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Canada /ˈkænədə/ is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area. Canada's common border with the United States to the south and northwest is the longest in the world.

The land that is now Canada was inhabited for millennia by various groups of Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored, and later settled, along the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

Canada is a federation that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual nation with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. One of the world's highly developed countries, Canada has a diversified economy that is reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has had a long and complex relationship. It is a member of the G7, G-20, NATO, OECD, WTO, Commonwealth, Francophonie, OAS, APEC, and UN.

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Operation Tractable was the final CanadianPolish offensive to take place during the Battle of Normandy. Its aim was to capture the strategically important town of Falaise and subsequently the towns of Trun and Chambois. The operation was undertaken by the First Canadian Army against Germany's Army Group B, and was part of the largest encirclement on the Western Front during World War II. Despite a slow start to the offensive that was marked by limited gains north of Falaise, innovative tactics by Stanisław Maczek's Polish 1st Armoured Division during the drive for Chambois allowed for the Falaise gap to be partially closed by August 19, 1944, trapping close to 300,000 German soldiers in the Falaise Pocket.

Although the Falaise Gap had been narrowed to a distance of several hundred yards, a protracted series of fierce engagements between two battlegroups of the Polish 1st Armoured Division and the 2nd SS Panzer Corps on Mont Ormel prevented the gap from being completely closed, allowing thousands of German troops to escape out of Normandy. During two days of nearly continuous fighting, Polish forces utilized artillery barrages and close-quarter fighting managed to hold off counterattacks by elements of seven German divisions. On August 21, 1944, elements of the First Canadian Army relieved Polish survivors of the battle, and were able to finally close the Falaise Pocket, leading to the capture of the remaining elements of the German Seventh Army.

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Kathy Dunderdale 31May2011.jpg
Kathy Dunderdale (born February 1952) is a Canadian politician and the tenth and current Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, having served in this capacity since December 3, 2010. Dunderdale was born and raised in Burin, before entering politics she worked as a social worker and ran a consulting company along with her husband. Her first forray into politics was as a member of the Burin town council, where she served as deputy mayor. She was also a Progressive Conservative Party (PC) candidate in the 1993 general election and served as President of the PC Party.

In the 2003 general election, Dunderdale was elected as Member of the House of Assembly (MHA) for Virginia Waters. She served in the cabinets of Danny Williams—at various times holding the portfolios of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and Natural Resources—where she developed a reputation as one of the most high profile members of Williams' cabinets. Dunderdale became premier upon the resignation of Williams and is the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. Dunderdale is the first female premier in the province's history and the sixth woman to serve as a premier in the history of Canada.

In the news

19 August 2018 – Premiership of Justin Trudeau, Illegal immigration to Canada
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuts down a woman who heckled him about illegal immigration, telling her that “racism has no place” in Canada. (The Hill)
16 August 2018 – Elections in Canada, Premiership of Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dismisses speculation that he would call an early election this fall and states that his government remains focused on renegotiating NAFTA and strengthening the economy. (Reuters)
10 August 2018 – Fredericton shooting
At least four people, including two police officers, are killed in a mass shooting in Fredericton, Canada. (BBC)
8 August 2018 – Canada–Saudi Arabia relations
Saudi Press Agency reports that all Saudi patients are being transferred from Canadian hospitals to other medical facilities outside Canada. (Al Jazeera)

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Viola cucullata

Viola cucullata (Hooded Blue Violet, Marsh Blue Violet or Purple Violet) is a species of the genus Viola native to eastern North America, from Newfoundland west to Ontario and Minnesota, and south to Georgia. The purple violet is the provincial flower of New Brunswick...

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View of downtown Calgary, Canada, as seen from Crescent Heights bluff during sunset.

Panoramic view of Calgary
Credit: Calgarypano

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