Government type: federation with parliamentary democracy

National capital: Ottawa

Administrative divisions:

10 provinces and 2 territories*; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory*

note: the Northwest Territories will be split in two as of April 1999; the eastern section, which will be self-governing, will be renamed Nunavut, the west is as yet unnamed.

Independence: 1 July 1867 (from UK)

National holiday: Canada Day, 1 July (1867)

Constitution: 17 April 1982 (Constitution Act); originally, the machinery of the government was set up in the British North America Act of 1867; charter of rights and unwritten customs

Legal system: based on English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law system based on French law prevails; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

Legislative branch

bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (a body whose members are appointed to serve until reaching 75 years of age by the governor general and selected on the advice of the prime minister; its normal limit is 104 senators) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (301 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms).

Judicial branch

Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the prime minister through the governor general

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation

ACCT, AfDB, AG (observer), APEC, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE (observer), CP, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, ESA (cooperating state), FAO, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIPONUH, MTCR, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNPREDEP, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC


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Last modified 26 July 2013