Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Canada - My Second Home

My wife Cecile and I recently took our Canadian citizenship, and I thought I should share with you a part of this country we have adopted as home.

Here are some things about this beautiful country - Canada:

Canadian Geography
3.9 million - Canada's total area, in square miles (10 million sq km). That makes it just about one Florida bigger than the United States. It also makes it the second largest country in the world. Only Russia spans more land than Canada.

1 - Number of countries that border Canada. It's just the United States. In fact, Canada and the United States share the longest international border in the world. Including the frontier between Canada and Alaska, it's more than 5,500 miles (8,800 km) long.

3 - Number of oceans that border Canada. Canada may only border one country, but it touches three oceans: the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Arctic. The Canadian arctic archipelago, composed of more than 36,500 islands north of mainland Canada, extends deep into the Arctic Circle.

Canadian Demography

33 million - Canada's total population. There are about the same number of people living in Afghanistan, and more than 3 million more living in California. Canada may have lots of land, but it does not have lots of people. With only about a tenth of the population of the United States, Canada is one of the least densely populated countries in the world.

90 - Percentage of the population that lives within 100 miles (160 km) of the United States. There, the weather is more temperate and the winters less harsh. Permafrost in the "Great White North" makes living there a challenge.

70 - Percentage of the population that lives in eastern Canada, especially in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Together, those two big eastern provinces get to elect 181 out of Canada's 308 members of parliament.

Canadian Confederation

10 - Number of provinces in the Canadian confederation. In Canada's federal system of government, the 10 provinces have more power than U.S. states. Canadians often group the provinces this way. In the east, on the Atlantic coast, lie the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the 3 "maritime" provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Down the St. Lawrence Seaway lie French-speaking Quebec and populous Ontario. Inland are the "prairie" provinces: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. And in the west, on the Pacific coast, lies British Columbia.

3 - Number of Canadian territories. Canada's territories--the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut--have fewer powers than the provinces. They're also all north of the 60th parallel and largely covered by arctic permafrost and ice. The territory of Nunavut was created most recently, in 1999, as a homeland for the Inuit peoples. Nunavut means "our land" in the language of the Inuit.


Ed Benjamin said...

Congratulations for becoming Canadian citizens, Ernie and Cecile. Will it be easier to cross the US border now, neighbors? You guys look great! Thanks for some bits and pieces of good info about our neighbor country.
Don't forget to give us a buzz if you ever decide to visit New York City, we're just across the river.

Ed and Annie

Pilar Villegas Cuevas said...

To Ernie and Cecile, congrats. Now you can easily visit your niece here in Baltimore. Just give me a call when and we will schedule a mini reunion with Mike, Manny, Eddie and Annie and the rest who wants to come. Nelia and Editha might come as what they did in 2004. Did you cry as I cried during my oath taking in 2000.

ErnestoDR said...

Thanks Ed,Annie, & Pilar!
Yeah, it is much easier to cross the border now. When we were holders of Filipino passports, before we cross the border, we had to secure a US Visa which became a very tedious process. One has to produce so many documents and wait three (3) months just to get an interview. I guess the state security bruhaha is the reult of 911.
Anyway, when I do cross the border, I sure will give you a shout when I get to striking distance.

ErnestoDR said...

To answer your question, during our oath-taking ceremony, I did not not get that strong emotional feeling of becoming a Canadian. I guess I left my heart in PI. I still nurture that patriotic feeling of doing something worthwhile for our beloved native land! I cry for the Philippines!

Pilar Villegas Cuevas said...

Ernie, I did not cry for happiness for being a U.S. citizen. I cried because in my heart I am still a Pilipino and like you I love my native land. In fact when I first came back to the Philippines and saw our kababayan in the airport I cried because I really felt my love to my county.