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Gold Standard

The gold standard is a monetary system in which the value of the currency unit (the Canadian dollar, for example) is defined in relation to the value of gold.

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Capitalism in Canada

Capitalism is an economic system in which private owners control a country’s trade and business sector for their personal profit. It contrasts with communism, in which property effectively belongs to the state (see also Marxism). Canada has a “mixed” economy, positioned between these extremes. The three levels of government decide how to allocate much of the country’s wealth through taxing and spending.

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Money in Canada

Money consists of anything that is generally accepted for the settlement of debts or the purchase of goods or services. The evolution of money as a system for regulating society’s economic transactions represented a significant advancement over earlier forms of exchange based on barter, in which goods and services are exchanged for other goods or services. Canadian money has its roots in the Indigenous wampum belts of the East, the early currencies of European settlers and the influence of the United States.

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Coins and Tokens

Coins are issued by governments for use as money. A quantity of coins issued at one time, or a series of coins issued under one authority, is called a coinage. Tokens are issued as a substitute for coinage, usually by private individuals or organizations such as merchants and banks. Canada’s complex political history has meant that Canadian numismatists have an astonishing variety of coins, coinages and tokens to collect and study.

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Bank Rate

The bank rate is the minimum interest rate charged by the Bank of Canada in its role as lender of last resort on short-term loans to the chartered banks and other members of the Canadian Payments Association that maintain deposits with the Bank, as well as to investment dealers.

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Interest Rates in Canada

Interest is the price charged to borrow money. Expressed as a rate, interest is a percentage of the amount of money borrowed (the principal amount) that is to be paid for an agreed period of time. Interest can be paid by a borrower to a lender (e.g., to a bank), but it can also be paid by a bank to individuals whose money the bank uses to lend money to other borrowers. In Canada, interest rates are determined by the policy of the Bank of Canada, the demand for loans, the supply of available lending capital, interest rates in the United States, inflation rates and other economic factors. The Bank of Canada helps the Canadian government manage the economy by setting the bank rate and controlling the money supply.

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Canadian Dollar (CAD)

The Canadian dollar, also known as the loonie, for the loon on the $1 coin, is the currency of Canada. Its international currency code is CAD and its symbol $, or C$, to distinguish it from other dollar currencies. As money, it is the measure of value in which all prices in Canada are expressed and the medium of exchange for goods and services. It is divided into 100 cents (¢) and available in material form as coins circulated by the Royal Canadian Mint and banknotes circulated by the Bank of Canada.