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New trade deal shakes up Canada, in Country Profile


Canada flag

Flag Facts

Canada’s flag has undergone several iterations. The flag as it appears today, with the 11-pointed maple leaf and red and white colors, was first raised on February 15, 1965, after a proclamation by Queen Elizabeth II.

Location: Northern North America, sharing the world’s longest international border with the United States. With its 10 provinces and three territories, Canada is slightly larger than the U.S. and also borders the North Atlantic, North Pacific and Arctic oceans.

Language: English (58.7%) and French (22%) are both official languages

Total population: 35.8 million

Capital: Ottawa

Government: Federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy

Religion: Catholic (39%) and Protestant (20.3%) are the largest groups

Economy: With its market-oriented economic system, Canada resembles the U.S. and benefits from abundant natural resources, a highly skilled labor force and modern capital stock. Canada and the U.S. have one of the world’s most comprehensive trading relationships, with $1.3 trillion in bilateral trade and investment. The U.S. is Canada’s largest foreign investor, and Canada is the third-largest foreign investor in the United States. Canada is also the largest foreign supplier of energy to the U.S. Canadian consumers spend more than 60 percent of their disposable income on U.S. goods and services.

News note: After more than a year of talks, the U.S., Mexico and Canada signed a new NAFTA on November 30, a trilateral trade deal officially called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Lawmakers in all three countries still need to approve the deal before the provisions take effect.

GDP (official exchange rate): $1.65 trillion

Currency: Canadian dollar (conversion rate at press time: 1 CAD equals $0.75 USD).

Franchising in Canada: Canada’s franchise sector generates approximately $68 billion ever year, per the Canadian Franchise Association, with an approximately 1,300 franchises and 78,000 units. Although there are no federal franchise laws, six provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Prince Edward Island) have franchise-specific legislation and disclosure requirements. Franchisors must disclose “all material facts” that might reasonably be expected to have a significant effect on a prospective franchisee’s decisions whether to buy a franchise or what price to pay. Note: If a Canadian court finds a franchisor failed to fully meet its disclosure obligations, the penalties can include not only damages but also rescission of the franchise agreement. If rescission is granted, the franchisor must reimburse the franchisee’s investment plus any operating losses.

Ease of doing business ranking by World Bank: 22, no change from 2018 but down from 18 in 2017.

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