Canada

From Hitchwiki
Revision as of 01:02, 5 July 2007 by Maplefanta (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Canada is the northernmost country of North America and is composed of ten provinces and three territories. English and French are the two official languages of the country, English being spoken by 2/3 of the population is the majority language in most provinces while French is the main official language in the province of Quebec but widely spoken in New Brunswick and some areas of Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba. Inuktitut is the main language in Nunavut and has official status there but English is widely spoken. So for the convenience of the common hitchhiker these provinces and territories are discussed in detail along with their capitals in the following pages.

The vast majority of the population lives in harmony within their vast country, this has been enabled by the size of the country which allowed people to live using their own belief, languages or religion without necesserily being bothered by anybody else in a 'Live and let live' motto. Therefore, hate crime are absent and major difference clash more rare but especially existing during some specific peak situation usually caused by an intern political tumult. It might be useful for a traveller to know if there is an important referendum or political crisis going on, deciding on the future of the country as your accent might 'tag' you to one or another of the country's nation and therefore become a ball and chain. For example, it might not always be of good help to be White in some First Nation reserves, sounding French in some parts of the country or English in others during a National Referendum or Election time. As many people might think you are from the other part of the country when aboarding them and be less keen to help.

Canada is a wide country where many visitors do not really realise its scale prior to their arrival and neither realise the various extreme temperature that can suddenly happen and hit at different season. Certain nothern rural regions in each provinces are inhabited by a scarce or even absent permanent population. It might not always be bright to adventure yourself into some wild or less inhabited part of the country without the proper equipement nor having registered yourself to some local authorities prior to do such journey. As a simple reminder, the density of population is about 3,2 habitants/km² and about 75% of that population lives in the south by the border with the USA. It is common and normal in some part of the country to drive few hundreds km without any living soul in the area. Noneless to say, even if the country bear some similitude with its southern and only neighbour, the United States, the cultural and life approach of the population is quite unique.

Communication

The best and cheapest way is to contact people in the area you are is to find the nearest phone booth, there are usually plenty within in a city and usually at every petrol station, shops or restaurant. Unlike many countries, they are always in good condition and reliable so always make sure to have a few 'quarter' available. Local calls costs a 'quarter' (25 cents) although for some stupid historical and economical reasons, in some areas some phone booths will belong to another company and what seems to be a local call will in fact be a 'long distance call' and will request an higher amount. If the person you are trying to contact is expecting a call from you, it would be worth to contact them 'collect'. It usually cost less than the amount requested in the phone booth and it is normal practice (not for mobile phone!) to receive and accept collect call. To do a collect call, simply dial '0' and follow the instructions.

Mobile phone are not widely spread within the country and the networks are expensive, unreliable, primitive and only cover certain urban areas. A mobile phone user usually pay to make call and to receive call, he will also usually have no signal when he reaches the nearest mountains or hills.

Internet cafés are rare and will be only existing in main urban and touristic centre. They are usually not used by locals, so it is possible that nobody knows if there is one in the surrounding. In rural areas, Internet might not even exists or be limited to dial-up only. Colleges and Universities are usually providing huge computer classes for their students but those are only accessible with username and password, it might be worth to ask though.


Newfoundland and LabradorSt. John's
Nova ScotiaHalifax
New BrunswickFredericton
QuebecQuebec city,Montreal
OntarioToronto,Ottawa
ManitobaWinnipeg
SaskatchewanReginaSaskatoon
AlbertaEdmontonCalgary
British ColumbiaVictoriaVancouver
YukonWhitehorse
Northwest TerritoriesYellowknife
NunavutIqaluit