Canada

CANADA

In many ways Canada is an impossible country. You can’t talk about Canada without mentioning 2 different factors: the country’s immense land mass and the climate. Living in a such sparsely populated country gives the Canadians a sense of space and freedom, but they are constantly struggling to define their identity.
The winter in Canada is very long and also very cold, but how long and how cold depends from the area. In the North it’s quite colder than in the South.
The Canadians pride themselves on their low crime rate and the comparative lack of violence in their cities.
They have very restrictive gun control laws and Canada has also never experienced anything like the American "Wild West". The country’s first prime minister, Sir A. Macdonald, set up a paramilitary police force known as the North - western Mounted Police, in 1873. But there are of course also violent parts in Canada’s history, when the Quebecois wanted to separate Quebec from Canada.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is a part of the glue held the country together. The CBC Radio is very famous, because it never underestimates the intelligence of it’s listeners. National programs such as Morningside encourage audience participation in the form of letters from the listeners.
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Politics



On the fall day in 1984, Mulroney announced: "Give us 20 years and you won’t recognise this country!". And since that day there has been many changes: smaller governments, reduced public services, privatisation of public owned industries and deregulation of business practices. Mulroney’s government entered into a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States and into a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),which include Mexico. Jean Chretien, who led the Liberal Party, has followed in Mulroney’s footsteps.
The Canadian medicare system was put in place during the 60’s and has been a model one - tier system admired both at home and around the world. But the one - tier health care system, which provides equal care to all patients, no matter what their income level is, is at risk. Canada can’t afford this system and hospitals have been closed.
Also the education system has been cut down too. There are larger classes, less equipment and fewer books. There is a sense of resignation in the public.
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Toronto


Toronto is a paradoxon: modern, but traditional, industrial, but green, conservative, but exciting. In 1956, Toronto was a very different place. Alcohol was seen as a social evil and Sundays were a day of rest and churchgoing. Today, Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. It’s a large number of ethnic villages such as Chinatown, Little Italy, Greektown and many other neighbourhoods, that immigrants have turned into a home away from home.
This winter snow removal was a big issue. The mayor even called on the Canadian military for help.
One of the things that distinguishes Toronto from other major cities in North America is that it’s not only possible, but actually desirable, to live in the downtown core.
Poverty and homeless have become more common on the streets of Toronto, despite the number of places offering shelter and warmth.
The best known landmark in Toronto is the CN Tower. It is the tallest free - standing structure and a tourist attraction. The 58 - second elevator brings you to the 360, the tower’s revolving restaurant. Toronto is the 3. largest live - theatre centre in the English - speaking world, and has also a large number of museums and galleries.
Toronto is also a very clean city and the Torontonians are very proud of the city’s cleanliness. Toronto is a green city, and without the trees, the air pollution probably would be much worse than it already is.
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Vancouver



Vancouver has a population of nearly 2 million. Like most large cities, it is something of a collection of villages. Many cultures make up this city: First Nations ( Indian and Inuit), Szechuanese, Taiwanese, East Indian, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, French, Korean, Vietnamese, Greek, Ethiopian, Ukrainian.
There are lot of beautiful places in Vancouver. For exemplar the beautiful Coast mountains or the Stanley Park, which is surrounded by see walls. There are also marvellous places to go shopping, e.g. West Broadway and Fourth Avenue. You can also find great totems and phantasmagoria pieces by Artist, such as "The Spirit of Haida - G’wai" by Bill Reid, which greets international visitors at the newly enlarged airport.
Famous is also "The Drive", home of countless cafes, ethnic restaurants, shops and markets, and the scene of some very interesting people - watching. Cafes are often overcrowded when stars like Robin Williams are in town. People are forever going "star - spotting". Vancouver is one of the most popular locations in North America for producing feature films. There are big and small production houses, including MGM, Disney and Pacific Motion Pictures.
People in Vancouver are in fond of hockey, soccer and care racing.
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Inuit


The Inuit culture is an oral, isolated and individual culture, but one that covers the circumpolar world. For thousands of years, they have existed by passing on the knowledge and skills of their people. No, in the technological age, they have to unite the traditional and the modern and preserve the important parts of their culture. The Inuit are subsistence hunters and gathers and they led a nomadic live, hinting caribou, seals, walruses, narwhals and fish. Men hunted the animals, they shaped and sewed the skins into waterproof boots, mitts and spring parkas. They travelled by sled, drawn by huskies.
From the 1930s to the 1950s, with the coming of the "White" man, things started to change for the Inuit. The "white" men told them to forget their culture and they sent them to school, to learn their language. Many children were sexually abused in this schools.
In the late 60’s, the government of Canada built houses for the Inuit in northern communities, and the Inuit moved away from their traditional homes in isolated hunting camps. These camps were led by non. Inuit adminostrators, who believed they knew what was good for the Inuit. The houses were very lousy ,but by the 70’s, however, the government houses standards had improved. Most houses have running water and are heated with diesel fuel. Snowmobiles, all - terrain vehicles and cars have been replaced the dog teams.
Most of the Inuit also have television, telephones, computers, faxes and even cellular telephones. They are trying to preserve their tradition. To keep their culture alive, they teach their children how to live in their land.
On April 1, 1999, the North - western Territories will be divided into 2 parts. One part will be called Nunavut (meaning "our land" in Inuktitut). The Inuit language will be one of the official languages in the Nunavut Territory. The Inuit are very proud of this move by the Nunavut leadership.
But there will be also problems. The Inuit can’t deal with the new situation and with the fast changes, so they become alcoholics and get addicted to drugs. There is also a very high suicide rate. There exists no connection between Nunavut and Canada, so everything has to be flown in and so the prices are very high. Nunavut will also have only 25.000 inhabitants and will be sparsely populated. There are also a lot of illiterates, because there is no education. 30 % of the people need income support. Skilled workers from Canada will come to Nanavut, so there will be no chance for the Inuit to earn money. They will become unemployed. Nunavut will need subsidies, because without an influx of money, Nunavut won’t be able to survive.
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Language wars



In Quebec exists as so called "language police", government officials whose job it is to measure the English writing on signs. French is compulsory, and it must be at least twice as big as the English. The English should also be in a less predominant colour.
Until 1970s, English signs were everywhere and by the time, these English signs began to anger the French speaking majority. So the people elected the Parti Qu├ęb├ęcois (PQ),which was intent on pulling Quebec out of Canada. Since then, the English - speaking population of Quebec has been dropping steadily. Many English - speaking people have left Canada. But the great majority of people get along famously. But also a lot of people from both sides trying to protect their language at the expense of the other.
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Winnipeg



Winnipeg is weather. It’s citizens are preoccupied with it. Winnipeg, a city of just over 600.000 people, is located, in east - west terms, almost smack - dab in the middle of the country. The city is subject to cold Arctic fronts, moist, warming air currents from the Pacific Ocean and south - westerly winds blasting dry heat from the US. Winnipeg has also the largest number of restaurants of any major North American city.
The city sits at the junction of two rivers - the Red River, which flows south to north, and the Assiniboine River, which flows west to east. The junction is also known as "The Forks".
By 1910, Winnipeg was the 3. - largest city in Canada. Growth continued following the First World War, as waves of Ukrainian, German, Polish and Slavic immigrants settled in the city. Winnipeg was described as the "Chicago of the North" and the "Gateway to the West".
On the Forks national heritage park you can stroll west on a paved river that runs along the north bank or the Assiniboine from the park side to the rear of the provincial Legislative building.
Winnipeg’s "North End" is celebrated as the city’s intellectual and cultural hothouse.
Driving around the city you can see children demonstrating their skills on outdoor hockey rinks, baseball diamonds (which are occupied by parents playing "slo - pitch") and you can also see Victorian and Edwardian architecture.
The city’s National Hockey League (NHL) franchise were The Jets. Were, because at the end of the 1996 NHL season the city’s hockey team moved to Phoenix, Arizona, because the market was just too small to support an NHL team.
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