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Canada a country occupying most of northern North America, extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area and shares the world's longest common border with the United States to the south and northwest. The land occupied by Canada was inhabited for millennia by various groups of Aboriginal people. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored, and later settled along, the Atlantic coast.

A North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. Canada is the world's second-largest country by total area, and its common border with the United States is the world's longest land border. The land that is now Canada has been inhabited for millennia by various Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French colonial expeditions explored, and later settled, the region's Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America to Britain in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy, culminating in the Canada Act 1982.

Canada is a federal state governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. The country is officially bilingual and multicultural at the federal level, with a population of approximately 35 million as of 2013. Canada's advanced economy is one of the largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed trade networks, especially with the United States, with which it has had a long and complex relationship.

Canada is one of the world's most developed nations, with the ninth highest per capita income globally, and the sixth highest ranking in human development. Subsequently, Canada performs above-average in international measurements of education, government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, and economic freedom. Canada is a recognized middle power and a member of many international institutions, including the G7, G8, G20, NATO, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth of Nations, Francophonie, OAS, APEC, and the United Nations.

Canada occupies a major northern portion of North America, sharing land borders with the contiguous United States to the south and the US state of Alaska to the northwest. Canada stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; to the north lies the Arctic Ocean. Greenland is to the northeast, while Saint Pierre and Miquelon is south of Newfoundland. By total area (including its waters), Canada is the second-largest country in the world, after Russia. By land area alone, Canada ranks fourth. The country lies between latitudes 41° and 84°N, and longitudes 52° and 141°W.

A satellite composite image of Canada. Boreal forests prevail on the rocky Canadian Shield, while ice and tundra are prominent in the Arctic. Glaciers are visible in the Canadian Rockies and Coast Mountains. The flat and fertile prairies facilitate agriculture. The Great Lakes feed the St. Lawrence River in the southeast, where lowlands host much of Canada's population. Since 1925, Canada has claimed the portion of the Arctic between 60° and 141°W longitude, but this claim is not universally recognized. Canada is home to the world's northernmost settlement, Canadian Forces Station Alert, on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island – latitude 82.5°N – which lies 817 kilometres (508 mi) from the North Pole. Much of the Canadian Arctic is covered by ice and permafrost. Canada has the longest coastline in the world, with a total length of 202,080 kilometres (125,570 mi); additionally, its border with the United States is the world's longest land border, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi).

Cuisine varies widely depending on the regions of the nation. The former Canadian prime minister Joe Clark has been paraphrased to have noted: "Canada has a cuisine of cuisines. Not a stew pot, but a smorgasbord." The three earliest cuisines of Canada have First Nations, English, and French roots, with the traditional cuisine of English Canada closely related to British and American cuisine, while the traditional cuisine of French Canada has evolved from French cuisine and the winter provisions of fur traders. With subsequent waves of immigration in the 19th and 20th century from Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe, South Asia, East Asia, and the Caribbean, the regional cuisines were subsequently augmented.

Culture a term that explains the artistic, musical, literary, culinary, political and social elements that are representative of Canada and Canadians, not only to its own population, but people all over the world. Canada's culture has historically been influenced by European culture and traditions, especially British and French, and by its own indigenous cultures. Over time, elements of the cultures of Canada's immigrant populations have become incorporated into mainstream Canadian culture. It has subsequently been influenced by American culture because of its proximity and migration between the two countries.

Canada is often characterised as being "very progressive, diverse, and multicultural". Canadian Government policies such as; publicly funded health care, higher and more progressive taxation, outlawing capital punishment, strong efforts to eliminate poverty, an emphasis on cultural diversity, and most recently legalizing same-sex marriage – are social indicators of Canada's political and cultural values. Canada's federal government has influenced Canadian culture with programs, laws and institutions. It has created crown corporations to promote Canadian culture through media, such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and promotes many events which it considers to promote Canadian traditions. It has also tried to protect Canadian culture by setting legal minimums on Canadian content in many media using bodies like the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

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