Canada is an immense country. It is very diverse in its people, its landscape, its climate, and its way of life. However, Canadians do share the same important values. These values guide and influence much of our everyday life. These are values of pride, a belief in equality and diversity and respect for all individuals in society. Women, men, children and seniors are all equally respected in Canada. Canadians may be different from each other but it is these shared values that make Canada a friendly, caring, peace loving and secure society in which to live.

For nine consecutive years (1994-2002), a United Nations survey found Canada to be among the top three places in the world to live. Conducted every year, the survey evaluates quality of life in 174 countries, using over 200 performance indicators. Canada earned particularly high marks for its access to education, high life expectancy (due to universal health care system); and low crime and violence rates. Canada continues to remain in the top five on the list. In addition, Canada’s largest cities — Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal — have been recognized as world-class cities in which to live and work, for their cleanliness and safety and for their cultural activities and attractive lifestyles.

Canada continues to remain in the top five on the list. In addition, Canada’s largest cities — Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal — have been recognized as world-class cities in which to live and work, for their cleanliness and safety and for their cultural activities and attractive lifestyles.By 2017, 23% of Canada’s population will consist of visible minorities. China and India are Canada’s two largest sources of immigrants, but others include Korea, the Middle East and Western Asia. The country’s official policy of multiculturalism allows people to celebrate their ethnic heritage as well as promotes racial and social harmony. The effect has created a diversity of cultures, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto, where the most of the minorities live.

Canadians are proud of their multicultural heritage. In Canada, many different cultural and ethnic groups live and work together in harmony and tolerance. Canada’s diversity is encouraged by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Canadian Multiculturalism Act. These laws say that all Canadians are free to promote and share our multicultural heritage.

Another major component of Canada’s multicultural heritage is the existence of aboriginal people in Canada. Aboriginal people lived in Canada thousands of years before the first immigrants arrived. Aboriginal people of Canada enjoy certain additional rights to protect their cultures and languages and to become self-governing.