According to itypetravel, Canada is an immigration country with a multicultural population structure. Most Canadians are whites of British Irish or French descent. English and French are the mother tongues of 58.9% and 21.3% of the population, respectively. The French Canadians go back to the French immigrants of the 17th and 18th centuries. They were followed by British immigrants in the 18th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, in addition to the British, Central, Eastern and Southern Europeans came to the country (including many Germans). In recent decades, the countries of origin of the immigrants have shifted significantly: While in the 1960s mainly people came to Canada from Europe, the USA, South America and the Caribbean, immigrants from Asia (especially from China) have dominated since the 1970s, India and Philippines). Indians (First Nations) and Inuit.
Annual immigration quotas have been fixed since 1990 (300,000 each in 2016 and 2017). In addition, according to the UN Refugee Agency, 104,800 refugees were living in Canada at the end of 2017. With an average of four residents / km 2, Canada is only very sparsely populated. There are large regional differences in the population distribution: Most of the residents live in a strip along the border with the USA, more than half of them in the south of the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The main destinations of the immigrants are the metropolises of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Overall, the proportion of the urban population (2017) is 82%.
The biggest cities in Canada
|Largest cities *) (pop., Estimate 2019)|
|Toronto||6 471 900|
|Edmonton||1 447 100|
|*) Metropolitan Area|
The constitution (Article 2) guarantees freedom of religion. All religious communities are legally equal. – About 67% of the population are Christians: Around 39% are attributed to Catholicism (38.8% of which belong to the Roman Catholic Church), over 15% belong to the largest Protestant churches and communities (“United Church of Canada” [6, 1%], Baptists [1.9%], Lutherans [1.5%], Pentecostals [1.5%], Presbyterians [1.4%]), around 5% of the Anglican Church (Province of Canada), around 1 , 6% Orthodox and Oriental churches. Other Protestant faith groups and religious communities with references to Christianity (well over 100 denominations in total) make up 6.3% of the population. The traditional smaller Christian communities include those of the Amish, Hutterites and Duchoborzen, whose followers partly (Amish), to a large extent (Hutterer) or almost all (Duchoborzen) live in Canada. The Catholic Church comprises 17 archdioceses with 43 suffragan dioceses, the exemte archdiocese of Winnipeg, the Ukrainian-Catholic archdiocese of Winnipeg with four suffragan dioceses and an exemte diocese of the Slovak rite, the Maronites and the Melkites. The largest Protestant church is the United Church of Canada (founded in 1925 as a union of Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists). The Indians and Métis as Christians belong to different churches; most of the Inuit are Anglicans. All three groups live the Christian faith in conscious connection with the traditions and values of their own cultures.
The largest non-Christian religious community is made up of the Muslims with 3.2% of the population (over 200 mosques and prayer rooms); other significant non-Christian religious minorities are the Hindus (1.5%) and Sikhs (1.4%). The Jewish community, whose historical roots go back to the 18th century (1768 founding of the first synagogue in Montreal), makes up 1% of the population.
Canada in the 21st century
After the terrorist attacks in the USA on September 11, 2001, Canada enacted an anti-terror law (Bill C-36) in December 2001 (including measures to screen immigrants). As part of the anti-terror coalition, from October 2001 it took part with warships in the US-led military action in Afghanistan and from the beginning of 2002 with a contingent of troops in the international peacekeeping force there (ISAF).
After Chrétien’s resignation in December 2003, Fr. Martin, who had been elected chairman of the LPC a month earlier, succeeded him as Prime Minister. In the parliamentary elections on June 28, 2004, the LPC was able to assert itself as the strongest party, but lost its absolute majority in the lower house; Martin then formed a minority government and in the following years sought the following in terms of foreign policy, among other things. to improve relations with the United States, impaired by Canada’s non-participation in the Iraq war. Domestically, his attempts to decentralize the state in particular have been subject to fierce criticism.
On November 28, 2005, Martin’s liberal government was overthrown by a vote of no confidence by the opposition. The parliamentary elections on January 23, 2006 brought the Conservatives back to power after 12 years, gaining 124 parliamentary seats, while the LPC only won 103; The third strongest force was the Bloc Québécois (51 seats). On February 6, 2006, a minority cabinet formed by the Conservative Party of Canada under Prime Minister S. Harper took over the government.
In June 2008, S. Harper officially apologized to the indigenous people of the country in a historic gesture. He referred above all to the re-education of around 150,000 children of Indians in boarding schools, which has been practiced since 1874. The last of these schools was closed in 1996. In the early parliamentary elections on October 14, 2008, the Conservatives won 143 of a total of 308 seats in parliament and thus failed to achieve the goal of a parliamentary majority; the LPC only had 76 seats. The third strongest force was again the Bloc Québécois (50 seats). Harper remained head of government. After disputes over budget and armaments policy, Harper’s opposition fellMinority cabinet on March 25, 2011 with a vote of no confidence in parliament. Early elections took place on May 2, 2011, which gave the Conservatives an absolute majority of the seats in the lower house (167 of the total of 308 seats). The NDP became the second largest political force. This enabled Harper to continue government work on a secure parliamentary basis.
In July 2011, the country withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, leaving only trainers in the country. Shortly after the end of the world climate summit in Durban, South Africa, Canada announced in December 2011 that it would withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. In March 2014, the country withdrew the last troop trainers from Afghanistan, ending the ISAF mission. In early October 2014, the Canadian parliament voted with a narrow majority for the armed forces to participate in the air strikes against the terrorist organization Islamic State.
Prime Minister Harper dissolved parliament on August 2nd, 2015 and scheduled new elections for October 19th, 2015. The ruling Conservatives suffered a heavy defeat in these elections. They lost 68 of their 167 lower house seats to date. The opposition Liberal Party, led by J. Trudeau, a son of former Prime Minister PE Trudeau, won an absolute majority in parliament with 184 seats (2011: 34 seats). The New Democratic Party (NDP) had 44 seats (2011: 102 seats). J. Trudeau became the new Prime Minister of Canada on November 4, 2015.
In the parliamentary election on October 21, 2019, the ruling Liberals (LPC) won the most seats in the lower house with 157 seats (2015: 184 seats), lost an absolute majority and are dependent on the support of small parties. The Conservatives won 121 of 338 seats (2015: seats). The third strongest force is the separatist Bloc Quebecois with 32 parliamentary seats.