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Canada /ˈkænədə/ is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area. Canada's common border with the United States to the south and northwest is the longest in the world.

The land that is now Canada was inhabited for millennia by various groups of Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored, and later settled, along the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

Canada is a federation that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual nation with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. One of the world's highly developed countries, Canada has a diversified economy that is reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has had a long and complex relationship. It is a member of the G7, G-20, NATO, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth, Francophonie, OAS, APEC, and UN.

Coat of Arms of Canada (1957).jpg More about...Canada, its history and inhabitants

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Canadian soldiers under fire near Fleury-sur-Orne in the early hours of July 25, 1944
The Battle of Verrières Ridge was a series of engagements fought as part of the Battle of Normandy, in western France, during the Second World War. The main combatants were two Canadian infantry divisions, with additional support from the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade, against elements of three German SS Panzer divisions. The battle was part of the British and Canadian attempts to break out of Caen, and took place from July 19 – July 25, 1944, being part of both Operation Atlantic (July 18July 21) and Operation Spring (July 25July 27).

The immediate Allied objective was Verrières Ridge, a belt of high ground which dominates the route from Caen to Falaise. The ridge was invested by battle-hardened German veterans, who had fallen back from Caen and entrenched to form a strong defensive position. Over the course of six days, substantial Canadian and British forces made repeated attempts to capture the ridge. Strict German adherence to defensive doctrine, as well as strong and effective counterattacks by Panzer formations, resulted in heavy Allied casualties for little strategic gain.

From the perspective of the First Canadian Army, the battle is remembered for its tactical and strategic miscalculations—the most notable being a highly controversial attack by the Royal Highland Regiment (Black Watch) of Canada on July 25. This attack, the costliest single day for a Canadian battalion since the 1942 Dieppe Raid, has become one of the most contentious and critically analysed events in Canadian military history.

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Jake the Snake
Jacques Plante (January 17, 1929 – February 27, 1986) was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. He grew up in Shawinigan Falls, Quebec, and began to play hockey in 1932. Because he suffered from asthma, his skating ability was restricted; thus, he began playing the goaltender position. Plante started to play organized hockey at age 12, and his first professional game was at age 18. He played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1953 to 1963; during his tenure, the team won the Stanley Cup six times, including five consecutive wins.

Plante first retired in 1965, but was persuaded to return to the NHL to play for the expansion St. Louis Blues in 1968. He was later traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1970, and to the Boston Bruins in 1973. He joined the World Hockey Association, first as coach and general manager for the Quebec Nordiques in 1973–74; he then played goal for the Edmonton Oilers in 1974–75, ending his professional career with that team.

Plante is considered one of the most important innovators in hockey. Most notably, Plante was the first NHL goaltender to wear a goalie mask in regulation play on a regular basis. With the assistance of other experts, he developed and tested many versions of the goalie mask, including the forerunner of today's mask/helmet combination. Plante was the first goaltender to regularly play the puck outside his crease in support of his team's defencemen, and often instructed his teammates from behind the play, as the goaltender usually has the best view of the game.

In the news

20 May 2019 –
Whole Foods Market announces it will eliminate disposable plastic straws in July from its stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. (USA Today)
17 May 2019 – Canada–United States relations, Mexico–United States relations
The United States lifts tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico. (NPR)
8 May 2019 – Asia Bibi blasphemy case
Asia Bibi, a Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after spending eight years on death row, has left Pakistan for Canada to be reunited with her daughters. (ABC News)
30 April 2019 – Canada–China relations
Fan Wei, a Canadian citizen in China, is sentenced to death following his conviction for producing and trafficking methamphetamine. Canada has requested clemency for Fan, who is the second Canadian citizen sentenced to death this year. The application of the death penalty was condemned by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland added, "Canada stands firmly opposed to the death penalty everywhere around the world." (National Post), (BBC), (Toronto Star)

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Flag of Canada

The National Flag of Canada, also known as the Maple Leaf, and l'Unifolié (French for "the one-leafed"), is a red flag with a white square in its centre, featuring a stylized 11-pointed red maple leaf. Its adoption in 1965 marked the first time a national flag had been officially adopted to replace the Union Flag...

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A panoramic view of the Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada.

Panoramic view of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
Credit: Acarpentier (Alain Carpentier)

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