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Canada is a vast country located on the continent of North America, north of the United States. It is administratively divided into three territories made up of ten provinces. Geographically, it borders three oceans: the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. It occupies a total land mass of 3.8 million square miles and is ranked second largest by total area but fourth in land area. The majority of the residents are based in the urban centers. The US, on the other hand, is a combination of 50 states to form a uniformly governed region within America. Historically, the two nations were to become one during the March 1, 1781, Paris Treaty. Canada was requested to be joined to America, an invitation they turned down. Therefore, Canada is an independent country and not part of the US.
Canada was colonized by the French and the British in the 16th century. Canada became a semi-autonomous federal Dominion on July 1, 1867. the Statute of Westminster 1931, granted Canada near-total independence from the United Kingdom. Canada is now a combination of federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy. The governmental leader is the Prime Minister, elected through a democratic election. There is also a Governor General who is appointed by the Queen to do royal duties on behalf of the Monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II.
Ottawa, Ontario is the capital city of Canada, and the countries 4th largest city. Ottawa is home to Parliament Hill, the home of the Parliament of Canada, as well as 130 embassies. Other major cities include Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
Canadians use the Canadian Dollar (CAN$) which is regulated by the Central Bank of Canada. It is a separate currency from the USD$, the official currency of neighboring US. Frequently used denominations include 5-cent, 10-cent, 25-cent, 1-dollar, and 2-dollar coins, and 5-dollar, 10-dollar, 20-dollar, 50-dollar, and 100-dollar banknotes. The Canadian 1-dollar coin is known as a loonie due to the image of a loon on reverse of the coin. The 2-dollar coin is similarly termed a toonie, a combination of "two" and "loonie".
Each country has its own national identity. Canadians identify themselves with nine symbols including the maple leaf, depicted on both the Canadian Flag and on the Coat of Arms. The beaver, Canada's largest rodent, has been the national animal since 1975 symbolizing sovereignty and prosperity. Other symbols include the Canada goose, the common loon, and more recently the totem pole and Inuksuk.
Although the US wanted Canada to be part of their country, it can be authoritatively concluded that Canada is an autonomous nation though both are neighbors in North America. One has to get a visa to cross the border. Each has its own country code and internet settings. There is neither a push nor pull force from either side to become one since each can trade across the border at no tariff. Each has its own government, culture, economy, airports, and education systems.
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