Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario shortened to Ontario PC Party, PC, or Conservatives, is a centre-right political party in Ontario, Canada. The party has been led by Premier Doug Ford since March 10, 2018, it has governed the province for 80 of the 151 years since Confederation, including an uninterrupted run from 1943 to 1985. It holds a majority government in the 42nd Parliament of Ontario; the first Conservative Party in Upper Canada was made up of United Empire Loyalists and supporters of the wealthy Family Compact that ruled the colony. Once responsible government was granted in response to the 1837 Rebellions, the Tories emerged as moderate reformers who opposed the radical policies of the Reformers and the Clear Grits; the modern Conservative Party originated in the Liberal-Conservative coalition founded by Sir John A. Macdonald and George-Étienne Cartier in 1854, it is a variant of this coalition that formed the first government in Ontario with John Sandfield Macdonald as Premier.
Until becoming the Progressive Conservatives in 1942, the party was known as the Liberal-Conservative Association of Ontario, reflecting its Liberal-Conservative origins, but became known as the Conservative Party. John Sandfield Macdonald was a Liberal and sat concurrently as a Liberal Party of Canada MP in the House of Commons of Canada but he was an ally of John A. Macdonald, his government was a true coalition of Liberals and Conservatives under his leadership but soon the more radical Reformers bolted to the opposition and Sandfield Macdonald was left leading what was a Conservative coalition that included some Liberals under the Liberal-Conservative banner. After losing power in 1871, this Conservative coalition began to dissolve. What was a party that included Catholics and Protestants became an exclusively English and Protestant party and more dependent on the Protestant Orange Order for support, for its leadership; the party became opposed to funding for separate schools, opposed to language rights for French-Canadians, distrustful of immigrants.
Paradoxically, an element of the party gained a reputation for being pro-labour as a result of links between the Orange Order and the labour movement. After 33 years in Opposition, the Tories returned to power under James P. Whitney, who led a progressive administration in its development of the province; the Whitney government initiated massive public works projects such as the creation of Ontario Hydro. It enacted reactionary legislation against the French-Canadian population in Ontario; the Tories were in power for all but five years from 1905 to 1934. After the death of Whitney in 1914, they lacked vision and became complacent; the Tories lost power to the United Farmers of Ontario in the 1919 election but were able to regain office in 1923 election due to the UFO's disintegration and divisions in the Ontario Liberal Party. They were defeated by Mitch Hepburn's Liberals in 1934 due to their inability to cope with the Great Depression. Late in the 1930s and early in the 1940s, the Conservatives developed new policies.
Rather than continue to oppose government spending and intervention, a policy which hurt the party politically in the time of the Great Depression, the Conservatives changed their policies to support government action where it would lead to economic growth. The party changed its name to the "Progressive Conservative" party after its federal counterpart changed its name to the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in December 1942 on the insistence of its new leader, John Bracken, whose roots were in the populist Progressive Party; the Conservatives took advantage of Liberal infighting to win a minority government in the 1943 provincial election, reducing the Liberals to third-party status. Drew called another election in 1945, only two years into his mandate; the Tories played up Cold War tensions to win a landslide majority, though it emerged several years that the Tory government had set up a secret department of the Ontario Provincial Police to spy on the opposition and the media. The party would dominate Ontario politics for the next four decades.
Under Drew and his successor, Leslie Frost, the Party was a strong champion of rural issues but invested in the development of civil works throughout the province, including the construction of the 400 series of highways, beginning with the 401 across Toronto. In 1961, John Robarts became the 17th premier of Ontario, he was one of the most popular premiers in years. Under Robarts' lead, the party epitomized power, he was an advocate of individual freedoms and promoted the rights of the provinces against what he saw as the centralizing initiatives of the federal government, while promoting national unity against Quebec separatism. He hosted the 1967 "Confederation of Tomorrow" conference in Toronto in an unsuccessful attempt to achieve an agreement for a new Constitution of Canada. Robarts opposed Canadian medicare when it was proposed, but endorsed it and the party implemented the public health care system that continues to this day, he led the party towards a civil libertarian movement. As a strong believer in the promotion of both official languages, he opened the door to French education in Ontario schools.
In 1971, Bill Davis became the 18th premier. Anti-Catholicism became an issue again in the 1971 election, when the Tories campaigned strenuously against a Liberal proposal to extend funding for Catholic separate schools until Grade 13. Davis reversed himself in 1985, enacted the funding extension as one of his last acts before l
Ontario New Democratic Party
The Ontario New Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in Ontario, Canada. The Ontario NDP, led by Andrea Horwath since March 2009 forms the Official Opposition in Ontario following the 2018 general election, it is a provincial section of the federal New Democratic Party. It was formed in October 1961 from the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and the Ontario Federation of Labour. For many years, the Ontario NDP was the most successful provincial NDP branch outside the national party's western heartland, it had its first breakthrough under its first leader, Donald C. MacDonald in the 1967 provincial election, when the party elected 20 Members of Provincial Parliament to the Ontario Legislative Assembly. After the 1970 leadership convention, Stephen Lewis became leader, guided the party to Official Opposition status in 1975, the first time since the Ontario CCF did it twice in the 1940s. After the party's disappointing performance in the 1977 provincial election, that included losing second party status, Lewis stepped down and Michael Cassidy was elected leader in 1978.
Cassidy led the party through the 1981 election. The party did poorly again, Cassidy resigned. In 1982, Bob Rae was elected leader. Under his leadership, in 1985, the party held the balance-of-power with the signing of an accord with the newly elected Liberal minority government. After the 1987 Ontario general election, the ONDP became the Official Opposition again; the 1990 Ontario general election produced the ONDP's breakthrough first government in 1990. The victory produced the first NDP provincial government east of Manitoba, but it took power just when Canada's economy was in a recession, as a result of unpopular economic policies it was defeated in 1995. Rae stepped down as leader in 1996. Howard Hampton was elected leader in at the 1996 Hamilton convention, led the party through three elections. Hampton's period as leader saw the ONDP lose official party status twice: after the 1999 and 2003 elections, he was able to regain party status the first time after the governing Progressive Conservatives revised party status requirements in accordance with that election's reduction in the number of seats in the legislature, the second time after winning a string of by-elections in the mid-2000s.
The party maintained party status after the 2007 Ontario general election and he stepped down as leader in 2009. Andrea Horwath replaced him after she was elected leader at the 2009 leadership convention in Hamilton. Under her leadership in the 2011 Ontario general election, the party elected 17 MPPs to the legislature and in the 2014 Ontario general election, the party elected 21 MPPs. Under Horwath, the party achieved its second highest seat count when it formed the Official Opposition with 40 MPPs after the 2018 Ontario general election; the NDP's predecessor, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, was a democratic socialist political party, founded in 1932. The Ontario CCF in turn was indirectly the successor to the 1919–23 United Farmers of Ontario–Labour coalition that formed the government in Ontario under Ernest C. Drury; as the Ontario Co-operative Commonwealth Federation under Ted Jolliffe as their first leader, the party nearly won the 1943 provincial election, winning 34 seats and forming the official opposition for the first time.
Two-years they would be reduced to 8 seats. The final glory for the Ontario CCF came in the 1948 provincial election, when party elected 21 MPPs, again formed the official opposition, they were able to defeat Premier George A. Drew in his own constituency, when the CCF's Bill Temple won in High Park though the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario won another majority government; the breaking point for the Ontario CCF came in 1951. They were reduced to two MPP's in that year's provincial election, never recovered. In the two remaining elections while it existed, the party never had more than five members in the legislature. Jolliffe resigned as leader in 1953. Donald C. MacDonald became leader in 1953, spent the next fifteen years rebuilding the party, from two seats when he took over the party's helm, to ten times that number when he stepped down in 1970. Delegates from the Ontario CCF, delegates from affiliated union locals, delegates from New Party Clubs took part in the founding convention of the New Democratic Party of Ontario held in Niagara Falls at the Sheraton Brock hotel from 7–9 October 1961 and elected MacDonald as their leader.
The Ontario CCF Council ceased to exist formally on Sunday, 8 October 1961, when the newly elected NDP executive took over. The Ontario NDP picked up seats through the 1960s, it achieved a breakthrough in the 1967 provincial election, when its popular vote rose from 15% to 26%. The party increased its presence in the legislature from 8 to 20 seats. In that election the party ran on the themes of the cost of living, tax distribution, education costs, Canadian unity, housing. Stephen Lewis took over the party's leadership in 1970, the NDP's popularity continued to grow. With the 1975 provincial election, the governing Progressive Conservative party was reduced to a minority government for the first time in thirty years; the charismatic and dynamic Lewis ran a strong election campaign that forced the Tories to promise to implement the NDP's rent control policies. The NDP overtook the Liberals to become the Official Opposition with 29 % of the vote. However, the Tories retained power as a minority government.
Hopes were high tha
1985 Ontario general election
The Ontario general election of 1985 was held on May 2, 1985, to elect members of the 33rd Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, Canada. The Progressive Conservatives won the most seats, but not a majority. Shortly after, the Progressive Conservatives' 42 years of governance in Ontario came to an end via a confidence vote defeating Premier Frank Miller's minority government. David Peterson's Liberals formed a minority government with the support of Bob Rae's NDP. Near Thanksgiving of 1984, longstanding Premier Bill Davis announced that he would be stepping down as Premier and leader of the Ontario PCs in early 1985. Davis, in office since 1971, had rung up a string of electoral victories by pursuing a moderate agenda and relying on the skill of the Big Blue Machine team of advisors. Davis, who remained popular throughout his term in office, would unveil a surprise legacy project: Full funding for Ontario's separate Catholic school system, which would become known as Bill 30; this decision was supported by both other parties, but was unpopular amongst the Tory base.
The subsequent leadership race saw. The moderate and urban wing was represented by second-place finisher Larry Grossman; the more conservative rural faction backed eventual victor Frank Miller. After Miller's victory at the convention the party factions failed to reconcile. Despite these problems, the PCs remained far ahead in the polls, when Miller called an election just six weeks after becoming premier, he was some twenty percentage points ahead of the Liberals. Over the campaign the Tory lead began to shrink as the Liberals waged a effective campaign. Part way into the campaign, the separate schools question re-emerged when the Anglican prelate of Toronto, Archbishop Lewis Garnsworthy, held a news conference on the issue where he compared Bill Davis' methods in pushing through the reform to Adolf Hitler: "This is how Hitler changed education in Germany, by the same process, by decree. I won't take that back.". Garnsworthy was much criticized for his remarks, but the issue was revived, alienating the conservative base, some of whom chose to stay home on election day.
The election held May 2, 1985 ended in a stalemate. The PCs emerged with a much-reduced caucus of 52 seats; the Liberals won 48 seats, but won more of the popular vote. The NDP held the balance of power with 25 seats. Despite taking 14 seats from the PCs, the result was something of a disappointment for the Liberals, as they felt they had their first realistic chance of winning government in recent memory; the NDP was disappointed by the election result. It had been nearly tied with the Liberals for popular support for several years, had hoped to surpass them; the PCs intended to remain in power with a minority government, as they had done on two occasions under Davis' leadership. Rae and the NDP had little interest in supporting a continuation of PC rule, began negotiations on May 13 to reach an agreement with the Liberals. Rae and Peterson signed an Accord May 29 that would see a number of NDP priorities put into law in exchange for an NDP motion of non-confidence in Miller's government, the NDP's support of the Liberals.
The NDP agreed to support a Liberal minority government for two years, the Liberals agreed not to call an election during that time. Miller, apprised of negotiations, considered a plan to address the province on television two days before the throne speech, disown funding for Catholic schools, announce he was meeting with the Lieutenant Governor to request an election before a confidence vote could take place. While believing that the Lieutenant Governor would have to call an election if requested before the confidence vote, Miller refused, believing the party's finances to be too fragile for a second campaign, that repudiating a key Davis policy would tear the party apart. On June 18, 1985, the PCs were defeated by the passage of a motion of no confidence introduced by Rae. Lieutenant-Governor John Black Aird asked Peterson to form a government. Miller resigned eight days and Peterson's minority government was sworn in the same day; the Revolutionary Workers League fielded one candidate. Algoma: Bud Wildman 7575 Jim Thibert 3694 Bryan McDougall 2995Algoma—Manitoulin: John Lane 7174 Tom Farquhar 4704 Len Hembruf 3309Armourdale: Bruce McCaffrey 13394 Gino Matrundola 13182 Bob Hebdon 5429 Simon Srdarev 456Beaches—Woodbine: Marion Bryden 12672 Paul Christie 7301 Sally Kelly 5065 Steve Thistle 396Bellwoods: Ross McClellan 8088 Walter Bardyn 6655 Bento de Sao Jose 1964 Ronald Rodgers 324Brampton: Bob Callahan 25656 Jeff Rice 21239 Terry Gorman 8313 Jim Bridgewood 531 Dave Duqette 500Brantford: Phil Gillies 13444 Jack Tubman 12303 Herb German 6533Brant—Oxford—Haldimand: Robert Nixon 15317 Ian Birnie 5817 Irene Heltner 3487Brock: Peter Partington 9741 Bill Andres 9081 Robert Woolston 3867 Brian Dolby 755Burlington South: Cam Jackson 16479 Doug Redfearn 11822 Walter Mukewich 10820Cambridge: Bill Barlow 12888 Alec Dufresne 11985 Bob Jeffrey 7083Carleton: Bob Mitchell 17732 Hans Daigeler 15093 Bea Murray 7165Carleton East: Gilles Morin 23221 Bob MacQuarrie 16188 Joan Gullen 8829Carleton-Grenville: Norm Sterling 15524 Dan Maxwell 8019 Alan White 3468Chatham—Kent: Maurice Bossy 10340 Andy Watson 9206 Ron Franko 5535Cochrane North: René Fontaine 8793 René
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is one of two components of the Legislature of Ontario, the other being the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. The Legislative Assembly is the second largest Canadian provincial deliberative assembly by number of members after the National Assembly of Quebec; the Assembly meets at the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen's Park in the provincial capital of Toronto. As at the federal level in Canada, Ontario uses a Westminster-style parliamentary government, in which members are elected to the Legislative Assembly through general elections, from which the Premier of Ontario and Executive Council of Ontario are appointed based on majority support; the premier is Ontario's head of government, while the Lieutenant Governor, as representative of the Queen, acts as head of state. The largest party not forming the government is known as the Official Opposition, its leader being recognized as Leader of the Opposition by the Speaker; the Ontario Legislature is sometimes referred to as the "Ontario Provincial Parliament".
Members of the assembly refer to themselves as "Members of the Provincial Parliament" as opposed to "Members of the Legislative Assembly" as in many other provinces. Ontario is the only province to do so, in accordance with a resolution passed in the Assembly on April 7, 1938. However, the Legislative Assembly Act refers only to "members of the Assembly"; the current assembly was elected on June 2018, as part of the 42nd Parliament of Ontario. Owing to the location of the Legislative Building on the grounds of Queen's Park, the metonym "Queen's Park" is used to refer to both the Government of Ontario and the Legislative Assembly. In accordance with the traditions of the Westminster system, most laws originate with the cabinet, are passed by the legislature after stages of debate and decision-making. Ordinary Members of the Legislature may introduce play an integral role in scrutinizing bills in debate and committee and amending bills presented to the legislature by cabinet. Members are expected to be loyal to both their parliamentary party and to the interests of their constituents.
In the event of conflict, duty to the parliamentary party takes precedence. Party loyalty is enforced by the chief government whip. In the Ontario legislature this confrontation provides much of the material for Oral Questions and Members' Statements. Legislative scrutiny of the executive is at the heart of much of the work carried out by the Legislature's Standing Committees, which are made up of ordinary backbenchers. A Member's day will be divided among participating in the business of the House, attending caucus and committee meetings, speaking in various debates, or returning to his or her constituency to address the concerns and grievances of constituents. Depending on personal inclination and political circumstances, some Members concentrate most of their attention on House matters while others focus on constituency problems, taking on something of an ombudsman's role in the process, it is the task of the legislature to provide the personnel of the executive. As noted, under responsible government, ministers of the Crown are expected to be Members of the Assembly.
When a political party comes to power it will place its more experienced parliamentarians into the key cabinet positions, where their parliamentary experience may be the best preparation for the rough and tumble of political life in government. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is the first and the only legislature in Canada to have a Coat of Arms separate from the provincial coat of arms. Green and gold are the principal colours in the shield of arms of the province; the Mace is the traditional symbol of the authority of the Speaker. Shown on the left is the current Mace. On the right is the original Mace from the time of the first parliament in 1792; the crossed Maces are joined by the shield of arms of Ontario. The crown on the wreath represents provincial loyalties; the griffin, an ancient symbol of justice and equity, holds a calumet, which symbolizes the meeting of spirit and discussion that Ontario's First Nations believe accompanies the use of the pipe. The deer represent the natural riches of the province.
The Loyalist coronets at their necks honour the original British settlers in Ontario who brought with them the British parliamentary form of government. The Royal Crowns, left 1992, right 1792, recognize the parliamentary bicentennial and represent Ontario's heritage as a constitutional monarchy, they were granted as a special honour by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the recommendation of the Governor General. In the base, the maple leaves are for Canada, the trilliums for Ontario and the roses for York, the provincial capital. Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly are broadcast to Ontario cable television subscribers by the Ontario Parliament Network. A late-night rebroadcast of Question Period is aired on the provincial public broadcaster TVOntario; the 1st Parliament of Ontario was in session from September 3, 1867, until February 25, 1871, just prior to the 1871 general election. This was the first session of the Legislature after Confederation succeeding the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada.
The 1867 general election produced a tie between the Conservative Party led by John Sandfield Macdonald and the Liberal Party led by Archibald McKellar. Macdonald led a coalition government with the support of moderate Liberals; the Legislative Assembly was established by the British North Am
Orleans, is a suburb of Ottawa, Canada. It is located in the eastern part of the city along the Ottawa River, about 16 km from downtown Ottawa; the Canada 2011 Census determined that Orleans' population was 107,823. Prior to being amalgamated into Ottawa in 2001, the community of Orleans was spread over two municipal jurisdictions, the eastern portion being in the pre-amalgamation City of Cumberland, the western portion in the City of Gloucester. According to the 2016 census, 69,178 people lived in the Cumberland portion of Orleans, while 47,510 people lived in the Gloucester portion. Today, Orleans spans the municipal wards of Orléans and Cumberland. Orleans contains a significant francophone minority, although this has been declining in recent decades; the community is thought to have been named by its first postmaster, Théodore Besserer, after his place of birth, the Île d'Orléans near Quebec City. Orléans was an incorporated police village from 1922 to 1974 and was known as St. Joseph d'Orléans.
The name corresponds to the main francophone Roman Catholic Church, Paroisse St-Joseph, of which the older part of Orléans is built around, along St-Joseph Boulevard. Orléans inspired the name of one its main roads, Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard, which wraps its way around the community. Jeanne d'Arc was a 15th-century martyr who led the French army to victory in France. A rural area for a great number of years, the first major suburban subdivision constructed in the community was the Queenswood Heights development starting in the late 1960s. Orléans has continued its steady growth as a suburban community since that time. Orléans has French-speaking population of over 30%; the community's name is spelled with an acute accent in French in the relevant regulation to the City of Ottawa Act, reflective of the area's francophone heritage. Commercial growth started along St. Joseph Boulevard and included Place d'Orléans, a large shopping centre with over 175 stores situated off Ottawa Regional Road 174. Place d'Orléans was constructed in 1979 and underwent major expansions in 1984, 1988, 1990 to arrive at its current size and configuration.
Newer business areas along Innes Road between Tenth Line Road and Mer Bleue Road, in the vicinity of Trim Road on the eastern end of the area, have many large retail outlets. The country-wide housing boom starting from 2000 has seen an large amount of housing and residential areas being developed in the eastern Orléans area west of Trim Road and south of Innes Road, such as the new community called Avalon; the population and business growth forced the improvement of Innes Road from a two-lane to a four-lane road in 2005. The Elizabeth Manley skating rink at the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex is named for figure skater Elizabeth Manley who trained at the facility. Manley won a Silver Medal in Women's figure skating in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, it is the Canadian Academy of Skating Arts. The skating club is well known for sending skaters to international level competitions; the Ray Friel Recreational Complex in the more eastern part of Orléans is home to a public library, Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School, an indoor wave pool, exercising facilities, a physiotherapy clinic, a sports store, a restaurant, two soccer fields and three skating arenas making it one of the main centres for recreation in Orléans.
In 2009, the Shenkman Arts Centre opened just east of Place d'Orléans. It is a multidisciplinary arts centre that houses a concert hall, black-box theatre, several art galleries and studio spaces for both visual and performing arts. Along the Ottawa River in the north-east of Orléans, is the parkland of Petrie Island; the parkland is located on several small islands connected by a north-south roadway. The islands are sandbars developed over time in the river. There was a facility extracting sand from the islands, but this has been closed and converted into a large beach area. Petrie Island is home to turtles in some of its sheltered lagoons and has a nature centre for learning more about the local environment. One section of Petrie Island has several homes, but the area is parkland. There is a marina with kayak rentals. Petrie Island is host to annual Canada Day celebrations for the Orléans community. There are several nature trails and paths throughout the area including the Bilberry Creek Trail and the Princess Louise Trail through which Taylor Creek runs.
The trail leads to a beautiful waterfall near St-Joseph Boulevard. A memorial diorama by Bruce Garner was erected August 13, 2000 in the Memorial Park near Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 632 to remember those who have served Canada in wars and as peace keepers. Avalon: Located south of Innes Road, west of Portobello Boulevard and east of Tenth Line Road. Bilberry Creek: Located east of Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard, north of Highway 174 and east towards the eastern end of the development. Cardinal Creek: Located north of Innes Road, west of Cardinal Creek and St-Joseph Blvd. Western boundary overlaps with Fallingbrook. Chapel Hill North: Located north of Innes Road in the Orléans Boulevard area and south of St-Joseph Boulevard. Chapel Hill South: Located south of Innes Road, north of Navan Road. Chaperal: Located south of Innes Rd and north of Blackburn Hamlet Bypass, on Tenth Line Road. Chateau Neuf: Is bounded by St-Joseph Boulevard on Innes Road on the south; the eastern border includes Jeanne d'Arc-Sunview-Des Grives-Barsona-Place Belleterre-Duford Drive, Orléans Boulevard bord
Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. 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 parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000