Provinces and Territories of Canada
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Provinces and Territories of Canada

Provinces and territories of Canada
Provinces et territoires du Canada
A map of Canada showing its 10 provinces and 3 territories
CategoryFederated state
Number10 provinces
3 territories

The provinces and territories of Canada (French: Provinces et territoires du Canada) are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Constitution. In the 1867 Canadian Confederation, three provinces of British North America--New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada (which upon Confederation was divided into Ontario and Quebec)--united to form a federation, becoming a fully independent country over the next century. Over its history, Canada's international borders have changed several times, and the country has grown from the original four provinces to the current ten provinces and three territories. Together, the provinces and territories make up the world's second-largest country by total area.

The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces receive their power and authority from the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly[1] called The British North America Act, 1867), whereas territorial governments are creatures of statute with powers delegated to them by the Parliament of Canada. The powers flowing from the Constitution Act are divided between the Government of Canada (the federal government) and the provincial governments to exercise exclusively. A change to the division of powers between the federal government and the provinces requires a constitutional amendment, whereas a similar change affecting the territories can be performed unilaterally by the Parliament of Canada or government.

In modern Canadian constitutional theory, the provinces are considered to be co-sovereign within certain areas based on the divisions of responsibility between the provincial and federal government within the Constitution Act 1867, and each province thus has its own representative of the Canadian Crown, the lieutenant governor. The territories are not sovereign, but instead their authorities and responsibilities are devolved directly from the federal level, and as a result, have a commissioner that represents the federal government.

Provinces

Provinces of Canada
Flag, name, and postal abbr. Cities Entered Confederation[2] Official language(s)[3] Population[a] Area (km2)[5] Seats[6]
Capital[7] Largest[8] Land Water Total Commons Senate
 Ontario[b] ON Toronto July 1, 1867 English[c]
14,826,276
917,741
158,654
1,076,395
121 24
 Quebec QC Quebec City Montreal July 1, 1867 French[d]
8,604,495
1,356,128
185,928
1,542,056
78 24
 Nova Scotia NS Halifax[e] July 1, 1867 English[f]
992,055
53,338
1,946
55,284
11 10
 New Brunswick NB Fredericton Moncton July 1, 1867 English, French[g]
789,225
71,450
1,458
72,908
10 10
 Manitoba MB Winnipeg July 15, 1870 English[c][h]
1,383,765
553,556
94,241
647,797
14 6
 British Columbia BC Victoria Vancouver July 20, 1871 English[c]
5,214,805
925,186
19,549
944,735
42 6
 Prince Edward Island PE Charlottetown July 1, 1873 English[c]
164,318
5,660
0
5,660
4 4
 Saskatchewan SK Regina Saskatoon September 1, 1905 English[c]
1,179,844
591,670
59,366
651,036
14 6
 Alberta AB Edmonton Calgary September 1, 1905 English[c]
4,442,879
642,317
19,531
661,848
34 6
 Newfoundland and Labrador NL St. John's March 31, 1949 English[c]
520,553
373,872
31,340
405,212
7 6
Total provinces
38,118,215
5,490,918
572,013
6,062,931
335 102

Notes:

  1. ^ As of Q3 2021.[4]
  2. ^ Ottawa, the national capital of Canada, is located in Ontario, near its border with Quebec. However, the National Capital Region straddles the border.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g De facto; French has limited constitutional status.
  4. ^ Charter of the French Language; English has limited constitutional status in Quebec.
  5. ^ Nova Scotia dissolved cities in 1996 in favour of regional municipalities; its largest regional municipality is therefore substituted.
  6. ^ Nova Scotia has very few bilingual statutes (three in English and French; one in English and Polish); some Government bodies have legislated names in both English and French.
  7. ^ Section Sixteen of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  8. ^ Although Manitoba has above average constitutional protections for the French language, it is not an official language.

Territories

There are three territories in Canada. Unlike the provinces, the territories of Canada have no inherent sovereignty and have only those powers delegated to them by the federal government.[9][10][11] They include all of mainland Canada north of latitude 60° north and west of Hudson Bay and all islands north of the Canadian mainland (from those in James Bay to the Queen Elizabeth Islands). The following table lists the territories in order of precedence[clarification needed] (each province has precedence over all the territories, regardless of the date each territory was created).

Another territory, the District of Keewatin existed from October 7, 1876, until September 1, 1905, when it rejoined the Northwest Territories and became the Keewatin Region. It was east of the North-West Territories, occupying the area that is now the Kenora District of Ontario, northern Manitoba, and the eastern half of Nunavut. Government of Keewatin was based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The territory did not have any representation in federal parliament.

Territories of Canada
Flag, name, and postal abbr. Cities[7] Entered Confederation[2] Official languages Population[a] Area (km2)[5] Seats[6]
Capital Largest Land Water Total Commons Senate
 Northwest Territories NT Yellowknife July 15, 1870 Chipewyan, Cree, English, French, Gwich'in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey, Tch?[12]
45,504
1,183,085
163,021
1,346,106
1
1
 Yukon YT Whitehorse June 13, 1898 English, French[13]
42,986
474,391
8,052
482,443
1
1
 Nunavut NU Iqaluit April 1, 1999 Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, English, French[14]
39,403
1,936,113
157,077
2,093,190
1
1
Total territories
127,893
3,593,589
328,150
3,921,739
3
3
  1. ^ As of Q3 2021.[4]

Population

Breakdown of Canada's population from the 2016 census by province/territory

The majority of Canada's population is concentrated in the areas close to the Canada-US border. Its four largest provinces by area (Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta) are also (with Quebec and Ontario switched in order) its most populous; together they account for 86% of the country's population. The territories (the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon) account for over a third of Canada's area and are home to 0.3% of its population, which skews the national population density value.[15]

Canada's population grew by 5.0% between the 2006 and 2011 censuses. Except for New Brunswick, all territories and provinces increased in population during this time. In terms of percent change, the fastest-growing province or territory was Nunavut with an increase of 12.7% between 2011 and 2016, followed by Alberta with 11.6% growth, while New Brunswick's population decreased by 0.5%.[16]

Generally, Canadian provinces have steadily grown in population along with Canada. However, some provinces such as Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have experienced long periods of stagnation or population decline. Ontario and Quebec have always been the two biggest provinces in Canada, with together over 60% of the population at any given time. The population of the West relative to Canada as a whole has steadily grown over time, while that of Atlantic Canada has declined.[15]

Territorial evolution

When Canada was formed in 1867 its provinces were a relatively narrow strip in the southeast, with vast territories in the interior. It grew by adding British Columbia in 1871, P.E.I. in 1873, the British Arctic Islands in 1880, and Newfoundland in 1949; meanwhile, its provinces grew both in size and number at the expense of its territories.
Territorial evolution of the borders and the names of Canada's provinces and territories
"O Canada we stand on guard for thee" Stained Glass, Yeo Hall, Royal Military College of Canada featuring arms of the Canadian provinces and territories as of 1965

Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia were the original provinces, formed when several British North American colonies federated on July 1, 1867, into the Dominion of Canada and by stages began accruing the indicia of sovereignty from the United Kingdom.[17] Prior to this, Ontario and Quebec were united as the Province of Canada. Over the following years, Manitoba (1870), British Columbia (1871), and Prince Edward Island (1873) were added as provinces.[17]

The British Crown had claimed two large areas north-west of the Canadian colony, known as Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory, and assigned them to the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1870, the company relinquished its claims for £300,000 ($1.5 million), assigning the vast territory to the Government of Canada.[18] Subsequently, the area was re-organized into the province of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.[18] The Northwest Territories were vast at first, encompassing all of current northern and western Canada, except for the British holdings in the Arctic islands and the Colony of British Columbia; the Territories also included the northern two-thirds of Ontario and Quebec, and almost all of present Manitoba, with the 1870 province of Manitoba originally being confined to a small area in the south of today's province.[19] The British claims to the Arctic islands were transferred to Canada in 1880, adding to the size of the Northwest Territories. 1898 saw the Yukon Territory, later renamed simply as Yukon in 2003, carved from the parts of the Northwest Territories surrounding the Klondike gold fields. On September 1, 1905, a portion of the Northwest Territories south of the 60th parallel north became the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.[19] In 1912, the boundaries of Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba were expanded northward: Manitoba's to the 60° parallel, Ontario's to Hudson Bay and Quebec's to encompass the District of Ungava.[20]

In 1869, the people of Newfoundland voted to remain a British colony over fears that taxes would increase with Confederation, and that the economic policy of the Canadian government would favour mainland industries.[21] In 1907, Newfoundland acquired dominion status.[22] In the middle of the Great Depression in Canada with Newfoundland facing a prolonged period of economic crisis, the legislature turned over political control to the Newfoundland Commission of Government in 1933.[23] Following Canada's participation in World War II, in a 1948 referendum, a narrow majority of Newfoundland citizens voted to join the Confederation, and on March 31, 1949, Newfoundland became Canada's tenth province.[24] In 2001, it was officially renamed Newfoundland and Labrador.[25]

In 1903, the Alaska Panhandle Dispute fixed British Columbia's northwestern boundary.[26] This was one of only two provinces in Canadian history to have its size reduced. The second reduction, in 1927, occurred when a boundary dispute between Canada and the Dominion of Newfoundland saw Labrador increased at Quebec's expense--this land returned to Canada, as part of the province of Newfoundland, in 1949.[27] In 1999, Nunavut was created from the eastern portion of the Northwest Territories.[28] Yukon lies in the western portion of Northern Canada, while Nunavut is in the east.[29]

All three territories combined are the most sparsely populated region in Canada, covering 3,921,739 km2 (1,514,192 sq mi) in land area.[5] They are often referred to as a single region, The North, for organisational and economic purposes.[30] For much of the Northwest Territories' early history it was divided into several districts for ease of administration.[31] The District of Keewatin was created as a separate territory from 1876 to 1905, after which, as the Keewatin Region, it became an administrative district of the Northwest Territories.[32] In 1999, it was dissolved when it became part of Nunavut.

Government

Theoretically, provinces have a great deal of power relative to the federal government, with jurisdiction over many public goods such as health care, education, welfare, and intra-provincial transportation.[33] They receive "transfer payments" from the federal government to pay for these, as well as exacting their own taxes.[34] In practice, however, the federal government can use these transfer payments to influence these provincial areas. For instance, in order to receive healthcare funding under Medicare, provinces must agree to meet certain federal mandates, such as universal access to required medical treatment.[34]

Provincial and territorial legislatures have no second chamber like the Canadian Senate. Originally, most provinces had such bodies, known as legislative councils, with members titled councillors. These upper houses were abolished one by one, Quebec's being the last in 1968.[35] In most provinces, the single house of the legislature is known as the Legislative Assembly; the exceptions are Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, where the chamber is called the House of Assembly, and Quebec where it is called the National Assembly.[36] Ontario has a Legislative Assembly but its members are called Members of the Provincial Parliament or MPPs.[37] The legislative assemblies use a procedure similar to that of the House of Commons of Canada. The head of government of each province, called the premier, is generally the head of the party with the most seats.[38] This is also the case in Yukon, but the Northwest Territories and Nunavut have no political parties at the territorial level.[39] The Queen's representative in each province is the Lieutenant Governor.[40] In each of the territories there is an analogous Commissioner, but they represent the federal government rather than the monarch.[41]

Federal, Provincial, and Territorial terminology compared
Jurisdiction Legislature Lower house Members of lower house Superior Court Head of Government Viceroy
Canada Parliament House of Commons Member of Parliament Federal Court Prime Minister Governor General
Ontario Legislative Assembly Member of the Provincial Parliament* Superior Court of Justice Premier? Lieutenant Governor
Quebec Legislature National Assembly+ Member of the National Assembly+ Superior Court
Nova Scotia General Assembly House of Assembly Member of the Legislative Assembly Supreme Court
Newfoundland and Labrador Member of the House of Assembly
Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly§ Member of the Legislative Assembly§
New Brunswick, Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, Alberta
Legislature Legislative Assembly Member of the Legislative Assembly Court of Queen's Bench
British Columbia Parliament Supreme Court
Northwest Territories Assembly Commissioner
Yukon Legislature
Nunavut Assembly Court of Justice

* Members were previously titled "Member of the Legislative Assembly".

+ Quebec's lower house was previously called the "Legislative Assembly" with members titled "Member of the Legislative Assembly". The name was changed at the same time Quebec's upper house was abolished.

§ Prince Edward Island's lower house was previously called the "House of Assembly" and its members were titled "Assemblyman". After abolition of its upper house, assemblymen and councillors both sat in the renamed "Legislative Assembly". Later, this practice was abolished so that all members would be titled "Member of the Legislative Assembly".

? In Northwest Territories and Yukon the head of government was previously titled "Government Leader".

Provincial legislature buildings

Territorial legislature buildings

Provincial political parties

Most provinces have rough provincial counterparts to major federal parties. However, these provincial parties are not usually formally linked to the federal parties that share the same name.[42] For example, no provincial Conservative or Progressive Conservative Party shares an organizational link to the federal Conservative Party of Canada, and neither do provincial Green Parties to the Green Party of Canada.

Provincial New Democratic Parties, on the other hand, are fully integrated with the federal New Democratic Party--meaning that provincial parties effectively operate as sections, with common membership, of the federal party.

The Liberal Party of Canada shares such an organizational integration with Atlantic Canada provincial Liberals in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Other provincial Liberal Parties are unaffiliated with their federal counterpart.[42]

Some provinces have provincial political parties with no clear federal equivalent, such as the Alberta Party and Saskatchewan Party.

The provincial political climate of Quebec is different: the main split is between sovereignty, represented by the Parti Québécois and Québec solidaire, and federalism, represented primarily by the Quebec Liberal Party.[43] The Coalition Avenir Québec, meanwhile, takes an abstentionist position on the question and does not support or oppose sovereignty.

Currently, the one minority provincial/territorial government is held by the Liberals in Yukon.

Current provincial/territorial governments (as of September 2021)
Province/territory Premier[44] Party in government[44] Party political position Majority/
minority
Lieutenant governor/
commissioner[45]
Last election
Alberta Jason Kenney United Conservative Centre-right ? Majority Salma Lakhani 2019 Alberta general election
British Columbia John Horgan New Democratic Left-wing ? Majority Janet Austin 2020 British Columbia general election
Manitoba Kelvin Goertzen Progressive Conservative Centre-right ? Majority Janice Filmon 2019 Manitoba general election
New Brunswick Blaine Higgs[46] Progressive Conservative Centre-right ? Majority Brenda Murphy 2020 New Brunswick general election
Newfoundland and Labrador Andrew Furey Liberal Centre-left ? Majority Judy Foote 2021 Newfoundland and Labrador general election
Nova Scotia Tim Houston Progressive Conservative Centre-right ? Majority Arthur Joseph LeBlanc 2021 Nova Scotia general election
Ontario Doug Ford Progressive Conservative ? Majority Elizabeth Dowdeswell 2018 Ontario general election
Prince Edward Island Dennis King Progressive Conservative ? Majority Antoinette Perry 2019 Prince Edward Island general election
Quebec François Legault Coalition Avenir Québec[47][48] Centre-right ? Majority J. Michel Doyon 2018 Quebec general election
Saskatchewan Scott Moe Saskatchewan Party Centre-right[49][50][51][52] ? Majority Russell Mirasty 2020 Saskatchewan general election
Northwest Territories Caroline Cochrane Consensus government Nonpartisan Margaret Thom 2019 Northwest Territories general election
Nunavut Joe Savikataaq Consensus government Nonpartisan Eva Aariak 2017 Nunavut general election
Yukon Sandy Silver Liberal Centre-left ? Minority Angélique Bernard 2021 Yukon general election

Ceremonial territory

The Canadian National Vimy Memorial, near Vimy, Pas-de-Calais, and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial, near Beaumont-Hamel, both in France, are ceremonially considered Canadian territory.[53] In 1922, the French government donated the land used for the Vimy Memorial "freely, and for all time, to the Government of Canada the free use of the land exempt from all taxes".[54] The site of the Somme battlefield near Beaumont-Hamel site was purchased in 1921 by the people of the Dominion of Newfoundland.[53] These sites do not, however, enjoy extraterritorial status and are thus subject to French law.

Proposed provinces and territories

Since Confederation in 1867, there have been several proposals for new Canadian provinces and territories. The Constitution of Canada requires an amendment for the creation of a new province[55] but the creation of a new territory requires only an act of Parliament, a legislatively simpler process.[56]

In late 2004, Prime Minister Paul Martin surprised some observers by expressing his personal support for all three territories gaining provincial status "eventually". He cited their importance to the country as a whole and the ongoing need to assert sovereignty in the Arctic, particularly as global warming could make that region more open to exploitation leading to more complex international waters disputes.[57]

See also

History by province or territory

References

  1. ^ Name changed only in Canada by Canada Act, 1982 (UK), s. 1--see Talk
  2. ^ a b Reader's Digest Association (Canada); Canadian Geographic Enterprises (2004). The Canadian Atlas: Our Nation, Environment and People. Douglas & McIntyre. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-55365-082-9. Archived from the original on May 3, 2016. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ Coche, Olivier; Vaillancourt, François; Cadieux, Marc-Antoine; Ronson, Jamie Lee (2012). "Official Language Policies of the Canadian Provinces" (PDF). Fraser Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 28, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
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  8. ^ Place name (2013). "Census Profile". Statistic Canada. Archived from the original on February 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
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  10. ^ "Yukon Act". Department of Justice Canada. 2002. Archived from the original on May 28, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ Department of Justice Canada (1993). "Nunavut Act". Archived from the original on January 5, 2011. Retrieved 2007.
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  14. ^ "Nunavut's Official Languages". Language Commissioner of Nunavut. 2009. Archived from the original on August 14, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
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  24. ^ Blake, Raymond Benjamin (1994). Canadians at Last: Canada Integrates Newfoundland As a Province. University of Toronto Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-8020-6978-8. Archived from the original on June 23, 2016. Retrieved 2015.
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  39. ^ Zellen, Barry Scott (2009). On Thin Ice: The Inuit, the State, and the Challenge of Arctic Sovereignty. Lexington Books. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-7391-3280-7. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016. Retrieved 2015.
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  46. ^ Brian Gallant's minority government defeated after losing confidence vote
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  49. ^ Randy Boswell; Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post; Lynn McAuley (January 1, 2005). Province with a Heart: Celebrating 100 Years in Saskatchewan. CanWest Books. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-9736719-0-2.
  50. ^ Linda Trimble; Jane Arscott; Manon Tremblay (May 31, 2013). Stalled: The Representation of Women in Canadian Governments. UBC Press. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-7748-2522-1.
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  54. ^ "Design and Construction of the Vimy Ridge Memorial". Veteran Affairs Canada. August 8, 1998. Archived from the original on April 9, 2009. Retrieved 2007.
  55. ^ An amendment to the Constitution of Canada in relation to the following matters may be made only in accordance with subsection 38(1)...notwithstanding any other law or practice, the establishment of new provinces.
  56. ^ Nicholson, Norman L. (1979). The boundaries of the Canadian Confederation. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. pp. 174-175. ISBN 978-0-7705-1742-7. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved 2015.
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Further reading

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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