Here at Geography Now, We got over 40 people that emailed us to help out with this episode from Canada, So without further ado, here comes the Canada episode! Hey Geograpeeps, I’m your host, Barby A lot of people sometimes have trouble distinguishing between Americans from the US and Canadians. Here’s a little analogy: Americans are kind of like teenage boys, They’re opinionated, energetic and confident, Where as Canadians are kinda like teenage girls, They’ll be polite to you to your face, but then they’ll talk crap behind your back. That being said, let’s see if we can dissect the flag! The flag consists of a red field with a white square in the middle, And in the middle of the entire flag lies a single, 11-pointed red maple leaf. The red symbolizes the sacrifice during both World Wars, And the white symbolizes the peace, tranquility and neutrality of the country. The maple leaf has historically been a symbol of Canada for centuries, even during British rule. Some Canadians will tell you the 11 points symbolize the provinces and the last one being for the territories, but, eh, that’s not really true, that’s kinda how the leaf looks. Also, keep in mind Quebec would much rather fly this flag instead of the maple leaf, But we’ll discuss more of that in… Alright, so Canada is huge. It’s the second largest country in the world, So it’s pretty safe to say that you can bet that there’s gonna be a lot of interesting things when it comes to administrative divisions. First of all, Canada is located on the North American continent, Right above the United States, bordered by three oceans, the Atlantic, the Arctic and the Pacific on all three sides. The country stretches over 6 time zones and is divided into 10 provinces, Yes people, Newfoundland and Labrador are together one province, and three territories in the north. The capital of Ottawa, being in the province of Ontario. Oohoohooh, now let’s have some fun. Now, the thing is, Canada’s domain is lavished with sovereignty enigma and semi-autonomous wonder. First of all, let’s talk about the border. At over 8800 kilometres, or 5500 miles, with thousands of markers along the way, Canada and the US have the world’s longest border between any two countries. Things are a little tame on the east coast, Except for the one island they have a dispute with Denmark over, and that one other island within kayaking distance that France refuses to let go of, until you get to the Quebec-Vermont border, and things get a little messed up when you reach Derby Line and Stanstead. Since the town was built before modern-day borders were properly established, the town has a variety of houses, businesses and buildings that lie directly on the border. Haskell Free Library even marks the border in its reading rooms, and has an entrance for people on the US side and the Canada side. People of each country must enter on their side, and if they exit on the opposite country, they must stay on the sidewalk and report to the customs office. Failure to do so and stepping on the road can result in arrest, and this delightfully accidental slab of confusion known as the Northwest Angle that belongs to Minnesota, mostly owned by Ojibwe tribes, situated on the Lake of The Woods, where you can the reassuringly perfect getaway spots, Massacre Island and Little Massacre Island! And the rest of the border tries its best to cut straight, on the 49th parallel even though it zigzags a little bit, and 4 airports have runways that either straddle or are exactly parallel to the border. Somewhere around 80% of Canadians live within 100 miles or 160 kilometres to the border of the US, and the further north you go, things just get a little kinda fuzzy and neglected. They still have a little bit of trouble integrating the rest of the land the further up you go. There are only 2 main highways that lead to the Yukon and the Northwest Territories that lead from the south, whereas there are virtually no roads leading from any provinces or territories into Nunavut. The only way to get into Nunavut is to either fly or take a boat. I mean, technically, you could walk across the border, but that would suck… Speaking of Nunavut, Canada has the most northernly inhabited place in the world. Alert, Canada, a perpetually icy frozen desolate settlement, typically operated by as little as 5 people year-round. Functioning as both as a militaristic station and a seasonal research facility. Now the one thing you have to know about Canada’s administrative divisions is that it all constitutionally fits together until you get to Quebec. Although Quebec is still considered a province of Canada, they’ve made it very clear in the past that they have a strong sense of Quebecois nationalism that many even take to this separatist extreme. Nonetheless, many of Canada’s divisions and functions are heavily influenced by the landscape. Such we will discuss in… Okay, so once again, Canada is huge and often referred to as the Great White North. However, not all of Canada is a chilly arctic tundra. First of all, Canada’s physical features are built on the strange yet complementary mix of geological and me-te-or-o-log-i-cal… Yes, that’s a word. SCORE! Meteorological facets. Looking at Canada, one of the most notable features that sticks out would have to be, probably, the Hudson Bay. The second largest bay in the world, after the Bay of Bengal, and the largest bay that freezes over in winter. This bay provides a drainage basin that hydrates about half of the entire country and a little bit of the northwest of the US. And the strange thing is that the Hudson Bay actually sits on a gravitational anomaly in which gravity here is a bit lower than the rest of the planet’s average. It has to do with some kind of sciencey reason about ground convection and ice melt rebound, yadda yadda yadda. Hey guys, wanna lose some weight? Try the new workout and diet trend – HUDSON 90X! Our diet and workout plan includes… GOING TO THE HUDSON BAY! No, but seriously, almost nobody lives along the Hudson Bay. It’s almost impossible to build roads with the rugged splotchy rock landscape with too many ponds and lakes getting in the way for any straight highway to be built. Speaking of which, at around 2 to 3 million, it’s actually speculated that 60% of all the world’s lakes and about 30% of all the world’s freshwater can be found in Canada. Tap water can actually have better quality than bottled water in Canada. This has to do largely with the dominating freckly crevice zone that takes up about half of the entire country , the Canadian Shield. The Canadian Shield is a wide plateau of exposed Precambrian igneous rock that harbors little soil and vegetation, but offers a gloryfield of mining. Canada has some of the world’s richest deposits of metal ores like nickel, gold, silver and copper. Two-thirds of all the cesium in the world comes from one mine in Manitoba, Bernic Lake. Fun little side note, Canada has the world’s largest third-order lake island. That’s an island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island. Located on Victoria Island, this little squiggly four acre rock was discovered by map-nerds who scrolled Google Maps just a couple of years ago The island has no name and has most likely never had anyone step foot on it I mean I’ll do it if nobody else will, but I might need a corporate sponsorship I’m lookin’ at you, Aunt Jemima Canada also has two of the top ten largest impact craters on earth Sudbury Crater in Ontario and Manicougan in Quebec with its almost perfectly circular imprint .. and now a reservoir that you can see from space Okay, there’s a lot more in this section, so I’m just going to kinda rapid-fire through all the rest of the facts. About 40% of the country is covered in forest, and about one-tenths of the world’s forests is in Canada Over 60% of the world’s polar bears live in Canada The Bay of Fundy has the world’s highest tidal range with the highest point being over 16 metres. Niagara Falls looks cool. Mt Thor has the world’s highest vertical drop Quebec alone supplies about 70% of the world’s maple syrup and they actually have a maple syrup reserve with over 222,000 barrels of maple syrup Prince Edward Island has a weird natural phenomenon in which the sands on the beach make this weird squeaking noise when you step on it Here’s some footage The largest inland lakes beside the ones shared with the US on the Great Lakes are the Great Bear and Great Slave Lakes named after the Slavey People No, I’m not talking about slaves. I’m talking about the Slavey People There’s a difference One we’ll discuss in Canada’s one of those places where everybody kinda fits in but there’s always a bit of gossip going around every corner First of all, Canada has about 35 million people, making it one of the least densely populated places on earth About 3 quarters of whom identify as White. Asians make up about 14% Natives and Aboriginal Peoples make up a surprising 5% Blacks at 3, Latinos at 2 And the rest are just kinda everything else Now again, Canada’s population takes another turn because in addition to ethnicity, Canada also has linguistic groups Well, one out of three Canadians either speaks French fluently or understands enough to get by The whole Quebec thing kinda plays a paramount role in Canada’s societal operations They kinda have to work really hard to make sure that this one province cooperates Also, keep in mind, Quebec isn’t the only place in Canada where French is spoken Communities in Ontario, Manitoba, and especially the Maritime province like Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have huge communities of French speakers The difference goes that these French speakers have an even deeper level of segregated culture Many people in the Maritime provinces have a unique Acadian French culture that differs from Quebec Fun side note, the Cajun of the US in Louisiana are generally descended from the Acadian people who were expelled and deported from these provinces by the British in the 1700s Back then the Louisiana Purchase didn’t happen yet so all of this area was still French Yada yada yada, they came over and invented gumbo So that’s why Cajuns speak French, America! Because CANADA! About one of every five Canadians was born outside of Canada making Canada pretty diverse especially by US entertainment quota standards Alright, toss in a Black guy, an Asian girl. Hey and why not throw in one of those Indian guys those people are trending these days but make sure the lead is a handsome attractive rugged White guy And this is where I wanna make a Geography Now spotlight Canada has a somewhat shrouded community of underhighlighted individuals that typically go unnoticed even by Canadians Sure, we can talk about Toronto, Vancouver Heck even Calgary has some chips on the table But nobody really gives these guys a chance So Yukon, Northwest, Nunavut I’m putting you guys on display Altogether, the population of all three of these territories is only about 110,000 people making it the most sparsely populated area of all of Canada First of all, Indigenous Peoples of Canada number about 850,000 and altogether have about 630 reservations speckled throughout the entire country The largest reserves are located in these territories Indigenous people in Canada are generally categorized into three separate groups The First nations, the Metis, and the Inuit The Metis are mixed race indigenous The First Nations are generally Southern tribes that typically live in forested areas and the Inuit are straight up Arctic folk Here’s how you can kinda distinguish the three territories Yukon is predominately White The Northwest Territories has a lot of First Nation tribes like the Slavey People who can be found close to the Great Slave Lake although many of them preferred to be called the Dene Cool side note, the Navojo tribe in the US, to some extent, trace their heritage to these people See how everything is connected, people?!?! Finally we reach Nuvanut which is almost exclusively Inuit. The Northwest Territories and Nunavut actually used to be part of the same territory but in 1999, Nunavut was like “I ain’t havin’ none of it” and became its own thing No, but seriously, Inuit culture is one of the most underrated and culturally fascinating things you’ll ever encounter They speak in Inuktituk, a cousin of the Greendlandic language they can pretty much understand each other and they have their own written script that you can find on street signs and traffic posts. They have a long history of vibrant traditions, rituals, games, music and even cuisine. If you ever come here, make sure you try some whale blubber and watch a throat game song which looks like this: What a great way to make friends! Which takes us to Canada is friends with everyone. The end. Nah, okay, let’s elaborate just a little bit more. Okay, so Canada does kinda typically maintain a foreign policy that does encourage diplomacy outreach to pretty much any country that they can grab at, (Heck, they even had good ties with Cuba after the US put an embargo on them.) Nonetheless, Canada’s relations kind of typically shadow those of the US allies with the same allies, and opponents with the same opponents. I mean, have you seen the movie Argo ? First of all, Canada is not only part of the Commonwealth, but the Commonwealth realm Yes, there’s a difference. So, in general, they pretty much get along with everything that was once part of the British Empire then you get the francophone countries that also jaw well with Canada as well. The funny thing is, although the US complains about the immigration procedure of Mexicans into the US, Canada is actually trying to coerce and entice Mexicans to come in. With its low birth rate and a need for a bigger workforce to assist the aging population, Canada has relaxed its immigration and visa policies in order to gain skilled workers and specifically from the Central American regions. Fliers and advertisments have spread all over Mexico encouraging them to move in. Of course when it comes to those closest to them, Canada does have their top pick. The United States! Some say Canada is like the little brother of the US, some say it’s like their best friend, but in all honesty, Canada and the US are kinda like teenage high school sweethearts. Canadians and Americans have been there for each other since day one! The US is the largest export and business partner of Canada, and share the closest diplomatic ties both nationalistically and militaristically. The difference between Canadians and Americans, though, is that Americans gained their independence by force, whereas Canadians by diplomacy. American immigration policy is like a melting pot where people are kind of expected to assimilate, whereas Canadian foreign policy is kind of like a mosaic: people are encouraged to be distinct culturally. In all honesty though, they are kind of like a cute little teenage boyfriend girlfriend couple. Sometimes they like to poke fun at each other, but at the end of the day, they’re totally dating and they’re totally making out with each other at the back of the movie theaters. In conclusion, Canada you little sweet cheek you, I’ll pick you up at seven, we’re going out for some pancakes on that island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island. Stay tuned, Cape Verde is coming up next!