Canada - Infrastructure, power, and communications

Canada has one of the best-developed infrastructures in the world. It meets the requirements for high-tech business and international trade. The telephone system is state-of-the-art and supported by a satellite system and 300 earth-based relay centers. There are also 5 international underwater cables (4 across the Atlantic and one across the Pacific). In addition, there are 750 Internet providers. All major cities have high-speed Internet capabilities. The nation's new CA*Net3 Internet system is scheduled to be completed in 2001. Canada has the lowest Internet access costs of the developed world. In 1997, there were an estimated 7-8 million Internet users, or about 1 in 4 Canadians.

Canada is an energy exporter. Its main exports are natural gas and oil. However, in 1998 the majority of electricity in Canada was produced by hydroelectric plants (59.77 percent). Fossil fuels provided the second-largest share of electricity with 27.18 percent of the total. Atomic power provided 12.25 percent. Total electric power production was 550.85 billion kilowatt hours (kWh). The nation consumed 484.51 billion kWh of electricity. It exported 39.5 billion kWh of power and imported 11.72 billion kWh of power.

Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
Canada 159 1,077 715 263.8 176 33.3 330.0 422.97 11,000
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
Mexico 97 325 261 15.7 35 3.0 47.0 23.02 1,822
Brazil 40 444 316 16.3 47 3.1 30.1 18.45 3,500
a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.
b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( ) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

The transport system is a blend of private and government-owned firms. Canada has 36,114 kilometers (22,441 miles) of railways, including 2 transcontinental systems. In 1995, the government privatized the freight carrier Canadian National. Passenger service is provided by the government-owned company VIA. There are 901,902 kilometers (560,442 miles) of roadways in the country, of which 318,371 kilometers (197,390 miles) are paved, including 16,571 kilometers (10,298 miles) of expressways. The nation's main east-west route is the 4,500-kilometer (2,796-mile) Trans-Canada Highway. All major cities have well-developed and inexpensive public transportation systems that are subsidized by provincial and local governments. The nation's trucking and rail systems are well-integrated with American distribution networks and vice versa. Each year some 400 million tons of goods are transported across Canadian highways. Trucks carry 70 percent of the goods that Canada annually exports to the United States. Canada has 1,411 airports, but only 515 have paved runways. Of these, 10 are international airports. There are also 15 heliports. U.S. and Canadian air carriers have unrestricted access to each other's airspace. Air Canada is the nation's major airline, but there are 25 U.S. and 47 other international airlines that fly into Canada. Air Canada controls 80 percent of the domestic market and this has led to higher than average air fares.

There are 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) of navigable waterways, including the massive Saint Lawrence Seaway which allows ocean-going vessels to sail from the Atlantic to ports such as Chicago and Thunder Bay, Ontario. There are 20 major ports, including Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Saint John, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, and Windsor. The busiest port is Vancouver, on the west coast. The nation's merchant marine consists of 114 ships, not including smaller vessels that travel only on the Great Lakes. Canada has an extensive network of pipelines to support its large energy industry. There are 23,564 kilometers (14,642 miles) of crude or refined oil pipelines and 74,980 kilometers (46,593 miles) of natural gas pipelines. Many of these pipelines deliver energy across the U.S.-Canada border.

Also read article about Canada from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: