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The more you know about a country before you go there, the better your trip will

be. Even though Canada is our close neighbor, it has it's own distinctive
culture. As you prepare to do zoo business there, please carefully review the
following facets pertaining to passports, geography, language, money, politics,
festivals, and seasonal events.

Geography
Canada is the northernmost country in North America, bordered by the United
States in the south and northwest (Alaska). It has the longest coastline of any
country in the world as it stretches form the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the
Pacific Ocean in the west to the Arctic Ocean in the north. It is the world's
second-largest country in terms of land area. Canada is bigger than China and has
a population about the size of New York and California combined. The largest
population in Canada lives within about 200 miles of the American border.

People
Canada is an ethnically diverse country comprised of the following primary
groups of people:

-Native settlers (about 2% of the population)


-European (about 46% of the population)
-French (based largely in Quebec and makes up about 20% of the population)
-Non-European--mostly Asian (about 6% of the population)
-Mixed backgrounds (about 26% of the population)
-Most Canadians are Christian--Roman Catholic or Protestant

Political Structure
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, which means that the head of state is
monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. The monarch's representative is the
Governor General. The monarch and her representative are figureheads; the real
political leader is the Prime Minister. The legislative branch of government
consists of the parliament (including ht elected House of Commons) and the
appoi8nted Senate. The country is divided into 10 provinces and 3 territories,
and the capitol is Ottawa.
Canada is a member of the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which includes Canada, Mexico, and the
United States. Canada is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, NATO, and
APEC.

Culture
Britain and the United States have heavily influenced Canadian culture. The
Province of Quebec has a distinct French culture, and hte large American cultural
presence in Canada has caused Canada to establish many laws and institution to
protect it's culture.

Time Zones
There are six different time zones in Canada-Newfoundland (NST), Atlantic
(AST), Eastern (EST), Central (CST), Mountain (MST), and Pacific (PST). Moving
east to west, the differences amoung the time zones is as follows:

NST = 1:30 AST = 2:00 EST= 3:00 CST = 5:00 PST = 6:00

Holidays
As you plan business activities, you will want to avoid scheduling meetings
during the eight federal statutory holidays:

New Year's Day (January 1)


Easter (Good Friday)

Victoria Day (May 24

Canada Day (July 1)

Labor Day (First Monday in September

Thanksgiving (Second Monday in October)

Christmas Day (December 25)

Boxing Day (December 26)

Language
The two languages in Canada are English and French. Canadian government
documents are publishe din both languages. Canadian courts are held in both
French and English. And all products that are sold in Canada have to be labeled
in both English and French.
Even though English is widely spoken, you might want to become comfortable
with the following basic French vocabulary to show respect for French Canadians
and thoroughness in preparation to do business.