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Canada (kănˈədə), independent nation (2020 est. pop. 37,742,154), 3,851,787 sq mi (9,976,128 sq km), N North America. The second largest country in the world in area, Canada occupies all of North America N of the United States (and E of Alaska) except for Greenland and the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. It is bounded on the E by the Atlantic Ocean, on the N by the Arctic Ocean, and on the W by the Pacific Ocean and Alaska. A transcontinental border, formed in part by the Great Lakes, divides Canada from the United States; Nares and Davis straits separate Canada from Greenland. The Arctic Archipelago extends far into the Arctic Ocean.

Canada is a federation of 10 provinces—Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia—and three territories—Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon. Canada's capital is Ottawa and its largest city is Toronto. Other important cities include Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, and Quebec.


Canada has a very long and irregular coastline; Hudson Bay and the Gulf of St. Lawrence indent the east coast and the Inside Passage extends along the west coast. The straits between the islands of N Canada form the Northwest Passage, but until the 21st century the passage was ice-clogged year-round. During the Ice Age all of Canada was covered by a continental ice sheet that scoured and depressed the land surface, leaving a covering of glacial drift, depositional landforms, and innumerable lakes and rivers. Aside from the Great Lakes, which are only partly in the country, the largest lakes of North America—Great Bear, Great Slave, and Winnipeg—are entirely in Canada. The St. Lawrence is the chief river of E Canada. The Saskatchewan, Nelson, Churchill, and Mackenzie river systems drain central Canada, and the Columbia, Fraser, and Yukon rivers drain the western part of the country.

Canada has a bowl-shaped geologic structure rimmed by highlands, with Hudson Bay at the lowest point. The country has eight major physiographic regions—the Canadian Shield, the Hudson Bay Lowlands, the Western Cordillera, the Interior Lowlands, the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence Lowlands, the Appalachians, the Arctic Lowlands, and the Innuitians.

The exposed portions of the Canadian Shield cover more than half of Canada. This once-mountainous region, which contains the continent's oldest rocks, has been worn low by erosion over the millennia. Its upturned eastern edge is indented by fjords. The Shield is rich in minerals, especially iron and nickel, and in potential sources of hydroelectric power. In the center of the Shield are the Hudson Bay Lowlands, encompassing Hudson Bay and the surrounding marshy land.

The Western Cordillera, a geologically young mountain system parallel to the Pacific coast, is composed of a series of north-south tending ranges and valleys that form the highest and most rugged section of the country; Mt. Logan (19,551 ft/5,959 m) is the highest point in Canada. Part of this region is made up of the Rocky Mts. and the Coast Mts., which are separated by plateaus and basins. The islands off W Canada are partially submerged portions of the Coast Mts. The Western Cordillera is also rich in minerals and timber and potential sources of hydroelectric power.

Between the Rocky Mts. and the Canadian Shield are the Interior Lowlands, a vast region filled with sediment from the flanking higher lands. The Lowlands are divided into the prairies, the plains, and the Mackenzie Lowlands. The prairies are Canada's granary, while grazing is important on the plains.

The smallest and southernmost region is the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence Lowlands, Canada's heartland. Dominated by the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, the region provides a natural corridor into central Canada, and the St. Lawrence Seaway gives the interior cities access to the Atlantic. This section, which is composed of gently rolling surface on sedimentary rocks, is the location of extensive farmlands, large industrial centers, and most of Canada's population. In SE Canada and on Newfoundland is the northern end of the Appalachian Mt. system, an old and geologically complex region with a generally low and rounded relief.

The Arctic Lowlands and the Innuitians are the most isolated areas of Canada and are barren and snow-covered for most of the year. The Arctic Lowlands comprise much of the Arctic Archipelago and contain sedimentary rocks that may have oil-bearing strata. In the extreme north, mainly on Ellesmere Island, is the Innuitian Mt. system, which rises to c.10,000 ft (3,050 m).

Canada's climate is influenced by latitude and topography. The Interior Lowlands make it possible for polar air masses to move south and for subtropical air masses to move north into Canada. Hudson Bay and the Great Lakes act to modify the climate locally. The Western Cordillera serves as a climatic barrier that prevents polar air masses from reaching the Pacific coast and blocks the moist Pacific winds from reaching into the interior. The Cordillera has a typical highland climate that varies with altitude; the western slopes receive abundant rainfall, and the whole region is forested. The Interior Lowlands are in the rain shadow of the Cordillera; the southern portion has a steppe climate in which grasses predominate. S Canada has a temperate climate, with snow in the winter (especially in the east) and cool summers. Farther to the north, extending to the timberline, is the humid subarctic climate characterized by short summers and a snow cover for about half the year. The huge boreal forest, the largest surviving remnant of the extensive forests that once covered much of North America, predominates in this region. On the Arctic Archipelago and the northern mainland is the tundra, with its mosses and lichen, permafrost, near-year-round snow cover, and ice fields. A noted phenomenon off the coast of E Canada is the persistence of dense fog, which is formed when the warm air over the Gulf Stream passes over the cold Labrador Current as the two currents meet off Newfoundland.


About 28% of the Canadian population are of British descent, while 23% are of French origin. Another 15% are of other European background, about 26% are of mixed background, 6% are of Asian, African, or Arab descent, and some 2% are of aboriginal or Métis (mixed aboriginal and European) background. In the late 1990s, Canada had the highest immigration rate of any country in the world, with more than half the total coming from Asia, and immigration has continued to contribute significantly to the nation's population growth. Over 75% of the total population live in cities. Canada has complete religious liberty, though its growing multiculturalism has at times caused tensions among ethnic and religious groups. About 43% of the people are Roman Catholics, while some 23% are Protestant (the largest groups being the United Church of Canada and Anglicans). English and French are the official languages, and federal documents are published in both languages. In 2001, about 59% of Canadians cited English as their mother tongue, while 23% cited French.


Since World War II the development of Canada's manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has led to the creation of an affluent society. Services now account for 68.5% of the GDP, while industry accounts for 29%. Tourism and financial services represent some of Canada's most important industries within the service sector. Manufacturing, however, is Canada's single most important economic activity. The leading products are transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, processed foods, wood and paper products, fish, petroleum, natural gas, electrical and electronic products, printed materials, machinery, and clothing. Industries are centered in Ontario, Quebec, and, to a lesser extent, British Columbia and Alberta. Canada's industries depend on the country's rich energy resources, which include hydroelectric power, petroleum (including extensive oil sands), natural gas, coal, and uranium.

Canada is a leading mineral producer, although much of its mineral resources are difficult to reach due to permafrost. It is the world's largest source of nickel, zinc, and uranium, and a major source of lead, gypsum, potash, tantalum, and cobalt. Other important mineral resources are petroleum, natural gas, copper, gold, iron ore, coal, silver, diamonds, molybdenum, and sulfur. The mineral wealth is located in many areas; some of the most productive regions are Sudbury, Ont. (copper and nickel); Timmins, Ont. (lead, zinc, and silver); and Kimberley, British Columbia (lead, zinc, and silver). Petroleum and natural gas are found in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Agriculture employs some 2% of the population and contributes a similar percentage of the GDP. The sources of the greatest farm income are livestock and dairy products. Among the biggest income-earning crops are wheat, barley, rapeseed (canola), tobacco, fruits, and vegetables. Canada is one of the world's leading agricultural exporters, especially of wheat. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta are the great grain-growing provinces, and, with Ontario, are also the leading sources of beef cattle. The main fruit-growing regions are found in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. Apples and peaches are the principal fruits grown in Canada. More than half of the total land area is forest, and Canadian timber production ranks among the highest in the world.

Fishing is an important economic activity in Canada. Cod and lobster from the Atlantic and salmon from the Pacific historically have been the principal catches, but the cod industry was halted in the mid-1990s due to overfishing. About 75% of the take is exported. The fur industry, once vitally important but no longer dominant in the nation's economy, is centered in Quebec and Ontario.

A major problem for Canada is that large segments of its economy—notably in manufacturing, petroleum, and mining—are controlled by foreign, especially U.S. interests. This deprives the nation of much of the profits of its industries and makes the economy vulnerable to developments outside Canada. This situation is mitigated somewhat by the fact that Canada itself is a large foreign investor. Since the free trade agreement with the United States (effective 1989), and the North American Free Trade Agreement (effective 1994), trade and economic integration between the two countries has increased dramatically.

The United States is by far Canada's leading trade partner, followed by China and Mexico. Machinery and equipment, chemicals, and consumer goods comprise the bulk of imports; crude petroleum and motor vehicles and parts rank high among both the nation's largest imports and exports. Other important exports are industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment, chemicals, plastics, fertilizers, forest products, natural gas, hydroelectric power, and aluminum.


Canada is an independent constitutional monarchy and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The monarch of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is also the monarch of Canada and is represented in the country by the office of governor-general. The basic constitutional document is the Canada Act of 1982, which replaced the British North America Act of 1867 and gave Canada the right to amend its own constitution. The Canada Act, passed by Great Britain, made possible the Constitution Act, 1982, which was passed in Canada. The document includes a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the rights of women and native peoples and protects other civil liberties.

Power on the federal level is exercised by the Canadian Parliament and the cabinet of ministers, headed by the prime minister. (See the table entitled Canadian Prime Ministers since Confederation for a list of Canada's prime ministers.) The federal government has authority in all matters not specifically reserved to the provincial governments, and may veto any provincial law. The provincial governments have power in the fields of property, civil rights, education, and local government; they may levy only direct taxes. Canada has an independent judiciary; the highest court is the Supreme Court, with nine members.

The Parliament has two houses: the Senate and the House of Commons. There are generally 105 senators, apportioned among the provinces and appointed by the governor-general upon the advice of the prime minister. Senators may serve until age 75; prior to 1965 they served for life. The 338 members of the House of Commons are elected, largely from single-member constituencies. Elections must be held every four years, but the Commons may be dissolved and new elections held earlier if the government loses a confidence vote. There are four main political parties: the Liberal party, the Conservative party (formed in 2003 by the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative party), the Bloc Québécois (aligned with the Parti Québécois of Quebec), and the New Democratic party.


Early History and French-British Rivalry

Prior to the arrival of Europeans in Canada, the area was inhabited by various peoples who came from Asia via the Bering Strait more than 10,000 years ago. The Vikings landed in Canada c.A.D. 1000. Their arrival is described in Icelandic sagas and confirmed by archaeological discoveries in Newfoundland. John Cabot, sailing under English auspices, touched the east coast in 1497. In 1534, the Frenchman Jacques Cartier planted a cross on the Gaspé Peninsula. These and many other voyages to the Canadian coast were in search of a northwest passage to Asia. Subsequently, French-English rivalry dominated Canadian history until 1763.

The first permanent European settlement in Canada was founded in 1605 by the sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain at Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal, N.S.) in Acadia. A trading post was established in Quebec in 1608. Meanwhile the English, moving to support their claims under Cabot's discoveries, attacked Port Royal (1614) and captured Quebec (1629). However, the French regained Quebec (1632), and through the Company of New France (Company of One Hundred Associates), began to exploit the fur trade and establish new settlements. The French were primarily interested in fur trading. Between 1608 and 1640, fewer than 300 settlers arrived. The sparse French settlements sharply contrasted with the relatively dense English settlements along the Atlantic coast to the south. Under a policy initiated by Champlain, the French supported the Huron in their warfare against the Iroquois; later in the 17th cent., when the Iroquois crushed the Huron, the French colony came near extinction. Exploration, however, continued.

In 1663, the Company of New France was disbanded by the French government, and the colony was placed under the rule of a royal governor, an intendant, and a bishop. The power exercised by these authorities may be seen in the careers of Louis de Buade, comte de Frontenac, Jean Talon, and François Xavier de Laval, the first bishop of Quebec. There was, however, conflict between the rulers, especially over the treatment of the indigenous peoples—the bishop regarding them as potential converts, the governor as means of trade. Meanwhile, both missionaries, such as Jacques Marquette, and traders, such as Pierre Radisson and Médard Chouart des Groseilliers, were extending French knowledge and influence. The greatest of all the empire builders in the west was Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, who descended the Mississippi to its mouth and who envisioned the vast colony in the west that was made a reality by men like Duluth, Bienville, Iberville, and Cadillac.

The French did not go unchallenged. The English had claims on Acadia, and the Hudson's Bay Company in 1670 began to vie for the lucrative fur trade of the West. When the long series of wars between Britain and France broke out in Europe, they were paralleled in North America by the French and Indian Wars. The Peace of Utrecht (1713) gave Britain Acadia, the Hudson Bay area, and Newfoundland. To strengthen their position the French built additional forts in the west (among them Detroit and Niagara). The decisive battle of the entire struggle took place in 1759, when Wolfe defeated Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham, bringing about the fall of Quebec to the British. Montreal fell in 1760. By the Treaty of Paris in 1763, France ceded all its North American possessions east of the Mississippi to Britain, while Louisiana went to Spain.

British North America

The French residents of Quebec strongly resented the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which imposed British institutions on them. Many of its provisions, however, were reversed by the Quebec Act (1774), which granted important concessions to the French and extended Quebec's borders westward and southward to include all the inland territory to the Ohio and the Mississippi. This act infuriated the residents of the Thirteen Colonies (the future United States). In 1775 the American Continental Congress had as its first act not a declaration of independence but the invasion of Canada. In the American Revolution the Canadians remained passively loyal to the British crown, and the effort of the Americans to take Canada failed dismally (see Quebec campaign).

Loyalists from the colonies in revolt (see United Empire Loyalists) fled to Canada and settled in large numbers in Nova Scotia and Quebec. In 1784, the province of New Brunswick was carved out of Nova Scotia for the loyalists. The result, in Quebec, was sharp antagonism between the deeply rooted, Catholic French Canadians and the newly arrived, Protestant British. To deal with the problem the British passed the Constitutional Act (1791). It divided Quebec into Upper Canada (present-day Ontario), predominantly British and Protestant, and Lower Canada (present-day Quebec), predominantly French and Catholic. Each new province had its own legislature and institutions.

This period was also one of further exploration. Alexander Mackenzie made voyages in 1789 to the Arctic Ocean and in 1793 to the Pacific, searching for the Northwest Passage. Mariners also reached the Pacific Northwest, and such men as Capt. James Cook, John Meares, and George Vancouver secured for Britain a firm hold on what is now British Columbia. During the War of 1812, Canadian and British soldiers repulsed several American invasions. The New Brunswick boundary (see Aroostook War) and the boundary W of the Great Lakes was disputed with the United States for a time, but since the War of 1812 the long border has generally been peaceful.

Rivalry between the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company erupted into bloodshed in the Red River Settlement and was resolved by amalgamation of the companies in 1821. The new Hudson's Bay Company then held undisputed sway over Rupert's Land and the Pacific West until U.S. immigrants challenged British possession of Oregon and obtained the present boundary (1846). After 1815 thousands of immigrants came to Canada from Scotland and Ireland.

Movements for political reform arose. In Upper Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie struggled against the Family Compact. In Lower Canada, Louis J. Papineau led the French Canadian Reform party. There were rebellions in both provinces. The British sent Lord Durham as governor-general to study the situation, and his famous report (1839) recommended the union of Upper and Lower Canada under responsible government. The two Canadas were made one province by the Act of Union (1841) and became known as Canada West and Canada East. Responsible government was achieved in 1849 (it had been granted to the Maritime Provinces in 1847), largely as a result of the efforts of Robert Baldwin and Louis H. LaFontaine.

Confederation and Nationhood

The movement for federation of all the Canadian provinces was given impetus in the 1860s by a need for common defense, the desire for some central authority to press railroad construction, and the necessity for a solution to the problem posed by Canada West and Canada East, where the British majority and French minority were in conflict. When the Maritime Provinces, which sought union among themselves, met at the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, delegates from the other provinces of Canada attended. Two more conferences were held—the Quebec Conference later in 1864 and the London Conference in 1866 in England—before the British North America Act in 1867 made federation a fact. (In 1982 this act was renamed the Constitution Act, 1867.)

The four original provinces were Ontario (Canada West), Quebec (Canada East), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. The new federation acquired the vast possessions of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1869. The Red River Settlement became the province of Manitoba in 1870, and British Columbia voted to joined in 1871. In 1873, Prince Edward Island joined the federation, and Alberta and Saskatchewan were admitted in 1905. Newfoundland (now Newfoundland and Labrador) joined in 1949.

Canada's first prime minister was John A. Macdonald (served 1867–73 and 1878–91), who sponsored the Canadian Pacific Railway. In the west, religious tension and objections to lack of political representation and unfair land-grant and survey laws produced rebellions of Métis, led by Louis Riel in 1869–70 and 1884–85. The Métis were French-speaking Roman Catholics who had considered themselves a new nation combining the traditions and ancestry of Europeans and native peoples.

Under the long administration (1896–1911) of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, rising wheat prices attracted vast numbers of immigrants to the Prairie Provinces. Between 1891 and 1914, more than three million people came to Canada, largely from continental Europe, following the path of the newly constructed continental railway. In the same period, mining operations were begun in the Klondike and the Canadian Shield. Large-scale development of hydroelectric resources helped foster industrialization and urbanization.

Under the premiership of Conservative Robert L. Borden, Canada followed Britain and entered World War I. The struggle over military conscription, however, deepened the cleavage between French Canadians and their fellow citizens. During the depression that began in 1929, the Prairie Provinces were hard-hit by droughts that shriveled the wheat fields. Farmers, who had earlier formed huge cooperatives, sought to press their interests through political movements such as Social Credit and the Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation (now the New Democratic party).

World War II to the Present

With W. L. Mackenzie King as prime minister, Canada played a vital role on the Allied side in World War II. Despite economic strain Canada emerged from the war with enhanced prestige and took an active role in the United Nations. Canada joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following the war, uranium, iron, and petroleum resources were exploited; uses of atomic energy were developed; and hydroelectric and thermal plants were built to produce electricity for new and expanded industries.

King was succeeded by Louis St. Laurent, the first French-speaking prime minister. John G. Diefenbaker, a Progressive Conservative, came to power in 1957. The St. Lawrence Seaway was opened in 1959. The Liberals returned to office in 1963 under Lester B. Pearson. After much bitter debate, the Canadian Parliament in 1964 approved a new national flag, with a design of a red maple leaf on a white ground, bordered by two vertical red panels. The new flag symbolized a growing Canadian nationalism that de-emphasized Canada's ties with Great Britain. The Pearson government enacted a comprehensive social security program. The Montreal international exposition, Expo '67, opened in 1967 and was applauded for displaying a degree of taste and interest far superior to that of most such exhibitions.

Pearson was succeeded by Pierre Elliot Trudeau, a Liberal, in 1968. The Trudeau government was faced with the increasingly violent separatist movement active in Quebec in the late 1960s and early 70s. In 1968, Trudeau's government introduced the Official Languages Bill, which encouraged bilingualism in the federal civil service. In elections in Oct., 1972, Trudeau's Liberal party failed to win a majority, but he continued as prime minister, dependent on the small New Democratic party for votes to pass legislation; in July, 1974, the Liberals reestablished a majority, and Trudeau remained prime minister. Except for a brief period (June, 1979–Mar., 1980) when Conservative Joe Clark gained office, Trudeau was prime minister until 1984. Increased government spending and slowed industrial growth were Canada's main problems, in addition to the continuing threat of Quebec separatism.

After Quebec voted (1980) not to leave the Canadian federation, Trudeau began a constitutional debate that culminated with the Canada Act of 1982, which made Canada fully independent from Great Britain by giving it the right to amend its own constitution. Quebec's provincial government, however, did not accept the new constitution.

With the country reeling from the effects of a recession, Trudeau resigned (1984) and was succeeded as head of the Liberal party and prime minister by John Turner. In the elections later that year, Brian Mulroney led the Progressive Conservatives to victory in a landslide. Mulroney's first major accomplishment was the Meech Lake Accord, a set of constitutional reforms proposed by Quebec premier Robert Bourassa that would have brought Quebec into the constitution by guaranteeing its status as a “distinct society.” However, aggressive measures by the Quebec government to curtail the use of English, such as forbidding the use of any language other than French on public signs, caused a wave of resentment in Canada's English-speaking population. The accord died on June 22, 1990, when Newfoundland and Manitoba failed to ratify it, leaving Canada in a serious constitutional crisis. In Oct., 1992, Canadian voters rejected a complex package of constitutional changes (the Charlottetown Accord) intended to provide alternatives that would discourage the separatist movement in Quebec.

Canada's new constitution also opened the way for native land claims that have changed the political appearance of N Canada and had effects elsewhere as well. In 1992, as part of the largest native-claim settlement in Canadian history, the Inuit-dominated eastern portion of the Northwest Territories was slated to be separated as the territory of Nunavut, which was completed in 1999. The subsequent years saw the signing of a series of similar self-government agreements with various aboriginal groups to settle additional native claims; none of these agreements, however, established separate province-level territories. In 1998 the federal government issued a formal apology to its indigenous people for 150 years of mistreatment and established a fund for reparations.

The most significant accomplishment of Mulroney's first government was a free-trade agreement with the United States, which was ratified by parliament after Mulroney and the Progressive Conservatives returned to power in 1988 reelection; the agreement came into effect in Jan., 1989. In his second term this pact formed the groundwork for the broader North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed in 1992. NAFTA came into effect in Jan., 1994, establishing a free-trade zone that consisted of Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

In 1993, Mulroney resigned and was succeeded by fellow Conservative Kim Campbell, who became (June, 1993) Canada's first woman prime minister.

Widespread anger over recession and high unemployment led to a Progressive Conservative rout in the elections of Oct., 1993, sweeping the Liberals to power and making Jean Chrétien prime minister. The Conservatives were left with only two seats, having lost a total of 151. Two relatively new parties, the Bloc Québécois (a Quebec separatist party) and the Reform party (based in western Canada), won nearly all the remaining parliamentary seats. In Oct., 1995, Quebec voters again rejected independence from Canada in a referendum, but this time the question was only narrowly defeated.

Chrétien's Liberal party held onto 155 seats following the June, 1997, parliamentary elections, and he remained prime minister. The majority of the opposition seats went to the Reform party (60), which in 2000 reconstituted itself as the Canadian Alliance, and the Bloc Québécois (44). In the late 1990s the low Canadian dollar and relatively high unemployment were among the country's chief concerns, but the government made progress in paying down the national debt.

In July, 2000, Chrétien won passage of a bill designed to make it harder for Quebec to secede, by requiring that a clear majority support a clearly worded proposition and that such issues as borders and the seceding province's responsibility for a share of the national debt be resolved by negotiations. In the elections of Nov., 2000, Chrétien led the Liberals to a third consecutive victory at the polls, winning 172 seats in the House of Commons; the Canadian Alliance (66) and Bloc Québécois (38) remained the principal opposition parties. Although the country suffered an economic slowdown in 2001, the government rejected the stimilus of deficit spending, adhering instead to the fiscal discipline established in the late 1990s, and by the end of the year economic conditions had improved. Following the Sept., 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States, a contingent of Canadian forces participated in operations against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In 2002, Chrétien's cabinet was hurt by charges of lax ethical standards, resulting in a shakeup; Finance Minister Paul Martin, a likely challenger to Chrétien's leadership, was also forced out. Increasingly active Liberal opposition to Chrétien's continuation as party leader led him to announce announce that he would not seek a fourth term as prime minister. In the weeks before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq (Mar., 2003) Canada attempted to negotiate a compromise Security Council resolution; the failure of the council to reach agreement led the Canadian government not to participate in the invasion. Beginning in May, 2003, the country's livestock industry was hurt when other nations banned imports of Canadian beef after an occurrence of “mad cow” disease in Alberta. The situation was not ameliorated later in the year when a cow with the disease was found in the United States and was discovered to have been imported from Canada several years before.

Late in 2003 Liberals elected Paul Martin to succeed Chrétien as party leader and prime minister, and Chrétien resigned in December. Meanwhile, conservatives moved to end the divisions on the right by merging the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative party in the Conservative party of Canada. In the ensuing June, 2004, elections, Martin and the Liberals were hurt by scandals, but they retained sufficient parliamentary seats to form a minority government as voters did not rally to the Conservatives' socially conservative positions.

A scandal originating in a federal advertising sponsorship program begun in the mid-1990s and designed to promote national unity in Quebec increasingly undermined Paul Martin's government in 2005, though he appeared not to have been involved personally. Under Chrétien Quebec advertising firms aligned with the Liberal party received millions of dollars but apparently did little or no work, and some money was funneled illegally to Liberal party coffers. It was unclear whether the former prime minister knew of the scandal, but one of his brothers was implicated in testimony in 2005. The scandal was first uncovered in 2002, and hurt the Liberals in the 2004 elections.

New, detailed revelations about the scandal in 2005 threatened to bring down the government, which narrowly survived a confidence vote in May, 2005. Parliament subsequently passed an appropriations bill and a gay-marriage bill by more comfortable majorities. In Nov., 2005, Martin's government finally collapsed after the New Democrats joined the Conservatives and Bloc Québécois in a no-confidence vote; the vote had been preceded by the release of an investigative report into the advertising sponsorship scandal that called it an elaborate kickback scheme designed to funnel money to individuals and the Liberal party.

The Jan., 2006, elections saw the Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper, win a plurality of the seats in parliament and 36% of the vote, but the results did not indicate a significant rightward shift in Canadian attitudes, as the majority of the vote (and seats) went to left of center parties (the Liberals, the Bloc Québécois, and the New Democrats). Issues concerning the extent of Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic and Canadian control over the Northwest Passage became more prominent in 2006 as Harper's government sharply rejected U.S. assertions that Canada was claiming international waters.

Seeking to strengthen his minority government, Harper called a snap election in 2008, and in the October vote won an increased plurality (with 37.6% of the vote) but failed to secure a parliamentary majority. Two weeks into the new parliamentary session, the opposition agreed to bring down the government over what they denounced as an inadequate economic stimulus plan in the face of a worsening economy, and the Liberals and New Democrats were prepared to form a minority government with Bloc support. However, Harper secured the governor-general's suspension of the session until late January in order to avoid the December confidence vote and buy time to mount a publicity campaign against the opposition plans.

Harper subsequently proposed a significant government stimulus package, and the Liberals supported (Feb., 2009) the budget after the Conservatives agreed to an amendment requiring regular reports on government spending and its effects. In June a Conservative-Liberal agreement to study unemployment insurance reform and to permit a no-confidence vote in September preserved the minority government. Harper survived that vote and another in early October, and in December he again secured the suspension of parliament, this time until Mar., 2010. In Mar., 2011, however, the government lost a confidence vote.

In the May, 2011, elections the Conservatives won a majority of the seats and almost 40% of the vote. The Liberals and Bloc Québécois suffered large losses as the New Democrats emerged as the largest opposition party, with more than a hundred seats. Parliamentary elections in Oct., 2015, brought the Liberals, now led by Justin Trudeau (son of Pierre Trudeau), back to power. Aided by Conservative political scandals and a weaker economy, they won a majority of seats and nearly 40% of the vote; the New Democrats placed third, behind the Conservatives, and lost more than half their seats. Trade tensions with the United States increased during the presidency of Donald Trump, though they eased somewhat with the signing of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, a revision of NAFTA that was ratified in 2020.

In 2019 Trudeau was tarnished by a conflict-of-interest scandal, in which he was accused of attempting to influence the handling of a bribery investigation of a Quebec engineering firm, and led to the resignation of two cabinet ministers who denounced the alleged political pressure. In the elections in October, Trudeau and the Liberals lost their majority but won the largest bloc of seats; the Conservatives, however, won more votes overall. The New Democrats again had their seats reduced significantly, and the Bloc Québécois became the third largest party in the parliament. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Quebec was affected much more severely than the rest of the country, and the Atlantic Provinces and northern terrritories fared better than the country overall. Trudeau called for an early eleciton in 2021, hoping to gain more seats in Parliament, but was only narrowly reelected with the balance of power largely unchanged; he was inaugurated in late Oct. 2021.


Classic works on early Canada are those of Francis Parkman. See also G. M. Wrong, The Rise and Fall of New France (2 vol., 1928; repr. 1970); D. G. Creighton, The Story of Canada (rev. ed. 1971); R. C. Brown and Ramsay Cook, Canada, 1896–1921: A Nation Transformed (1974); Robert Bothwell et al., Canada Since 1945: Power, Politics, and Provincialism (1981); L. D. McCann, Heartland and Hinterland (2d ed. 1987); R. T. Naylor, Canada in the European Age, 1453–1919 (1988); George Woodcock, A Social History of Canada (1988); H. Crookell, Canadian-American Trade and Investment Under the Free Trade Agreement (1990); R. C. Vipond, Liberty and Community: Canadian Federalism and the Failure of the Constitution (1991); R. K. Weaver, The Collapse of Canada? (1992). See also The Canadian Encyclopedia (4 vol., 1988).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



Canada is a state in North America and a member of the British Commonwealth. The country occupies the northern part of the continent of North America and numerous islands adjacent to it: along the western shores, Vancouver and the Queen Charlotte Islands; in the north, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago; and along the eastern coastline, Newfoundland, Cape Breton, Îie d’Anticosti, and Prince Edward. Canada borders on the USA on the south and northwest (the state of Alaska). On the north it is bordered by the Arctic Ocean, on the west by the Pacific Ocean, and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Its area is 9, 976, 100 sq km. As of 1971, the population was 21.8 million. The capital is the city of Ottawa.

Canada is divided into ten provinces, which are subdivided into counties and districts. There are also two territories. (See Table 1.)

Canada is a parliamentary monarchy whose nominal head of state is the king (or queen) of England. The country became one of the first dominions of Great Britain in 1867. Its constitution consists of a large number of laws and constitutional customs. The fundamental operative constitutional law—the British North America Act of 1867, which has been amended several times—was adopted by the British Parliament. Civil rights and liberties are regulated by a law adopted in 1960. The Statute of Westminster (1931) established the complete independence of Canada and the other dominions.

Canada has a federal structure of government. The functions of the head of state are carried out by a governor-general, who is appointed by the king (or queen) of England upon the advice of the prime minister of Canada. The role of the governor-general in political life is not great. Although the governor-general is formally the chief executive power who approves bills passed by Parliament, he does not play an important role in Canadian politics. In addition to the governor-general, there is the Privy Council with 130 members, including members of the royal family, the ministers, and representatives (the speakers) of the houses of Parliament.

Table 1. Provinces and territories of Canada
(sq km)
Newfoundland.....404,600522,000St. John’s
Prlnce Edward Island.5,600112,000Charlottetown
Nova Scotia.....54,600789,000Halifax
New Brunswlck...72,500635,000Fredricton
British Columbia Territories.......948,7002,185,000Victorla
Northwest Territories.3,379,60035,000Yellowknife
Yukon Territory......536,40018,000Whitehorse

The highest legislative body—the Parliament—consists of two houses. The members of the House of Commons are elected by the people for a term not exceeding five years. (Representation is proportional to the population of each province. Thus, for example, there are 88 deputies from Ontario, 74 from Quebec, and 19 from Alberta.) The House of Commons elected in 1972 was made up of 109 Liberals, 107 representatives from the Progressive Conservative Party, 31 New Democrats, 15 representatives from the Social Credit Party, and two independents. Members of the Senate, who are appointed by the governor-general upon the advice of the prime minister, remain in power until age 75. (Until 1965 they were senators for life.) The Senate has 102 members (24 each from Ontario and Quebec, and from four to ten from each of the other provinces). The right to vote is granted to all citizens who have reached age 21.

The government of Canada is the cabinet, which is made up of the prime minister and the ministers who head the most important departments (defense, foreign affairs, finances, and trade and commerce). As a rule, the ministers are deputies in the House of Commons. The prime minister possesses very broad powers and is the commander in chief of the armed forces.

Royal power is represented in the provinces by lieutenant-governors, who are appointed by the governor-general upon the recommendation of the Canadian government. The provinces have legislative assemblies, most of which are unicameral and are elected by the people for terms not exceeding five years. The assemblies form the provincial governments. Local government bodies—county, district, and municipal councils—are in fact subordinate to provincial government bodies.

The highest judicial body is the Supreme Court, whose nine members are appointed by the governor-general. (The judges may hold office until they reach age 75.) The same method is used to form the Exchequer Court (seven members), which tries suits in instances where one of the parties is the state treasury. Superior and local courts have also been established in the provinces.


Canada lies in the arctic, subarctic, and temperate zones. The smaller, western part of Canada is mountainous, but its climate is made milder by the influence of the Pacific Ocean. Most of the larger, eastern part of the country is level, with an extreme continental climate. It is strongly affected by the arctic region.

The coasts of the north and, in part, of the northeast are low and weakly dissected (the northern part of Hudson Bay). In the east they are steep and primarily of the fjord type (for example, Baffin Island, the Labrador Peninsula, and the island of Newfoundland). In the west the coasts are very high and deeply dissected by fjords.

Terrain. The central part of the continent and the adjacent parts of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago are occupied by plains (including lowlands) and plateaus, including the Hudson Bay Lowland, which is exceptionally flat, and the Laurentian Upland (maximum elevation 1,000 m), which is characterized by a lacustrine, hilly terrain. On the Central Plains—the lowlands of the Mackenzie River, the Manitoba Lowland, the plains of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the area surrounded by Lakes Erie, Huron, and Ontario, the Ontario Peninsula, and the lowland of the St. Lawrence Valley—glacial-accumulation forms of terrain prevail. The piedmont plateau of the Great Plains (elevations, 500–1, 500 m) is characterized by dissection caused by erosion, as well as by glacial-accumulation forms of terrain. The western extreme of Canada is occupied by the Cordillera mountain system (elevations between 3, 000 and 3, 500 m; greatest elevation, Mt. Logan, 6, 050 m). In the northeast along the coasts of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and in the northern part of the Labrador Peninsula there is a band of mountains with elevations of 1, 500–2, 000 m. Located in the extreme southeast is the region of the Appalachian Uplands, which have a low-mountain terrain.

Geological structure and minerals. The country’s central and largest part is occupied by the Canadian Shield, which is part of the North American (Canadian) Platform. The Precambrian formations of the shield include gneisses, crystalline schists, and volcanic (primarily basal) and, to a lesser degree, sedimentary rocks, interspersed with granites of various ages. After the completion of geosynclinal development Precambrian rocks were widespread in a number of major regions: Lake Superior (2.48 billion years ago), Great Slave Lake (2.48 billion years ago), Great Bear Lake (1.7–1.78 billion), and the Churchill (1.65–1.85 billion), South (1.7–1.9 billion), and Nain rivers (1.5 billion), as well as the Grenville Folded Zone (950 million), which extends along the eastern edges of the shield. The rocks of the first two regions are Archean massifs, whereas the others belong to the Archean and Proterozoic periods. In the west the Canadian Shield is buried under the Interior Canadian Platform, which is composed of sedimentary formations from the Upper Precambrian and more recent periods. Farther west the Interior Canadian Platform gives way first to the Mesozoic folded region of the Rocky Mountains and then to the Cenozoic folded zone of the Cordillera. In the east the shield is framed by the Caledonian folded system of the Appalachians, and in the north, in the region of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, by the Caledonian Franklin Arctic Folded Region.

Canada is rich in various minerals. The Precambrian rocks of the shield are known to contain major deposits of uranium, iron, nickel, copper, zinc, lead, gold, and silver of various origins. On the Interior Platform and in the Mesozoic areas there are extensive deposits of coal, petroleum, and natural gas from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. Most characteristic of the Appalachian Region are deposits of copper, lead, zinc, and asbestos, as well as iron, coal, and rock salt.

Climate. Most of Canada has an arctic or subarctic climate, but in the south the climate is moderate and primarily continental. The average January temperature ranges from −35°C and −30°C in the far north and from −18°C and −20°C in the south-central regions to — 5°C and — 7°C on the Atlantic coast and 1°-4°C on the Pacific coast. The average July temperature ranges from 4°-7°C in the north to 16°-18°C in most of the southern regions, and may go as high as 21°C in the extreme southern part of the Ontario Peninsula. The total annual precipitation on the west coast is more then 2, 500 mm; on the east coast, as much as 1, 250 mm; in the central regions, 400–250 mm; and in the north, less than 150 mm. Almost all of Canada has a long-lasting snow cover, whose maximum thickness is 150 cm (on the Labrador Peninsula). In the northern half of the country there is a continuous as well as discontinuous distribution of perennially frozen rocks. There is glaciation in the extreme northeastern part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago as well as in the Cordillera.

Rivers and lakes. The river network is dense. It is fed primarily by snow and rain. On the plains the high-water period occurs during the spring, whereas the Cordillera system has summer floods. The rivers remain frozen from three months in the south to nine months in the north. The plains regions, which cover about two-thirds of Canada, belong to the Atlantic and Arctic basins. On them complex lake and river systems have developed, which drain huge areas. The largest of the river and lake systems are the 3, 000-km-long St. Lawrence and Great Lakes system (Canada owns only one-third of the water area of the lakes), the Finlay-Peace-Slave-Mackenzie rivers and Lesser Slave, Athabasca, Great Slave, and Great Bear lakes, and the Bow-Saskatchewan-Nelson rivers and Bow, Cedar, Winnipeg, Winnipegosis, Manitoba, and Cross lakes.

Most of the rivers of the mountainous west, which belong to the Pacific basin, are short and have narrow, deeply indented valleys. The most important of them are the Fraser River and the Yukon and Columbia rivers, whose upper reaches belong to Canada. The mountain and plains rivers of Canada are illsuited for navigation, but they do possess great waterpower reserves. The country’s total hydroelectric power potential has been estimated at approximately 60 million kW (kilowatts), of which more than 25 million kW are now being used. The annual discharge of all the rivers totals 1, 207 cu km. Because of the numerous lakes (more than 200 large ones), the flow of the rivers is well regulated. Most of the plains lakes are of relict, glacial, or glacialtectonic origin, whereas the mountain rivers are primarily of tectonic and glacial-tectonic origin.

Soils and flora. The flat eastern part of the extreme north (the northern islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago) is occupied by the zone of arctic wastelands, with a sparse cover of lichens and a few varieties of grass. To the south the wastelands give way to the tundra zone, covered with mosslichens and moss-shrubbery and located on the southern islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago as well as on the coast of the continent. Farther south, extending in a band from the foothills of the Cordillera to the Atlantic coast, lies the forest tundra zone and the sparse forests on the near side of the tundra, which grow on mostly rocky, permafrosttaiga soils; there is also the zone of taiga forests, which is composed primarily of white and black spruce, American larches, Banks pines, and balsam firs, growing on podzol and, in places, swampy soils.

In the southern part of the central region the taiga gives way to forest-prairie and prairie zones with characteristic, park-like aspen forests in the north and primarily aridprairie vegetation (feather grass and grama grass) in the south. The fertile gray forest, meadow-chernozem, chernozem, and chestnut soils of these regions are cultivated. More than half of the prairie zone is tilled. Located south of the taiga in the extreme southeastern part of the country is a zone of coniferous and broad-leaved forests on podzol and brown forest soils. Forests have been preserved primarily in relatively inaccessible regions such as the Appalachian Uplands. However, the fertile soils of the plains territories (for example, the lowlands of the St. Lawrence Valley and the Ontario Peninsula) have been cultivated, and some areas have been completely built up.

In the Cordillera there is a zone of high elevations. In the north the mountain-taiga forests of the valleys on the slopes give way to sparse mountain-taiga forests, which, in turn, give way to the mountain tundra. The valleys of the intramontane regions to the south are occupied by mountain prairies, which give way at higher altitudes to belts of mountain forest prairies (park-like forests), mountain coniferous forests, subalpine coniferous forests, and alpine meadows. From the foothills to the peaks, the Pacific slopes of the Cordillera are occupied by tall coastal forests of western red cedar, western hemlock, Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, giant fir, and other highly productive species. The average annual increase of timber is l0 cu m per ha (hectare), and the long-term reserve is 900–940 cu m per ha (as compared to a 5–6 cu m increase per ha and 500–550 cu m reserve per ha in coniferous-broad-leaved forests and a 1–3 cu m increase per hectare and 100–300 cu m reserve per ha on the taiga). The total forest area of Canada is more than 440 million ha (more than one-third of Canada’s territory). Commercial forests occupy 240 million ha and include a timber reserve of approximately 21–22 billion cu m.

Fauna. Canada belongs to the Neoarctic Zoogeographic Region. On the islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and in the tundra zone of the continent, reindeer, musk oxen, polar bears, arctic foxes, lemmings, arctic hares, tundra ptarmigans, and snowy owls are found. Inhabiting the taiga zone and parts of the forest tundra are elk, forest deer, bisons, red squirrels, northern flying squirrels, porcupines, hares, martens, bears, lynx, red foxes, wolves, and beavers. Characteristic of the coniferous and deciduous forests of eastern Canada are white-tailed deer, wapiti, marmots, hares, raccoons, gray squirrels, and red lynx. The southern deforested regions are inhabited by mule deer, pronghorn, pocket gophers, susliks, prairie dogs, skunks, corsacs, badgers, and coyotes. Among the specifically high-mountain species prevalent in the Cordillera are the mountain goat, mountain sheep, grizzly bear, and puma. The rivers and lakes as well as the coastal waters have abundant fish. Of the greatest commercial importance in the Atlantic waters are cod, herring, haddock, flounder, and crabs. In the Pacific the catch consists primarily of blueback, humpback, and chum salmon, as well as halibut. The principal commercial fish in the lakes are whitefish and lake trout.

Preserves. Canada has a system of national and provincial parks. The largest national parks, which preserve the entire complex of landforms, are Banff, Wood Buffalo, Glacier, Jasper, Yoho, Cape Breton Highlands, Kootenay, Prince Albert, and Riding Mountain. Among the provincial parks are Algonquin, Garibaldi, Laurentian, and Strathcona.

Natural regions. The arctic region includes the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Boothia and Melville peninsulas, and the far north of Labrador. The climate is very harsh, and the seaways are packed with ice almost the entire year round. The North Laurentian Upland, a region of tundra wastelands, has a harsh climate, an unbroken expanse of perennial permafrost, and an abundance of lakes and swamps. A gently rolling forest region with numerous rivers, lakes, and swamps, the South Laurentian Upland has a cold climate, and only parts of the ancient lake plains are suitable for agriculture. The Mackenzie Basin is primarily a plains region with extensive, extremely swampy lowlands. It is covered in the north with sparse woods and in the south by dense taiga forests. The climate is sharply continental. The Maritime Region (the region of the Appalachian Uplands and the island of Newfoundland) has a cold climate. The uplands with their rocky soils are covered by taiga and mixed forests. The Lake Region (the lowlands of the St. Lawrence Valley and the Ontario Peninsula), primarily a flat region, has a moderate climate. The virgin forests (mixed and broad-leaved) have been cut down.

The South Great Plains is a piedmont and prairie region with an extreme continental climate. The fertile chernozems and gray forest soils have been intensively tilled. The Northern Cordillera is a high-mountain region where compact mountain massifs prevail (the Canadian part of the Yukon Plateau). It is covered with mountain tundra and taiga. The climate is subarctic. The Southern Cordillera includes the Rocky Mountains and interior plateau. In parts of the high plateaus the climate is moderate; in the valleys it is dry. Considerable areas of land have been prepared for use as pasture and for growing a variety of crops. The mountain ranges are covered with forests and are glaciated. The Pacific Region includes the western slope of the Coastal Mountains and the offshore islands. The climate is maritime, warm and moist, and favorable for the growth of tall coniferous forests.


Antipova, A. V. Kanada: Priroda i estestvennye resursy. Moscow, 1965.

Ignat’ev, G. M. Severnaia Amerika: Fizicheskaia geografiia. Moscow, 1965.

Canada: A Geographical Interpretation. Toronto, 1967.

Geology and Economic Minerals of Canada, 4th ed. Ottawa, 1957.


(geological structure and minerals)

Approximately two-thirds of the Canadian population (1970, estimate) is made up of English Canadians (about 9 million) and French Canadians (about 6 million). Included in the English group are Canadians of English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh as well as German, Dutch, and other origins. Certain differences among them continue to be preserved. About one-fourth of the population consists of national minorities—for the most part, relatively recent (20th-century) immigrants and their descendants. According to the census of 1961, the largest national minorities (in thousands) are Germans (1, 050), Ukrainians (473), Italians (450), Dutch (430), Poles (324), Jews (173), Norwegians (149), Hungarians (126), Russians (119), Chinese, and Japanese. As of 1969, there were more than 240, 000 Indians in Canada, including Algonquins, Cree, Iroquois, Athapaskan, Salish, Sioux, Wakashan, Tsimshian, Haida, Kutenai, and Tlingit. Most of the Indians live on reservations. About 17, 000 Eskimos have settled on the arctic coast.

Canada has two official languages: English and French. The French Canadians, as well as most of the English Canadians of Irish descent, are Catholics. The majority of the English Canadians are Protestants of various denominations (for example, United Church of Canada and Anglican Church of Canada). The official calendar is the Gregorian.

Between 1963 and 1970 the population increased by an average of 1.7 percent per year. From 1951 to 1961 the population grew by 30 percent and from 1961 to 1971, by 18.1 percent (an average of 1.8 percent per year). During this period it was concentrated basically in the major urban centers. Most of the population increase is attributable to natural growth, which between 1951 and 1971 accounted for about four-fifths of the total growth in the population. During the same period 3.2 million immigrants came to Canada. The population increase was particularly great in the most rapidly developing central (Quebec and Ontario) and western provinces (Alberta and British Columbia). On the whole, however, Canada is still sparsely settled. The average population density is 2.2 persons per sq km. More than nine-tenths of the population is concentrated in a relatively narrow band along the border with the USA. About half of the population lives in three regions whose area is small: the Oshtoham conurbation (Oshawa-Toronto-Hamilton; 4 million persons on 10, 000 sq km), the southeastern part of the province of Quebec, with its center in the city of Montreal (4 million persons on 7, 000 sq km), and the valley of the lower Fraser, with the city of Vancouver (1.6 million persons on 130, 000 sq km). At the same time, in the northern regions (the Northwest Territory, the Yukon Territory, and the northern parts of the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan) the density does not, as a rule, exceed 0.2 persons per sq km.

In 1970, 76 percent of the population was living in cities. Moreover, according to the census of 1971, about half the population inhabited the largest cities (figures include the suburbs): Montreal (2.72 million), Toronto (2.61 million), Vancouver (1, -071,000), Winnipeg (535, 000), Hamilton (496, 000), Edmonton (491,000), Quebec (476, 000), Ottawa (448, 000),. and Calgary (400, 000). The rural population makes up 24 percent of the total population, but only 10 percent of the inhabitants of rural Canada actually live and work on farms.

In 1968 there were 7, 919, 000 persons in the labor force, of whom 23.3 percent worked in the manufacturing industries, 7.2 percent in agriculture, 2.9 percent in mining, fishing, lumbering, and hunting, 6.2 percent in construction, 8.9 percent in transportation, communications, and electric power engineering, 16.7 percent in trade, 4.3 percent in finance and insurance, and 30.5 percent in the service industries (including state civil servants). According to a 1968 estimate, approximately 80 percent of the labor force is made up of hired workers. About 5 percent were owners of large industrial and commercial enterprises and capitalist farms, who essentially had at their disposal most of Canada’s national wealth.

Precolonial. The oldest population of Canada was composed of Eskimo and Indian tribes of the Algonquin and Athapaskan groups, which preserved clan-tribal relations until the coming of the Europeans. Only among the Indians of the Pacific coast were there the beginnings of a class society. The principal occupations of the people were hunting, fishing, and food gathering. The Iroquois tribes farmed the St. Lawrence Valley.

French and British domination (until 1867). Reliable information about the first European settlers in Canada dates from the end of the 15th century. In 1497 the expedition of Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), a Venetian seafarer in the service of England, reached the shores of Newfoundland. Jacques Cartier’s French expedition entered the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1534, and in 1535 another expedition led by Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence River to the region of present-day Montreal. In 1605 the French founded the settlement of Port Royal in Acadia (now Nova Scotia), and in 1608, Quebec, which became the center of the colony of New France. Prior to the establishment of a royal administration in 1663, the colony was run by a series of trading companies, each of which had a monopoly on the fur trade and robbed the Indians.

The settlement of the territory of Canada, which was accompanied by the extinction of Indian tribes, proceeded slowly. In 1663 there were only 2, 500 settlers still living in French Canada (New France). The colony was administered by a governor and a council made up of feudal aristocrats and clergy. Under French rule Canada developed a feudal system with seignorial ownership of the land, which hindered the expansion of peasant tillage and peasant settlement of areas beyond the boundaries of the seignorial lands. The Catholic Church was a major landowner. The second half of the 17th century was marked by the emergence of capitalist relations and the beginning of the formation of the French-Canadian nation.

Canada was colonized in an atmosphere of fierce struggle between France and England for the domination of North America. Nova Scotia—the first English colony in Canada—was founded in the 1620’s; still earlier (1583) the island of Newfoundland was declared an English possession. The English Hudson’s Bay Company, which operated on the northern coast of Canada, was founded in 1670. The initial Anglo-French military encounters in Canada took place at the end of the 1680’s and the beginning of the 1690’s. Under the Treaty of Utrecht, which was signed in 1713 after the War of the Spanish Succession, France yielded Hudson Bay to the British, as well as the French part of Newfoundland, which had been seized in the 17th century, and Acadia. In 1758 the Pacific coast of Canada was declared a British possession. (In 1858 it received the status of a colony under the name of British Columbia.) As a result of the Seven Years’ War (1756–63), Great Britain took possession of all of New France, the population of which had reached 63, 000 by that time.

The Quebec Act, which was passed by the British Parliament in 1774, preserved in the colony (which came to be called Quebec) the seignorial regime and the church’s right to collect tithes. It also guaranteed religious tolerance. During the American Revolution (1775–83), Canada became a refuge for 40, 000 Loyalists, who received generous land grants there. By a constitutional act of 1791, Great Britian finally established the borders and the structure of its colonial possessions in North America. Quebec was divided along the Ottawa River into two provinces —Lower Canada (with a predominantly French population) and Upper Canada (with a predominantly British population). Bicameral parliaments were created in both provinces. Nevertheless, all power in the colony belonged to the governor. The ruling upper classes were composed of the landowning aristocracy, the big commercial bourgeoisie of British descent, the higher clergy, and officials. Nationalist conflicts interwoven with social conflicts increased sharply because of the British conquest and the intention of the mother country and the colonial upper classes to assimilate the French-Canadian population.

The 1820’s and 1830’s were characterized by significant shifts in the way in which capitalist relations developed. In particular, these shifts were promoted by immigration to Canada from the mother country and the USA. (In 1836 the white population of British North America totaled 1 million.) Great Britain’s colonial policy, which was directed at preserving feudal institutions and large-scale landowning, came increasingly into conflict with the aspiration of the settlers to gain ownership of lands on the basis of the principle of free bourgeois property ownership. Dissatisfaction with the regime gradually seized all strata of society.

The War of 1812 (1812–14) promoted the consolidation of Canadian society, since the country was confronted with the threat of capture by the USA. After the war there was an upswing in the movement for democratic reforms and self-government. In the provinces parties of reform advocates (“patriots”) were formed under the leadership of representatives of the local bourgeoisie. Prominent leaders of the patriots were W. L. Mackenzie (Upper Canada), L. J. Papineau (Lower Canada), and J. Howe (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick). By 1834 the advocates of reform were in control of the parliaments in Lower and Upper Canada. Because of the economic crisis of 1836–37 and the stubborn refusal of the authorities to make concessions to the colonists, an armed uprising broke out in Lower Canada on Nov. 6, 1837, and in Upper Canada on December 4. The insurgents’ lack of coordination and their leaders’ indecisiveness led to the suppression of the uprising. Many patriots fled to the USA. However, an armed conflict on the American-Canadian border lasted for about two years. Only with difficulty did Great Britain succeed in maintaining control over Canada, using force of arms and making concessions and compromises when unavoidable.

In 1838, Lord Durham was sent to Canada on a special mission. Subsequently, he presented the British government with a report proposing the partial introduction of self-government in Canada. Upper and Lower Canada were united into the province of Canada in 1841. New governments responsible to their parliaments were formed in the provinces of Canada and Nova Scotia in 1848, and in 1854 the seignorial system, which had outlived its prime, was eliminated, and limitations on trade were abolished. Reforms promoted the capitalist development of Canada, which occurred more rapidly from the mid-19th century. An industrial revolution took place in Canada, characterized by the construction of transcontinental railroad lines, the development of steamship lines, and the settlement of the western regions. With the accelerated growth of industry, a proletariat took shape, and the workers’ movement was born. (The first trade union—the printers’—was founded in Quebec as early as 1827.) During the winter of 1843, 1, 300 workers on the construction site of the Lachine Canal went on strike. The movement to unite all the British colonies in North America grew stronger during the 1850’s. Out of the movement emerged the principal political parties of Canada—the Conservatives and the Liberals.

In 1867 the British Parliament adopted the British North America Act, under which a federation was created—the Dominion of Canada. In addition to Canada itself, which was divided into the provinces of Quebec (Lower Canada) and Ontario (Upper Canada), the federation included Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The dominion’s Parliament, which was modeled on the British, consisted of two houses—a lower one elected by the people, and a higher one appointed by the governor-general. An important step toward Canada’s complete independence from the mother country, the formation of the dominion completed the period of reforms that had been evoked by the uprising of 1837–38.

Development of capitalism after the formation of the federation (1867–99). The Conservative government headed by J. Macdonald completed the unification of the former British colonies in North America within the Dominion of Canada. In 1870, with the consent of the British government, the Hudson’s Bay Company ceded to the Dominion of Canada extensive territories in the northwest, from the Great Lakes to the Rocky Mountains. In the same year the province of Manitoba was formed on these territories. British Columbia became a part of Canada in 1871 and Prince Edward Island, in 1873. The creation of a centralized state eliminated the customs barriers between the various regions of Canada and laid the foundation for the formation of a national market. The colonization of the Canadian west was accompanied by the expropriation of the lands held by the Indians, who were forced to live on reservations. The Land Law of 1872 defined the conditions for surveying the extensive prairie region. Enormous tracts of land were acquired by the Hudson’s Bay Company, as well as by railroad companies and speculators in colonial associations. Failure to pay attention to the interests of the people who lived on the prairies (Indians and halfbreeds [métis]) provoked the insurrections of 1869–70 and 1885, which were led by Louis Riel.

At the time that the federation was formed Canada was an agrarian country, whose various regions were poorly connected economically. The Macdonald government attracted British capital for building railroads, which required an acceleration in the development of heavy industry. (From 1867 to 1900 the Canadian railroad network increased from 3, 700 km to 28, 400 km, and in 1885 the construction of the Canadian transcontinental railroad was completed.) However, during the last third of the 19th century the Canadian economy had some backward characteristics, which were to a large degree caused by the efforts of British capital to keep Canada in the position of a supplier of raw materials. From 1871 through 1901 the population of Canada did not increase significantly. (During this period it rose from 3.7 million to 4.8 million, and about 2 million persons emigrated to the USA.)

In the elections of 1873 the Conservatives were defeated. The administration of A. Mackenzie’s Liberal cabinet (1873–78) coincided with a severe economic crisis. When the Macdonald government returned to power, it adopted the “national policy,” the main point of which was the introduction of protectionism aimed at protecting the interests of the Canadian bourgeoisie and the domestic market from US trade expansion. The 1870’s and 1880’s were characterized by the growth of the workers’ movement. In June 1872 a law legalizing trade-union activity was adopted, and in 1873 the National Canadian Workers’ Union, which was active for four years, was established. The Canadian Congress of Trade Unions was founded in 1886.

The epoch of imperialism (to the end of World War I). At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th the rate of Canada’s economic growth accelerated—a phenomenon promoted by conditions in the world market (increased demand for raw materials and decreased costs of maritime freight), the diversion of the flow of European immigrants from the USA in favor of Canada, and increased input of foreign capital (more than $2.5 billion between 1900 and 1913). The growth of the economy was also promoted by a state policy of investments and subsidies to the magnates of heavy industry and by a protectionist policy, which in 1897 the government of the Liberal W. Laurier (1896–1911) supplemented with a preferential tariff system for British imports.

By the beginning of World War I (1914–18) the value of the output of the manufacturing industry had increased fourfold. Between 1900 and 1918 the population of Canada increased by 64 percent: moreover, the population of the three prairie provinces quadrupled. With their highly commercial wheat production, the prairies became a principal exporting region between 1900 and 1911. Canada’s entry into the epoch of imperialism was characterized by the acceleration of the concentration of capital and of industrial production. As a result of mergers, the number of banks fell from 36 to 21 between 1900 and 1917. Furthermore, three banks (the Bank of Montreal, the Royal Canadian Bank, and the Commercial Bank of Canada) had at their disposal 70 percent of the nation’s banking resources. In the same period the number of industrial enterprises rose by 130 percent, but their capital increased by 520 percent. The steel, textile, and cement industries as well as railroad transportation were characterized by particularly high growth rates. Banking and industrial capital merged.

Between 1900 and 1917 monopoly capitalism in Canada was characterized by dependence on British and American capital, with the latter continuously expanding its hold over the economy. Raw materials dominated Canadian exports. The Laurier government and subsequently, the government of the Conservative R. Borden (1911–17) suppressed the workers’ struggle for their rights. (There were 1, 500 strikes between 1900 and 1915.) Antilabor laws were adopted, and a system of mandatory arbitration was introduced. Persistent struggle by the workers led to the adoption of a law providing for compensation for on-the-job injuries and to the establishment of the Ministry of Labor, as well as agencies to investigate working conditions in industry.

In 1904 the Socialist Party of Canada was founded. However, the Socialists were not successful in gaining influence over the masses of workers or in joining with the trade unions. They did not master the principles of Marxism in sufficient depth, and their ranks were permeated with the spirit of sectarianism. In 1911 several groups that had broken away from the Socialist Party formed the Social Democratic Party of Canada. Since the beginning of the 20th century the farmers’ movement, which is directed against the dominance of the monopolies, has been important in Canadian politics.

World War I, in which Canada participated on the side of Great Britain, stimulated the further growth of monopoly capitalism, which was accompanied by a strengthening of the economic position of the USA in Canada. At the same time, the war sharpened the contradictions in capitalism, as well as the social and national antagonisms in the country. The movement against the government, which intended to introduce compulsory military service, confronted the ruling class with the threat of a national crisis and compelled the bourgeoisie to form a coalition government in October 1917—the “Unionist” government, which consisted of Conservatives and those Liberals who advocated that the war be pursued “to a victorious conclusion.”

Period of the general crisis of capitalism (after 1918).PRIOR TO 1945. The beginning of the general crisis of capitalism was marked by an upswing in the workers’ and farmers’ movements. The toiling people hailed the victory of the October Revolution in Russia, and a campaign of protest was provoked by the decision of the Borden government (1917–20) to send Canadian troops to participate in the intervention against Soviet Russia and to introduce compulsory military service (1918). The strike struggle intensified sharply. Between 1911 and 1914, 244 strikes occurred and in 1919, 336. The most important of them was the Winnipeg Strike of 1919. The Communist Party of Canada was founded in 1921.

The strengthening of the position of the Canadian bourgeoisie during World War I and the rapid growth of American capital investments led to the weakening of British influence in Canada. (At the end of 1922, US investments totaled $2, 593 million and British investments, US$2, 464 million.) At the Paris Peace Conference of 1919–20, Canada was an independent party to the peace treaties. Like the other British dominions it received the right to be represented in the League of Nations. In 1920 an agreement was reached on the establishment of Canadian diplomatic representation in the USA. (The agreement went into effect in 1927.) The Statute of Westminster, which was adopted by the British Parliament in 1931, implemented the resolution of the imperial conferences of 1926 and 1930 on the legal equality of the dominions and the mother country with respect to all rights and laws.

Because of the dependence of the national economy on foreign trade and the predominance of raw materials among the nation’s exports, the world economic crisis of 1929–33 hit Canada with particular severity. The level of industrial production fell by more than 50 percent between 1929 and 1933, and at the beginning of 1933 the number of unemployed, including the members of their families, was more than 1.3 million (12 percent of the entire population). The catastrophic decline of farm commodity prices led to the ruin of 240, 000 farms. Endeavoring to promote sales of Canadian goods in the British Empire, R. Bennett’s Conservative government (1930–35) supported the initial agreements in 1932 on imperial preferences.

The Bennett government repeatedly used armed force to disperse demonstrators and suppress strikes. Declared illegal in 1931, the Communist Party continued to operate illegally until 1936. Its leaders, including T. Buck, who were thrown into prison in 1931, were freed in 1934. Under Bennett’s administration approximately 10, 000 people were arrested. The Liberals regained power in 1935 under the leadership of W. L. M. King (prime minister during 1921–26, 1926–30, and 1935–48), and they remained in power until 1957.

The ruling circles of Canada fully supported the policy pursued by Great Britain, France, and the USA, which encouraged fascist agressors. On Sept. 10, 1939, Canada entered World War II (1939–45) on the side of Great Britain. Canada supplied the countries of the antifascist coalition—primarily Great Britain— with raw materials, foodstuffs, and weapons. As the result of a plebiscite held in April 1942, the government obtained the right to send to overseas theaters of military action against the forces of the fascist bloc not only recruited troops (volunteers) but also conscripted troops. A powerful war industry developed in the country, and new branches of industry were established, including the machine-tool and synthetic rubber industries. Between 1939 and 1945 industrial production increased by 250 percent, and there was a further concentration of production and capital. The Canadian bourgeoisie had great opportunities to make profits on military orders. Wages were “frozen,” signifying greater exploitation of the working class, especially when one considers the rapid rise of the speed-up during the period. The strike struggle grew more acute. The number of trade-union members almost doubled (359, 000 in 1939; 711,000 in 1945). In June 1940 the Communist Party was outlawed again, and hundreds of Communists and other progressive leaders were imprisoned. The Communists reestablished a legal party in August 1943 under the title of the Labor Progressive Party (since 1959, the Communist Party of Canada). On June 12, 1942, diplomatic relations were established between Canada and the USSR, and on Feb. 11, 1944, a Canadian-Soviet agreement on military supplies was concluded.

AFTER WORLD WAR II (1939-45). After the war the British position in Canada continued to grow weaker. In particular, the remnants of Canada’s formal dependence on the mother country were eliminated (for example, the law on Canadian citizenship, 1947). In 1949, Canada annexed Newfoundland, the last British possession in North America. At the same time the influence of US ruling circles on the policy of Canada grew stronger. Canada assisted in the implementation of the Marshall Plan. Although it was economically a highly developed imperialist country, Canada was an object of the expansion of US monopoly capital. Crowding out their British competitors in a fierce struggle, US monopolies seized the key positions in the Canadian economy. By the end of 1969 almost half of the largest industrial companies of Canada were under the control or in the direct possession of American capital, and even Canada's foreign trade was linked with the USA.

The postwar period was marked by the further growth of the workers’ movement. In 1956 the two largest trade-union centers merged to form the Canadian Labour Congress. Between 1960 and 1970 the number of strikes doubled (274 in 1960, 595 in 1969, and 540 in 1970), and the number of strikers increased by five to six times (49, 400 in 1960, 306, 800 in 1969, 261, 200 in 1970). As a result of strikes an estimated 4 million workdays were lost in 1971. The demands of the strikers have been basically economic—that is, they have been directed against increases in the cost of living (expenses for apartment rent and community services account for one-fourth to one-third of a working-class family’s budget) and the increasing gap between the growth rates of monopoly profits and workers’ wages. (In 1968 the latter increased by only 7.5 percent, whereas profits rose 20 percent.) At the same time, strikes have often been struggles against the policy of wage “freezes,” which was adopted by the government at the end of the 1960’s, and struggles for the right to participate in the consideration of questions related to the organization of production (for example, the introduction of new equipment and the protection of workers from the negative consequences of automation). There has been a growing tendency to diminish and even to eliminate the dependence of the Canadian trade-union movement on US trade-union leaders.

In Quebec the strike struggle against the yoke of the monopolies merged with the struggle against the economic and national inequality of the French-Canadian population. (During the 1960’s the wages of French Canadians were, on the average, 40 percent lower than the wages of English Canadians.) The movement of the French Canadians for complete and equal rights with English Canadians in all fields of economic and political life is supported by all progressive forces in Canada. At the same time the bourgeois separatist movement, which called for the secession of Quebec from the Canadian federation, became active. However, in the elections to the Parliament of the province of Quebec in October 1973 the separatists suffered a heavy defeat. Candidates of the ruling Liberal Party won 99 of the 110 seats.

The ruling circles of Canada were active in the unleashing of the cold war. The Liberal government and the Conservative one that replaced it (1957–63) concluded a number of agreements with the USA, which American monopolies took advantage of to control the economy, foreign policy, and defense of Canada. In February 1947 an American-Canadian agreement was announced concerning the extension of military cooperation during the postwar period. Canada was among the initial proponents of the creation of the aggressive NATO bloc (1949). In 1958 a united antiaircraft defense command for North America was established (NORAD). US military bases were established on Canadian territory. Beginning in the mid-1960’s, cabinets formed by the Liberals, who had come into power again in 1963, adopted a more constructive approach to domestic and foreign policy problems, taking national interests into consideration. The government of P. E. Trudeau (prime minister since 1968) declared its intention to ensure Canada’s “political self-preservation” and independence and, in particular, to control the further development of relations with the USA, a nation that presents a constant threat to the sovereignty, independence, and cultural identity of Canada. Although it advocates the continued existence of NATO, the Canadian government has curtailed its military participation in the bloc. The government has declared its intention to develop relations with the countries of Latin America, Asia, and Europe, including the socialist countries. A delegation from Canada participated in the work of the Congress on Security and Cooperation in Europe. In May 1971, Trudeau paid an official visit to the USSR, during which a Soviet-Canadian protocol on consultations was signed. In October 1971, A. N. Kosygin paid a return visit to Canada, concluding a general agreement on exchanges.

In the struggle of the Canadian people for peace and social progress the unity of democratic forces has assumed increasing importance.


Mizhuev, P. G. Krest’ianskoe tsartsvo: Ocherk istorii i sovremennogo sostoianiia Kanady. St. Petersburg, 1905.

Sosenskii, I. Voina i ekonomika Kanady. [Moscow] 1947.

Sushchenko, V. V. Anglo-Amerikanskie protivorechiia v Kanade posle vtoroi mirovoi winy. Moscow, 1956.

Mileikovskii, A. G. Kanada i anglo-amerikanskie protivorechiia. Moscow, 1958.

Altaev, B., and K. Lomov. Novoe v rabochem dvizhenii Kanady. [Moscow] 1960.

Natsional’nye problemy Kanady. Moscow, 1972.

Buck, T. Izbrannye proizvedeniia. Moscow, 1972. (Translated from English.)

Buck, T. Nasha bor’ba za Kanadu. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from English.)

Ryerson, S. B. Osnovanie Kanady: Kanada s drevneishikh vremen do 1815g Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.)

Ryerson, S. B. Neravnyi souiz: Istoriia Kanady, 1815–1873. Moscow, 1970. (Translated from English.)

Lanctot, G. A History of Canada, vols. 1–3. Toronto, 1963–65.

Clark, S. D. Movements of Political Protest in Canada. Toronto, 1959.

Canada and Its Provinces: A History of the Canadian People …. vols. 1–23. Toronto, 1914–17.

Garneau, F. H. Histoire du Canada, 8th ed., vols. 1–9. Montreal, 1944–46.

V. A. TISHKOV (prior to 1867),
O. S. SOROKA-TSIUPA(1867–1918),
and S. F. MOLOCHKOV (from 1918)

Political parties. The Liberal Party, which was founded in the 19th century, received its organizational form in 1873. In power since 1963, it expresses the interests of the big monopolistic bourgeoisie. The Progressive Conservative Party, founded in 1854, expresses the interests of the big monopolistic bourgeoisie and the well-to-do farmers. Founded in 1961, the New Democratic Party, an outgrowth of the Social Democratic Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and some of the trade unions, belongs to the Canadian Labour Congress. The Social Credit Party was founded in 1935. The party leadership, which is linked with US oil monopolies and their Canadian partners, advocates sharply anti-Soviet and anti-Communist positions. The Communist Party of Canada was founded in 1921. In 1965 the Communist Party of Quebec, part of the Communist Party of Canada, was established at a congress of Communists of the province of Quebec.

Trade unions and other social organizations. The first trade unions in Canada were formed during the 1820’s. By 1973 the trade unions had more than 2 million members. The largest trade-union associations are the Canadian Labour Congress (founded in 1956; more than 1.75 million members) and the Confederation of National Trade Unions (founded in 1921), which operates mainly in the province of Quebec. Characteristic of the Canadian trade-union movement are close ties with US trade unions: two-thirds of Canada’s trade-union members belong to international American-Canadian trade-union organizations, and more than half belong to the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

Among Canada’s other social organizations are the Canada-USSR Association, founded in 1960, the Quebec-USSR Society, founded in 1960, and the Canadian Peace Congress, founded in1949. The Women’s Voice, a bourgeois-liberal pacifist organization, was founded in 1960.


General state of the economy. Canada is an industrial-agrarian country with a high level of capitalist development. However, its economy has an ambivalent character. On the one hand, Canada is the object of exploitation by the monopolies of the USA and other imperialist states. Raw materials and semifinished goods prevail among its exports. Many of Canada’s leading companies are multinational, with the country’s national capital closely interwoven with foreign capital. On the other hand, Canada is a major capitalist power that exports capital and exploits the less developed countries of the capitalist system. Large-scale capitalist production prevails in both industry and agriculture. As of 1971, Canada occupied seventh place among the industrial producers of the capitalist world (3.2 percent of the world’s industrial output). In national per capita income and average level of labor productivity it is behind only the USA and Switzerland.

In the capitalist world (as of 1970), Canada ranked first in the mining of nickel, zinc, and silver ores, potash, and asbsestos, as well as in the production of newsprint. The country was second in the mining of gold, platinum, niobium, and molybdenum ores, natural gas, and sulfur, as well as in the production of aluminum, cellulose, and sawn lumber, and third in mining lead, cobalt, magnesium, cadmium, uranium, and titanium ores. On the whole, Canada produces about 7 percent of the capitalist world’s raw materials and semifinished products, all of which are derived from minerals or timber. The country also produces up to one-sixth of the capitalist world’s exports in the same categories. At the same time, Canada is a major purchaser of machinery, equipment, and other finished products from industrially developed countries.

Foreign capital plays an important role in the Canadian economy. As of 1968, foreign monopolies controlled 70 percent of Canada’s mining and 57 percent of its processing industry. The USA holds 81 percent of the foreign investments in Canada. At the end of 1968 the country’s long-term foreign debt totaled Can$38 billion, of which four-fifths was owed to the USA. As of 1968, the nation’s investments abroad totaled approximately Can$19 billion, of which $11 billion was allotted to long-term investments in the economies of Brazil and of countries in the Caribbean basin, for example. Approximately 43 percent of Canada’s investments abroad are controlled not by Canadian capital but by foreign capital, of which 31 percent comes from the US. In penetrating Canada’s economy, foreign monopolies (primarily American ones) compete with Canadian capital, sharpening the struggle to “Canadianize” the country’s economy. Foreign penetration is particularly noticeable in the new regions of intensive exploitation of natural resources—for example, in the Canadian North.

The relatively high rate of growth of the Canadian economy since World War II (4.5 percent per year) is closely associated with the large volume of capital investment in the economy. From 1939 to 1969 approximately Can$250 billion was invested in the economy, processing enterprises and mining installations were built, and farming became more mechanized. In the postwar period significant structural and regional shifts have occurred in the Canadian economy. (See Table 2.)

Table 2. Branch structure of the economy
All branches (conventionally
computed net cost of production, millions of dollars)..........
Breakdown of total (in percent)    
Fishing and hunting.........
Electric power............
Manufacturing industry.........41.555.054.657.4

The growth of industrial production was directly connected to the renewal of fixed capital and the creation of new branches of the manufacturing and processing industries (aviation, electrical engineering, and petroleum refining), as well as of the extracting industries (mining of iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, potash, and uranium and molybdenum ores). The high demand for Canadian raw materials resulted in the accelerated development of the raw materials branches of the economy (that is, branches that are linked, to one degree or another, with the exploitation of lumber, mineral, or energy resources). On the one hand, this has brought into economic circulation the resources of a number of poorly developed regions in western and northern Canada. On the other hand, however, it has led to the plundering of the country’s natural wealth and to great currency losses, resulting from the difference in the value of raw materials and finished products.

Even with its relatively high rate of economic growth, Canada still has a perennial army of unemployed (3 percent of the total number employed in 1953, 3.9 percent in 1965, 4.7 percent in 1969, 5.9 percent in 1970, and 6.4 percent in 1971 [552, 000 persons]).

Industry. Between 1939 and 1969 the volume of industrial output grew sixfold, primarily because of the mining and lumber and paper industries, as well as transportation machine building, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, electrical engineering, and the chemicals industry.

During the postwar period the role of mining in the economy increased considerably, although its relative weight in the overall structure of the economy declined. The intensified development of mining has been the decisive factor in the economy’s shift of emphasis toward the northern and western parts of the country. In terms of production Canada’s mining industry was second only to the USA in the capitalist world in 1970 (value of output, approximately $5 billion). The per capita output of mineral raw materials and semifinished goods is higher in Canada than in any other developed capitalist country. Specifically, it is one-third higher than that of the USA. (See Table 3 for information on the extraction of the principal minerals.)

Table 3. Output of principal minerals
2By metal content of the ore
Coal (million tons)........
Petroleum (million tons)1....1.02.924.872.0
Natural gas (billion cu m)....1.01.711.777.0
Iron ore (million tons)....0.13.322.243.3
Copper (thousand tons)2...286.0239.0358.9648.0
Nickel (thousand tons)2....103.0117.0169.2267.0
Zinc (thousand tons)2.....239.0262.0385.61,270.0
Lead (thousand tons)2.....204.0145.0169.2395.0
Molybdenum (tons)2......1.0339.812,000.0
Tungsten (W03) (tons)2.....4.0191.01,395.0
Uranium (U3O8) (thousand tons)2..........14.43.6
Gold (tons).........158.0128.0139.469.5
Silver (tons)721.0549.0993.01,393.0
Asbestos (million tons).....
Potash (million tons).....0.043.6
Sulfur (million tons)....

With respect to the total volume of all types of energy (calculated on the basis of conventional fuel) Canada held fifth place among the capitalist countries in 1970, whereas in volume of per capita energy requirements it was only slightly behind the USA. In the fuel-energy balance, petroleum accounted for 47 percent, coal 11 percent, natural gas 19 percent, hydroelectric power 23 percent, and firewood less than 1 percent. Waterpower is used to produce most of the country’s electric power. As of Jan 1, 1971, the rated capacity of hydroelectric power plants was 28.3 million kW—that is, two-thirds of the capacity of all Canadian electric power plants. The principal hydroelectric power plants are in the provinces of Quebec (47 percent of the capacity), Ontario (24 percent), and British Columbia (14 percent.) The most powerful plants are situated on the St. Lawrence, Betsiamites, Manicouagan-Outardes, Peace, Nelson, and Churchill rivers. A number of large thermoelectric and atomic power plants have been built near Toronto and Vancouver. In 1970 the Pickering Atomic Power Plant was put into operation. (Located east of Toronto, it has a projected capacity of 2.2 million kW.) The Bruce Atomic Power Plant (capacity, 3.2 million kW) was under construction in the province of Ontario in 1973.

The manufacturing industry developed significantly in connection with the demand for armaments during World War II. Between 1939 and 1944 alone the volume of production increased by 2.5 times. In 1966, 22 percent of the labor force in the manufacturing industries was employed in machine building and metalworking, 16 percent in woodworking, 14 percent in food processing, 7 percent in ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, 7 percent in electrical engineering, and 6 percent in the chemicals industry.

As of 1970, the total output of the manufacturing industries was divided among transportation machine building (12.3 percent), general machine building (3.7 percent), ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy and metalworking (15.9 percent), the cellulose and paper industry (8.5 percent), woodworking (4.2 percent), electrical engineering (6 percent), the chemicals industry (5.8 percent), petroleum refining and coal processing (4 percent), food processing and tobacco curing (19.8 percent), textiles (3.4 percent), the garment industry (2.8 percent), and miscellaneous industries (13.6 percent).

Machine building provides about one-fourth of the value of the output of the manufacturing industries. Its principal branch is transportation machine building (the manufacture of motor vehicles, ships, airplanes, railroad cars, and locomotives). Well developed among the other branches are the manufacture of farm machinery and the production of power equipment and equipment for mining and lumbering. Machine-tool manufacture is poorly developed: many of the leading branches of the industry depend on equipment imported from the USA, Great Britain, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), and Japan. Transportation machine building has been concentrated primarily in subsidiary enterprises of American or British machine-building companies. The principal centers for machine building are Toronto, Montreal, Windsor, Hamilton, Brantford, Oshawa, Halifax, and Vancouver.

Ferrous metallurgy is concentrated in the cities of Hamilton (49 percent), Sault Ste. Marie (18 percent), and Well and in the Lake Region, and Sydney (8 percent) on the Atlantic coast. Aluminum is produced in the cities of Arvida (40 percent), Kitimat (25 percent), Baie Comeau (20 percent), and île Maline (10 percent) and polymetals, in Trail, Valleyfield, and Beeledune Puene. Copper and nickel are produced in Sudbury, Noranda, Montreal, Port Colborne, Thompson, and Fort Saskatchewan.

In terms of capacity Canada’s petroleum refineries hold one of the foremost places in the capitalist world. The principal refineries are located in the chief centers of petroleum consumption (Montreal, 30 percent of Canada’s petroleum production, and Vancouver, 5 percent) or at transportation terminals (Sarnia, 12 percent, and Edmonton, 7 percent). The chemicals industry is represented by a number of large plants that turn out basic chemical products as well as high-polymer compounds. The production of chemical fertilizers, synthetic rubber, and plastics is increasing rapidly. The principal centers of the chemicals industry are Sarnia, Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Kitchener.

In lumbering, sawmilling, and woodworking, as well as cellulose and paper production, Canada is second in the capitalist world after the USA. Cellulose and paper production has undergone the greatest development. About two-thirds of the capacity of this branch is located in eastern Canada near the large hydroelectric power plants on the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries. After World War II new plants were built in the taiga zone of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta and especially in the Canadian Far West on the Pacific coast, where cellulose and paper production is closely coordinated with sawmilling. Located in the Far West is two-thirds of the capacity of the sawmilling industry, whose principal centers are Trois-Rivières, Corner Brook, Powell River, Hull, Port Alberni, Prince George, The Pas, and Prince Rupert.

The chief branches of the food-processing industry are flour milling, meatpacking, fish canning, and distilling of alcoholic beverages, all of which are very important for export. The largest mills are located in ports from which grain is exported (Port Arthur, Montreal, and Vancouver). Among the branches of light industry, textiles, leather and footwear, and garments are relatively well developed. About half of the output of light industry comes from Montreal. Other important centers include Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. (See Table 4.)

Table 4. Output of major industrial produets
1Obtined by smelting
2Million sq m
Electric power..........(billion kW-hrs)55.0114.5215.1
Cast iron and ferrous alloys (million tons)
Steel (million tons)..........3.15.311.0
Copper (thousand tons)..........218.0378.0478.0
Lead (thousand tons)1..........155.0144.0168.0
Zinc (thousand tons)1..........185.0236.0372.0
Nickel (thousand tons)1..........112.0195.0267.0
Aluminum (thousand tons)1..........377.0691.0980.0
Petroleum produets (million tons)..........13.134.768.5
Synthetic rubber (thousand tons)..........59.4162.2196.1
Paper pulp (million tons)..........7.610.215.8
Newsprint (million tons)..........
Sawed lumber (million cu m)..........9.418.530.0
Passenger automobiles (thousands)..........284.0326.01, 096.0
Trucks (thousands)..........106.071.0279.0
Radios (thousands)..........821.0676.01, 995.0
Televisions (thousands)..........355.0339.0541.0
Cotton fabric (million sq m)..........297.0240.0221.0
Woolen fabric (million m)..........23.013.8222
Table 5. Sown area and harvest of principal agricultural crops
 Sown area (million ha)Harvest (million tons)
1 Annual average 21934–38
Fodder grasses3.84.65.614.217.632.0

Approximately seven-tenths of the manufacturing industry’s production capacity is located in the industrial zone of the central provinces of Ontario and Quebec, about one-eighth each in the Far West and the prairie region, and one-twentieth in the maritime region.

Agriculture. Canadian agriculture is characterized by high levels of commodity production, mechanization, and specialization. Approximately three-fourths of the agricultural lands are held by large-scale capitalist farmers who own areas of more than 40 ha each. The competitive struggle against the large mechanized farms has led to the ruin of small farms. Between 1951 and 1966 the number of farms fell by 30 percent. Farmlands total 70 million ha (7.6 percent of Canada’s territory), 44 million ha of which are tilled or used as pasture. In addition to cereal crops, sown grasses, industrial crops (flax, rape, and tobacco), and fodder crops (potatoes and corn) hold prominent places in the breakdown of the sown area. (See Table 5.)

During the postwar period important changes have taken place in the structure of agriculture. In 1971, three-fifths of the goods produced came from animal husbandry (see Table 6) and only two-fifths from cultivated crops. (In 1939 these proportions were the reverse.) The structure of each branch of agriculture has also changed. Intensive branches of animal husbandry and crop cultivation (gardening, horticulture, vegetable and fruit growing) have increased their share in the total output. In 1970 there were 700, 000 tractors in operation, as well as 200, 000 combines and 400, 000 trucks, and nine-tenths of the farms had been electrified.

Table 6. Livestock (thousands)
1Annual average
Dairy cows.............2,9362,551

Grain is grown chiefly in the prairie provinces, especially Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Dairy livestock raising and poultry raising are found primarily in the southern parts of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec and in southwestern British Columbia, whereas meat-and-wool animal husbandry is important in British Columbia and Alberta. Truck gardens and or are cultivated in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. A number of branches of agriculture tend to cater to exports: more than half the wheat and flaxseed as well as one-third of the barley are exported.

Lumbering is most highly developed in the provinces of British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario. Canada provides about one-tenth of the wooden goods produced in the world and one-third of the world’s lumber exports. There are approximately 90, 000 persons employed in fishing. The annual catch is more than 1 million tons of fish, two-thirds of which is exported. Half of the catch is made in the coastal waters off the Atlantic maritime provinces, primarily on the Newfoundland Banks (cod, herring, and crabs), and two-fifths in the Pacific coastal waters and rivers (salmon and halibut).

Transportation. Before World War II more than 90 percent of all Canadian freight was hauled by railroad. During the postwar period the role of rail transportation began to decline (to 60 percent in 1969), as truck transportation, pipelines (99, 000 km in 1968), and aviation gained importance. Certain changes have been made in the configuration of the transportation network. To the east-west transcontinental roads were added a number of railroads and highways running north-south (including the Alaskan [Alcan] Highway, 2, 500 km long, the Mackenzie Highway, and the Vancouver-Fort Nelson, Sept-Îles-Schefferville, and Grimshaw-Pine Point railroads). As of 1971, there were 71,000 km of railroads and 800, 000 km of highways. In 1971 the country had 8.1 million motor vehicles, including 6.3 million passenger cars. In the north and in mountainous regions snowmobiles are used. (In 1969 there were more than 800, 000 of them.) Of great importance are maritime and river transportation, as well as haulage on the waterway through the Great Lakes. Since the completion in 1959 of the deepwater seaway along the St. Lawrence River, ocean-going vessels weighing as much as 26, 000 tons can reach ports on the Great Lakes. As of 1969, the tonnage of Canada’s merchant marine fleet (including lake and river (thousands) vessels) was 3.7 million gross registered tons. The Principal ports (based on cargo turn over in millions of tons in 1969) are Vancouver (21.5), Sept-Îles (17.2), Montreal (l5.9), and Thunder Bay (12.5). The role of aviation is great, especially in the northern areas. The principal airports are Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Ottawa.

Foreign trade. In terms of the turnover of foreign trade in 1969, Canada occupied sixth place in the capitalist world (6 percent). Approximately one-fourth of the goods produced by Canada are exported. More than two-thirds of the value of Canadian exports is in raw materials, semifinished products, and foodstuffs. Canada’s exports are newsprint, wheat, sawed lum- ber, paper pulp, nickel, aluminum, petroleum and petroleum products, iron ore, copper, asbestos, uranium, and potash. Most of the value of the nation’s imports is accounted for by finished industrial products, as well as coal and tropical products such as coffee, rubber, bananas, and cacao. (See Table 7.)

The geography of Canada’s foreign trade has usually been characterized by the strong predominance of the USA and Great Britain. Because US monopolies took advantage of Great Britain’s weakened position during and after World War 11, Britain's share in Canada's foreign trade was reduced from 32

Table 7. Exports and imports by groups of goods (percent of total)
Foodstuffs, beverages, and tobaceo...27.620.310.910.610.27.8
Raw materials...........10.121.618.
Semifinished goods..........45.849.035.228.325.320.7
Finished goods..........13.67.735.133.749.761.7
Miscellaneous items..........

percent in 1939 to 8 percent in 1969, whereas the US share of trade with Canada during the same period increased from 50 to 70 percent. The USA, which needs Canadian industrial raw materials and semifinished goods, became the principal market for Canadian goods.

The value of Canadian exports in 1971 was Can-Si 7, 847, 000, 000 and of imports Can$ 15, 608, 000, 000. Major trading partners, in percents, were the USA, 68.1 (exports) and 70.1 (imports); Great Britain, 7.6 and 5.3; Japan, 4.4 and 5.1; the FRG, 1.8 and 2.8; the Netherlands, 1.3 and 0.5; and Italy, 1.2 and 1. Canada has established economic ties with the USSR and other socialist countries. The monetary unit is the Canadian dollar. As of February 1973 the Gosbank (State Bank of the USSR) set the exchange rate at Can$l = 0.83 rubles.

Internal differences. The central region (the southern parts of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec) is well developed industrially. Inhabited by two-thirds of the country’s population, it accounts for more than two-thirds of the country’s industrial output. Most of the region’s territory is located on the Canadian Shield, which is rich in minerals. There are also great reserves of hydroelectric power (30 million kW) and timber (half of Canada’s reserves). The southern part of the shield is framed by the fertile lands of the St. Lawrence Valley and the agricultural regions of southern Ontario. The central region’s economic development was promoted by its rich natural resources and its advantageous geographic position in the center of the country, adjacent to the industrially developed US northeast on convenient transportation routes (the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River).

The shore belt from Windsor to Toronto and from there to Montreal has an almost unbroken chain of industrial cities, sporadically interrupted by regions of intensive agriculture. Located in the region is nine-tenths of Canada’s production capacity for motor vehicles, airplanes, farm machinery, electric power equipment, and electrical equipment, four-fifths of the capacity of the chemicals and light industries, and two-thirds of the capacity of the cellulose and paper industries and nonferrous and ferrous metallurgy. The region also accounts for half the output of mining and agriculture. The region’s agriculture specializes in animal husbandry as well as the cultivation of vegetables, tobacco, and fruit. The largest industrial centers are Montreal and Toronto, where one-third of Canada’s industrial output is produced.

The prairie region (most of the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) encompasses the Canadian part of the Great Plains. The region has one-sixth of the country’s population and accounts for one-tenth of its industrial output. Since the beginning of the 20th century the prairie region has been an important agricultural region. Before the end of the 1950’s extensive agriculture prevailed, specializing in the production of grain, meat, and wool. With the discovery in 1947 of a major petroleum deposit (Leduc, in Alberta), as well as new deposits of polymetals, potash, uranium, and coal, the mining, petroleum, and gas chemicals industries developed. In 1969 the value of the region’s industrial production was three times the value of its agricultural production. The chemicals industry (Edmonton and Calgary), food processing (Calgary and Winnipeg), and nonferrous metallurgy (Thompson and Fort Sakatchewan) have been developed.

The Far West (the province of British Columbia) accounts for one-tenth of the nation’s population and one-tenth of its industrial output. A region of new industries, it specializes particularly in the production of raw materials and semifinished products for export. In 1971 the region provided four-fifths of the plywood produced in the country, two-thirds of the sawed lumber, one-fourth of the paper pulp, and one-fifth of the paper. Great quantities of polymetals, copper, and molybdenum ores are mined. About half of the capacity of the region’s processing industries is concentrated in Vancouver. Other important industrial centers are Victoria (shipbuilding and aircraft construction), Kitimat (aluminum), and Trail (lead and zinc).

The maritime region (basically the provinces of Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia) lags considerably behind the other regions of Canada in its level of development. Although about one-tenth of the country’s population lives in the region, it accounts for only approximately one-sixteenth of Canada’s industrial output. During the postwar period the maritime region has been characterized by the country’s lowest population growth rates as well as the lowest growth in output and in volume of capital investments. Relatively poor in natural resources, the region has a narrow energy base (only coal). It is far away from the country’s principal industrial centers. Most of the population is engaged in fishing, agriculture, and coal mining. The principal industrial centers are St. John (petroleum refining) and Halifax (shipbuilding and automotive assembly).

The Canadian North consists of the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories, and the northern parts of the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. During the postwar period there has been accelerated exploitation of mineral, hydroelectric power, and timber resources, and a network of new industrial cities and settlements has been created. Despite the smallness of the newly created centers, they occupy a prominent place in the total Canadian output (for example, Pine Point—polymetals, Knob Lake—iron ore, Tungsten— tungsten, and Clinton Creek—asbestos).


Antipova, A. V., and I. F. Antonova. Kanada. Moscow, 1972.

Mileikovskii, A. Kanada i anglo-amerikanskie protivorechiia. Moscow, 1958.

Borodaevskii, A. D. Kanada i mezhimperialisticheskaia bor’ba za istochniki syr’ia. Moscow, 1968.

Sushchenko, V. V. Monopolisticheskii kapital Kanady. Moscow, 1964.

Canada Yearbook: 1960–1970. Ottawa, 1960–70.

Canada: One Hundred, 1867–1967. Ottawa, 1967.


The armed forces consist of the army, air force, and navy. The supreme commander in chief is the prime minister, and the highest military leadership is exercised by the Council of Defense and directly by the minister of defense. The Council of Defense includes the minister of defense (chairman), three civilians, including the deputy minister of defense and the chairman of the military scientific research committee, and the chief of staff for defense and his deputy. The army is made up of recruited volunteers. As of 1972 the total number of men in the armed forces was approximately 90, 000, of whom more than 5, 000 were included in the joint armed forces of NATO on the territory of the FRG.

Organizationally, the armed forces are united into seven commands: mobile, antiaircraft defense, naval, training, air transport, communications, and European. In addition, there is a separate air division that has been transferred to the joint armed forces of NATO. Subordinate to the mobile command are four mechanized brigade groups, two airborne landing brigade groups, a parachute regiment, and four squadrons of tactical fighter airplanes (including one training group), several aviation transport squadrons, and helicopters. Their armaments include up-to-date types of combat materiel and weapons of Canadian as well as American and British manufacture. Subordinate to the antiaircraft defense are three squadrons of fighter aircraft and two squadrons of antiaircraft guided missiles. The air transport command is in charge of strategic aviation transfers. There are about 300 airplanes in the mobile antiaircraft defense and air transport commands.

Subordinate to the naval command are the Atlantic and Pacific fleets as well as the naval air force. There are four submarines, several destroyers, six base minesweepers, 22 patrol vessels, and several auxiliary vessels of domestic and foreign manufacture. The naval air force has four squadrons of antisubmarine defense and one squadron of deck-based helicopters.

Medicine and public health. In 1969 the birthrate was 17.6 per 1,000 inhabitants, the total mortality rate was 7.3, and infant mortality was 19.3 per 1,000 live births. The principal causes of death are diseases of the cardiovascular system, malignant growths, diseases of the vessels of the central nervous system, and pneumonia. The chief causes of infant mortality are premature births and birth defects. The level of on-the-job injuries is high: in 1972 there were about 12, 000 accidents, of which more than 5, 000 were fatal. Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, syphilis, and meningococcal meningitis are especially widespread among the Indians and Eskimo. Since the 1950’s the rising incidence of mental illness, alcoholism, and drug addiction has presented serious public-health problems. In the Canadian North, a region with a harsh climate and a sparse population (basically Indians and Eskimo), an increase in the incidence of tuberculosis, infectious diseases, and mental illness has been noted. Pneumonia, scurvy, and keratosis are frequently encountered there, as well as echinococcosis (especially in the west), alveolysis (encountered also on the islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago), trichinosis, and diphyllobothriasis. In the south cardiovascular diseases and malignant tumors prevail. Salmonellosis is widespread. Cases of toxoplasmosis have been recorded in the central provinces and cases of Q-fever, in Quebec Province.

In 1970 there were 210, 600 hospital beds (ten beds per 1,000 inhabitants). There were 30, 000 physicians (one physician per 717 inhabitants), 6, 500 oral surgeons, 9, 000 pharmacists, and 114, 600 nurses working in Canada in 1969..

Canada has a system of old-age pension insurance. The pension fund is made up of contributions from workers (1.8 percent of their wages) and entrepreneurs. The minimum age at which a worker is entitled to receive a pension is very high—65 (prior to 1965 it was 70). Moreover, pensions are paid only to persons who have lived in Canada for at least ten years (the “residence qualification,” which was 20 years until 1965). As a result of persistent class struggle, the workers have gained some improvements in pension insurance conditions. Those who have completely lost their capacity to work are paid pensions according to the degree of their disability.

Medical personnel are trained at 15 medical schools, which are generally part of various universities.

Canada’s sulfur springs are well known (Hot Springs in the province of Alberta—a well-equipped mountain-balneological health resort at an elevation of 1,450 m). Among the nation’s tuberculosis sanatoriums are Ste. Agathe in Montreal and a number of others on Lake Muskoka near Toronto, in Manitoba, and in Nova Scotia. There are summer camps on the islands of Newfoundland and Cape Breton and in the province of New Brunswick.


Veterinary services. Farm animals are relatively free of infectious and parasitic diseases. Rabies is the most widespread disease (283 new foci in 1971), and in the Canadian North a special form of the disease has been observed among wild animals and dogs (arctic dog disease). Sporadic cases of malignant anthrax, tuberculosis, brucellosis, and classic hog cholera have been recorded. More frequently encountered diseases are helminthiases and skin and metabolic diseases.

As of 1971, there were more than 2, 000 veterinarians inCanada. Specialists are trained in three colleges in the provincesof Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The state veterinaryservice is administered by the Department of Agriculture. Scientific research is conducted at the Eastern Institute (in Ottawa, Ontario) and the Western Institute (in Lethbridge, Alberta), aswell as in a number of laboratories.


Problems of elementary and secondary education are under the jurisdiction of the provincial authorities. Each province has a department (ministry) of education. To coordinate the work of the provincial departments the Committee of Canadian Ministers of Education was established in 1960. In 1967 it became the Council of Canadian Ministers of Education, with a secretariat in Toronto. The federal government is responsible for organizing the education of the Indians and Eskimo. However, schooling is received by only an insignificant number of the children of the native peoples of Canada (in the academic year 1968–69, only 38, 000). Because schools are locally financed, there are disparities in the material potentials of the schools of different regions. In addition to the state schools there is a network of private basically denominational schools (for example, Catholic and Protestant). Education is compulsory for all children between the ages of six and 14–16 (depending on the province).

Among Canada’s preschool institutions are nurseries for children between ages 1½ and three, toddlers, schools for children age three and four, and kindergartens for children age five to six. Although they are attached to the state elementary schools, the kindergartens are usually private. During the academic year 1969–70 more than 350, 000 children, or 75 percent of the children of preschool age, were enrolled in preschool institutions.

Historically, two school systems developed in Canada: the French and the English. The former, which is encountered primarily in the province of Quebec, is organized in accordance with the reform of 1964 into a six-year elementary school and a five-year secondary school (two cycles of two and three years of instruction). During the second cycle the students are placed in general educational or vocational divisions. After completing their secondary educations, students may enroll in colleges of general and occupational education, where they receive either three years of vocational training or two years of academic education that prepares them for enrollment in a university.

The English school system closely resembles that of the US: a six-year elementary school, a three-year junior high school, and a three-year senior high school, or an eight-year elementary school and a four-year secondary school. The students in the senior high school are sharply differentiated. Like their US counterparts, Canadian schools give intelligence tests, with the aid of which secondary school students are assigned to academic or practical study plans—a distribution that coincides with the children’s social status. As a rule, the academic curriculum is closed to the children from low-income families. Graduation from senior high school grants students the right to enroll in a university.

During the academic year 1969–70 there was a total enrollment of 3.8 million pupils in all elementary schools and 1.5 million in the secondary schools.

Vocational training is given at the vocational divisions of secondary schools and in vocational high schools (state and private), as well as at enterprises in training centers. Junior colleges have been established for those who have graduated from secondary schools. They offer terms of instruction ranging from one to three years and train specialists with middle-level qualifications. During the academic year 1968–69 there were 263, 100 students enrolled in institutions offering vocational training.

The system of higher education includes universities, colleges (many of which are attached to universities), and technical institutes. Tuition, which has been raised repeatedly, is charged for instruction at higher educational institutions. About 15 percent of the students are granted small stipends. The largest institutions of higher learning are the universities of Toronto, Ottawa, and Manitoba (Winnipeg), Alberta (Edmonton), and British Columbia (Vancouver), as well as McGill (Montreal), Laval (Quebec), Western Ontario (London), and Queen’s (Kingston) universities. During the academic year 1969–70 there were 479, -000 students enrolled in higher educational institutions, including 298, 000 at universities.

The largest libraries are the University of Toronto Library (founded in 1842; more than 3.6 million volumes), the Laval University Library in Quebec (founded in 1852; 885, 000 volumes), the Montreal Public Library (founded in 1902; 912, -000 volumes), the Toronto Public Library (750, 000 volumes), and the National Library of Science in Ottawa (more than 760, -000 volumes).

The principal museums are the National Museum of Canada (founded in 1842) and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa (founded in 1880), the Royal Ontario Museum (founded in 1912) and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto (founded in 1900), and the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal (founded in 1860).


Natural and technical sciences. The development of the sciences in Canada was based on the work of European scholars, chiefly émigrés from France and Great Britain. In the 17th century, the Frenchman J. Cornut wrote the first geographical, botanical, and zoological descriptions of the Canadian territories, and S. de Champlain made the first geological investigations. A description of the flora of eastern Canada was included in a work by J. P. de Tournefort. The Swedish naturalist P. Kalm, who left a description of his journey through Canada in 1749, is known as the father of Canadian botany.

During the first half of the 19th century a systematic study of the Canadian territory was begun by scientists, fur traders such as A. Mackenzie, and seafarers (J. Franklin, W. Parry, and J. Ross). The work of J. Bigsby, who drew up one of the first geological maps of North America, provided a basis for the assumption that there were large reserves of valuable minerals in Canada. From 1836 to 1846, A. Gesner investigated the geological structure and mineral resources of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. In 1842 the Canadian Geological Service was founded. Its first director, W. Logan, established the existence of the Canadian Shield and was the first (1863) to identify specifically a group of Precambrian deposits. From 1841 to 1869 he directed the geological survey of Canada, in 1863 he and T. Hunt published the Geology of Canada, and in 1869 he drew up one of the most complete maps of the country.

Research in chemistry was initially limited to narrowly practical problems connected with the needs of medicine, agriculture, metallurgy, glassmaking, and various industries. In 1852, A. Gesner invented a method of obtaining kerosene from petroleum and founded a kerosene company.

During the second half of the 19th century Canadians began to form their own schools of science. The country’s economic and political condition stimulated progress primarily in applied biological disciplines such as botany, breeding, dendrology, forestry, zoology, entomology, and ichthyology. In 1862, L. Provancher published his fundamental work, Canadian Flora. Taxonomy began to develop in the 1880’s with the work of such scientists as John and James Macoun and J. Fletcher. O. Brunet established the first herbarium at Laval University (Quebec) in 1860. From 1883 to 1902, John Macoun published the Catalogue of Canadian Plants (vols. 1–7) and assembled a collection of Canadian plants that became the basis of the National Herbarium in Ottawa. After the founding in 1886 of experimental farms and laboratories under the Department of Agriculture, with the participation of scientific groups in the provincial universities, systematic research was begun in applied botany and agriculture under the direction of W. Saunders, a botanist and specialist in breeding, who laid the foundation for the introduction into Canada of specific varieties of wheat, several of which he brought from Russia. The founder of ornithology in Canada was T. McIlwraith, the author of the book Birds of Ontario Province (1886). G. Dawson founded the national school of paleobotany, and J. Whiteaves was the founder of Canadian paleontology.

J. Fields, who established the first Canadian school of mathematics at the University of Toronto, played an important role in stimulating research in mathematics. The development of Canadian mathematics was considerably influenced by J. Sylvester, who had worked in the USA.

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, little work was done in applied chemistry and physics because Canada did not have a chemicals or electrical engineering industry. Outstanding among Canadian scientists were W. Gibbs, who worked out a new electrochemical method for obtaining phosphorus, and T. Willson, who proposed a new method for producing calcium carbide (1892).

The expansion of production to fill orders from Great Britain and the USA during World War I gave considerable impetus to the development of Canadian science. In order to coordinate scientific research, the National Research Council was founded in 1916. Originally, it had three departments: physics, chemistry, and biology (including medicine).

Prior to World War II most scientific research was done in the universities, and very few scientific studies were undertaken by Canadian industry. Thus, in the leading branch of machine building—transportation machine building—research was conducted by US firms. In 1932 the National Research Council established its own laboratories for experimental biology, applied physics, general chemistry, and research on construction, radio engineering, and medicine.

Research in chemistry developed during the period between the two world wars and after World War II. Cheap electric power promoted the growth of energy-consuming industries. Considerable work was conducted on chemicals production technology, especially on explosives. Research was done on the chemistry of binding substances and cements (T. Thorvaldson), organic chemistry, and forest chemistry (P. Gagnon, C. Allen, and R. Ruttan), and the chemistry of the cellulose-paper industry (C. Thorne, J. Bates, and G. Tomlinson). L. Pilden developed a technique for producing sodium metal. A great deal of work was done in biochemistry by such scientists as J. Anderson and R. Larmour. An outstanding discovery in pharmaceutical chemistry and the chemistry of hormones was made in 1921–22, when F. Banting, whose work was directed by J. Macleod, discovered and obtained insulin. (Both men were awarded a Nobel Prize in 1923.) Well known in theoretical chemistry are the works of H. Thode (physical chemistry, the chemistry of isotopes), A. Campbell (physical chemistry), and F. Beamish (analytical chemistry). For his research in physics and analytical chemistry G. Herzberg was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1971.

Scientific research in physics was begun even prior to World War I by H. Callendar, who worked in Canada between 1893 and 1898, and E. Rutherford, who worked there from 1898 to 1907. H. Barnes’ studies of water and ice achieved worldwide recognition. Working with F. Soddy, Rutherford established the characteristics of X rays, having determined the ratio of the charge to the mass of X particles, and he founded the theory of radioactivity. J. McLennan at the University of Toronto proved the existence of cosmic rays, investigated the spectra of the Northern Lights, and was the first on the American continent to obtain liquid helium. He founded the Canadian school of low-temperature physics, whose members still do productive research. Geophysics was developed considerably by D. Keys and A. Eve. During the prewar and postwar years a school of human geography developed in French Canada under scientists such as R. Blanchard and B. Brouillette, but in the rest of Canada, Anglo-American geographic concepts prevailed (for example, D. Putnam and T. Lloyd).

From the beginning of World War II work in nuclear physics expanded. A nuclear laboratory was established at the University of Montreal in 1942, with the aid of scientists from Great Britain and the USA. In 1945 the first Canadian research reactor was put into operation and in 1947, a research reactor which, at that time, was the largest in the world. A scientific research center on atomic energy was established at Chalk River in 1944, and in the early 1960’s one was built at Whiteshell. The first atomic power plant in Canada was put into operation in 1962. Research in atomic energy focuses on the development and introduction of systems for the production of cheap electric energy. A significant contribution to the development of nuclear physics in Canada was made by J. Mackenzie.

The Canadian school of mathematics was strengthened by the German émigrés P. Scherk and H. Zassenhaus. It also included a significant number of scholars who were working temporarily in Canada (for example, S. Newcomb, R. C. Archibald, R. Richardson, G. Pall, A. Tucker, and I. Kaplansky). Mathematical statistics underwent intensive development in the work of A. Warren at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and M. Mackenzie at the University of Toronto. Canada has modern computer centers, the largest of which is located at the University of Toronto. It serves the National Research Council as well as the scientific research institutions of the Canadian Department of Defense. At the University of Alberta (Edmonton), studies are being conducted on general systems theory by L. von Bertalanffy and his colleagues.

During the postwar years Canada began to develop its own research in the technical sciences (radar apparatus and electrical engineering), as well as in mining and the cellulose-paper industry. Research in biology has increased (for example, studies on genetics and breeding at McGill University under the direction of J. Boyce, as well as work on photosynthesis). There has also been an increase in research on petroleum geology. Complex research is also being done on the arctic.

The Scientific Research Center for Communications, which was known as the Military Scientific Institute of Long-Distance Communication until 1968, has its own program that focuses on the study of the cosmos. A Canadian artificial earth satellite of the Alouette-Isis type, which is designed to investigate the ionosphere, was launched jointly by Canada and the USA. The satellite Isis I was launched in 1969. Subsequently, Alouette I and Alouette II were launched. With the aid of the USA and France, Canada is working on a system of satellite communications.

The development of scientific research at the end of the 1960’s and during the 1970’s demanded the perfection of a system of administering and coordinating the sciences. Appropriations for the National Research Council increased sharply. In 1964 the Scientific Secretariat was established under the office of the prime minister and in 1966, the Science Council of Canada, a consultative body under the government. The largest scientific institutes are the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Chemical Institute of Canada, the Biological Institute for Cell Research, the Institute for Animal Research, the Institute for Plant Research, the Canadian Forestry Institute, and various research institutions attached to the universities (for example, the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the University of Montreal and numerous oncologic institutes).


Social sciences.PHILOSOPHY. During the 19th century philosophical trends in Canada developed under the influence of French and Anglo-American sources. Moreover, the fundamental source of the French influence remained the Catholic philosophy of neo-Thomism.

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th J. Watson and his disciples played an important role in disseminating philosophy in Canada. The views of the school of speculative philosophy, which were formed under the influence of Anglo-American neo-Hegelianism, facilitated the assimilation of the doctrines of classical German idealism (primarily the ideas of Kant and Hegel). The idealism of this trend in Canadian philosophy was close in spirit to right-wing Hegelianism. Opposed to speculative philosophy was the realism of G. S. Brett, who became very influential during the first quarter of the 20th century. Unlike Anglo-American neorealism and critical realism, Brett’s philosophy was not dominated by epistemological problems. Its fundamental category was “integralness,” understood pluralistically as something not reducible to an abstract uniform “essence”—that is, as a qualitative diversity of being, a “many-colored garden of life.” The adherents of Brett’s “integral realism” were F. H. Anderson and T. A. Goudge in Toronto and A. H. Johnson at Western Ontario University (London). R. C. Lodge attempted to create an “equalizing philosophy”— that is, an essentially eclectic doctrine combining idealism, realism, and pragmatism. The contemporary works of Canadian philosophers have been noticeably influenced by neopositivism, and the nation’s few Protestant philosophers have been influenced by Christian existentialism.

The teaching of philosophy in the universities has been affected by a policy of attracting foreign professors into the faculties. Attention is focused on the history of philosophy, particularly on the ancient and medieval periods. The largest centers, which are of international importance for the development and teaching of neo-Thomist philosophy, are the School of Higher Philosophy at Laval University in Quebec (founded by M. and L. Paquet and headed by C. de Koninck), the Albertus Magnus Institute of Medieval Research (founded by the Dominican Order in Ottawa; located in Montreal since 1942; faculty of philosophy headed by L. M. Régis), and the influential Catholic center for the study of medieval philosophy at the Papal Institute for Medieval Research in Toronto. (Founded in 1929, it has attracted the most important Thomist philosophers from various countries, including E. Gilson—the director of the institute— and J. Maritain.)

Founded in 1958, the Canadian Philosophical Association unites philosophers of both English and French backgrounds. Located in Montreal are the French Canadian Association and the Philosophical Association, which is attached to McGill University. Propaganda for the Marxist-Leninist world view is conducted by the Communist Party of Canada. Philosophical journals published in Canada are Dialogue (since 1962; the organ of the Canadian Philosophical Association), Etudes médiévales (since 1939; the organ of the Papal Institute for Medieval Research in Toronto), Laval théologique et philosophique, (since 1945; the organ of Laval University in Quebec).


HISTORICAL SCHOLARSHIP. In Canada there are English-Canadian and French-Canadian trends in historiography. Their appearance during the first half of the 19th century reflected the emergence and the development of two nations within the country.

The principal themes of French-Canadian historiography include the history of Canada prior to 1763, the problem of the historical fate of the French Canadians after the British conquest of Canada, and their place and role in modern Canada. The foundations of French-Canadian historiography were laid in the mid-19th century by the works of F.-X. Garneau. In the 20th century, French-Canadian historiography has been represented by the works of T. Chapais, A. Maheux, L. Groulx, and G. Lanctot.

In the English-Canadian historiography of the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries the British, or imperial, school of constitutional history prevailed. Its representatives (for example, W. Kingsford, R. Christie, G. Parkin, J. Dent, A. Bradley, and J. Hannay) were oriented toward the Conservative Party. They regarded the history of Canada as a model of the “transplanting” of British institutions, and they substantiated the idea of the imperial unity and preservation of Canada, faced with the threat of American expansionism, within the framework of the British Empire. The biographical genre prevailed in their works.

With the onset of the general crisis of capitalism, the imperial school was subjected to frontal criticism. Canada’s evolution from colonial status to national independence became the leading theme of constitutional historiography (R. Trotter, R. Lang-stone, and R. M. Dawson). Liberal historiography, which during this period became the principal trend in bourgeois historical scholarship, relied on the study of historical phenomena specific to the Canadian experience (R. Lower and F. Underbill). The liberal historians even went so far as to show why Canada’s complete separation from Great Britain was necessary (J. Dafoe). Under the influence of the concepts of the American historian F. J. Turner, the treatment of Canadian history in the spirit of the idea of “North American exclusiveness” became widespread. At the same time, historians became more interested in socioeconomic problems and an economic trend was established for the first time in Canadian historiography (H. A. Innis and W. Macintosh). The works of Innis laid the foundations for the Laurentian School (D. Creighton), which defended the thesis that the trade capital of the St. Lawrence valley had had a determining role in creating a centralized Canadian state.

In 1922 the Canadian Historical Association, which united the principal groups of historians, was founded. After World War II the economic trend in Canadian historiography declined. The proportion of historical biographies among historical publications began to rise again. Social democratic historiography, which originated in the 1930’s, limited itself basically to investigating the history of the social democratic movement in Canada (for example, C. McNaught and W. Young). Marxist historiography made a contribution to the study of the general problems of the country’s historical development (S. Ryerson) as well as to the study of important, narrower problems (M. Fairley’s work on the uprising of 1837–38). In addition, Marxist historians such as T. Buck and L. Morris worked on the history of the workers’ and communist movements.

Almost all research in history is done at the universities of Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec. The University of Toronto has published the journal Canadian Historical Review since 1920. The activity of Marxist historians is coordinated by the Center for Marxist Studies (founded in 1959).


ECONOMIC SCHOLARSHIP. Written primarily by Englishmen, the first works on economics appeared in Canada during the 1820’s and 1830’s and were associated with the problems of the efficacy of colonizing the country (R. Gourley and E. G. Wakefield). The first representative of theoretical political economy was also an Englishman, J. Rae, who lived in Canada from 1822 to 1850. He criticized the system of free trade in Canada and some of A. Smith’s theoretical positions, and he demonstrated the necessity for state intervention to accelerate the development ideas were ahead of his time, and they have been reechoed in present-day bourgeois theories, such as theories of economic growth.

The formation of the Dominion of Canada and the rise of new economic problems stimulated the growth of economic scholarship. During the 1880’s the leading universities in Toronto, Montreal, Kingston, and Fredricton began to establish departments of political economy. A number of British professors were invited to direct the new university departments (E. J. Urwick, a follower of A. Marshall, and W. J. Ashley, a proponent of the historical school of thought, who laid the foundations for the Toronto school of political economy, which took shape during the 1920’s). The first political economist of Canadian origin was A. Shortt, who studied the problems of the domestic economy at the beginning of the 20th century. The 1920’s and 1930’s saw the emergence of a trend that studies the concrete problems of Canadian economic policy (for example, J. Deutsch, H. S. Gordon, W. Mackintosh, and D. Slater). The founder of Canadian economic history was H. A. Innis. The theoretical positions advanced by him—especially the “raw materials theory”—have been developed by contemporary Canadian economic historians such as D. Creighton, C. Barber, H. Aitken, and W. Easter-brook.

During the 1960’s work was begun on problems of public consumption, labor relations, unemployment and its causes, and economic programming. A new progressive trend, which was opposed to Canada’s growing economic dependence on the USA, began to develop in the works of economists such as H. Maccollum, J. Minifie, L. Lameteri, and D. Porter. In the universities of the French-speaking province of Quebec the influence of the Catholic Church remains powerful, and the principal economic doctrine of class peace between labor and capital has taken on a clerical-nationalist tone.

The development of Marxist economic theory finds expression in the programs of the Communist Party of Canada, the works of the Center for Marxist Studies, and the works of Marxist economists.

The centers of economic scholarship are the universities of Toronto and Western Ontario and Queen’s University (Kingston). The leading organization concerned with economic problems is the Department of Economics and Accounting (founded in 1967). Journals on economics include the Canadian Journal of Economics (since 1935), Queen’s Quarterly (since 1893), L’Actualité économique (since 1925), and Relations industrielles (since 1945).


In 1973 more than 1, 500 newspapers, journals, and other periodicals were published in Canada. Among the English periodical publications are the Toronto Daily Star (since 1892; circulation, about 365, 000), which reflects the point of view of the Liberal Party, The Globe and Mail (since 1844; circulation, 262, 000), and the Ottawa Journal (since 1885; circulation, 78, 300). Other English publications are the Montreal Star (since 1869; circulation more than 190, 000), which is close to the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party; the Gazette (since 1778; circulation, 140, 000); and The Ottawa Citizen (since 1844; circulation, about 140, 000). The most important French newspapers are the Catholic Le Devoir (since 1910; circulation, more than 40, 000), La Presse (since 1884; circulation, 194, 000), Le Soleil (since 1896; circulation, more than 150, 000), and Le Droit (since 1913; circulation, approximately 50, 000). The principal journals are Maclean’s Magazine (since 1905; circulation, 625, -000) and Weekend Magazine (since 1951; circulation, more than 2 million). Publications of the Communist Party of Canada include the newspaper Canadian Tribune (since 1940) and the theoretical journal Communist Viewpoint (since 1969).

The Canadian news agency—the Canadian Press—was founded in 1917.

Radio and television broadcasting is done by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which was founded in 1936.

There are more than 360 radio stations and more than 300television stations in operation.


Canadian literature has developed primarily in English and French. Literary works are also published in Russian, Ukrainian, and other languages. Some of the creative oral art of the native population—the Indians and Eskimo—has been collected by 20th-century English-Canadian writers. In defense of the rights of the Indians, the poetess Pauline Johnson (1862— 1913) devoted her life to a literary reworking of their legends. The tragic lot of the Eskimo is narrated in the books People of the Deer (1952) and The Desperate People (1959) by F. Mowat (born 1921), the author of books on the settlement and mastery of the Canadian North.

Literature in French. In the literature of the period of French colonization, works on religious topics and diaries of the first settlers prevailed. After the establishment of British rule in Canada (1763), French literature reflected the resistance of French Canadians to assimilation. The shaping of a French-Canadian literature was considerably influenced by French culture, as well as by religious, patriotic, and patriarchical ideas. The quickening of Canadian social and cultural life in the mid-19th century promoted the rise of a patriotic school of romantic poets, which included L. Fréchette (1839–1908) and P. Lemay (1837–1918). Its leader was O. Crémazie (1827–79)—the first major French-Canadian poet and the publisher of the first literary journal, Les Soirées canadiennes (1861–65). The romantic prose of the 19th century (the novels of A. Gérin-Lajoie, 1824— 82, and P. de Gaspé père, 1786–1871) celebrated the historical past. The Montreal school of poets, which came into being in 1895 and consisted chiefly of writers who had remained true to romanticism (C. Gill, 1871–1918, and E. Nelligan, 1879–1941), sought new poetic means and endeavored to free itself from the influence of Catholic ideology.

At the beginning of the 20th century regional literature, which idealized the patriarchal way of life and piety of the peasants, became widespread. The novel Marie Chapdelaine (1916) by L. Hémon (1880–1913) influenced literature about the colonial period, enriching it with realistic elements. During the period between the two world wars the Canadian adherents of the French Parnassians came to the fore. S.-D. Garneau (1912–43) was one of the first Canadian poets to attempt to convey a tragic sense of the world.

During the 1930’s realism developed, becoming the principal trend in French-Canadian literature by the mid-1940’s. Writers addressed themselves to social problems. R. Lemelin (born 1919) wrote satiric descriptions of church officials and scourged hypocrisy and philistinism (the novel At the Foot of a Gentle Slope, 1944). In the novel Secondhand Luck (1945), Gabrielle Roy (born 1909) described life in the workingmen’s quarter of a large capitalist city, revealing the inner world of the heroes with psychological depth. The novels of Ringuet (pseudonym of P. Panneton, 1895–1960) showed the decline of the patriarchal way of life.

Since the 1950’s prose has increasingly tended toward psychologism, depicting man’s alienation in capitalist society. This trend is evident, for example, in the works of Y. Thériault (born 1915) and E. Cloutier (born 1921). Protest against religious asceticism is encountered in the creative work of A. Langevin (born 1927) and A. Giroux (born 1916). In the novel The Asbestos Fire (1956), J.-J. Richard (born 1911) showed the clash between workers and the American capitalists who own the enterprises. H. Aquin (born 1929) summons French Canadians to struggle for their national worth in the novel The Next Episode (1965). Characteristic of the novels of C. Jasmin (born 1930) is an abstract humanism. Marie Claire Blais (born 1940) drew a realistic picture of the life of French Canadians in the novel A Season in the Life of Emmanuel (1966).

From the late 1940’s through the 1960’s poets have attempted to reflect the intellectual and emotional life of their contemporaries. A. Grandbois (born 1900) turned to topics of love, life, and death, and in the poetry of Anne Hébert (born 1916) motifs of despair alternate with a consciousness of the greatness and beauty of the surrounding world. The poems of Rina Lasnier (born 1915) are characterized by a religious, mystical mood. Political ideas permeate the poetry of R. Giguère (born 1929), J.-G. Pilon (born 1930), P. Chamberland (born 1939), and J. Brault (born 1932). Reflected in their creative work is the theme of the French Canadians’ struggle against economic and political inequality. The prose writer L. Groulx (1878–1967) and some of his followers have adopted nationalist attitudes toward English Canadians.

Literature in English. To a large degree, early English-Canadian literature was limited by the traditions of English romanticism; frequently, it was imitative. The difficulties of mastering new lands were narrated by the prose writers Frances Brooke (1724–89), Catherine Traill (1802–99), and Susanna Moodie (1803–85), and by the poets O. Goldsmith (1787–1861) and A. McLachlan (1818–96). A clever, dishonorable Yankee is the hero of the satiric book by T. Haliburton (1796–1865), The Clockmaker, or the Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of Slickville, which was published in installments. The Confederation poets were romantics who wrote about the beauties of nature and called for the unification of Canadians of different nationalities. The creative work of such Confederation poets as C. Roberts (1860–1943) and W. B. Carman (1861–1929) was noticeably influenced by the poets R. W. Emerson, J. Keats, and A. Swinburne. The poetry of D. C. Scott (1862–1947), however, was more original.

The historical novel was a widespread prose genre during the second half of the 19th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, prose was characterized by regionalism, and a favorite genre was the “local idyll.” Worldwide recognition was won by the creative art of S. Leacock (1869–1944), who described the mores of the inhabitants of small Canadian towns, the power of money, and the inadaptability of the “little” man.

Literary journals began to appear, as well as the first histories and anthologies of Canadian literature. In 1921 the Canadian Association of Writers was created, which brought together primarily English-Canadian writers. Among the poets who won fame during the 1920’s were W. MacDonald (born 1880), a passionate opponent of war, an internationalist, and a democrat, and E. J. Pratt (1883–1964), who glorified the power of nature and man. Many poets of the 1930’s and 1940’s addressed themselves to social problems: Patricia Page (born 1917), L. Dudek (born 1918), and the poets associated with the journals Preview (1942–45) and First Statement (1942–45). The Communist poet D. Wallace (born 1890) has written about the struggle of the working class and about the USSR. The traditions of the English family were celebrated in idyllic tones by Mazo de la Roche (1879–1961) in the multivolume chronicle of the Whiteoak family. An important place is occupied by the theme of animals, particularly in the works of C. Roberts, E. Thompson Seton (1860–1946), who combined artistic conceptions with a scientific quality, and Grey Owl (pseudonym of G. S. Belaney, 1888–1938).

Since the mid-20th century, Canadian literature in English has begun to exhibit Canadian national traits. Critical realism has developed since the 1940’s. The heroes of realistic novels by F. P. Grove (1872–1948) are working people. The creative art of the realistic writer M. Callaghan (born 1903) is permeated with humanism and sympathy for the oppressed. In works such as the novel Two Solitudes (1945), H. MacLennan (born 1907) calls for unity between Canadians of English and French descent. The lack of communication among people in modern capitalist society was the theme of MacLennan’s novel The Return of the Sphinx (1967). A profound understanding of Canadian psychology characterizes H. Garner’s (born 1913) realistic novels and short stories (for example, the collection Men and Women, 1966). The theme of many works written during the 1960’s is the chaos of contemporary capitalist reality: for example, Where the High Winds Blow (1960) by D. Walker (born 1911), The Emperor of Ice Cream (1965) by B. Moore (born 1921), Words of My Roaring (1966) by R. Kroetsch (born 1927), and Erubus (1968) by R. Hunter. Faith in the working class and an understanding of the necessity for unity among workers of different nationalities in the struggle for their rights characterize H. Buller’s novels One Man Alone (1963) and Quebec in Revolt (1965).

D. Carter (born 1910), a propagandist for the ideas of Marxism and editor of Northern Neighbors, a journal about the USSR, is the author of the novels The Future Is Ours (1950) and Sons Without Fathers (1955).

The attention of progressive Canadian writers has been drawn to such problems as the threat of Canada’s subordination to the USA, the sharpening of the nationalist discord between French Canadians and English Canadians, the problems of the Canadian North, and the status of the Indians and the Eskimo. On the other hand, the Canadian book market is being flooded with American hack works that are saturated with sex and murder. They have influenced the creative work of Canadian writers (the novels of G. Bowering, P. West, and S. Symons).

Works on the history of Canadian literature have begun to appear. The English-language journal Canadian Literature, which elucidates problems in English-Canadian and French-Canadian literature, has been published since 1959. It also prints articles in French.


Vannikova, N. I. Kanadskaia literatura na frantsuzskom iazyke (1945-1965). Moscow, 1969.

Vannikova, N. I. “Dve storony odnoi problemy.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1970, no. 7.

Zateriannaia ulitsa: Sovremennaia kanadskaia novella. [With a foreword by L. Orel.] Moscow, 1971.

Tougas, G. Histoire de la littérature canadienne-française. Paris, 1960.

Literary History of Canada. Toronto, 1965.

Grandpré, P. Dix ans de vie littéraire au Canada français. Montreal, 1966.

Sylvestre, G. Canadian Writers. Toronto [1966].

Story, N. The Oxford Companion to Canadian History and Literature. Toronto, 1967.

Europe, 1969, Feb.-March, nos. 478–79.


By the time of the European colonization the Canadian Indians were living in earth huts (the hunters of the Saskatchewan Mountains), hut-wigwams (forest hunters), tepees covered with hides (the prairie Indians), and communal frame houses covered with bark (forest farmers) or made of hewn wood (the fishermen of the west coast). The art of the Indians included very rich polychrome wood carvings (the west coast Indians’ totem and grave-marking poles, masks, and implements that combined real and imaginary motifs), carving and engraving on stone, bone, and horn, ornaments made of feathers and shells, fabrics with bright designs and embroidery that used porcupine quills as well as hair from deer and elk, and paintings (symbolic motifs and depictions of animals and war and hunting scenes). The Eskimo lived in dome-shaped igloos made of snow, as well as in wood, stone, and bone structures built half underground. They did carving and engraving in stone, bone, and horn.

Between the 17th century and the beginning of the 19th, French émigrés brought their own architectural traditions to eastern Canada—houses with massive, thick walls and steep roofs, hall churches with one or two small towers above their facades, and public buildings in the French style (architects J. Demers and T. Baillairgé). They also brought their own style of wood carving (F. Baillairgé and L. Quevillon), silversmithing in the spirit of the baroque and classic styles (F. Ranvoizé), and religious and portrait painting (F. Beaucourt and A. Plamon-don). During the second half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th the part of Canada colonized by the British was characterized by efficient wood frame and stone architecture in the spirit of classicism (architect J. Merrick). Landscape graphic art also developed there (T. Davies).

Cities began to grow rapidly in the mid-19th century. In western Canada new cities were characterized by rectangular grids of streets and by low buildings. An eclectic style is typical of the churches, administrative buildings, and private homes in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec (architects E. Lennox and J. Lyle). From the end of the 19th century the influence of US architecture increased (for example, high-rise office buildings and hotels by the architects F. Darling and J. Pearson).

In addition to the imitators of French and American art, original masters of landscape and scenes of peasant, provincial, or Indian life achieved distinction beginning in the mid-19th century (P. Kane and C. Krieghoff; and at the turn of the 20th century, H. Watson, J. H. Walker, M. Cullen). The flowering of a national, realistic art in the 20th century is associated with lyric urban and rural landscapes (J. W. Morrice and C. Gagnon) and epically broad, brightly decorative, romantic images of untouched Canadian nature (T. Thomson and the Group of Seven, including J. MacDonald, A. Lismer, F. Varley, and A. Jackson), as well as with the folk images of the sculptor Frances Loring and the animistic graphic art of E. Thompson Seton.

In the mid-20th century the old cities underwent intensive growth and reconstruction, and the construction of housing (including wooden buildings) was expanded. Large industrial and public complexes of reinforced concrete and steel have been built in the contemporary style (the Annacis Island complex, the Toronto City Hall, and the Ville Marie Plaza and the World’s Fair [Expo ’67] in Montreal). Under standardized plans that apply the principles of zoning and microregions, cities have been built near industrial enterprises (for example, Kitimat and Elliot Lake). Among these new cities is one located above the arctic circle (Inuvik). Social contradictions are manifested in the contrasts between the splendid administrative and business complexes and the great number of obsolete residential structures.

In contemporary art modernist trends prevail (for example, the painter J.-P. Riopelle and the sculptor L. Archambault). However, realistic traditions have been maintained by F. Taylor and T. Macdonald, members of the Workers’ Art League. Design and a number of types of decorative art have also developed (the working of metal, rug-making, and ceramics). Outstanding among the creative folk arts are Ukrainian wood carving and embroidery and Eskimo stone sculpture. Applied graphic arts have basically followed the models of US “mass culture.”


Gowans, A. W. Looking at Architecture in Canada. Toronto, 1958.

Ross, M., ed. The Arts in Canada. [Toronto, 1958.]

Hubbard, R. H., ed. An Anthology of Canadian Art. Toronto, 1960.

Harper, J. R. Painting in Canada. [Toronto, 1966.]

From ancient times music was an important part of the daily life of the country’s native inhabitants and of the settlers. Because of Canada’s historical development, the shaping of its music was connected with English and French culture from the 17th century. Before the end of the 18th century church music prevailed. The growth of secular music was promoted by British military bands. Amateurs and music lovers arranged concerts beginning in the late 18th century and operas beginning in the early 19th century. Among the first Canadian composers were the Frenchman J. Quesnel, the composer of the first Canadian opera, Colas et Colinette (1790, Montreal); the German F. Glackemeyer; and the Englishman T. Molt.

During the second half of the 19th century more musical activities developed in the large cities. Amateur musical societies were established (for example, quartets and philharmonic societies) and European musicians and opera troupes and symphony orchestras from the USA appeared in Canada. In addition, genuine Canadian folk music emerged (for example, songs of everyday life, romantic ballads, and fishermen’s songs). One of the first active musical figures was the composer C. Lavallée, the author of the popular patriotic song “O Canada,” which became the national anthem.

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, Canada produced its first professional composers and performers, who had received their musical education in Europe. The singer E. Albani and the violinist K. Parlow (a student of L. S. Auer) won worldwide fame. Professional orchestras and choral groups were founded.

Canadian music began to develop intensively in the mid-1940’s, particularly under the impetus of the composers H. Willan and A. Laliberté, the composer, organist, and teacher W. Pelletier, the composer and musical figure C. Champagne, and the composer and folklorist H. Gratton.

The most important centers of Canadian musical culture are Montreal, Toronto, Quebec, Ottawa, and Winnipeg, all of which have orchestras and theater groups, most of them privately supported. Established in 1949 were two state music groups—the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, which tours throughout the country, and the National Youth Orchestra. The National Center for the Arts, which was opened in Ottawa in 1969, includes opera and drama theaters, an experimental studio, and a concert hall for chamber music. Canada has eight higher music education institutions (conservatories and academies), and in a number of cities, music schools and departments of music have been opened at universities. Since 1965 international music festivals have been held annually in Montreal, as well as competitions for performing musicians.

Among contemporary musicians are the composers M. Blackburn, J. Weinzweig, P. Mercure, F. Morel, C. Pépin, G. Ridout, M. Surdin, and H. Freedman; the conductors J. Beaudry, A. Brott, P. Dervaux, and V. Feldbrill; the pianists G. Gould, A. Cuerti, and J. Heller; the violinist I. Haendel; the women singers L. Marshall, T. Stratas, and M. Forrester; and the male singers R. Verreau, E. Johnson, L. Quilico, and L. Simmoneau. Canadian composers belong to the professional organization the Canadian Association of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. Other music organizations include the Canadian League of Composers, the Canadian Music Council, and a division of Musical Youth, an international society. The Canadian Music Journal has been published since 1965 in Toronto.


MacMillan, E. Music in Canada. Toronto, 1955.

Kallmann, H. A History of Music in Canada: 1534–1914. Toronto, 1960.


The dance traditions of the native population, which are associated primarily with folk and religious rituals such as worship of the sun, had no influence on the development of choreography in Canada. The European settlers who came to Canada in the 17th century performed their own national dances. Instruction in ballet has been provided since the early 18th century in Quebec and other cities. At the end of the 18th century ballet artists from the USA toured Canada and in the mid-19th century, dancers from France and Austria. The formation of a Canadian national school of ballet was influenced by A. P. Pavlova’s tours as well as by the Canadian tours of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and other troupes during the 1930’s. The first Canadian troupe—the Winnipeg Ballet—was an outgrowth of the ballet school founded in 1938 by the British ballet mistress G. Lloyd and the ballerina B. Farally. (It became professional in 1949 and in 1953 became known as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.) The repertoire of the Winnipeg Ballet has included productions staged by G. Lloyd, B. MacDonald, M. Conte, and A. Spohr.

Asignificant role in the subsequent development of ballet was played by the Canadian Ballet Festivals. (First held in 1948, they took place in various cities until 1954.) In 1951 the National Ballet Company was created in Toronto under the direction of the ballerina and ballet mistress C. Franca; its repertoire has included classical ballets as well as works by modern British choreographers. In 1952, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens was established in Montreal under the direction of the ballerina L. S. Chiriaeff. It was the outgrowth of a television ballet group. In 1967 the country had four troupes (companies).

Among Canada’s leading ballet performers are L. Smith, D. Adams, S. Taverner, A. M. and D. Holmes, and C. Hennessy. There are several ballet schools, the most important of which is the National Ballet School, which was founded in 1959 in Toronto. The bulletin Nouvelles chorégraphiques has been published since 1964.


Thistle, L. “Ballet in Canada: 1962–1963.” In Ballet Annual and Year book, 1964. London [1963].

Guillemette, P. “Histoire de la Danse-Théâtre au Canada.” Art et danse, 1970, nos. 102–11.


The Canadian theater began to develop in the 17th century in the French provinces of Quebec and Acadia. Plays by Corneille, Racine, and Molière were produced. In 1774 the first known Canadian play (in English), Acadius, or Love in a Calm, was produced in the city of Halifax. The first permanent theater opened in Montreal in 1825. During the 18th and 19th centuries theatrical productions were staged in Montreal, Quebec, and Halifax by French, English, American, and local actors. Included in the repertoires of theater troupes were works by the Canadian playwrights J. Quesnel, C. Heavysege, and C. Mair. From the end of the 1880’s until World War I the professional theatrical touring system known as the “road” flourished. Troupes traveled continuously around the country. During the 1920’s and the 1930’s amateur theater became the basic form of theatrical art, and numerous troupes were organized at universities, schools, churches, and clubs. The most important ones performed in Montreal, Ottawa, St. Boniface, Vancouver, London, Toronto, and Regina.

At the end of the 1940’s professional theaters were founded in the large cities. The oldest of them is the Rideau Vert (Montreal, founded in 1949 by Y. Brind’Amour). Among its productions have been plays by Shakespeare, Molière, P. Calderón de la Barca, P. Claudel, I. S. Turgenev, and A. P. Chekhov. Other troupes that became well known include the New Play Society and Theater Toronto (Toronto), Neptune Theater (Halifax), Citadel Theater (Edmonton), Globe Theater (Regina), Manitoba Theater Center (Winnipeg), Canadian Repertory (Ottawa), and Nouveau Monde and Comedie Canadien (Montreal). Their repertoires have included plays by the Canadian dramatists R. Davies, M. Dubé, J. Coulter, G. Pharis Ringwood, S. Fowke, L. Sinclair, M. Callaghan, and N. Williams, as well as world classics and contemporary foreign plays.

In the French-Canadian theaters (particularly in Quebec), a national theater culture is being created. English-Canadian theater groups are greatly influenced by the US theater. Among the leaders in the theater arts are J. Cólicos, Y. Brind’Amour, F. Hyland, D. Pelletier, W. Hutt, C. Plummer, and J. Gascon. Annual festivals of the dramatic arts have been organized in such cities as Charlottetown, Vancouver, Montreal, and Ottawa. Since 1953 a Shakespeare Festival has been held at Stratford, Ontario, in which the best Canadian troupes and actors participate. At the National Theater School classes are conducted in both English and French. (The school meets during the winter in Montreal and during the summer in Stratford.) The journal Théâtre canadien is published in English and in French.


Regular production of Canadian films began in 1914, after the organization of a film division under the Department of Trade and Commerce. (Later, this film division became the Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau.) Canadian film-makers produced primarily brief documentaries and advertising films, as well as newsreels. An important role in the emergence of a national film art of Canada was played by the British director J. Grierson, whose work in Canada (1939–46) had a decisive influence on the documentary motion picture. Under his guidance a number of Canadian directors began their work: S. Legg, S. Hawes, R. Spottiswoode, J. Beveridge, and N. McLaren, who since the 1940’s has been among the prominent experimenters in cartoons.

The National Film Council was organized in Ottawa in 1939 to direct the state production of documentary films. During World War II the film series The World in Combat became well known. It reflected actual wartime events (for example, the films In Embattled Russia, 1942, and The Goal Is Berlin, 1944). During the late 1940’s a number of directors achieved distinction: C. Low, R. Kroitor, J. Feeney, P. Patry, and G. Côté.

In 1956 the National Film Board was established in Montreal, which became the center of Canadian motion-picture production. However, the output of feature films depends upon the initiative of individual directors and producers, since the state does not provide sufficient support for the motion-picture industry. Competition from television has led to a sharp decline in attendance at motion-picture theaters. (In 1953, the total motion-picture audience was 241 million, but by 1963 it had fallen to 88 million.) Among the best films are The Racketeers (1958, directed by M. Brault and G. Groux), City of Gold (1957, directed by C. Low), and So That Life Might Continue (1963) and Between the Sea and Fresh Water (1970, both directed byBrault). A significant place is also occupied by popular-scienceand educational films on problems of technology, agriculture, medicine, urban construction, and art. Among the leaders inmotion pictures are C. Jutra, G. Carle, R. Garceau, J.-P.Léfebre, G. Munro, and K. Pindall. International film festivals are held in Stratford, Montreal, and Vancouver (for the firsttime in 1957), and annual prizes have been established to encourage the production of better films. As of 1969 there were about700 documentary and popular-science films in production. Morethan 30 feature films in English and French are made each year. There are 1, 400 motion-picture theaters (including drive-in theaters). The Canadian Film Archives was founded in 1958 and the Canadian Film Library, in 1960.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Official name: Canada

Capital city: Ottawa

 Internet country code: .ca

Flag description: Two vertical bands of red (hoist and fly side, half width), with white square between them; an 11­pointed red maple leaf is centered in the white square; the official colors of Canada are red and white

National anthem: “O Canada,” English lyrics by Justice Robert Stanley Weir, French lyrics by Adolphe-Basile Routhier, music by Calixa Lavallée

National symbols: maple leaf, maple tree, and beaver

Geographical description: 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 United States

Total area: 3.8 million sq. mi. (9.9 million sq. km.)

Climate: Varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north

Nationality: noun: Canadian(s); adjective: Canadian

Population: 33,390,141 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: British Isles ancestry 28%, French ancestry 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other (Arab, Asian, African) 6%, mixed ancestry 26%

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

Religions: Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3%, other Christian 4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, none 16%

Legal Holidays:

Boxing DayDec 26
Canada DayJul 1
Christmas DayDec 25
Easter MondayApr 25, 2011; Apr 9, 2012; Apr 1, 2013; Apr 21, 2014; Apr 6, 2015; Mar 28, 2016; Apr 17, 2017; Apr 2, 2018; Apr 22, 2019; Apr 13, 2020; Apr 5, 2021; Apr 18, 2022; Apr 10, 2023
Good FridayApr 22, 2011; Apr 6, 2012; Mar 29, 2013; Apr 18, 2014; Apr 3, 2015; Mar 25, 2016; Apr 14, 2017; Mar 30, 2018; Apr 19, 2019; Apr 10, 2020; Apr 2, 2021; Apr 15, 2022; Apr 7, 2023
Labour DaySep 5, 2011; Sep 3, 2012; Sep 2, 2013; Sep 1, 2014; Sep 7, 2015; Sep 5, 2016; Sep 4, 2017; Sep 3, 2018; Sep 2, 2019; Sep 7, 2020; Sep 6, 2021; Sep 5, 2022; Sep 4, 2023
New Year's DayJan 1
Remembrance DayNov 11
Thanksgiving DayOct 10, 2011; Oct 8, 2012; Oct 14, 2013; Oct 13, 2014; Oct 12, 2015; Oct 10, 2016; Oct 9, 2017; Oct 8, 2018; Oct 14, 2019; Oct 12, 2020; Oct 11, 2021; Oct 10, 2022; Oct 9, 2023
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


a country in North America: the second largest country in the world; first permanent settlements by Europeans were made by the French from 1605; ceded to Britain in 1763 after a series of colonial wars; established as the Dominion of Canada in 1867; a member of the Commonwealth. It consists generally of sparsely inhabited tundra regions, rich in natural resources, in the north, the Rocky Mountains in the west, the Canadian Shield in the east, and vast central prairies; the bulk of the population is concentrated along the US border and the Great Lakes in the south. Languages: English and French. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: Canadian dollar. Capital: Ottawa. Pop.: 31 743 000 (2004 est.). Area: 9 976 185 sq. km (3 851 809 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


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