Cabinet of ministers of Ukraine
National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine
Department of world agriculture and foreign
discipline: ”business protocol”
on topic: ”About Canada”
5th year student
1. About Canada
2. Business Dress
4. First Name or Title?
5. Gift Giving. Selecting and presenting an
appropriate business gift
6. Let's Make a Deal!
7. Prosperous Entertaining
8. Public Behaviour
Population: According to Canada's 2006 census, 31,612,897 people call Canada home, an increase of 5.4% since 2001. Population
growth is due to immigration and, to a lesser extent, natural growth. About three-quarters
of Canada's population lives within 150 kilometres of the US border.
Language: Canada's two official languages are English and French. Official Bilingualism
in Canada is the law. English and French have equal status in federal courts, Parliament,
and in all federal institutions. The public has the right, where there is sufficient
demand, to receive federal government services in either English or French, and
official language minorities are guaranteed their own schools in all provinces and
Capital: Ottawa is the capital of Canada; it is the country’s fourth largest city, with
a population of 812,129, according to Canada’s 2006 census.
Administrative Divisions: Canada is a federation comprised of ten provinces and
three territories. It is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy
with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual and multicultural
country, with both English and French as official languages at the federal level.
Government: Canada's Parliament consists of a Monarch and a bicameral legislature: an elected
House of Commons and an appointed Senate. The government is comprised of the party
with a plurality of seats in the House of Commons, ie., more seats than any other
party. Presently, the Conservative Party makes up the current government having
won the federal election of October 14, 2008 with a plurality of 143 seats out of
possible 308. Because it only holds a minority government, the Conservative Party
has had to rely on other parties to help pass its legislation. Prior to the Conservative
Party’s first victory in 2006, the Liberal Party had held power for 13 consecutive
years with three majority governments. The Conservative Party’s breakthrough was
the first ever electoral victory for a right-of-centre party in a federal election.
Traditionally, the left-of-centre Liberal Party could rely on the vast majority
of seats from the ultra-moderate province of Ontario, where nearly 40% of the nation’s
population resides. In the 1993 federal election the Liberal Party had won 98 out
of a possible 99 seats in Ontario, and 101 seats out of 103 in the 2000 election. However, after the “Unite the Right" movement was successful in merging
the right-of-centre Canadian Alliance Party and the moderate Progressive Conservative
Party in 2003, the Liberals were not as successful in Ontario, winning only 75 out
of a possible 108 seats in the 2004 election. In the 2006 election, the Conservative
Party won 40 seats out of 108 in Ontario-the then best showing for any right-of-centre
party in decades in Ontario. In the 2008 election, the Conservatives won 51 seats.
Undoubtedly, in the 2006 election the Conservative Party’s improved showing in Ontario was caused in part by a major scandal involving the Liberal Party’s misappropriation
of over $100 million of government funds in Quebec related to advertising contracts.
As a result, voters in Quebec abandoned the Liberal Party in droves reducing its
seats in that province to 13 in 2006 from 21 in the 2004 election. The Conservative Party was able to gain 10 seats in Quebec, the most a moderate-to-conservative
party was able to win in Quebec in four previous federal elections.
Unlike the system of government in the United States, where citizens vote separately for the President and their local candidate for the House
of Representatives, in the Parliamentary system of government such as Canada’s, a citizen votes only for his or her local representative. This has the effect of combining
power between both the executive and legislative branches of government. Executive
power is exercised by the Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers, all of whom are
sworn into the Queen's Privy Council for Canada to become Ministers of the Crown
and responsible to the elected House of Commons.
The Prime Minister and Cabinet are formally
appointed by the Governor General (who is the Monarch's representative in Canada). However, the Prime Minister chooses the Cabinet, and by convention, the Governor General
respects the Prime Minister's choices. There is no committee that confirms or disconfirms
the Prime Minister’s choice of a cabinet minister.
The Prime Minister exercises vast political power, especially
in the appointment of government officials, civil servants, Supreme Court and provincial
appellate justices, as well as appointments to various boards, commissions, tribunals,
crown corporations, and even the Senate-all with little or no oversight. This has
led many critics inside and outside of government circles to argue for some controls/oversight
on the vast amount of patronage positions afforded the Prime Minister’s Office.
This power was cited by many critics as the reason for the corruption scandal which
rocked the Liberal Party in 2004. The current Prime Minister has said that he intends
to put oversight mechanisms in place to restore public confidence in government.
To that end, against intense opposition from the Liberal Party and in the halls
of academia, in February 2006 Canada saw its first-ever public hearing of a proposed
Supreme Court justice. Marshall Rothstein was eventually approved
in the same month.
General elections are called by the Governor General when the
Prime Minister so advises. While there is no minimum term for a Parliament, a new
election must be called within five years of the last general election. Increasingly,
provincial governments are passing laws implementing set election dates to restore
confidence in government after the scandal that put the Liberal Party out of office
after the 2006 election. Ontario is holding its first set election date on October
10, 2011. The federal government under the Conservative Party passed similar legislation
but then called an election only two years later citing the world recession as the
reason. In the past, provincial and federal governments have called surprise elections
for no other reason than to take advantage of their leads in the polls. Set election
dates are seen to be fairer to opposition parties. Members of the Senate, whose
seats are apportioned on a regional basis, are chosen by the Prime Minister and
formally appointed by the Governor General. This has been a continuing subject of
controversy. It has been argued that the upper chamber of a bi-cameral system of
government should be “Triple E”, i. e., elected, effective and equal among the provinces.
Currently, the Senate is made up of former cabinet ministers and MP’s, ex-premiers,
etc., and other party loyalists. Critics have argued that unelected Senators have
no moral authority to block proposed legislation of elected members of the House
of Commons. The current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has proposed that when a
Senator retires, the person that fills that seat should be elected. The proposal
has run into stiff opposition from many quarters who have cited constitutional grounds,
as from provincial premiers, who would rather be seen as the voice of their respective
regions rather than elected Senators.
Economy: Canada, one of the world's wealthiest nations with a high per capita income,
is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
and Group of Eight (G8). Canada is a free market economy with slightly more government
intervention than in the United States, but much less than most European nations.
Canada has traditionally had a lower per capita gross domestic product (GDP) than
its southern neighbour but higher than the large western European economies. Since
the early 1990's, the Canadian economy has been growing rapidly with low unemployment
and large government surpluses on the federal level. Today Canada closely resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high
living standards. As of October 2009, Canada's national unemployment rate stands
at 6.3% and is still low compared with other industrialized nations. According to
the OECD’s 2003 ranking of nations by GDP, Canada came in 8th, well above Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. Canada is one of the few developed nations that
is a net exporter of energy. Atlantic Canada has vast offshore deposits of natural
gas and large oil and gas resources are centred in Alberta. The vast Athabasca Tar
Sands give Canada the world's second largest reserves of oil behind Saudi Arabia.
canada public behaviour
Canadians usually dress in dark business suits in the winter
and in somewhat lighter suits in the Spring and Summer. For instance, instead of
charcoal grey, navy blue and black, Canadians are more likely to dress in beige,
medium grey and blue in the warmer months.
Dress codes depend on the context. Like other western countries,
dress is becoming increasingly casual. That said, a business suit is still expected
at a meeting with other professionals.
It’s often been said about Canadians that while they are polite,
they are not a friendly people compared, that is, to their American cousins. Canadians
pride themselves on their tolerance and of being non-judgmental, which means that
Canadians often times prefer not to express opinions on various subjects for fear
of offending, which, to many Canadians, is seen as a faux pas. Do not expect a passionate
debate on any issue from a Canadian. It’s just not in the national DNA.
Perhaps the movie Crazy People, a 1990 movie starring Dudley
Moore, will help to put some perspective on Canadians. As a burnt-out advertising
executive whose mental breakdown lands him in a psychiatric hospital, the character
played by Moore, eventually recovers his mental health and is inspired to make truthful
advertisements, such as in an ad for Volvo which proclaims, "Volvo. They're
boxy, but they're good." When he was handed the account for Canada, Moore racked his brains for days on end and lost many nights of sleep before he finally
came up with this slogan: “Canada, it’s not as boring as you think." While
some Canadians might take issue with that slogan, many would not. Woven into the
cultural fabric is an avoidance of argument and ideology, and an acute acceptance
of appeals to put our self-interests aside in favour of the greater good. While
Canadians might sound and look like Americans at first glance, we are very different.
Canadians are quieter and much less willing to offer opinions. This can be both
good and bad. On the one hand, because of our avoidance of conflict, it is harder
to have an in-depth conversation with a Canadian, but on the other hand, it is easier
to engage us in small talk. On that note, hockey is always a welcome subject of
“Mr." or “Ms. ”, followed by the person’s surname, are
the preferred forms of address. Though it may not be used extensively in older cultures,
the term “Ms. ” for women is now a common form of address in professional contexts
in Canada. When addressing a man, the term ‘Sir’ is rarely used, as it is perceived
as too formal and hierarchical.
Like other younger cultures, such as America’s or Australia’s, first names are used in Canada both in personal and professional circumstances,
even amongst relatively new acquaintances. Don’t be surprised if your Canadian hosts
move quickly to a first-name basis.
In Canada, professional titles are not prominent in business
culture, and are generally thought to be pretentious.
The giving and receiving of business cards is common practice
in Canadian business culture. In fact, it so common that Canadians would think it
unusual if their counterparts did not offer them one.
5. Gift Giving. Selecting and presenting an appropriate business gift
Unlike in India or Japan, gift-giving does not play a big role
in Canadian business culture. Of course, Christmas and/or New Year’s cards are appropriate,
particularly as a ‘thank-you’ for the other party’s business during the previous
If you are invited to a barbecue or a picnic, “byob”, which
means, bring your own booze. Just ask when invited if you should bring something.
Bringing a six-pack of either Molson’s or Labatt’s would not offend.
Generally, if you are giving a gift, any product relating to
your home country is a good choice. For instance, Canada makes the finest ice wines,
so don’t be surprised if you receive a bottle of ice wine from your Canadian business
guest or host. A thoughtful choice is considered more important than the actual
cost of the gift.
In Canada, if you receive an invitation to lunch it means a
meal at or about noon hour; an invitation to supper or dinner usually means 6.00
p. m. In some countries, the word “dinner" is used instead for lunch, but in
Canada the words dinner and supper are used interchangeably.
Canadians can be sensitive when a person cannot accept his or
her invitation. If you are unable to attend, or you don’t feel like it, the best
way to refuse an invitation is by saying ‘Thank you, but unfortunately I/we already
have other plans at that time’ - even if you don’t have other plans.
If you accept an invitation for a meal, it is perfectly acceptable
to tell your host what you cannot eat, for example that you are a vegetarian, or
that your religion prohibits you from having certain foods/drinks. Canadians will
appreciate and respect your preferences.
It is appropriate to present a business card at an introduction.
While Canadians are often confused with Americans by non-North
Americans who see few differences between the two peoples, please don’t make that
mistake. Americans are much more assertive whereas Canadians are generally low-key
and prefer to ease into business discussions.
Cynicism is a part of the national character, which is directed
at those who make conspicuous shows of wealth and/or power. In Canada, there is great love for the ‘underdog’. Canadians generally dislike negotiation and
aggressive sales techniques. They tend to value low-key sales presentations.
Modesty, casualness, and an air of nonchalance are characteristic
attitudes in Canadian business culture.
You should also be aware that business schools here teach students
that the outcome of all negotiations is that both sides win in a negotiation, i.
e., “win/win." This fits neatly with Canadians’ ideas of equality and fairness.
The win/win principle is so accepted today that the very idea of one party winning
the negotiation while other party loses, would seem unacceptable to most Canadians.
Canadians tend to be receptive to new ideas. Generally, they
are analytical, conceptual thinkers. It is at the meeting table that problems are
solved and decisions made. Canadians are comfortable with time lines, agendas and
deadlines and tend to adhere to them. They will not avoid confrontation or negative
responses if they feel they need to question something.
Established rules or laws usually take precedence over one's
feelings. During negotiations, company policy is strictly adhered to at all times.
Empirical evidence and other facts are considered the most valid forms of proof.
Feelings of any kind are usually regarded with suspicion, particularly for decision-making
In presentations and conversation, Canadians are often receptive
to sporting analogies.
Among all individuals, regardless of rank, communication is
direct and slightly informal. Hierarchies in Canadian organizations exist for clarity
of decision making, not because ranking is important. Those who will sit with you
in a meeting usually have the power to make a decision.
Canadian business persons may emphasize profit over market share.
Refrain from discussing your personal life during business negotiations.
Generally, Canadians do not like or trust people who appear
to give excessive praise, which raises the suspicion that they are being set up
to be embarrassed or misled in some way. Moreover, Canadians dislike being pressured
and will only resent the stress that accompanies high expectations.
The work environment in Canadian business culture tends to be
collaborative. Before a decision is made, top management will consult subordinates
and their input will be given careful consideration. It will be in your best interests
not to try to rush this process. Negotiations usually proceed at a fast pace and
bargaining is not customary. Canadians will expect your initial proposal to have
only a small margin for negotiation.
Deadlines and producing results are the main sources of anxiety
in this culture. Decisions of any kind must be in accordance with company policy.
Informing against one's colleagues is regarded with disgust in this culture.
In the workplace, men may not always treat women as equals,
and Canadian women are still struggling for increased salary and positions of authority.
If you are invivted out to a pub in
Canada, please keep in mind that each person is expected to pay for a round of
drinks. Neglecting your turn to pay for a round will create a bad impression. Having
said that, bear in mind that in Canada drinking and driving laws are strictly enforced.
Hence, do not attempt to drive your rented car back to the hotel if you feel tipsy.
Instead, take a taxi.
If you are hosting a dinner at a restaurant for your Canadian
guests, make sure it is a licensed establishment. Your Canadian guests would likely
be unhappy if alcohol were not served with meals. Athough wine is the usual preferred
drink at meals, beer may also be served.
If you are the guest of a Canadian businessman, do not automatically
assume that he or she will be paying the bill. True, the host may have a lavish
expense account. However, etiquette dictates that the guest should at least make
some effort to try to pay a portion of the evening’s expenses. Canadians generally
go “Dutch” when the bill arrives at casual get-togethers.
Canada is one of the most multicultural
countries in the world, and Canadian cuisine reflects this diversity. A visitor
to Canada can expect to see virtually any and all kinds of food from literally dozens
of cultures. In Canada’s most populous city, Toronto, one could expect to find dozens
of restaurants serving hundreds of national dishes. Canadian hospitality tends to
be very informal, particularly when you are invited to a home for a barbecue. At
a BBQ, you will be encouraged to serve yourself. Hesitation will only cause your
hosts to feel annoyance, if only because they genuinely want you to feel ‘at home’.
Barbecues are a very popular form of home entertaining. Guests
are encouraged to dress casually and engage in lively socializing. Men and women
often gather separately. Never ‘drop in’ unannounced to someone’s home. Always phone
Tipping is customary for restaurant visits and taxi travel in
Canada. The commonly accepted practice in Canada is to tip between 10% -15% of
the entire cost of the bill.
Canadians drive on the right and pass on the left, and that
also goes for walking up escalators, roads and streets.
In business contexts, men do not wink or whistle at women. Most
large companies have sexual harassment policies that govern acceptable conduct.
It is polite to wait for a third party to introduce you to others,
but if it doesn’t happen for a few moments feel free to introduce yourself. At formal
gatherings, wait to be seated, but if the host is not directing you, and other people
are taking seats, follow them. It is quite okay to ask your host if you should sit
at a particular spot.
“Hey” or "How are you?" are common forms of address
that do not require an answer. It is just another way Canadians say "Hi".
It has often been observed by Americans that while Canadians are generally a polite
people-even to a fault-they aren’t necessarily friendly.
When speaking to a Canadian, keep an arm's length distance from
the person. Maintaining personal space is important to Canadians.
Unlike Australians and Americans, Canadians do not give a lot
of eye contact to people who are speaking with them. Why? It probably has something
to do with our mania for politeness.
No backslapping, shouting or calling attention to oneself is acceptable.
Canadians tend to embarrass easily, so while Canadians are generally casual, they
are not loud. On that note, Canadians do not generally express themselves with their
hands. Moreover, touching, patting or hugging other men in public is considered
socially unacceptable. Your best approach to get along with Canadians is to remain
exceedingly polite, modest, and unpretentious.