A federal constitutional monarchy that is located on the northern half of the North American continent, and continues into the arctic circle and on towards the North Pole.
It has ten provinces, three territories, and is an officially bilingual and multicultural country (English and French), as both these ideals are enshrined in it's constitution. Canada is largely a resource economy, with vast reserves of natural gas, oil, nickel, uranium, and other minerals. Interesting fact: Canada at present emits more carbon into the atmosphere per capita than the United States.
At present, Canada does not have nuclear weapons capability, and has no plans to do so in the foreseeable future due to it's close proximity to a country with a huge nuclear capabilty that dwarfs all other nations.
Canada's rather small but disciplined military is playing a more active role in protecting it's northern boundaries, due to the untapped economic potential of natural resources and, interestingly, the possible future development of the North West passage as a viable direct transportation link between North America and Eurasia, as a result of global warning trends in that region.
Canada's forces are also playing an active role in Afghanistan (as of March 2007), where it's ground forces are engaged in fighting Taliban. This is a very devisive topic for many Canadians, many of them wondering why we are fighting a group of people who were at one time funded by the U.S. (see The Mujahadeen) to fight the Soviet Union (who were driven out). It's a country that has never been effectively patrolled / controlled by any modernized army.
The province of Quebec and it's status within Canada are always in the news limelight, and Canadians have grown used to being under the gun of separation. To be clear though, know this: Quebec is an old soul. Quebec (New France) was here before Canada, before the U.S.A. Before any other Europeans hatched their plans on the North American continent, These guys were mapping out the land and trading with the locals (aboriginals).
The English-speaking people of Canada are in almost every respect, exactly the same as citizens of the U.S.A., however there are differences in our religious and political beliefs that are worth mentioning to any who are interested.
In the U.S.A., expressing your religious beliefs is an affirmation of your faith. In Canada, your religious beliefs are considered a private affair between you and your god.
Politically, Canada and the U.S.A. are at polar opposites. Due to it's small economy compared to the U.S., Canada is heavily dependant on U.S. trade for it's very survival, but has taken a vastly different approach--mostly out of necessity--to economic influence and expansion. Canada favours trade deals, the U.S. also just loves to trade stuff, but does this via some interesting ideological tools known as "exporting democracy", and "preemption". But as long as you use their currency, America loves you. *Iran...ahem*
In Canada, compromise is de riguer and the general philosophy amongst Canadians could be "Live and Let Live", and "The rich get richer, and get taxed more heavily, so what's the fucking point?"
You're from Canada? Do you know Phil? He's from Toronto.