957 to "foster and promote the study andenjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts." To fulfill this mandate, theCouncil offers a broad range of grants and services to professional Canadian artistsand arts organizations working in music, writing, publishing, dance, theatre, visualarts and media arts. Each year, the Council awards some 4,200 grants in alldisciplines and some 10,700 payments to authors through the Public Lending RightCommission. The Council also administers the Killam Program of scholarly awardsand prizes, and offers a number of other prestigious awards, including the GlennGould Prize, the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes and the GovernorGeneral's Literary Awards. The Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the PublicLending Right Commission also operate under its aegis.Canadian Film Development Corporation (Telefilm Canada) Telefilm Canada, acrown corporation, was created by Parliament in 1967. Telefilm's role differs fromthat of the National Film Board in that Telefilm is a funding agency rather than aproducer or distributor. It has financed some 600 feature films and 1,500 televisionshows and series, helping to build what is now a multibillion-dollar Canadianindustry. Telefilm support has also allowed Canadian talent and culture to acquirecurrency abroad: At international film festivals, works backed by Telefilm Canadahave won more than 1,600 prizes in some 35 countries. Of all who appreciateTelefilm's contribution, it is perhaps the audiovisual artists who best understandwhat it has meant to Canadian culture. Filmmaker Denys Arcand (The Decline ofthe American Empire) states the perspective from his province in words that holdtrue from Newfoundland to British Columbia: "The existence of Telefilmdetermined the existence of a Quebec film industry. Once again, in a province suchas Quebec, if there is no Telefilm, there is no film."Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) SSHRC isCanada's federal funding agency for university-based research and graduatetraining in the social sciences and humanities. Created as an independent body in1977, SSHRC reports to Parliament through the Minister of Industry. SSHRCcontributes to Canada's social and economic development through funding forresearch and training in fields such as health care, social and legal issues, cultureand heritage, economics, and the environment. This research, besides being ofacademic interest, furnishes an important part of the practical knowledge requiredfor sound decisions in matters affecting our standard of living and quality of life.National Gallery of Canada Founded in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada holdsthe country's foremost collection of Canadian and European art. The present gallerybuilding, located on Sussex Drive in Ottawa, is a formidable work of art in its ownright--a magnificent structure of rose granite, towering glass, and steel enclosingover 30,000 square metres of balanced space and light. The National Gallery hasalways devoted itself to making Canadian art better known, sending exhibitions tomuseums across Canada and around the world. The Gallery's permanent collectionsof Canadian, Inuit, European, American, Asian, and contemporary art, togetherwith its special exhibitions and creative programming, give the Canadian publicwide access to art of an exceptional range and quality.Canadian Museum of Civilization The Canadian Museum of Civilization, locatedacross the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, is one of the most distinguished andbest equipped museums in the world. Designed by Douglas Cardinal and opened in1989, the building is notable for its rare combination of massiveness and sweep,which serves to bring the structure into accord with both its riverbank surroundingsand the flow of time depicted in its interior. With an archaeological collection datingfrom 1842, and a tradition of anthropological research going back to 1910, theMuseum is an established centre for the study of human life in Canada. Activitiesare based on four general areas of research: archaeology, ethnology, folklore, andhistory. Now the nation's largest and most popular museum, the Canadian Museumof Civilization attracts over 1.3 million visitors a year.Canadian War Museum Established in 1880, the Canadian War Museum is locatedin Ottawa at 330 Sussex Drive, next door to the National Gallery. It housespermanent and temporary exhibits about Canada's accomplishments in war andpeacekeeping. Artifacts of all types and periods illustrate Canada's past militaryactivities, from its days as a French colony to its modern missions in peacekeeping.Life-size dioramas, displays, and a magnificent collection of war art allow visitors toexperience a part of Canada's military history. The museum reveals, in a way thatwords alone cannot, how Canadians fought and how the fighting affected Canada.More important, it stands as a memorial, and a tribute, to all Canadians who servedin war and peacekeeping.National Library of Canada The National Library of Canada, at 395 WellingtonStreet in Ottawa, is home to Canada's published heritage. The National Library'smain role is to acquire, preserve, and promote the world's most comprehensivecollection of Canadiana for all Canadians, now and in years to come. The Libraryholds materials such as books, periodicals, sound recordings, manuscripts, andelectronic documents. Founded in 1953 as a department of the federal government,the Library now contains some three million items. Notable strengths includeCanadian music, newspapers, and official government publications. The Library isalso a leading centre for Canadian rare books, city directories, literary manuscripts,and literature for children and for adults.National Archives of Canada Founded in 1872, the National Archives of Canadatoday contains millions of records that bring the past to life, including texts,photographs, films, maps, videos, books, paintings, prints, and government files.The National Archives acts as the collective memory of the nation, preserving anessential part of Canada's heritage and making it available to the public through avariety of means--publications, exhibitions, special events, and reference andresearcher services. Public records also provide much of the evidence required touphold rights, substantiate claims, and maintain justice. The National Archives islocated at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa.National Arts Centre (NAC) The National Arts Centre, located on the banks ofOttawa's Rideau Canal, is Canada's leading bicultural theatre for the performingarts. Designed by Fred Lebensold, the triple-hexagon building contains three superbperformance halls--the Opera, the Theatre, and the Studio--which together give theNAC a seating capacity of over 3600. By consistently encouraging artistic excellence,diversity, and youth, the National Arts Centre has helped to shape the careers ofcountless Canadian artists. The National Arts Centre gives the public year-roundaccess to arts and entertainment, offering complete seasons of dance, English andFrench theatre, music and variety. Prominent attractions include Festival Canada, asummer celebration of the performing arts; and the National Arts Centre Orchestra,one of the finest ensembles of its kind in the world.Canada and the WorldInternational Public OpinionIn 1997, a team of professional survey research firms under the supervision of theAngus Reid Group polled 5,700 adults living in 20 countries (including Canada).The poll, which was conducted in 24 different languages, offers insight into theattitudes of people around the world toward Canada, and the views of Canadiansthemselves. This "snapshot" of international public opinion shows that Canada isheld in very high regard indeed! Highlights of this public opinion survey include thefollowing:Canada on the Top-Ten ListParticipants in 20 countries were asked to list their choices of countries to live in,after their own. A sizable majority in all 20 countries put Canada on their top-tenlist of places in which to live. Residents of France, the United States and the UnitedKingdom--countries with whom Canada maintains very strong political, culturaland trading relationships--are particularly impressed with our quality of life. Infact, Canada was the number one choice of people in the United States and Franceas the country they would most like to live in after their own.These results reflect the findings of the 1995, 1996 and 1997 United Nations HumanDevelopment Report, which stated that Canada's overall quality of life makes it thebest country in the world in which to live.Canadians also express contentment with their country and their quality of life.Overwhelming numbers of Canadians (nine of every ten surveyed) ranked Canadaas one of the three best places to live. The degree of personal freedom Canadiansenjoy, health care, the environment and the peaceful nature of our country areconsidered key ingredients in their quality of life.Canada: What the World Likes ... and Doesn't LikeCanada is best known abroad for its natural beauty. For many people in othercountries, Canada is wide-open spaces, mountains, trees and lakes. They are alsoviewed favourably for being environmentally responsible.In all countries, the vast majority of people polled consider Canadians to be honest,friendly, polite, well-educated, interesting and healthy.Throughout the world, they are known as a modern, progressive nation with anopen and generous society, a country in which all people have the opportunity togrow and develop in their own way, and a country that upholds its internationalcommitments.As for what the world doesn't like about Canada, the first thing to be noted is thatin half the countries surveyed the majority of respondents couldn't think of a singlebad thing to say about Canada. But among those who did find something ofconcern, one issue was a standout: their climate! The French, the British, theAustralians and the Chileans all registered this concern.Respecting DiversityCanadians are proud and appreciative of our cultural diversity. Throughout theworld, they are regarded as a nation that respects the contributions andindividuality of different cultures. In fact, Canada's deserved reputation for warmthto all peoples is considered an important part of our country's internationalreputation.Caring For and Helping OthersCanada has an excellent reputation for compassion towards its own citizens and alsofor the ways in which we help countries in need.Many of the people surveyed, and Canadians in particular, think our healthcaresystem is among the best in the world. We are also admired for our generousnetwork of social assistance programsIn 15 of the 20 countries surveyed, majorities agreed that Canada plays a"substantial role" in world peacekeeping efforts. Our continental neighbours inCentral and South America offered high praise in this regard, as did those polled inthe United States.Canada has a solid reputation for generosity in providing aid to poorer countries. Amajority of Canadians think we are better than other well-to-do countries atproviding aid and assistance to developing countries. In more than half of the other19 countries there was majority support for the view that Canada is more generousthan other developed countries.MulticulturalismEthnic and Racial Diversity in CanadaMulticulturalism is a fundamental characteristic of Canadian society. Our societyhas always been pluralist and diverse and is bound to become even more so. Alreadyapproximately two-fifths of the Canadian population has one origin other thanBritish, French or Aboriginal.What is Multiculturalism?In 1971, Canada became the first country in the world to adopt a multiculturalismpolicy. In 1986 the government passed the Employment Equity Act and in 1988 itpassed the Canadian Multiculturalism Act.Founded on a long tradition of Canadian human rights legislation, theMulticulturalism Policy affirms that Canada recognizes and values its rich ethnicand racial diversity. The Canadian Multiculturalism Act gives specific direction tothe federal government to work toward achieving equality in the economic, social,cultural and political life of the country. Through its multiculturalism policy, thegovernment wants to help build a more inclusive society based on respect, equalityand the full participation of all citizens, regardless of race, ethnic origin, language orreligion.In a recent report of the UNESCO World Commission on Culture and Development,Canada's approach to multiculturalism was cited as a model for other countries.Canada is recognized today as a world leader in this field.The Federal Government's Multiculturalism ProgramIn 1997, the department of Canadian Heritage restructured the federalMulticultural Program. The renewed program works towards three main goals:Identity. Fostering a society in which people of all backgrounds feel a sense ofbelonging and attachment to CanadaCivic Participation. Developing citizens that are actively involved in shaping thefuture of their various communities and their countrySocial Justice. Building a nation that ensures fair and equitable treatment and thatrespects and accommodates people of all originsCampaigns and Promotional ActivitiesPromotional activities seek to improve public understanding of multiculturalism andracism and to encourage informed public dialogue and action on issues related toethnic and racial diversity in Canada.March 21 Campaign: "Racism: Stop It!"The March 21 Campaign is at the heart of the Multiculturalism Program'sactivities. This nationwide campaign is intended to make the public aware of theInternational Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The March 21campaign features a broad range of activities throughout the country, involvingcommunity groups, schools, school boards, colleges, universities, private companies,parliamentarians and media.The Mathieu Da Costa AwardsIn 1996, the Multiculturalism Program established the Mathieu Da Costa Awards aspart of Parliament's official designation of February as Black History Month. Thisprogram encourages intercultural understanding and provides an excellent vehicleby which youth can develop an appreciation of the diversity and shared experiencesthat form the Canadian identity.Multiculturalism in the MediaThe Broadcasting Act, passed in 1991, affirms that the Canadian broadcastingsystem should, through its programming and the employment opportunities itcreates, serve the needs of a diverse society and reflect the multicultural andmultiracial nature of Canada.The 'mainstream' media is slowly coming to reflect the diverse nature of thecountry. Successful television programs such as North of 60, Degrassi Junior High,Jasmine and Ces enfants d'ailleurs are eloquent examples of this trend. TheAcademy of Canadian Cinema and Television has a special Gemini award, called"The Canada Award/Prix Gmeaux du multiculturalisme," which is sponsored bythe Multiculturalism Program. It honours excellence in mainstream televisionprogramming that best reflects the cultural diversity of Canada.Ethnic radio and television broadcasting is also thriving in Canada. Nine radiostations in five cities devote much of their programming to specific ethnic groups,notably the Italian, Ukrainian, German, Greek, Portuguese and Chinesecommunities. Toronto has a full-time ethnic television station which is availablethroughout Ontario. Three ethnic specialty television services are licensed, and morethan 60 radio stations include ethnic broadcasting in their schedules. Numerouscable companies carry programming in a variety of languages on communitychannels.In the print media, ethnic newspapers have flourished across Canada for more than80 years. In Toronto alone, there are more than 100 daily, weekly, monthly orquarterly ethnic-language publications. More than 40 cultures are represented inCanada's ethnic press; many of these publications are national in scope, such as theChinese version of Maclean's magazine.Multiculturalism and BusinessCanada's diversity is increasingly recognized as an asset in both the domestic andthe international market, and as a major contributor to Canadian economicprosperity.The Conference Board of Canada has worked with other business, industry andtrade associations to identify new ways for Canadian organizations to use Canada'slinguistic and cultural diversity to their advantage at home and abroad. Also, theBusiness Development Bank of Canada consults regularly with ethnoculturalbusiness associations in major centres.Canada's multicultural nature will become even more of an asset in the emergingglobal economy. Canadian companies already recognize the benefits and aredrawing on the cultural diversity of our work force to obtain the language andcultural skills needed to compete successfully in international markets.The ArtsThroughout the world, Canada is respected for its achievements in the arts. Inmusic, dance, literature, theatre, cinema and visual arts Canadians are held in highregard.MusicThe talents of Canadian musicians can be heard in all types of music.Bryan Adams, Cline Dion, Sarah McLachlan, Leonard Cohen, Roch Voisine andDaniel Lavoie are popular with rock fans all over the world. The group Kashtin hasadded Montagnais to the list of languages in which Canadians songwriters andperformers can become famous.DanceThree large Canadian ballet companies perform on the international circuit: theRoyal Winnipeg Ballet; the Grands Ballets Canadiens; and the National Ballet ofCanada. They have been the home base and stepping stone to international careersfor dancers such as Karen Kain and Evelyn Hart.Fans of modern dance throughout the world are delighted by the performances ofCanadian troupes that include: La La La Human Steps; the Toronto DanceTheatre; the Desrosiers Dance Theatre; and O Vertigo.Every year, a growing number of independent choreographers and dancers mountperformances in Canada and abroad. Among this group of more than 150 areMargie Gillis, Marie Chouinard, Ginette Laurin, Judith Marcuse, Peggy Baker andJean-Pierre Perrault.LiteratureCanadian literature tells the story of Canada, in all its richness and diversity.Canadian novelists, essayists, playwrights and poets such as Gabrielle Roy, JacquesFerron, Margaret Atwood, Robertson Davies, Alice Munro, Anne Hbert, YvesBeauchemin, Arlette Cousture, Michel Tremblay, Jacques Godbout, Hubert Aquin,Gaston Miron, Northrop Frye, Michael Ondaatje, Nancy Huston, Tomson Highwayand Mordecai Richler have given voice to the deepest thoughts and feelings ofCanadians.TheatreIf all the world is a stage, Canada's role on that stage is prominent and muchadmired. The compelling nature and high quality of Canadian theatre is recognizedinternationally. The Shaw and Stratford Theatre festivals are well known abroad.Quebec theatre has become increasingly popular both at home and abroad in recentyears, thanks in good measure to the plays of Michel Tremblay, which have nowbeen translated into more than 20 languages.Canadian theatre is distinguished by its innovative spirit and search for new forms.Companies such as Carbone 14, UBU and One yellow Rabbit tour the world andreceive critical acclaim wherever they go. Others, like Green Thumb, Les DeuxMondes and Mermaid have channelled their energies into creating outstandingchildren's theatre.The Cirque du Soleil has been revolutionizing entertainment under its yellow andblue big top since 1984. Millions of people around the world have marvelled at itsspectacular productions, which blend theatre, acrobatics and music.CinemaCanadian cinema is known throughout the world for its universality and relevance.International acclaim has been received by filmmaker David Cronenberg for hisfilm, Naked Lunch; by Denys Arcand for his films, Decline of the American Empireand Jesus of Montreal; by Atom Egoyan for The Sweet Hereafter; by producer LaPool for Anne Trister; and by the late Jean-Claude Lauzon for Lolo and Night Zoo.The National Film Board (NFB), and Norman McLaren, in particular, haveestablished Canada as an artistic force in the field of animation. The NFB has beennominated for 61 Oscars and has won 10. Frederick Back's 1987 Oscar-winninganimated work, The Man Who Planted Trees, is a brilliant continuation of thistradition. Computer-image animation is now providing fertile ground for theimaginations and talents of Canadian artists in this field.Visual ArtsFrom the landscapes of Cornelius Krieghoff and the portraits of Thophile Hamel tothe multidisciplinary works of Michael Snow and the hyperrealism of Alex Colville,the tradition of visual arts in Canada is rich and varied.SportsThink of sports in Canada and you'll likely think of hockey. Some of the world'sbest-known hockey players are Canadian. And hockey is by far Canada's favouritespectator sport and one of its most widely played recreational sports.But ask young Canadians to list their favourite sports activities and a much broaderpicture emerges. Those aged 13 to 24 cite swimming, downhill and cross-countryskiing, soccer, baseball, tennis and basketball. Canadians view sports as an integralpart of a well-rounded, healthy life.Sports on Ice and SnowMore than 450,000 youngsters participate in organized hockey leagues. Many moreplay on streets, lakes and outdoor rinks and even dream of joining the NationalHockey League (NHL).The majority of the NHL players are Canadian and Canadians have fared extremelywell in international amateur hockey competition: the Men's Junior National Teamhas won five consecutive World Junior Championships; the Men's National Teamcaptured silver medals in the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympic Games; and theWomen's National Team has won every world championship played to date (1990,1992, 1994, 1997), as well as the silver medal in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.Canada's Paralympic sledge hockey team won the silver at the 1998 ParalympicGames in Nagano.Skiing is a sport that has captured the hearts of Canadians. The country boastshundreds of ski areas, including world-renowned resorts in Banff, Alberta, andWhistler, British Columbia, as well as an abundance of cross-country ski trails. Ininternational competition, Canadian skiers have excelled on the World Cup circuitand at the Winter Olympic Games. Canada's Paralympians are champions on theslopes. At the 1998 Paralympics in Nagano, Dan Wesley put together a top-flightperformance, winning gold in the men's super G for sit skiers, and taking a bronzein downhill.Sports VarietyA variety of warm-weather sports are played in Canada. These include swimming,sailing, windsurfing, rowing, track and field, tennis, football, soccer, rugby, fieldhockey and golf.Swimming is not only one of the most popular recreational sports in Canada, it isalso a powerhouse event for Canadian athletes in international competition.Canadians have won more than 50 Olympic medals in swimming events since the1912 Summer Games in Stockholm and have held numerous world records.Canada's swim team ended the 1998 World Cup short-course season in spectacularfashion, winning eight medals including a gold for Jessica Deglau of Vancouver inthe women's 200 m butterfly.Canada has also been a world leader in synchronized swimming since the sportbegan more than 50 years ago. Synchronized swimming reached full medal status atthe 1988 Summer Olympic Games, where Carolyn Waldo won two gold medals forCanada. At the Barcelona games in 1992, Sylvie Frchette was awarded the gold,while the duo of Penny and Vicky Vilagos captured the silver. At the Atlanta Gamesin 1996, the Canadian team won a silver medal.Rowing has also enjoyed a recent upsurge in popularity in Canada followingtremendous success on the international circuit. Canada won four gold and onebronze in rowing at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games, and followed up in the1996 Atlanta Summer Games by winning six medals.Soccer, the world's most popular sport, is now entrenched in Canada with a largebase of young competitors and a professional league.The sport of basketball, invented by Canadian James Naismith, is also very popularin Canada, with almost 650,000 participants. In addition, the sport of wheelchairbasketball is one of the most popular sports for athletes with a disability. TheCanadian Women's Team is the reigning World and Paralympic champion.In terms of spectator appeal, professional baseball and football rank with hockey atthe top of the list. The annual Grey Cup game is traditionally one of the mostwatched sports events in Canada.Major-league baseball teams in Montreal and Toronto attract millions of spectatorsevery season. In 1992, the Toronto Blue Jays became the first team outside theUnited States to win the World Series. The Blue Jays added to their fame bywinning the World Series again in 1993. Baseball and softball are popularrecreational sports in Canada, with countless local teams and leagues in operation inthe summer and autumn.The Department of Canadian Heritage, through Sport Canada, provides fundingand support to high-performance sporting excellence and fairness in sport. Itcontributes to the hosting of amateur competitions--international, national andinterprovincial. It works with partners to support Canadian athletes and to linksport organizations at the community, provincial and national levels.International RoleWith more than 60 national teams participating in international competition,Canada has a wealth of technical and administrative sport expertise that it shareswith other countries through various programs and exchanges.Canada has hosted almost every major international sports competition: theSummer and Winter Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Pan-American Games,World University Games, and Special Olympics. The 1999 Pan-American Gameswill be taking place in Winnipeg. In 2001, Canada will host its first Jeux de laFrancophonie in Ottawa-Hull.The FutureNothing unites Canadians like sport. Over 9 million Canadians participate regularlyin one or more sports at some level. More than anything else, sport reflects whatCanadians value most: the pursuit of excellence, fairness and ethics, inclusion, andparticipation. Canada also supports international events because during such eventsthe whole world becomes a global village, united in its love of sport and in itsappreciation for the excellence of all athletes.The federal government recently announced additional funding for sport of $10million a year over five years. These funds will directly support high-perfomanceathletes, employ additional full-time coaches, and provide additional opportunitiesfor athletes to train and compete.Our National AnthemO Canada!Our home and native land!True patriot lovein all thy sons command.With glowing heartswe see thee rise,The True Northstrong and free!From far and wide,O Canada,We stand on guardfor thee.God keep our landglorious and free!O Canada,we stand on guard for thee.O Canada,we stand on guard for thee.HISTORY"O CANADA" was proclaimed Canada's national anthem on July 1, 1980, acentury after it was first sung on June 24, 1880. The music was composed by CalixaLavalle, a well-known composer; French lyrics to accompany the music werewritten by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. The song gained steadily in popularity.Many English versions have appeared over the years. The version on which theofficial English lyrics are based was written in 1908 by Mr. Justice Robert StanleyWeir. The official English version includes changes recommended in 1968 by aSpecial Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons. The French lyricsremain unaltered.French Language and Identity: A Vibrant PresenceAccording to the 1991 census, French is the mother tongue of 82 percent of Quebec'spopulation and is spoken at home by 83 percent of Quebeckers. More than a millionFrancophones live outside Quebec.French is spoken by 8.5 million people in Canada, 25 percent of whom live outsideQuebec. Of this number, 6.6 million have French as their mother tongue.More and more children are learning French in schools throughout Canada:enrolment in French immersion programs jumped from 40 000 in 1978 to some 313000 in 1996.In 1995, 2.7 million young people (54 percent of students) were studying French orEnglish as a second language, an increase of 10 percent in 25 years.According to the 1991 Statistics Canada census, the level of bilingualism amongyoung Canadians aged 15 to 25 has risen from 16 percent to 23 percent in a singledecade. Young Canadians in this age group are the most bilingual generation in ournation's history.Internationally, it is estimated that some 800 million people speak English and 250million speak French. As well, La Francophonie makes up 18 percent of the worldeconomy and accounts for more than $100 billion in trade annually. Clearly, aknowledge of both languages provides a competitive edge in the battle to conquernew markets. As a bilingual nation, Canada has that edge.The Official Languages Act makes French and English the official languages ofCanada and provides for special measures aimed at enhancing the vitality andsupporting the development of English and French linguistic minority communities.Canada's federal institutions must reflect the equality of its two official languages byoffering bilingual services.The Constitution Act of 1982 makes French and English the official languages ofCanada; the two languages have equal status in terms of their use in all theinstitutions of the Government of Canada.The Socit Radio-Canada (the French-language division of the CanadianBroadcasting Corporation) broadcasts programs in French across the country. Inaddition, since January, 1995 the Rseau de l'information (RDI) has beenbroadcasting French-language television news and public affairs programs 24 hoursa day. Its objective is to ensure a French current affairs presence throughout thecountry.The Government of Canada supports a group of television networks from Quebecand across Canada as part of an international Francophone broadcastingconsortium known as TV5. Today, the Government of Canada contributes $4million annually so that TV5 can continue to provide high-quality domestic andinternational Francophone broadcasting for Canadians.HistoryAboriginal peoples are thought to have arrived from Asia thousands of years ago byway of a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska. Some of them settled in Canada,while others chose to continue to the south. When the European explorers arrived,Canada was populated by a diverse range of Aboriginal peoples who, depending onthe environment, lived nomadic or settled lifestyles, were hunters, fishermen orfarmers.First contacts between the native peoples and Europeans probably occurred about1000 years ago when Icelandic Norsemen settled for a brief time on the island ofNewfoundland. But it would be another 600 years before European explorationbegan in earnest.First Colonial OutpostsSeeking a new route to the rich markets of the Orient, French and British explorersplied the waters of North America. They constructed a number of posts -- theFrench mostly along the St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes and the MississippiRiver; the British around Hudson Bay and along the Atlantic coast. Althoughexplorers such as Cabot, Cartier and Champlain never found a route to China andIndia, they found something just as valuable -- rich fishing grounds and teemingpopulations of beaver, fox and bear, all of which were valued for their fur.Permanent French and British settlement began in the early 1600s and increasedthroughout the century. With settlement came economic activity, but the colonies ofNew France and New England remained economically dependent on the fur tradeand politically and militarily dependent on their mother countries.Inevitably, North America became the focal point for the bitter rivalry betweenEngland and France. After the fall of Quebec City in 1759, the Treaty of Parisassigned all French territory east of the Mississippi to Britain, except for the islandsof St. Pierre and Miquelon, off the island of Newfoundland.Under British rule, the 65 000 French-speaking inhabitants of Canada had a singleaim -- to retain their traditions, language and culture. Britain passed the QuebecAct (1774), which granted official recognition to French civil laws and guaranteedreligious and linguistic freedoms.Large numbers of English-speaking colonists, called Loyalists because they wishedto remain faithful to the British Empire, sought refuge in Canada after the UnitedStates of America won its independence in 1776. They settled mainly in the coloniesof Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and along the Great Lakes.The increase in population led to the creation in 1791 of Upper Canada (nowOntario) and Lower Canada (Quebec). Both were granted their own representativegoverning institutions. Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada in 1837 and 1838prompted the British to join the two colonies, forming the united Province ofCanada. In 1848 the joint colony was granted responsible government except inmatters of foreign affairs. Canada gained a further measure of autonomy butremained part of the British Empire.A Country Is BornBritain's North American colonies -- Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PrinceEdward Island and Newfoundland -- grew and prospered independently. But withthe emergence of a more powerful United States after the American Civil War, somepoliticians felt a union of the British colonies was the only way to fend off eventualannexation. On July 1, 1867, Canada East, Canada West, Nova Scotia and NewBrunswick joined together under the terms of the British North America Act tobecome the Dominion of Canada.The government of the new country was based on the British parliamentary system,with a Governor General (the Crown's representative) and a Parliament consistingof the House of Commons and the Senate. Parliament received the power to legislateover matters of national interest (such as taxes and national defence), while theprovinces were given legislative powers over matters of "particular" interest (suchas property, civil rights and education).Westward ExpansionSoon after Confederation, Canada expanded into the northwest. Rupert's Land --an area extending south and west for thousands of kilometres from Hudson Bay --was purchased by Canada from the Hudson's Bay Company, which had beengranted the vast territory by King Charles of England in 1670.Westward expansion did not happen without stress. In 1869, Louis Riel led anuprising of the Mtis in an attempt to defend their ancestral rights to the land. Acompromise was reached in 1870 and a new province, Manitoba, was carved fromRupert's Land.British Columbia, already a Crown colony since 1858, decided to join the Dominionin 1871 on the promise of a rail link with the rest of the country; Prince EdwardIsland followed suit in 1873. In 1898, the northern territory of Yukon was officiallyestablished to ensure Canadian jurisdiction over that area during the Klondike goldrush. In 1905, two new provinces were carved from Rupert's Land: Alberta andSaskatchewan; the residual land became the Northwest Territories. Newfoundlandpreferred to remain a British colony until 1949, when it became Canada's 10thprovince.The creation of new provinces coincided with an increase of immigration to Canada,particularly to the west. Immigration peaked in 1913 with 400 000 coming toCanada. During the prewar period, Canada profited from the prosperous worldeconomy and established itself as an industrial as well as an agricultural power.A Nation MaturesCanada's substantial role in the First World War won it representation distinctfrom Britain in the League of Nations after the war. Its independent voice becamemore and more pronounced, and in 1931 Canada's constitutional autonomy fromBritain was confirmed with the passing of the Statute of Westminster. In Canada aselsewhere, the onset of the Great Depression in 1929 brought hardship. As many asone out of every four workers was without a job and the provinces of Alberta,Saskatchewan and Manitoba were laid waste by drought. Ironically, it was the needto supply the Allied armies during the Second World War that boosted Canada outof the Depression.Since World War II, Canada's economy has continued to expand. This growth,combined with government social programs such as family allowances, old-agesecurity, universal medicare and unemployment insurance has given Canadians ahigh standard of living and desirable quality of life.Noticeable changes have occurred in Canada's immigration trends. Before WorldWar II, most immigrants came from the British Isles or eastern Europe. Since 1945,increasing numbers of southern Europeans, Asians, South Americans and peoplefrom the Caribbean islands have enriched Canada's multicultural mosaic.On the international scene, as the nation has developed and matured, so has itsreputation and influence. Canada has participated in the United Nations since itsinception and is the only nation to have taken part in all of the UN's majorpeacekeeping operations. It is also a member of the Commonwealth, laFrancophonie, the Group of Seven industrialized nations, the OAS (Organization ofAmerican States) and the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) defence pact.A New Federation in the MakingThe last quarter of a century has seen Canadians grapple once more withfundamental questions of national identity. Discontent among manyFrench-speaking Quebeckers led to a referendum in that province in 1980 onwhether Quebec should become more politically autonomous from Canada, but amajority voted to maintain the status quo.In 1982, the process toward major constitutional reform culminated in the signing ofthe Constitution Act. Under this act, the British North America Act of 1867 and itsvarious amendments became the Constitution Act, 1867-1982. The Constitution, itsCharter of Rights and Freedoms, and its general amending formula redefined thepowers of governments, entrenched the equality of women and men, and advancedthe rights of individuals and ethnocultural groups.Two major efforts were made to reform the constitutional system: the 1987 MeechLake Accord which was not implemented since it did not obtain the legislativeconsent of all provinces and the 1991 Charlottetown Accord. The CharlottetownAccord would have reformed the Senate and made major changes in theConstitution. It was rejected in a national referendum held on October 26, 1992.The Parliament of Canada has since passed a bill, on February 2, 1996,guaranteeing Canada's 5 major regions that no constitutional change concerningthem would be made without their unanimous consent. As well, less than a monthafter the Quebec sovereignty referendum of October 30, 1995, the Parliament ofCanada passed a resolution recognizing Quebec as a distinct society within Canada.Federal evolution is also underway in Canada's North. On April 1, 1999, theNorthwest Territories was divided into two by Act of Parliament, creating a new 2000 000 km2 territory called Nunavut ("our land" in Inuktitut, the Inuit language).WomenWomen have a long history of active involvement in all aspects of Canadian life. In1918, after a long struggle, they won the right to vote in federal elections. In 1929,they helped overturn a previous court ruling that barred women from appointmentsto the Senate on the grounds that they were not "persons" within the meaning ofthe law.There have been remarkable changes to society and to the lives of Canadian womensince then. In 1929, less than 4 percent of women worked outside the home; in 1991,60 percent were in the labour force.In previous generations, a typical Canadian family had a father as the onlybreadwinner and a mother working unpaid in the home, looking after the childrenand shouldering the responsibility for household tasks. In 1992, only 16 percent ofall Canadian families were still of this type. While the predominant family type isnow the dual-earner couple, with or without children, 16 percent of families areheaded by a lone female parent.Perhaps the most remarkable change in recent years has been the increased numberof mothers who have young children and work outside their homes. A record 69percent of mothers in two-parent families with children under age six are now in thepaid labour force, while 47 percent of lone parent mothers with young children arein the same situation.Not surprisingly, these rapid changes in family life have focussed attention on childcare and the balancing of work and family responsibilities. It is estimated that 60percent of families with children younger than 13 need some supplemental child carewhile the parents are at work. The federal government provides more than $1 billiona year in support of child care through tax deductions and allowances. In the 1997Budget, the Government of Canada allocated an additional $600 million in childbenefits for low income families.All jurisdictions in Canada give women a statutory right to take maternity leavewithout penalty, usually for a period of 17 weeks. An additional period of 24 weeks'parental leave, which may be taken by either parent, is available to certain workers,mostly in the federal public service, banks, and transportation and communicationscompanies.While these rights are for unpaid leave, the Employment Insurance Programprovides 15 weeks of maternity benefits for mothers and 10 weeks of parentalbenefits for natural or adoptive parents.Women and The EconomyWomen now account for 45 percent of the Canadian labour force, compared with 36percent in 1975. In fact, women accounted for almost three-quarters of all growth inemployment between 1975 and 1991. However, women still tend to be concentratedin lower-paying occupations. On the other hand, the number of women who areemployed in their own businesses has increased 172 percent since 1975. Women nowmake up 30 percent of all self-employed persons in Canada.A wage gap persists between women and men in the labour force: women workingfull-time for a full year in 1993 earned, on average, 72 percent of what men earned.Equal pay for work of equal value laws have been in place at the federal level formore than a decade, and several provinces are also trying to integrate pay equitylegislation in their jurisdictions, to which most Canadian workers are subject. Thelaws are based on an evaluation of jobs that takes into account the skill, effort andresponsibility required to do a job, and the conditions under which the work isperformed.Employers with more than 100 employees and those who want to do business withthe federal government also fall under a program of employment equity. Employersare required to report annually on their progress in integrating women and othertarget groups into their workforces.About one-quarter of employed women work part-time. In fact, 69 percent of allpart-time workers are women. There is a growing trend to part-time work in theCanadian economy, particularly in the service sector, where the majority of womenwork.Increasingly, in Canada as elsewhere, a "feminization of poverty" particularlyaffects lone female parents and their children, as well as elderly women. Womenwho head lone parent families are now among the poorest of the poor: almost 62percent of families living in poverty are headed by lone female parents.Poverty rates among the elderly have been declining, thanks to governmentprograms such as the Old Age Security benefit and the Guaranteed IncomeSupplement. However, elderly women, especially those who have never been in thelabour force, still face economic challenges.One of the keys to women's economic equality is improved access for women andgirls to education and training opportunities. Of all women aged 15 and over, 40percent have a high school diploma or better. Over 10 percent of women hold auniversity degree. Women make up more than 53 percent of full-timeundergraduate students at Canadian universities. Federal, provincial and territorialgovernments have been working together to eliminate sexual stereotyping in schoolcurricula, textbooks and career counselling. They also encourage greaterparticipation by women and girls in non-traditional disciplines such as mathematics,science and technology.Women and GovernmentSince 1985, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, part of Canada's Constitution, hasguar

We will write a custom essay sample on

Canada- Facts And Figures specifically for you

for only $13.90/page

Order Now