Sunday, January 16, 2011


As of July of 2010, the population of Canada is approximately 34,160,000 people
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.056 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
This entry includes the number of males for each female in five age groups - at birth, under 15 years, 15-64 years, 65 years and over, and for the total population. Sex ratio at birth has recently emerged as an indicator of certain kinds of sex discrimination in some countries. For instance, high sex ratios at birth in some Asian countries are now attributed to sex-selective abortion and infanticide due to a strong preference for sons. This will affect future marriage patterns and fertility patterns. Eventually, it could cause unrest among young adult males who are unable to find partners.
Source: CIA World Factbook - Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of December 30, 2010

Minerals and Economic Development
Minerals, vital to a modern industrialized country and to the standard of living of its people, have had an important impact on the social and economic development of Canada, especially because of the importance of mineral exports to the Canadian economy. Only about 15% of Canada's metal production is consumed domestically, with the balance exported.
Mineral development depends on efficient and economical means of transportation (railways, highways, waterways and air), which link the resources to domestic and foreign markets. Crude minerals and products (excluding petroleum) account for over half of all revenue freight moved by Canadian railways; half of all cargoes loaded at Canadian seaports for international markets are made up of minerals. In turn, materials for mineral development comprise a significant portion of the tonnage moved by the transport industry.
From mining to marketing, the mineral industry provides much direct and indirect employment in Canada, stimulates a broad range of manufacturing and service industries, and, through export sales, makes a substantial positive contribution to Canada's BALANCE OF PAYMENTS. Apart from large amounts of new investment, mineral development has also accounted for much of Canada's railway construction, for several new ports, and for many Canadian frontier communities.
Mining has helped Canadians attain one of the highest standards of living in the world. Canada's mineral industries are dependent not only on a continuing supply of new ore discoveries, but also on the economic well-being of Canada's trading partners in the world economy. Production is adversely affected by a severe slowdown of growth in the world economy and by changing geographic patterns of world industrial growth and mineral consumption.
Surface Transportation
Canada’s economy and way of life are directly tied to its national transportation infrastructure system. The size of the landmass that is occupied by Canada makes transportation issues complex, differing greatly across the country. Transportation infrastructure programs must take into account everything from issues specific to urban areas to the needs of remote communities, calling for a wide range of transportation infrastructure solutions.
The Surface Infrastructure Programs Directorate integrates the project management of the various facets of surface infrastructure, by managing federal funding for highways, borders, railways, transit and federal bridges. By harmonizing the federal leadership of these infrastructure sectors, the Surface Infrastructure Programs Directorate ensures that the elements of Canada’s national transportation infrastructure interoperates in a way that meets the Department’s objectives of a clean, safe, secure, and efficient inter-modal transportation system for all Canadians.
Although the surface transportation systems within a province are the responsibility of that jurisdiction, the Surface Infrastructure Programs Directorate has a role to play in those matters that have an interprovincial or international element to them. By playing an active role, the Department works to ensure that the important flow across borders of people and goods continues unimpaired.
Each facet of the inter-modal transportation system has specific programs that fund them and the Surface Infrastructure Programs Group manages federal contributions in the order of $4.5 Billion for 2008/2009 that further leverages $12 billion from other levels of government and the private sector.
Over 70 professionals, primarily engineers, economists and environmental scientists from across Canada staff the Directorate. Surface Infrastructure Programs provides the Department with a wide range of technical and scientific expertise on which to base its decision making. An enthusiastic and competitive group, Surface Infrastructure Programs maintains an active workplace with participation in charitable and volunteer opportunities as well as a host of social events.
Working Conditions
Total employment in Canada in 1999 was 15.9 million. That same year, the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent. Unemployment in Canada has remained fairly constant at this rate during the 1990s, despite the strong economy. However, there were real declines in unemployment compared with the 1980s, when unemployment hovered near 10 percent.
With the exception of members of the armed forces, all workers in Canada have the right to form unions. Unions may organize strikes, but employees of the government who provide essential services, including law enforcement and medical care, are forbidden to strike. In 2000, there were a number of notable strikes, including one in British Columbia that closed the province's seaports for 10 days. The province also saw an illegal nurses strike in 2001, as well as a crippling public transit strike in Vancouver which shut down the bus and light rail system for 4 months. Specific laws that oversee the formation and conduct of unions vary from province to province. Unions are independent of the government and often form coalitions with other trade organizations or international bodies. Outside of the government, union membership is 29.5 percent nationwide. The government vigorously enforces union protections, and there are provincial and federal agencies that monitor and investigate working conditions and worker safety.
The standard work week varies from province to province. It ranges from 40 to 48 hours per week, but all provinces mandate at least one 24-hour rest period during the week. The minimum wage rates are set by each province and also vary widely. The lowest minimum wage is Can$5.25 per hour in Newfoundland and the highest is Can$7.60 in British Columbia. In addition, Alberta and Ontario have lower minimum wages for workers under the age of 18. The minimum wage is not sufficient for a single worker to support a family and, in fact, those families with only a single wage earner making minimum wage are classified as being below the national poverty line. There are prohibitions on child labor, and children under the age of either 15 or 16—depending on the province—are not allowed to work without parental consent. Some provinces also have restrictions on youths working at night or in hazardous jobs.
Several groups are under-represented in the workforce and are often paid less than their counterparts in similar occupations. Native American peoples are particularly subject to discrimination and their proportion of the workforce is far lower than their proportion of the population. The same is true of people with disabilities. People with disabilities who are capable of work represent 6.5 percent of the total population, but only 2.7 percent of current employees. Women are employed in all sectors of the economy and laws guarantee equality in all areas of employment except the military. Under the terms of a 1998 court decision, the federal government has been paying back wages to women who were paid less than their male counterparts in the same occupation. However, disparities in income still exist between men and women with similar jobs.
Although the nation is officially bilingual, cultural pressure and regulations force many English-speakers in Quebec and French-speakers elsewhere in the country to use the language of the majority of that particular province. For instance, the provincial government of Quebec limits access to English-language schools and places restrictions on the use of English for commercial purposes and in advertising.

Principal Industries
Canadian manufacturing is dominated, in terms of economic effect, by automobile manufacturing, and to a lesser extent by resource processing such as steel and other metals production. The automotive sector is the single largest sector, but resource extraction and processing, including mineral, chemical, and forestry products taken together, is the most important productive and commercial activity in Canada. In general, Canada exports more than it imports, in large part because of the combination of its raw material resource-based economy and the automotive sector.
The provision of services is the second most important commercial activity in Canada in terms of number of people employed, accounting for slightly less than half the labor force, but manufacturing, resource extraction, and agriculture dominate employment and commercial activity.
Service sector
The service sector in Canada is vast and multifaceted, employing some three quarters of Canadians and accounting for over two thirds of GDP. The largest employer is the retail sector, employing almost 12% of Canadians. The retail industry is mainly concentrated in a small number of chain stores clustered together in shopping malls. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of big-box stores, such as Wal-Mart (of the United States) and Future Shop (a subsidiary of the US based Best Buy) and Zellers. This has led to fewer workers in this sector and a migration of retail jobs to the suburbs.
The second largest portion of the service sector is the business services, employing only a slightly smaller percentage of the population. This includes the financial services, real estate, and communications industries. This portion of the economy has been rapidly growing in recent years. It is largely concentrated in the major urban centers especially Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
The education and health sectors are two of Canada's largest, but both are largely under the purview of the government. The health care industry has been rapidly growing, and is the third largest in Canada. Its rapid growth has led to problems for governments who must find money to fund it.
Canada has an important high tech industry, and also an entertainment industry creating content both for local and international consumption. Tourism is of ever increasing importance, with the vast majority of international visitors coming from the United States. Though the recent strength of the Canadian Dollar has hurt this sector, other nations such as China have increased tourism to Canada.

Major Exports and Imports
Boasting a 2008 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) valued at US$1.511 trillion, Canada is the world’s 11th richest country. Home to 33.5 million Canadians who enjoyed an average GDP of $33,487 per person last year, Canada was also the 21st wealthiest nation in terms of GDP per capita.
As the world’s 10th biggest exporter, resource-rich Canada shipped $461.8 billion worth of exports. Principal Canadian exports include vehicles, aircraft, chemicals, lumber, oil and gas. Based on 2007 statistics, Canada’s largest export clients were the United States (78.9%), the United Kingdom (2.8%) and China (2.1%).
Canada imported $436.7 billion worth of foreign goods last year led by machinery, electricity and durable consumer goods. Leading suppliers to the Canadian market were America (54.1%), China (9.4%) and Mexico (4.2%). The world’s 10th top importing nation posted a $25.1 billion trade surplus for 2008.
In total, Canada’s international trade amounted to $898.5 billion or 59.5% of its overall GDP. This compares with 25% for the U.S. and 36.2% for Australia.
Exchage Rates
Friday, January 14, 2011
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Canada exports around the world, but its most important export and import trading partner is the United States. In recent decades Canada has had a slight balance of trade advantage with all its trading partners, including the United States, by exporting more goods than it imports from others. The automotive sector dominates Canadian manufacturing and trade, due to a preferential trade agreement with the United States through which American automobile manufacturers agreed to produce one vehicle in Canada for every vehicle it exports to Canada from its American based plants. In return, Canada waived all tariffs on vehicles exported by American manufacturers to Canada. Under pressure from non-American car makers worldwide, this agreement, which expired in February 2001, is likely not to be renewed a change which could affect the overall importance of automobile manufacturing for Canadian trade relations.
The manufacturing and export of large equipment, and in particular farm equipment, is the second largest component of Canadian manufacturing and trade. The export of farm equipment in particular is a major component of Canada's international aid programs. Some economic analysts project that large equipment manufacturing, including the recent advance of airplane building in Canada, may supplant automobile manufacturing as the dominant sector of Canadian trade.
At the same time, Canada remains a major resource exporter. In particular, Canada exports raw materials such as petro-chemicals and oil, minerals and ores, and forestry products. This is a key trading role which Canada has played in the global economy throughout its history. This sector of the economy is subject to the most stringent rules governing foreign ownership, but the importance of resource extraction and trade for Canada is such that these rules are being loosened under pressure from bodies such as the World Trade Organization, of which Canada is a member.
Farm product export ranks fourth in overall trade importance for Canada, with special emphasis on wheat, canola and corn, soybeans and non-citrus fruit. Livestock trade, including beef, pig, and chicken products, while substantial, makes up only a very small part of Canada's agricultural exports, with most of Canada's livestock production being consumed domestically. Increased restrictions on the import, in particular of beef products due to health concerns over Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (mad cow disease), has led to a gradual increase in overall livestock production in Canada, but no significant increase in export of these goods. This is likely to change as more and more countries world wide turn to Canada and the United States for "safe" beef and other livestock products.
Finally, Canada, along with the United States and Mexico, belongs to a North American Free Trade Zone, the result of a treaty between these three countries. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) establishes preferential trading rules between the three signatories, though its administration has not been without dispute. The effect over time may be an increasing reliance on exports to and imports from NAFTA partners, with trade production in each of the three countries under pressure to address the import and export needs of the other partners, possibly limiting trade expansion in other global areas. Canada appears to be resisting this limitation on trade development by pursuing special trade arrangements with such countries as China and Indonesia. At the same time, Canada is an active participant in negotiations to extend the NAFTA agreement to include all countries in the Western Hemisphere in a mutual trade agreement.

Import Duties
An import duty, or customs duty, is the tax a government places on goods that are imported into the country. Besides being a revenue stream for the government, import duties can be levied to help protect domestic trade from overseas products. Canada's import duties are incredibly varied, and many of the regulations depend on which goods are being imported, but there are a few broad rules that cover a large portion of Canada's trade.
North American Free Trade Agreement
According to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada does not levy any import duties on goods that have been purchased for personal use and were made in the United States or Mexico. Products that have no visible indication of where they were produced are also exempt under this act. NAFTA is the world's largest trade block, and seeks to eliminate all trade barriers between the U. S. and it's neighbors.
Goods and Services Tax
Individuals importing goods to Canada are almost always subject to the Canadian Goods and Services Tax, a five percent tax based on the value of the goods being imported, after the standard duties have been applied. Provincial taxes are also applied, unless the goods are being imported to Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia; or New Brunswick, in which case a flat thirteen percent will be charged.
Duty Free Allowances and Restrictions
Residents and non-residents alike are allowed to import a small amount of tobacco, liquor and gifts without having to pay import duties. Tobacco imports allowed are 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 200g of loose tobacco. Liquor imports allowed are 1.14L of spirits, 1.5L of wine,or 24 bottles or cans of beer. Gifts valued at below C$60 are also free of import tariffs. Reasonable amounts of perfume, film and agricultural products are allowed as well, with agricultural products needing to adhere to special guidelines concerning agricultural import restrictions. These guidelines can be learned by contacting the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Other Duties
Additional duties are based on the product's country of origin, what the product is and whether any excise duties need to be applied for items of luxury or high-dollar value. The Canadian Border Services Agency inspects all imports into Canada, and an exporter must prepare a packing list, bill of lading, commercial invoice, Canada Customs Invoice and Certificate of Origin before shipping goods to Canada. A complete list of import tariffs can be found at (, as well as detailed information on special products like hazardous materials and agricultural imports.
Division of Labor.
Labor in Canada is unevenly divided between skilled professional, skilled manufacturing, and general unskilled such as service workers. With increased manufacturing efficiency, the skilled manufacturing labor force has declined in size, though not in economic impact, while the general unskilled labor force has increased; at the same time skilled professionals—whether doctors, computer programmers, and other new economy professionals—has also increased. Access to different jobs is determined in part by education and training and in part by social networks. There has been a strong tendency for children to follow their parents into similar positions in the labor force, but shifts away from stable employment in manufacturing, along with the growth of the unskilled labor market in the services sector, has seen this change in recent decades. While access to and advancement in both the skilled professional and skilled manufacturing sectors is described as meritocratic, there remain strong class, ethnic, and regional factors that affect access to and promotion within labor markets.
Canada has a well-developed media sector, but its cultural output particularly in English films, television shows, and magazines is often overshadowed by imports from the United States. Television, magazines, and newspapers are primarily for-profit corporations based on advertising, subscription, and other sales-related revenues. Nevertheless, both the television broadcasting and publications sectors require a number of government interventions to remain profitable, ranging from regulation that bars foreign companies in the broadcasting industry to tax laws that limit foreign competition in magazine advertising.
In the broadcasting sector, Canada has a government-funded broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Society, which operates radio and TV networks in English and French. As well, some provincial governments offer their own public educational TV broadcast services as well, such as Ontario's TV Ontario and Quebec's Tele-Québec. Given Canada's small market and its position next to the dominant producer of feature films, the Canadian film industry receives substantial assistance from the government. In the 2000s, about half of the budget of a typical Canadian film came from various federal and provincial government sources.
The Canadian television broadcasting industry is split between public and private ownership. Canada currently has 130 originating television stations, which broadcast on 1,456 transmitters across the country, on both the VHF and UHF bands.
In addition to the public Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Society, which operates both English and French television networks, there are four major private TV networks. CTV and Global broadcast in English, and are available throughout the country. TVA and V broadcast in French and are available over the air only in Quebec (and some communities in Ontario and New Brunswick which are near the Quebec border), although TVA is available across Canada on cable. Radio-Canada (the French division of the CBC), TVA and V function in the particular cultural context of Quebec television. Most network stations are owned and operated by the networks themselves, although all networks have some affiliates with different ownership.
In addition, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, a service devoted mainly to programming from the First Nations, is considered a network by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, although the network airs terrestrially only in the three Canadian territories, and is available only on cable in most of Canada.
Canada is served by almost 2000 radio stations, on both the AM and FM bands.
As with television stations, radio callsigns in Canada are made up of four letters beginning with the two-letter combinations of CF, CH, CI, CJ, or CK, although a few stations use three-letter callsigns. In addition to private stations CKX and CKY, some CBC stations have three-letter callsigns, generally in major cities where the stations first aired in the 1930s. Newer CBC stations have normal four-letter callsigns, however. As with CBC television, CBC radio uses callsigns beginning with CB, through a special arrangement with the government of Chile. A few exceptions, such as CKSB in Winnipeg and CJBC in Toronto, exist where the CBC acquired an existing station with a historically significant callsign.
The combinations CG, CY, CZ and several combinations beginning with V and X are also assigned to Canada. Only four Canadian radio stations, all in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, have taken call signs in those ranges. Three of these stations, VOAR, VOWR and VOCM, began broadcasting before Newfoundland was a Canadian province, and retained their VO call letters when Newfoundland joined Canadian Confederation in 1949. The other station, VOCM-FM, adopted the callsign in 1981 because of its ownership association with VOCM. With the exception of VOCM-FM, radio stations licensed in Newfoundland after 1949 use the same CF-CK range as other Canadian stations.
The future of VO callsigns in Canada is unknown. It would not be at all unusual for Industry Canada to simplify all callsigns used in Canada as part of the ongoing modernization and simplification of domestic telecom regulations.
There is no clear rule for the call letters of repeater stations—some repeaters are labelled by the call-letters of the originating station, followed by a number, while others have their own distinct call letters. Low-power repeater transmitters (LPRTs) have their own unique callsign format, which consists of the letters VE or VF followed by four numbers.
As of 2010, the five largest major commercial radio broadcast groups in Canada are; Astral Media, Newcap Broadcasting, Rogers Communications, Corus Entertainment, and CTVglobemedia. However, many smaller broadcasters operate radio stations as well. Most genres of music are represented on the Canadian commercial radio spectrum, including pop, rock, hip hop, country, jazz and classical. News, sports, talk radio and religious stations are also available in many cities. In addition, many Canadian universities and colleges have licensed campus radio stations, and some communities also have community radio stations or Christian radio stations licensed to non-profit groups or co-operatives.
As well, the publicly owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation operates four national radio networks, two each in English and French. The English Radio One and the French Première Chaîne provide news and information programming to most communities in Canada, regardless of size, on either the AM or FM band. The English Radio 2 and French Espace musique provide arts and culture programming, including classical music and opera, and are always on FM, generally serving larger communities only.
Music-based commercial radio stations in Canada are mandated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to reserve at least 35 per cent of their playlists for Canadian content, although exemptions are granted in some border cities (e.g. Windsor, Ontario) where the competition from American stations threatens the survival of Canadian broadcasters, and for stations whose formats may not have enough Canadian recordings available to meet the 35 per cent target (e.g. classical, jazz or pop standards).
In recent years, a notable trend in Canadian radio has been the gradual abandonment of the AM band, with many AM stations applying for and receiving authorization from the CRTC to convert to the FM band. In some Canadian cities, in fact, the AM band is now either nearly or entirely vacant. Because Canada is more sparsely populated than the United States, the limitations of AM broadcasting (particularly at night, when the AM dial is often overwhelmed by distant signals) have a much more pronounced effect on Canadian broadcasters. AM radio stations have the additional protection that cable companies which offer cable FM services are required by the CRTC to distribute all locally-available AM stations through conversion to a cable FM signal, but cable FM only accounts for a small percentage of radio listeners in Canada.

Almost all Canadian cities are served by at least one daily newspaper, along with community and neighborhood weeklies. In large cities which have more than one daily newspaper, usually at least one daily is a tabloid format. Bilingual cities like Montreal and Ottawa have important papers in both French and English.
Canada currently has two major "national" newspapers, The Globe and Mail and the National Post. Le Devoir, though not widely read outside Quebec, is the French-language counterpart to the national newspapers.

Canadian Retailers
Canada’s retailers are no strangers to volatility: they operate in a sector where consumer desires shift frequently, hot trends change seasonally, and even weather affects profitability. But the rapid rise of the Canadian dollar in the fall of 2007 has introduced a new level of unpredictability into many retail businesses. “Retailers can readily adapt to gradual changes in the Canadian dollar, but the exchange rate has changed so quickly that many have been caught by surprise,” says Brent Houlden, leader of Deloitte’s Consumer Business practice in Canada.
“The Internet allows consumers to readily check prices and product information online. As a result, there is a high degree of pricing transparency into virtually every transaction. Canadian consumers are making informed decisions to either shop online or leverage the current strength of Canada’s dollar by crossing the border to shop,” says Houlden. “These trends are forcing Canada’s retailers to be innovative to compete.” For more details on the impact of pricing transparency, see Deloitte Research’s paper, The View from the Glass House — Competing in a transparent marketplace.
To better differentiate them in an increasingly competitive market:
  1. Personalize  marketing
While most consumer businesses have aggregate information about their customers, not all of them are mining the data effectively to create detailed profiles of their loyal customers. “Today’s loyalty programs are no longer about distributing broad-based points to your entire consumer market,” notes Houlden. “Instead, retailers must begin to target their rewards programs based on each consumer’s individual buying pattern.”
  1. Leveraging loyalty with gift cards
As gift cards rise in popularity, retailers must become more strategic in deploying these programs. Houlden explains: “Strong gift card spending is inducing mall owners to offer gift cards redeemable at any store in the mall. But if retailers hope to attract those purchases, they need to articulate a value proposition that encourages shoppers to buy their gift cards over generic mall cards or those offered by competitors.” Mining detailed consumer data to create targeted marketing programs may be one way retailers can differentiate themselves in this space.
  1. Introducing “green” programs
Consumers base their purchasing decisions on more than just price and convenience. European shoppers are showing a marked preference for retailers that demonstrate “greener” or more socially responsible practices, and North American consumers are probably not far behind. Many European businesses have introduced “green” programs awarding points to consumers who return their shopping bags, or offering a wider array of reduced-packaging products. Most Canadian retailers are still in the planning phase, but those that adopt “green” programs now can position themselves to win first-mover advantage.
  1. Selling across multiple channels
Despite the growth in online shopping, there are very few Canadian multichannel retailers,” notes Houlden. “Businesses that figure out how to better leverage the Internet and other sales channels will be able to compete more effectively.” Houlden suggests retailers help customers make more informed purchasing decisions by providing them with in-depth product information through a variety of media. “Consumers today don’t simply take in-store pricing for granted,” Houlden says. “They also review product information and pricing online and through third-party reviews. Organizations that add to that dialogue by engaging consumers through multiple channels — online, in-store, and in print — can actually work with their customers to co-create value.”

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