A Glimpse of Canadian CultureAmanda SmallwoodInterculturalCommunication
Land & ClimateCanada is the second largest country in the world, with over 3,851,877 squaremiles of land2 varying in climate from permafrost in the north to four distinct seasonsof spring, summer, fall, and winter nearer the equator3.Canada has 10 provinces; BritishColumbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, NewBrunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, and 3territories; Yukon, Northwest territories, Nunavut6. The capital city is Ottawa, inOntario11.The International Boundary, the longest border between two nations, is the officialname of the 5,525 mile border between Canada and the United States- with 1,538miles of it lying between Canada and Alaska5.7% of Canada’s land mass is covered with over 2 million lakes, the largest being theNorthwest Territories’ Great Bear Lake4.An estimated 14% of the world’s fresh water supply is located in Canada4.Some of Canada’s natural resources are; iron
Government StructureCanada is a parliamentary democracy, a federation, and a constitutionalmonarchy8. The three levels of government are the federal government, theprovincial and territorial governments, and the municipal governments12.The federal government is made up of: The Head of State; Queen Elizabeth II, andThe Governor General that represents her, The House of Commons; consisting ofMembers of Parliament that make the laws, The head of government; The PrimeMinister that chooses Members of Parliament and the Senate, and The Senate; thatreviews laws proposed by The House of Commons.The provincial government is made up of: The Lieutenant Governor that representsthe queen, and the Legislative Assembly that makes law. Members of ProvincialParliament are the elected members of the Legislative Assembly. The largestpolitical party is the one that forms government, with the leader of the party beingthe Premier that chooses who serves in the Cabinet.At the municipal level, the local governments of cities, towns and villages have theirstructure, finances and management defined by the province. The residents electthe mayor and counsel members. Committee meetings are held forcitizens, business owners, and community groups to discuss the councillors.
Government ResponsibilitiesThe federal government is responsible for things effecting the entire country such ascitizenship, immigration, national defense, trade with other countries12, the bankingsystem, criminal code, and indigenous populations8. The federal government alsohas some involvement in things like employment, insurance, and Medicare thatwere once controlled by the provinces, because of the greater resources of thefederal government8.The provinces or territories have responsibility for things likeeducation, highways, healthcare, and welfare8.In areas with a municipal government, the municipal government is responsible forlocal matters like firefighting and city streets12. Queen Elizabeth Governor General: David
Economy The economy in Canada is the 9th strongest17 in the world8. The substantial growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors in Canada since World War II has revamped the nation from a primarily rural economy into one predominantly industrial and urban8. Canada signed the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) withfreer Mexico and the United States in 1989 and 1994, respectively. NAFTA provides formarket for manyof capital and goods, more cross-national investment, and a large Movement goods from each NAFTA country8,2. Canada is the 10th largest exporter of oil and the 3rd largest exporter of natural gas in the world17. Canada is the largest foreign supplier of energy to the United States, including; oil, gas, uranium, and also electric power8.
Economy & the workforceAs of the year 2012 there are an estimated 18.85 million people in the Canadianworkforce8.Percentages of occupations held in the labor force in 2006: agriculture:2%, manufacturing: 13%, construction: 6%, services: 76%, other: 3%8Although many people reap the benefits of a strong economy, 7.3% of thepopulation was unemployed in 2012 and more than 9% of the Canadian populationlives in poverty as of an estimate done in 20088.14.8% of Canadians ages 15-24 are unemployed.Canada is a leader in the production of gold, silver, copper, uranium, oil, naturalgas, agriculture, wood pulp, and timber-related products8.Minimum hourly wage by province26: Alberta; $9.75, BC; $10.25, Manitoba;$10.25, New Brunswick; $10.00, Newfoundland; $10.00, NWT; $10.00, NovaScotia; $10.15, Nunavut; $11.00, Ontario; $10.25, PEI; $10.00, Quebec;$9.90, Saskatchewan; $9.50, Yukon; $10.30.
CurrencyAll of Canada uses the Canadian Dollar20.There are no 1 or 2 dollar bills in Canada, they have beenreplaced by the 1 and 2 dollar coins – the “loonie” and the“toonie”20.In history, the Canadian dollar has usually been at least abit weaker than the United States dollar, but recently thetrend has changed8. Canadian bills are brightly colored and easy to distinguish- which also happens to be a point of cultural Canadian pride20. The newest Canadian bills, released in 2011, are made of polymer instead of paper21.
Just a few Symbols of CanadaNational Flag of The Maple The GreatCanada Leaf Seal The Maple The Coat of Tree Arms TheNational Horse of BeaverCanada Hockey: Canada’s national winter sport Lacrosse: Canada’s national summer
The Healthcare System Often referred to as “Medicare”, Canada’s national health insurance program30 consists of a group of socialized health insurance plans that provide publicly funded healthcare coverage to most all the citizens of Canada regardless of medical history, personal income, or standard of living. Healthcare is administered on a provincial or territorial basis, with guidelines that are set by the federal government29. Citizens are provided preventative care, medical treatments from primary care physicians, access to hospitals, dental surgery and some additional medical services29.The average number of physiciansper 1,000 people in Canada is:2.1.46Canadians have a median wait timeof 19 weeks for surgical or othertherapeutic treatments.31
Health StatisticsTotal Fertility rate; Average number of children per woman24: 1.61Current smokers24: 19.9%Infant mortality rate24; per 1,000 live births: 4.9Percentage of Canadians with a doctor24: 84.7%Percentage of Canadians that drink heavily24: 19%Percentage of Canadians with high blood pressure24: 17.6%Life expectancy for males24: 78.8 yearsLife expectancy for females8: 84.2 yearsPercentage of overweight or obese adults24: 52.1%Percentage of overweight or obese youth (age 12-17)24: 20.4%Percentage of leisure time dedicated to physical activity24: 53.8%
Education - In Canada, the education system is made up of bothpublic and private schools, including; communitycolleges, technical institutes, secondary schools, universities, universitycolleges, career colleges, summer camps, and language schools34.Under the Canadian constitution each province has responsibility for it’s educationalsystem2.Canadian children generally voluntarily attend kindergarten for one or two years atthe age of four or five34.All children begin Grade One at about six years of age34.The school year lasts from September to the following June34.Depending on what province you are in, secondary schools go up to Grade 11 or 1234.99% of the population of Canada over the age of 15 is literate8.
Populatio nCanada is the ninth-most sparsely populated nation in the world with a populationdensity of 8.6 people per square mile8.Around 33.4 million people live in Canada, and the population is growing by 0.9 percentannually2.Canada’s per-capita immigration rate is one of the highest in the world with about250,000 immigrants being admitted yearly since 20067. Canada has a society that is open and relatively free of social class distinctions50. Ethnic groups of Canada include; 28% of British Isles origin, 23% of French origin, 15% other European, 2% Amerindian, 6% other, mostly Asian, African, Arab, and 26% mixed background. 8 Religions in Canada; Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3% (United Church 9.5%, Anglican 6.8%, Baptist 2.4%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian 4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, non-religious 16%
Family, Marriage & RelationshipsThe family structure in The dating processCanada usually begins aroundHas been changing and ages2 13-16 in Canada.becoming more diverse Opposite-sex and same-over the last 30+ years. sex marriage are both legal throughoutIn 2006, 69.6% of Canada83.households were familyhouseholds, 26.8% were It’s common for bothone-person parents in the family tohouseholds, and 3.7% of work outside of thehouseholds consisted of home2.unrelated persons81. The average family size inIn 2006, 68.6% percent of 2006 was 3 members82.families consisted of amarried couple with or 43.1% of marriages endwithout children, 15.5% of in divorce before the 50thfamilies consisted of anniversary84 as of 2011.common-law couples and
Communication, gestur es & body languageShaking hands is customary when being introduced to someone new in Canada47.Many Canadians expect a firm handshake when meeting or departing as well asgood eye contact52.Saying “Hello”, nodding your head, or waving your hand are all acceptable ways tosay Hello2.It is proper to remove any sunglasses or hat when speaking with someone52.In Quebec it is considered bad form to speak when you have your hands in yourpockets52.As far as personal space, body movement, and body gestures are concerned- thenorms are different between English and French provinces48.One to two feet of space between two people is the usual personal boundary inEnglish areas along with a minimal amount of body movement, and little touchingother than handshakes48.
Communication, gestures & body language ..continuedIn Quebec, the "thumbs down” sign is considered offensive, as is slapping an openpalm over a closed fist52."The "okay" sign made with the index finger and thumb means "zero" in Quebec52.The “thumbs up" sign is used to mean "okay” throughout Canada52.Pointing at someone with your index finger is considered rude2.Using a toothpick, brushing your hair, or clipping yourfingernails are all things not to do in public52.
Social normsIt’s not uncommon in Canada for people who don’t know you to greet you with “Hi!”or “how are you?” when walking down the street69.It’s considered rude to speak in a foreign language in the presence of others who donot understand what is being said48.Most Canadians only allow guests in rooms of their home that they have designatedas public or “guest” rooms50.Many Canadians are non-smokers and they do not allow smoking in their homes orvehicles79.Recycling and not littering are valued behaviors79.A line is usually formed when several people are waiting for something, like at acoffee shop. Lines are first come first serve, and it is considered very rude to cutin69.Bargaining or haggling is not a common practice in Canada other than for things likebuying a house, a vehicle, or dealing with a private seller69.
Eating HabitsPunctuality is important, but arriving 15 minutes late for a dinner party isacceptable50.Canadians usually have the standard 3 meals a day and sometimes may have teacoffee in the afternoon or a snack break at work2.Politely refusing food in Canada is unlikely to cause offence48.Elbows should never be on the table when eating50.15% tips are expected at restaurants and often are not included in the tab unlessyou have a large party2.Eating while walking in public is not acceptable49. In Canada, many people eat with the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right hand for foods that require cutting2. After finishing a meal, eating utensils should be placed on the plate2.
Common Foods Canadians eat a lot of the same foods that people do in theUnited States73; they have fast food, processed foods, milk, cheese,eggs, breads, fruits, vegetables, pizza, meat, seafood, and so on. Some common Canadian favorites are –Poutine71: Fries layered with gravy and cheese curds ; Chicken wings71: Fried chickenwings with a variety of different sauces ; Pierogies71: A dough dumpling70 stuffed with afilling like cheese, meat, and/or potatoes ; Elk, moose, buffalo, and deer71 ; TimHortons Donuts71 ; Beaver Tails71: A type of pastry ; Maple syrup71 ; East coastseafood71 ; Kraft macaroni and cheese71 ; Beer71 from one of the many localbreweries ; Subway ; Raspberries ; Waffles ; Stews ; Flax ; Quinoa ; Muffins.. Pierogie Beaver Poutine s tails
Works Cited:16: (Queen Elisabeth II picture); www.saskabush.com17: http://www.economywatch.com/world_economy/canada/?page=full18: (Canadian coins); www.craigmarlatt.com19: (Canadian bills); http://qajk.com/latest-news/greece-has-mixed-impact-on-canadas-currency/20: http://gocanada.about.com/od/canadatravelplanner/qt/Money.htm21: http://www.craigmarlatt.com/canada/symbols_facts&lists/currency.html22: blogs.wsj.com23: en.wikipedia.org24: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/health-sante/index-eng.htm25: (stethoscope picture slide 9); canada.lilithezine.com26: http://canadaonline.about.com/od/labourstandards/a/minimum-wage-in-canada.htm27: (Doughnut picture on slide 9); creampuffsinvenice.ca28: (Cigarette carton on slide 9); www.cbc.ca29: http://www.canadian-healthcare.org/page9.html30: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/medi-assur/index-eng.php
Works Cited:31: http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/news/display.aspx?id=214748400232: (Table on slide 10); www.medibid.com33: (Question mark picture on slide 11); www.carp.ca34: http://www.studycanada.ca/english/education_system_canada.htm35: (School bus picture on slide 11); www.ncee.org36: (Picture of students on slide 11); belcanex.by37: http://gocanada.about.com/od/canadatravelplanner/tp/Symbols-Of-Canada.htm38: (Canadian flag on slide 12); http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/ceem-cced/symbl/101/103-eng.cfm39: (Coat of arms on slide 12, Seal of Canada on slide 12); http://www.canada4life.ca/symbols.php40: (Maple leaf picture on slide 12); www.isavo.com41: (Beaver picture on slide 12); ieatbuttons.com42: (Canadian horse on slide 12); www.stonefortconsulting.com43: (Maple tree on slide 12); phovanblog.blogspot.com44: (Hockey picture on slide 12); content.usatoday.com45: (Lacrosse picture on slide 12); laxbuzz.com
Works Cited:46: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_phy_per_1000_peo-physicians-per-1-000-people47: http://www.vec.ca/english/2/culture.cfm48: http://www.todaytranslations.com/doing-business-in/canada49: http://www.cyborlink.com/besite/canada.htm50: http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/07/20/doing-business-across-the-border-hsbc-has-some-hilarious-cultural-advice/51: (Waving picture in slide 13); www.pc.gc.ca52: http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_ca.htm54: (Pointing picture); jesuslovesgays.blogspot.com55: (Hairbrush picture); www.hercampus.com56: (Thumbs up picture); www.centralnewyorkinjurylawyer.com57: (Okay gesture); www.sodahead.com68: (Thumbs down picture); www.livingdice.com69: http://www.cruisingtips.info/canadiansocialcustoms.html70: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pierogies71: http://www.bakpakguide.com/canada/canada101/highlights/10-must-try-canadian-foods.shtml#.UVYR_RmRPoA
Works Cited:72: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/06/05/most-popular-food-and-drinks-canada-_n_1562501.html73: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_most_common_foods_in_Canada74: (Picture of woman eating fruit salad); thehairpin.com75: (Picture of poutine) ; www.labanquise.com76: (Beaver tails picture) ; www.tumblr.com77: (Pierogies picture) ; www.europeanfoodbayarea.com78: (Family eating at the table picture) ; www.eatinghabits.org79: http://www.kelseytrailhealth.ca/HumanResources/Careers/PhysicianOrientation/Pages/Canadian-Social-Standards.aspx80: (Family picture-famil&marriage); powertochange.com81: http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=3782: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/famil40-eng.htm83: www.glad.org/uploads/docs/publications/canada-marriage-faq.pdf84: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/statistics-canada-to-stop-tracking-marriage-and-divorce-rates/article4192704/85: (Divorce picture); www.klugerkaplan.com86: (CANADA picture); www.canadashippingrate.com