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Social conditions

Social conditions vary greatly between the different provinces. The legislation also gives room for the provinces to design their own subsidy schemes, etc. However, because the welfare system has tended to grow sharply, especially since the 1960s, the provinces have had difficulty managing their own funding. A large part of the social sector is therefore financed with federal funds, and this helps to offset the sharp differences in income between the provinces.

Society of CanadaThe Canadian general health insurance covers all health care that residents may need. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of CDA and acronym for Canada. It differs somewhat in detail between different provinces, some of which take out sickness insurance in general tax, others use a progressive compulsory insurance premium. The federal government supports the provincial health care costs through grants. Healthcare is of a very high class, at costs lower than in the United States. Very large resources are devoted to providing adequate healthcare to the northern parts of the country. Despite this, Indigenous peoples have First Nations and Inuit people in poorer health than in the rest of the country due to modern well-being illnesses and social problems such as alcoholism, unemployment and crime.

Child allowance is paid to all children under the age of 18. However, the provinces determine the design, so that in some provinces the amount becomes higher the older the children become. Childcare consists of nursery schools for the youngest children, day care centers for 3- and 4-year-olds and kindergarten for 5-year-olds. The first two institutions are usually private or cooperative, while the latter is a preschool where most children attend.

Society of Canada

Since 1970, unemployment insurance covers all employees and has gradually become more extensive. It also includes pregnancy and health care benefits and is funded by employees, employers and federal funds. Social grants can be obtained by anyone who "needs" it. This need is carefully examined in each case, and the grant is paid only when no other possibilities, e.g. unqualified work, remains. There is a strong social pressure against grant dependency. Because of these factors, there is an extensive charity system with, among other things, clothing and food collections.

The pension system covers old-age pension (starting at age 65), early retirement and widow's pension. It consists partly of a mainly federally funded minimum compensation and partly of a general occupational pension, which today includes most employees. The pensions are index-regulated.

Canada has always had laws and programs to protect the indigenous population, programs that, in tandem with increasing political awareness, have been administered by First Nations and the Inuit's own organizations. Special resources are invested in healthcare, housing, education and social care for Inuit and First Nations. Individuals from the indigenous population who are outside the tribal organization often face social difficulties, as they do not benefit from the federal programs.


Ottawa, the capital of Canada; 883,000 homes (2001), in the Ottawa-Hull metropolitan area 1.24 million. The city is located on the Ottawa River in eastern Ontario and is connected by bridges to the neighboring town of Hull in Quebec. It was built under the name Bytown in 1826 in connection with the construction of the Rideau Canal (with connection to Lake Ontario), but changed its name in 1855 and became the capital of the state in 1867.

Ottawa is characterized by the central administration as well as universities and a large number of museums and federal institutions, such as the National Arts Center (theater, opera, concert hall), the National Gallery of Canada (with extensions (1988) by Moshe Safdie) and the impressive Musée Canadien des Civilizations in Hull. The 1800's timber and paper industries have almost disappeared and been replaced by high tech industries as well as banking, insurance and publishing companies.

After an extensive renovation of the city center in particular, which has been on a regular basis since the 1920's, Ottawa appears beautiful and clean with a marked set of parks and trails. The city's landmark is the Parliament Building with the Peace Tower by the 8 km long Rideau Canal, which in winter is used as a popular ice rink through the city. Establishing a light rail system, the Ottawa Light Rail Project, started in 2001. Together with foreign representations and a growing minority of Lebanese and Chinese, the many tourists give the city a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

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