Being Canadian in the 21st century
Being Canadian in the 21st century
The identity of Canadians in the 21 century is defined by several things in Canada, including, its culture, the government, the economy of Canada and its religion in the 21st century. This would include the study of the history of Canada, which led to its formation and development. Canada is located in North America. It has three territories and ten provinces. Canada is second largest country in the world by the total area. Its border to the United States is the word’s longest land border. Canada comprises of multicultural diversities. This resulted from the settling of Aboriginal people and other immigrants.
The Aboriginal people consisted of the British and French people, who began inhabiting Canada in the late 15th century. The name Canada came from the Iroquoian word of St. Lawrence, Kanata, which means settlement or village. This word was used by inhabitants of what is today called the Quebec City, when directing a French explorer to the Stadacona village. The explorer, Jacques Cartier later referred that village as Canada. This influenced the popularity of the word, in European books, when referring to this region. In 1867, three British colonies from North America formed a union by confederation.
From this union, Canada was created through four provinces forming a federal dominion. Later more provinces and territories were created. Canada as a federal country is governed through parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, where Queen Elizabeth II is its head of state. Canada became the official name of the country and Dominion its title. The multicultural diversity, has led to diversity of Canada’s culture, language, religion and ethnicity. The official language in Canada is French and English. Both languages hold an equal status in their use. They are also acknowledged as equal (Economy Watch, 2010).
Official bilingualism is therefore used to ensure that both languages are given equal treatment. There is only one province that has declared to be unilingual officially, that is the New Brunswick. The language used officially in this province is French. The Canadian crown of the government is the core of Westminster-style democracy of the parliament in the kingdom. It is therefore the judicial, executive and legislative branches’ foundation. Governance elements are written in the Canadian constitution; this includes unwritten conventions, court rulings and written statutes. In the Canadian English, government means the reigning monarchy and the institutions that the country is governed (Kunz, 2011).
The economy of Canada is among the World’s greatest. It relies mostly on trade and natural resources. Trade is mostly done with the United States, because of the relationship between the two countries. Among unions that Canada is a member, include NATO, WTO, OAS, Commonwealth of Nations, OECD, APEC, United Nations and G7, G8 and G20. The service industry dominates the economy of Canada. It consists of three quarters of Canadians under its employment. Logging and oil are the most important of the industry of Canada. The industry also constitutes of a sector of manufacturing, which includes automobile and aircraft industries. The industries are located in Central Canada.
The largest part of the economy of Canada is made up largely by international trade. This is mostly the trade of natural resources. In 2009, 58% of Canada’s exports comprised of the export of agricultural produce, mining and forestry. Canada was ranked eighth in its exports and imports, in the world. The resources of Canada are spread among its regions. The industry of forestry is mainly important in British Columbia. In Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan, gas and oil industries are important. On the other hand, the Atlantic Provinces hold great importance to the fishing industry.
There are also other minerals in Canada including copper, iron ore, coal and gold. The reliance of the economy on natural resources, affects it and the society in several ways. Natural resources are different per region; this has led to a strong regionalism in Canada. This is has also helped the government to minimize the market changes social impact. Most of these exports are also exported, which has led to the integration of Canada into the economy internationally. Key industries in Canada are the Service sector, energy, manufacturing and agriculture. The greatest employer in the service sector is the retailer sector (Economy Watch, 2010).
It employs almost twelve percent of Canadians. The industry concentrates mainly on a minimal number of chain stores in shopping malls. The sector that follows the retail sector in size is the business services. It employs a population that is only slightly smaller. Canada comprises a wide range of groups of religion. It does not have an official religion and allows for the freedom of religion. However, the population of Canada comprises mostly of Christians. Canadian religion history is mostly based on Protestants and Catholics. This is due to the influence of the French and the British. From the 17th century, the French constituted the population of Roman Catholic in Quebec.
The British on the other hand constituted of Protestants and Anglicans in Upper Canada. The census of 2001 reported a seventy-two percent population as Roman Catholics or Protestants. The single denomination that is biggest in Canada is the church of Roman Catholic. Sixteen percent of the population reported that it had no religion. The church remains the cultural identity of Canada. However, Canada’s religion shows significant diversity. Canada religion also comprises of Islam. The 1871 census reported thirteen Muslims in its population. The first mosque in Canada was constructed in 1938 in Edmonton. Today, the building forms part of Fort Edmonton Park museum upon the removal of European preferences of immigration in the 1960’s, the number of Muslims began to grow.
In 2010, the number of Muslims reported to be 0.9 million. Other religions comprised in Canada include Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. The Canadian culture constitutes of culinary, musical, literary, artistic, social and political elements. The culture has mostly been influenced by the French and the British. It has been influenced by the American culture, because of the close migrations between the two countries. Policies, which include the outlawing of capital punishment, health cares that have been funded publicly, progressive taxation and the efforts to eliminate poverty, have greatly contributed to the promotion and support of cultural diversity in Canada (Kunz, 2011).
The government has also legalized the marriage of people of same sex. The multi-diversities, the governing body of the country, the religion affiliation, the different cultures and way of life and the economy are what constitute living in Canada in the 21st century. These units reflect the lifestyle of Canadians. They unify Canadians and make them one. They also give Canadians an identity and a sense of belonging, particularly the minorities whom the government strives to include as part of the country. Through the integration of these parts, one can therefore say to be a Canadian without diversity segregation.
Kunz, Jean, L. (2011). From Mosaic Harmony: Multicultural Canada in the 21st Century. PRI Project Cultural Diversity. Retrieved from http://www.horizons.gc.ca/doclib/SP_div_Mosaic_%20e.pdf
Economy Watch. (2010). Canada Economy. Retrieved from http://www.economywatch.com/world_economy/canada/?page=full