Canada is the world's second-largest country with a population of 33 million (July 2006 estimate). On July 1, 1867, the Constitution Act created the Canadian federation, which originally consisted of four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Canada today is a parliamentary democracy with elected legislatures at the federal, provincial, and territorial level. The federal government is made up of an executive branch, consisting of the governor general, prime minister and cabinet.

Canada is divided into 10 provinces and three territories, each with its own legislature and administration. The central government maintains jurisdiction over such areas as national defense, banking, navigation, fisheries, commerce, indigenous peoples' affairs, and international relations. The provinces have jurisdiction over social services such as education and health, land and natural ...

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