|Provinces and territories of Canada|
The provinces and territories of 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)—were united to form a federated colony, becoming a sovereign nation in 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 area.
The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces receive their power and authority from the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerlycalled The British North America Act, 1867 ), whereas territorial governments have 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 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 come directly from the federal level, and as a result, have a commissioner instead of a lieutenant governor.
|ON||Toronto||July 1, 1867||14,711,827||917,741||158,654||1,076,395||English||121||24|
|QC||Quebec City||Montreal||July 1, 1867||8,537,674||1,356,128||185,928||1,542,056||French||78||24|
|NS||Halifax||July 1, 1867||977,457||53,338||1,946||55,284||English||11||10|
|NB||Fredericton||Moncton||July 1, 1867||779,993||71,450||1,458||72,908||English|
|MB||Winnipeg||July 15, 1870||1,377,517||553,556||94,241||647,797||English||14||6|
|BC||Victoria||Vancouver||July 20, 1871||5,110,917||925,186||19,549||944,735||English||42||6|
|PE||Charlottetown||July 1, 1873||158,158||5,660||0||5,660||English||4||4|
|SK||Regina||Saskatoon||September 1, 1905||1,181,666||591,670||59,366||651,036||English||14||6|
|AB||Edmonton||Calgary||September 1, 1905||4,413,146||642,317||19,531||661,848||English||34||6|
|NL||St. John's||March 31, 1949||521,365||373,872||31,340||405,212||English||7||6|
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.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 (each province has precedence over all the territories, regardless of the date each territory was created).
|Population||Area (km2)||Official languages||Seats|
|NT||Yellowknife||July 15, 1870||44,904||1,183,085||163,021||1,346,106||Chipewyan, Cree, English, French, Gwich'in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey, Tłįchǫ||1||1|
|YT||Whitehorse||June 13, 1898||41,078||474,391||8,052||482,443||English, French||1||1|
|NU||Iqaluit||April 1, 1999||39,097||1,936,113||157,077||2,093,190||Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, English, French||1||1|
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 but are home to only 0.3% of its population, which skews the national population density value.
Canada's population grew by 5.0% between the 2006 and 2011 censuses. Except for New Brunswick, all territories and provinces increased in population from 2011 to 2016. 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. New Brunswick's population decreased by 0.5% between 2011 and 2016.
Generally, Canadian Provinces steadily grew in population along with Canada. However, some provinces such as Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador experienced long periods of stagnation or population decline. Ontario and Quebec were always the two biggest provinces in Canada, with over 60% of the population to themselves at any given time. The demographic importance of the West steadily grew over time, while the importance of Atlantic Canada steadily slipped.
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.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.
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. Subsequently, the area was re-organized into the province of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. 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. The British claims to the Arctic islands were transferred to Canada in 1880, adding to the size of the Northwest Territories. The year of 1898 saw the Yukon Territory, later renamed simply as Yukon, 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. 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.
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.In 1907, Newfoundland acquired dominion status. 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. 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. In 2001, it was officially renamed Newfoundland and Labrador.
In 1903, the Alaska Panhandle Dispute fixed British Columbia's northwestern boundary.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. In 1999, Nunavut was created from the eastern portion of the Northwest Territories. Yukon lies in the western portion of Northern Canada, while Nunavut is in the east.
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. They are often referred to as a single region, The North, for organisational and economic purposes. For much of the Northwest Territories' early history it was divided into several districts for ease of administration. 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. In 1999, it was dissolved when it became part of Nunavut.
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.They receive "transfer payments" from the federal government to pay for these, as well as exacting their own taxes. 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.
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.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. Ontario has a Legislative Assembly but its members are called Members of the Provincial Parliament or MPPs. 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. This is also the case in Yukon, but the Northwest Territories and Nunavut have no political parties at the territorial level. The Queen's representative in each province is the Lieutenant Governor. In each of the territories there is an analogous Commissioner, but they represent the federal government rather than the monarch.
|Jurisdiction||Legislature||Lower house||Members of lower house||Head of Government||Viceroy|
|Canada||Parliament||House of Commons||Member of Parliament||Prime Minister||Governor General|
|Ontario||Legislative Assembly||Member of the Provincial Parliament*||Premier||Lieutenant Governor|
|Quebec||Legislature||National Assembly†||Member of the National Assembly†|
|Nova Scotia||General Assembly||House of Assembly||Member of the Legislative Assembly§|
|New Brunswick||Legislature||Legislative Assembly§|
|Prince Edward Island||General Assembly|
|General Assembly||House of Assembly||Member of the House of Assembly|
|Northwest Territories||Assembly||Legislative Assembly||Member of the Legislative Assembly||Premier‖||Commissioner|
* 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".
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.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 the provincial Liberals in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Other provincial Liberal Parties are unaffiliated with their federal counterpart.
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 quite different: the main split is between sovereignty, represented by the Parti Québécois and Québec solidaire, and federalism, represented primarily by the Quebec Liberal Party.The Coalition Avenir Québec, meanwhile, takes an abstentionist position on the question and does not support or oppose sovereignty.
Currently, the three minority provincial/territorial governments are held by the NDP in British Columbia, the PCs in New Brunswick, and the PCs in Prince Edward Island
|Province/Territory||Premier||Party in government||Party political position||Majority|
|Alberta||Jason Kenney||United Conservative Party||Centre-right||◕ Majority||Lois Mitchell|
|British Columbia||John Horgan||New Democratic||Centre-left to left-wing||◔ Minority||Janet Austin|
|Manitoba||Brian Pallister||Progressive Conservative||Centre-right||◕ Majority||Janice Filmon|
|New Brunswick||Blaine Higgs||Progressive Conservative||Centre-right||◔ Minority||Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Dwight Ball||Liberal||Centre to centre-left||◔ Minority||Judy Foote|
|Nova Scotia||Stephen McNeil||Liberal||Centre to centre-left||◕ Majority||Arthur Joseph LeBlanc|
|Ontario||Doug Ford||Progressive Conservative||Centre-right||◕ Majority||Elizabeth Dowdeswell|
|Prince Edward Island||Dennis King||Progressive Conservative||Centre-right||◔ Minority||Antoinette Perry|
|Quebec||François Legault||Coalition Avenir Québec||Centre-right||◕ Majority||J. Michel Doyon|
|Saskatchewan||Scott Moe||Saskatchewan Party||Centre-right||◕ Majority||Russell Mirasty|
|Northwest Territories||Bob McLeod||Consensus government||Nonpartisan||Margaret Thom|
|Nunavut||Joe Savikataaq||Consensus government||Nonpartisan||Nellie Kusugak|
|Yukon||Sandy Silver||Liberal||Centre to centre-left||◕ Majority||Angélique Bernard|
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.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". The site of the Somme battlefield near Beaumont-Hamel site was purchased in 1921 by the people of the Dominion of Newfoundland. These sites do not, however, enjoy extraterritorial status and are thus subject to French law.
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 provincebut the creation of a new territory requires only an act of Parliament, a legislatively simpler process.
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.
The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law in Canada. It outlines Canada's system of government and the civil and human rights of those who are citizens of Canada and non-citizens in Canada. Its contents are an amalgamation of various codified acts, treaties between the Crown and indigenous peoples, uncodified traditions and conventions. Canada is one of the oldest constitutional democracies in the world.
The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada. At a land area of approximately 1,144,000 km2 (442,000 sq mi) and a 2016 census population of 41,786, it is the second-largest and the most populous of the three territories in Northern Canada. Its estimated population as of 2020 is 44,904. Yellowknife became the territorial capital in 1967, following recommendations by the Carrothers Commission.
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the British colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into one federation, Canada, on July 1, 1867. Upon confederation, the old province of Canada was divided into Ontario and Quebec; along with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the new federation thus comprised four provinces. Over the years since Confederation, Canada has seen numerous territorial changes and expansions, resulting in the current union of ten provinces and three territories.
Canada is divided into ten provinces and three territories. The majority of Canada's population is concentrated in the areas close to the Canada–US border. Its four largest provinces by area are also its most populous; together they account for 86% of the country's population. The territories account for over a third of Canada's area but are home to only 0.3% of its population, which skews the national population density value.
Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to govern at a subnational level, such as a regional or local level. It is a form of administrative decentralization. Devolved territories have the power to make legislation relevant to the area and thus granting them a higher level of autonomy.
The Canadian order of precedence is a nominal and symbolic hierarchy of important positions within the governing institutions of Canada. It has no legal standing but is used to dictate ceremonial protocol.
In Canada, a premier is the head of government of a province or territory. Though the word is merely a synonym for prime minister, it is employed for provincial prime ministers to differentiate them from the Prime Minister of Canada. There are currently ten provincial premiers and three territorial premiers. These persons are styled The Honourable only while in office, unless they are admitted to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, in which case they retain the title even after leaving the premiership.
A multitude of languages are used in Canada. According to the 2016 census, English and French are the mother tongues of 56.0% and 21.4% of Canadians respectively. In total 86.2% of Canadians have working knowledge of English while 29.8% have a working knowledge of French. Under the Official Languages Act of 1969, both English and French have official federal status throughout Canada, in respect of all government services, including the courts, and all federal legislation is enacted bilingually. New Brunswick is the only Canadian province that has both English and French as its official languages to the same extent, with constitutional entrenchment. Quebec's official language is French, although, in that province, the Constitution requires that all legislation be enacted in both French and English, and court proceedings may be conducted in either language. Similar constitutional protections are in place in Manitoba.
The court system of Canada forms the judicial branch of government, formally known as "The Queen on the Bench", which interprets the law and is made up of many courts differing in levels of legal superiority and separated by jurisdiction. Some of the courts are federal in nature, while others are provincial or territorial.
This is a list of the Legislative Assemblies of Canada's provinces and territories. Each province's legislative assembly, along with the province's Lieutenant Governor, form the province's legislature. Historically, several provinces had bicameral legislatures, but they all eventually dissolved their upper house or merged it with their lower house.
The Orders, decorations, and medals of the Canadian provinces, in which each province of Canada has devised a system of orders and awards to honour residents for actions or deeds that benefit their local community or province, are in turn subsumed within the Canadian honours system. Each province sets their own rules and criteria on eligibility and also how each medal is awarded and presented. Most of the orders allow for the recipient to wear their orders in public, and most grant the recipients the use of post-nominal letters in their names.
This article provides a timeline of elections in Canada, including all the provincial, territorial and federal elections. The information starts from when each province was formed or entered the Confederation, and continues through to the present day.
The monarchy of Canada forms the core of each Canadian provincial jurisdiction's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy, being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government in each province. The monarchy has been headed since February 6, 1952 by Queen Elizabeth II who as sovereign is shared equally with both the Commonwealth realms and the Canadian federal entity. She, her consort, and other members of the Canadian Royal Family undertake various public and private functions across the country. However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Canada:
Higher education in Canada describes the constellation of provincial higher education systems in Canada and their relationships with the federal government, provinces, and territories.
The New Democratic Party is a social-democratic federal political party in Canada. The party was founded in 1961 out of the merger of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). On the Canadian political spectrum, the party sits to the left of the Liberal Party. Since 2017, the NDP has been led by Jagmeet Singh, who is the first Indo-Canadian to lead a major federal party in Canada. The federal and provincial level NDPs are more integrated than other political parties in Canada, and have shared membership.
The language policies of Canada's province and territories vary substantially between different regions and also between different eras.