Canada Geography

Established as a dominion in 1867, a member of the Commonwealth since 1931, according to toppharmacyschools, Canada is a federal state made up of 10 autonomous provinces (each with its own legislative and executive bodies) and three territories, administered by a government commissioner. Head of State is the sovereign of the United Kingdom, represented by a governor general; executive power is exercised by the government, made up of the prime minister and the ministers chosen by him. Legislative power rests with the bicameral Parliament, formed by the Senate, whose members are appointed for life by the governor on the recommendation of the prime minister, and by the House of Commons, elected for 5 years by universal suffrage.direct. In 1982 the country adopted its own Constitution. The legal system is based on British Common Law, albeit in the province of Québec justice is administered according to French rules. The delegated bodies respond to a territorial organization: the Federal Supreme Court in fact has civil and criminal jurisdiction over the whole country, while in the various provinces there are local supreme courts and lower courts. The Canadian Armed Forces are tripartite according to the traditional subdivision: army, navy, air force. The individual provinces are also equipped with a local police system, although there is a federal police force. Military conscription is done on a voluntary basis and can be carried out between 16 and 34 years of age. The presence of women in the armed forces is considerable, equal to about one tenth of the soldiers. L’ Canadian school organization has differentiated characteristics connected above all to the triple tradition (political-cultural and religious) of English, French and American, which currently represents the pedagogical and scholastic reference point. The system includes pre-school educational institutions of various types such as private and municipal kindergartens, institutions run by religious associations and kindergartens (Kindergarten), the only institution to be publicly controlled. The school administration also depends on the individual provinces: for this reason the duration of the compulsory schooling can vary. Primary education generally starts from 5-6 years and lasts until 13-14, while secondary education can last from 3 to 5 years. The illiteracy rate in the country is practically absent. Higher education is given in numerous universities and institutes, which follow, in cases of teaching in English, the Anglo-Saxon university structure and customs; however, there are also universities in French (in the province of Québec) and bilingual (in Ottawa). Among the various poles present, we remember Alberta (1906), British Columbia (Vancouver, 1908), Laval (Québec, 1852), McGill (Montréal, 1821),

HYDROGRAPHY

The Canadian territory is divided hydrographically into three large basins: Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific. Between the first two the watershed threshold is not very clear, since they extend for the most part on the shield, a flat surface with difficult drainage. The Pacific basin is clearly determined: the watershed of the Rocky Mountains corresponds to the North American Continental Divide. In general the watercourses of this side have a more irregular regime and a short course, given the proximity of the mountain alignments to the coast; moreover they are often interrupted by rapids and waterfalls, especially those that originate from the innermost chains. The main tributary of the Pacific is the Fraser, which flows embedded in the highlands between the Rocky Mountains and the Coastal Ranges, flowing into Vancouver; the Columbia basin is also partially part of the Canadian territory, which then flows towards the other lands of the north-western USA. The Arctic and Atlantic rivers, on the other hand, fed by numerous lakes (Canada is the country with the largest lake surface in the world) with which they are connected through a dense hydrographic network, have an abundant flow, more regular regime and considerable length; moreover, their common characteristic is the extreme uncertainty of the river beds, as well as the fact that they are frozen for several months a year. The largest Arctic river is the Mackenzie, which extends for 4241 km with a very large basin (1,760,000 km²) and a course made complex by the morphology of the shield; it carries the waters of three very large lakes, the Great Bear Lake (Great Bear Lake), the Great Slave Lake (Great Slave Lake) and Lake Athabasca. With its spring branches, Peace River and Athabasca, the Mackenzie, which in the lower part of the course remains frozen for 7-8 months a year, draws almost to the limits of the southern Canadian belt, draining the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. The Saskatchewan, a river that flows into Lake Winnipeg, is born on the same side, located right in the center of the shield and in which therefore also the waterways of the Central Plains converge. Lakes and river branches connect Lake Winnipeg to the Great Lakes region; it has as its emissary the Nelson, whose basin exceeds a million km² and which flows into Hudson Bay, where the other rivers are also attracted which, through large and small lakes, bordered by peaty soils and forests, drain the shield. However, the main Canadian river, certainly the most vital, is the San Lorenzo (3058 km), even if in winter it does not escape the grip of the cold that invests Canada. Its upper basin extends over the Great Lakes, the largest freshwater lake complex in the world, but mostly in US territory; the five lakes that compose it (Superiore, Michigan, Huron, Ontario, Erie) are connected to each other by short river branches, now made navigable thus forming a hydrographic system unique in the world for the originality of its development. Since 1959 the San Lorenzo has been flanked up to the mouth by an artificial canal that completes the Saint Lawrence Seaway, a large waterway that allows ocean vessels to travel to the Great Lakes as well; the river thus reconfirms itself as the main artery of penetration from the Atlantic into the country. The orographic structure of the country and the richness of the catchment areas give rise to imposing waterfalls such as those of Della (439 m), located on Vancouver Island and considered the highest in Canada, of Takakkaw (366 m) in British Columbia and the famous Niagara Falls, only 49m jump, on the border between Ontario and the United States.

Canada Geography