Living in Canada

An Expert's View about Foreign Direct Investment in Canada

Last updated: 26 Jan 2011

Everybody likes to live in a beautiful nice place(or country); it could be by instinct that people prefer safe place, beautiful and clean environment, high level of education and life standards, free health care, democracy and good job!

Who doesn’t like that?! However all of those factors are relatively measured, and there is nothing perfect.
Perhaps when we hear about Canada, we automatically think about a cold icy country and boring life; but it is not, and despites it is in the north side of USA bordering the North Pole, Canada is still one of the top ten countries to live in. Yes, it is, believe or not!
Whether you are thinking about a good place to live in, or a about business opportunity and investment, think about Canada, and if you don’t know much about it, let’s take an overview about this country.

Canada is the second largest country in the world after Russia and is located in North America. It is a fascinating country, with strong economic and social attributes.

Canada became a self-governing nation in 1867, but kept ties to the United Kingdom. With a population of approximately 34,019,000, Canada is a bilingual state with English and French as the country's official languages. It is governed by Prime Minister the Right Honorable Stephen Harper.
Canada has ten provinces and three territories. They are: Alberta, British Colombia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon Territory.

Canadians are very hospitable, welcoming people - particularly in provincial and rural Canada. The majorities of Canadians are very tolerant and follow a live and let live philosophy. There is often a stronger sense of community and duty in Canadian towns than can be found in other countries.
Visitors to Canada may find it difficult to tell the difference between its English speaking provinces and the USA.

1. The Geography of Canada
Located on the North American continent, Canada is approximately 9,984,670 square kilometers in size. It borders the North Atlantic Ocean, the North Pacific Ocean and the northern boundaries of the United States of America.

Over 50 percent of Canada's land mass is covered by forest and woodland. Its natural resources include nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum and natural gas.
Most of Canada has a semi-continental or a continental climate. Depending on the exact location, summers are warm or hot and winters are cold or very cold (or brutally cold). The exception is Canada's Pacific coast, where summers and winters are mild.

Sunshine is abundant in most provinces, particularly the Prairie Provinces in the middle of Canada.
Toronto and Vancouver are Canada's most multicultural and cosmopolitan cites. They are rich in cultural and artistic activities, night life and clubs and their restaurants offer many of the world's cuisines. They also have the most expensive housing in Canada.

Other Canadian cities have a more provincial character than Toronto and Vancouver and considerably cheaper housing.

And despite the cold weather, but Canada still has many beautiful and attractive places and sites that are visited by people from all over the world. Some of those sites are:

Prince Edward Island – Ottawa (capital) – Kelowna in British Colombia – Churchill in Manitoba – Vancouver in BC – Niagara falls in Ontario – Quebec City – Montreal – Banff in Alberta – Lake Louise in Alberta - Cape Spear National Historic Site, Newfoundland & Labrador - Little Doctor Lake, Northwest Territories – Nova Scotia, and many other sites.

2. Structure of the Canadian Economy
The Canadian economy is strengthened by several industries. The strongest of all is its healthy energy industry which is made up of oil, gas and electricity. Canada is one of the world's largest energy exporters. In 2008, Canada was the largest producer of natural gas, the third largest exporter of natural gas and the eighth largest producer of crude oil.
The agriculture sector is made up of several industries. These industries include farm input and service supplier industries, primary agriculture, food, beverage and tobacco processing, wholesale distribution, retail food industries and food service.

The manufacturing and services sectors though small, are still beneficial to Canada. The manufacturing sector consists of food, beverage, tobacco, shoes, leather, clothing, cars, industrial equipments, furniture and fixtures. The services sector consists of financial services, real estate, communications, education, health, retail, entertainment and tourism.
Exports: $406.8 Billion (2010); GDP (PPP): 1.335 Trillion (2010)

3. Economic Outlook and Employment in Canada
Canada was not spared from the wrath of the worldwide recession which began in 2008. Employment in all sectors fell in 2009 and was compounded by employers reducing work hours. However, they caused an increase in self employment levels.
According to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's Economic Outlook 2010, the Canadian economy has shown signs of recovery. The Canadian dollar is expected to rise and will have an impact on imports and exports.
GDP - Per capita (PPP): $39,600 (2010)

4. Transportation in Canada
The transportation system in Canada is made up of rail, road, water, pipe and air travel. The rail transportation system is made up of commuter train and subway systems which link several cities and towns. There is an extensive highway system supplemented by minor highways and regional roads and streets.
Canada's largest and busiest airport is the Toronto Pearson International Airport. It accommodates several regional and international flights from around the world. There are nineteen sea ports in Canada which facilitate ferry services and other marine transport.

5. Procedures on Entering Canada
Entry into Canada is primarily determined by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). All persons entering Canada must carry proof of citizenship and proof of identity. Visitors planning on staying for more than six months are required to undergo a medical examination.

Not to mention, and as by the 2010 Quality of Life Index, produced by International Living, ranks and rates 194 countries based on their quality of life. The index looks at nine categories: cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and risk, and climate. For the fifth consecutive year, France tops the list which is as below:

1. France: An unsurpassable quality of life, including the world’s best health care.
2. Australia: Countrywide access to an active and healthy lifestyle. Urban dwellers enjoy plenty of great culture, excellent food, and a favorable cost of living.
3. Switzerland: A super-efficient, high-tech society and alpine tourism.
4. Germany: Theater, art, and classical music concerts. Average employee earnings of €41,509 ($61,433).
5. New Zealand: Pristine landscapes and absence of high crime rates, abject poverty, pollution, congestion, health issues and cramped city living.
6. Luxembourg: A financial center and tax haven, and a per capita GDP of $88,000.
7. United States: Convenience of getting what you want, when you want it.
8. Belgium: Expect friendly with everything from English-language cinema to international schools.
9. Canada: High living and health care standards.  Vast natural resources, robust financial industry, and innovative manufacturing.
10. Italy: Grand historic cities, 60 percent of the world’s art treasures, and a WHO-acclaimed national health care system.

Posted: 25 January 2011, last updated 26 January 2011

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