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Of those living abroad, the United States, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, China, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, and Australia have the largest Canadian diaspora.
Canadians in the United States constitute the greatest single expatriate community at over 1 million in 2009, representing 35.8% of all Canadians abroad.
The Government of Canada has also influenced culture with programs, laws and institutions.
It has created Crown corporations to promote Canadian culture through media and has also tried to protect Canadian culture by setting legal minimums on Canadian content.
More settlers arrived during and after the American Revolutionary War, when approximately 60,000 United Empire Loyalists fled to British North America, a large portion of whom settled in New Brunswick.
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was passed by the Parliament of Canada in 2001 as Bill C-11, which replaced the Immigration Act of 1976 as the primary federal legislation regulating immigration.The new British rulers left alone much of the religious, political, and social culture of the French-speaking habitants, guaranteeing through the Quebec Act of 1774 the right of the Canadiens to practise the Catholic faith and to use French civil law (now Quebec law).The Constitution Act of 1867 was designed to meet the growing calls of Canadians for autonomy from British rule, while avoiding the overly strong decentralization that contributed to the Civil War in the United States.Legislation since the mid-20th century represents Canadians' commitment to multilateralism and socioeconomic development.While the first contact with Europeans and indigenous peoples in Canada had occurred a century or more before, the first group of permanent settlers were the French, who founded the New France settlements, in present-day Quebec and Ontario; and Acadia, in present-day Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, during the early part of the 17th century.During the 18th and 19th century; immigration westward (to the area known as Rupert's Land) was carried out by "Voyageurs"; French settlers working for the North West Company; and by British settlers (English and Scottish) representing the Hudson's Bay Company, coupled with independent entrepreneurial woodsman called "Coureur des bois".In the wake of the British Conquest of 1760 and the Expulsion of the Acadians, many families from the British colonies in New England moved over into Nova Scotia and other colonies in Canada, where the British made farmland available to British settlers on easy terms.Canadian culture has historically been influenced by Indigenous, French and British cultures and traditions.Most of Canada's territory was inhabited and developed later than other European colonies in the Americas, with the result that themes and symbols of pioneers, trappers, and traders were important in the early development of the Canadian identity.Canada is a multilingual and multicultural society home to people of many different ethnic, religious and national origins, with the majority of the population made up of Old World immigrants and their descendants.Following the initial period of French and then the much larger British colonization, different waves (or peaks) of immigration and settlement of non-indigenous peoples took place over the course of nearly two centuries and continue today.