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Introduction: A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown. Economically and technologically, the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across the World's longest unfortified border. Canada faces the political challenges of meeting public demands for quality improvements in health care, and education, social services, and economic competitiveness, as well as responding to the particular concerns of predominantly francophone Quebec. Canada also aims to develop its diverse energy resources while maintaining its commitment to...

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Political Conditions: The Conservative Party leader, Stephen Harper, was sworn in as Canada's twenty-second Prime Minister on February 6, 2006, succeeding Paul Martin of the Liberal Party. Harper rose from the ranks of Progressive Conservative political party staffers, and was a member of Parliament for the defunct Reform Party and Canadian Alliance. He was elected the first leader of the Conservative Party of Canada ...

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International Relations: Relations with neighbours

Canada has particularly close relations with its immediate neighbour, the United States of America. US President Barack Obama made his first official overseas visit to Canada in February 2009. The United States is Canada’s main trading partner and with Mexico, comprise the North America Free Trade Association (NAFTA). Canada and the US are both members of NATO. The United States remains Canada's most important bilateral relationship, which includes joint Canadian and US membership of the NORAD defence alliance.

Canadian relations with the international community

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