Trade and Market Information
Canada is a member of the World Trade Organization and the OECD, signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, the Washington Convention, the Basel Convention and the Montreal Protocol. The country is part of NAFTA, the NACC, OAS, the Commonwealth and APEC.
The country’s imports are regulated by the Canada Customs Act which means that the vast majority of goods do not require any approval under Canada’s highly liberalised trading system. Some terms, referred to as tariff quotas, still apply to wheat, barley, cheese and beef. Quotas may be obtained by applying for a General Import Licence from the Directorate of Import Control of the Ministry of International Trade. The customs tariff is 4.8%.
Due to Canada’s size many companies have established multiple warehouse and relay zones throughout the country. American brands like Costco, Wal-mart or Home Depot have radically changed Canadian distribution. Sobey and Loblaw are present in the food sector.
In Canada, road transport is very influential and accounts for 50% of all freight. The country’s largest port is located in Vancouver; one of the five largest ports in North America. Altogether, around 70 million tonnes of goods pass through Canadian ports each year.
The production of goods and services in the country is very varied and depends on the provinces :
|Alberta||Petrochemistry, oil sands|
|British Columbia||Natural gas|
|Manitoba||Canola and wheat|
|Saskatchewan||Mining and cereals|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Nickel, oil|
|New Brunswick||Pulp and paper|
|Prince Edward Island||Agriculture|
|Québec||Hydro-electric energy, aerospace, processing of metals and pharmaceutical products|
|Northwest Territories||Mining and oil exploration|
Canadian Border Services Agency
Canadian Customs Act
Canadian Foreign Affairs and International Trade of
Maritime Transport Administration
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority
Canadian Transportation Agency
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Canadian General Standards Board
Employment Legislation in Canada
The working week in Canada varies from 40 to 48 hours between provinces, and there is no statutory retirement age (except for firefighters, the military and judges). Employment contracts are governed by the law and collective bargaining agreements. The minimum wage also varies by province but the average annual salary is estimated at CAD38,998. Social security contributions vary according to the province.
About 30% of employees belong to trade unions, the main ones being FTQ, CSN, CLC-CLC, NUPGE, TCA-CAW and CUPE.
Intellectual Property Regime In Canada
|Type of rights||Text of Act||Validity of protection||Agreements signed|
|Patents||Patent laws||20 years|
|Brands||Laws on trademarks||Renewable every 15 years||Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services|
|Designs||Laws on Designs||Renewable every 5 years|
|Reproduction rights||Copyright laws||50 years after the author’s death||– Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
– Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers
– WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
|Industrial designs||Protection of industrial designs||5 years|
Canada Political Data
Executive power: the Governor General (currently David Lloyd Johnston) is appointed by the Queen of the United Kingdom. He appoints the (elected) Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers. The Government is headed by the Prime Minister and he and his Government remain in power for as long as they hold the majority in the House of Commons.
Legislative power: as in the United Kingdom, the system is bicameral. The Governor appoints the members of the Senate. Members of the House of Commons are appointed by general election. The majority of legislative practices are inspired by the British political system.
The main political parties in the Canada are :
- The Conservative Party
- The Liberal Party
- The New Democratic Party
- Bloc Québécois