Provinces and Territories of Canada

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Canada is a state that consists of ten provinces and three territories .

The provinces are the constituent states of the Canadian state. They have a high degree of independence vis-à-vis the Federal Government of Canada and draw their power and authority directly from the Crown under the Constitutional Act of 1867 . The current provinces are mostly formed from former British and French colonies. Provinces can only be created through a constitutional law.

The territories comprise that part of the Canadian state that does not belong to any of the provinces and have fewer separate competencies than the provinces. New territories can be created through a simple federal law.

Overview map

Alberta British Columbia Manitoba New Brunswick/Nouveau-Brunswick Neufundland und Labrador Nova Scotia Ontario Québec Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan Nordwest-Territorien Nunavut Yukon Nunavut NunavutMap Canada political-geo.png
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Overview table

Surname Type abbreviation main
accession Area in km² population Density
in inhabitants / km²
Official languages
ISO otherwise. total country (2012) (2017)
Alberta Alberta province FROM Alta. Edmonton 1905 000000000661848.0000000000661.848 000000000642317.0000000000642.317 000000003847119.00000000003,847,119 4,286,134 05.9 English
British Columbia British Columbia province BC BC Victoria 1871 000000000944735.0000000000944.735 000000000925186.0000000000925.186 000000004606451.00000000004,606,451 4,817,160 04.9 English
Manitoba Manitoba province MB Man. Winnipeg 1870 000000000647797.0000000000647.797 000000000553556.0000000000553,556 000000001261498.00000000001,261,498 1,338,109 02.3 English
Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador province NL Nfld. St. John's 1949 000000000405212.0000000000405.212 000000000373872.0000000000373.872 000000000509348.0000000000509.348 528.817 01.36 English
New BrunswickNew Brunswick New Brunswick province NB NB Fredericton 1867 000000000072908.000000000072.908 000000000071450.000000000071,450 000000000755381.0000000000755.381 759,655 10.6 English France
Northwest TerritoriesNorthwest Territories Northwest Territories territory NT NWT Yellowknife 1870 000000001346106.00000000001,346,106 000000001183085.00000000001,183,085 000000000043247.000000000043,247 44,520 00.03 English, French, Chipewyan , Cree , Gwich'in , Inuinnaqtun ,
Inuktitut , Inuvialuktun , North Slavey , South Slavey and Tlicho
Nova Scotia Nova Scotia province NS NS Halifax 1867 000000000055284.000000000055.284 000000000053338.000000000053,338 000000000944968.0000000000944.968 953.869 17.7 English
NunavutNunavut Nunavut territory NU NV Iqaluit 1999 000000002093190.00000000002,093,190 000000001936113.00000000001,936,113 000000000033588.000000000033,588 37,996 00.02 English, French, Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun
OntarioOntario Ontario province ON Ont. Toronto 1867 000000001076395.00000000001,076,395 000000000917741.0000000000917.741 000000013472438.000000000013,472,438 14,193,384 14.7 English
Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island province PE PEI Charlottetown 1873 000000000005660.00000000005,660 000000000005660.00000000005,660 000000000146070.0000000000146.070 152.021 25.8 English
QuebecQuebec Quebec province QC Que. Quebec 1867 000000001542056.00000000001,542,056 000000001365128.00000000001,365,128 000000008028434.00000000008,028,434 8,394,034 05.9 French
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan province SK Sask. Regina 1905 000000000651036.0000000000651.036 000000000591670.0000000000591,670 000000001072082.00000000001,072,082 1,163,925 01.8 English
YukonYukon Yukon territory YT YT Whitehorse 1898 000000000482443.0000000000482,443 000000000474391.0000000000474.391 000000000035010.000000000035,010 38,459 00.07 English France
total Country Ottawa 9,984,670 9,093,507 34.755.234 36,708,083 03.48 English France


Animated development of the provinces and territories

On July 1, 1867, former colonies in British North America united to form the Canadian Confederation , thus establishing the Dominion Canada. On this day the four provinces of Ontario , Québec , New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were created . Over the next six years, three more provinces were added: Manitoba on July 15, 1870 (previously part of the Northwest Territories), British Columbia on July 20, 1871 (previously an independent British colony) and Prince Edward Island on July 1, 1873 ( previously independent British colony).

The Hudson's Bay Company controlled large parts of western Canada until July 15, 1870, when it ceded its leases to the Canadian government and the Northwest Territories emerged. A small portion of this area became the Province of Manitoba under the Manitoba Act . On September 1, 1905, the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan emerged from the part of the Northwest Territories located south of the 60th parallel . On June 13, 1898, the Yukon Territory was created from the western part of the Northwest Territories . In 1912 the borders of Ontario, Manitoba and Québec shifted northwards: Manitoba to the 60th parallel, Ontario to Hudson Bay , the entire Ungava district fell to Québec.

The colony of Newfoundland refused to join the confederation in 1869. In 1907 the colony received the status of an independent Dominion . Due to a protracted economic and political crisis, Great Britain regained direct control in 1934. In a referendum, the Newfoundlands narrowly approved joining the confederation. This took place on March 31, 1949.

The Northwest Territory was again reduced in size on April 1, 1999 by forming the Nunavut Territory from a part of it.


The provinces have a high degree of autonomy vis-à-vis the federal government. According to Articles 92, 92A and 93 of the Constitutional Act of 1867 (with subsequent amendments), they have the right to legislate, for example, in the areas of public institutions, municipal services, civil servant salaries, direct taxes, education, hospitality and other local businesses, property and civil law, judicial constitutional law , Civil procedural law, mining, forestry and energy. Together, they collect more taxes than the federal government and use it to finance their diverse tasks, including education, culture, the judiciary, the police, health care, social assistance and economic development. They also control the use of natural resources.

The federal government makes compensatory payments and thereby influences the legislation of the provinces so that the differences between richer and poorer provinces in terms of taxation are not too great and the standard of services remains the same. The provinces, in turn, can decide not to apply new federal laws for a certain period of time, but this rarely happens in practice. In the territories, the federal government takes on numerous administrative tasks itself.


As the representative of the crown, a vice- governor acts as the vice-head of state in the provinces , who mainly performs ceremonial tasks. The commissioners in the territories perform the same functions, but represent the federal government and not the monarch, since the territories are not independent legal entities.

Each province and territory has a unicameral parliament and a government responsible for it. Originally there was a second chamber in all provinces, but these upper houses were all abolished, most recently in Québec in 1968. The provincial or territorial parliament is in most cases referred to as the Legislative Assembly , in Québec as the National Assembly (Assemblée nationale), in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Nova Scotia as House of Assembly . The parliaments have similar rules of procedure as the Canada's lower house .

In all provinces of the Prime Minister's (premier) designated prime minister usually the chairman of the party that has the most seats. This is also the case in the Yukon Territory, but not in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, as there are no parties at the territorial level.

Each province has its own judicial system. The highest court is always the Court of Appeal .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Population estimate 2nd quarter 2012 - Statistics Canada
  2. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada: CANSIM - 051-0005 - Estimates of population, Canada, provinces and territories. Retrieved October 26, 2017 (English).