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Canada: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Canada
CapitalOttawa Ottawa
geographic coordinates: 45 25 N, 75 42 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
note: Canada has six time zones
Administrative divisions10 provinces and 3 territories*; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon*
Constitutionmade up of unwritten and written acts, customs, judicial decisions, and traditions dating from 1763; the written part of the constitution consists of the Constitution Act of 29 March 1867, which created a federation of four provinces, and the Constitution Act of 17 April 1982; several amendments to Constitution Act, 1982, last in 2011 (2011)
Executive branchhead of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General David JOHNSTON (since 1 October 2010)
head of government: Prime Minister Stephen Joseph HARPER (since 6 February 2006)
cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister usually from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister for a five-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition in the House of Commons generally designated prime minister by the governor general
Flag descriptiontwo vertical bands of red (hoist and fly side, half width) with white square between them; an 11-pointed red maple leaf is centered in the white square; the maple leaf has long been a Canadian symbol; the official colors of Canada are red and white
Independence1 July 1867 (union of British North American colonies); 11 December 1931 (recognized by UK per Statute of Westminster)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Canada (consists of the chief justice and 8 judges)
note - in 1949, Canada finally abolished all appeals beyond its Supreme Court to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice and judges appointed by the prime minister in council; all judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 75
subordinate courts: federal level: Federal Court of Appeal; Federal Court; Tax Court; federal administrative tribunals; courts martial; provincial/territorial: provincial superior, appeals, first instance, and specialized courts; in 1999, the Nunavut Court - a circuit court with the power of a superior court and the territorial courts - was established to serve isolated settlements
Legal systemcommon law system except in Quebec where civil law based on the French civil code prevails
Legislative branchbicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (105 seats; members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister and serve until 75 years of age) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (308 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve a maximum of four-year terms)
elections: House of Commons - last held on 2 May 2011 (next to be held no later than 19 October 2015)
election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Conservative Party 39.6%, NDP 30.6%, Liberal Party 18.9%, Bloc Quebecois 6%, Greens 3.9%; seats by party - Conservative Party 166, NDP 103, Liberal Party 34, Bloc Quebecois 4, Greens 1
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CD, CDB, CE (observer), EAPC, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-20, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAFTA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
National holidayCanada Day, 1 July (1867)
Political pressure groups and leadersother: agricultural sector; automobile industry; business groups; chemical industry; commercial banks; communications sector; energy industry; environmentalists; public administration groups; steel industry; trade unions
Political parties and leadersBloc Quebecois (Daniel PAILLE)
Conservative Party of Canada (Stephen HARPER)
Green Party (Elizabeth MAY)
Liberal Party (Justin TRUDEAU)
New Democratic Party or NDP (Thomas MULCAIR)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typea parliamentary democracy, a federation, and a constitutional monarchy
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Gary DOER (since 23 October 2009)
chancery: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
telephone: (1) (202) 682-1740
FAX: (1) (202) 682-7726
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco/Silicon Valley, Seattle
consulate(s): Anchorage (AK), Houston, Palo Alto (CA), Philadelphia, Phoenix, Raleigh (NC), Salt Lake City, San Diego, Tucson
National anthemname: "O Canada"
lyrics/music: Adolphe-Basile ROUTHIER (French), Robert Stanley WEIR (English)/Calixa LAVALLEE
note: adopted 1980; originally written in 1880, "O Canada" served as an unofficial anthem many years before its official adoption; the anthem has French and English versions whose lyrics differ; as a Commonwealth realm, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)maple leaf
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (Bruce A. Heyman has been nominated; The ambassador is scheduled to present his credentials on 8 April 2014); Charge d'Affaires Richard M. Sanders (since 25 July 2013)
embassy: 490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8
mailing address: P. O. Box 5000, Ogdensburg, NY 13669-0430; P.O. Box 866, Station B, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5T1
telephone: (1) (613) 688-5335
FAX: (1) (613) 688-3082
consulate(s) general: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg