Provinces and territories of Canada

Provinces and territories of Canada

The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second largest country in total area. The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that a province receives its power and authority directly from the Crown, via the Constitution Act, 1867, whereas territories derive their mandates from the federal government.

The current provinces are Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The three territories are Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon.

Canada provinces map|


The following table is listed in the order of precedence (i.e. when a province entered into Confederation).

*Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island historically had Legislative Councils, analogous to the federal Senate.

Each of the territories elects one Member of Parliament. Canadian territories are each entitled to elect one full voting representative to the Canadian House of Commons. With the sole exception of Prince Edward Island having slightly greater per capita representation than the Northwest Territories, every territory has considerably greater per capita representation in the Commons than every other province. Residents of the Canadian territories are full citizens and enjoy the same rights as all other Canadians. Each territory also has one Senator.

Provincial parties

Most provinces have provincial counterparts to the three national federal parties. However, some provincial parties are not formally linked to the federal parties that share the same name. The New Democratic Party is the only party that has integrated membership between the provincial and federal wings. Some provinces have regional political parties, such as the Saskatchewan Party.

The provincial political climate of Quebec is quite different: the main split is between sovereignty (of which separatism is generally held to be one strain), represented by the Parti Québécois, and federalism, represented primarily by the Quebec Liberal Party. Since 2007, the Official Opposition has been the Action Démocratique du Québec, which advocates what it calls "autonomy", a middle-of-the-road option supporting localized power in the Federal structure. They have no corresponding Federal party, but polls show their base to align with the Federal Conservative Party of Canada.

The provincial Progressive Conservative parties are also now separate from the federal Conservative Party, which resulted from a merger between the Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance. Historically and currently, the Canadian provincial and federal political party evolution is somewhat flexible. Provincial political parties are more stable than Canadian federal political parties.


The Canadian National Vimy Memorial, near Vimy, Pas-de-Calais département, France, is ceremonially considered Canadian territory. In 1922 the French government donated "freely, and for all time, to the Government of Canada the free use of the land exempt from all taxes". [cite web
title = Design and Construction of the Vimy Ridge Memorial
publisher = Veteran Affairs Canada
date = August 8, 1998
url =
accessdate = 2007-07-20
] However, unlike diplomatic missions it does not enjoy extraterritorial status and is thus subject to French law.

In the past, there has been interest in both Canada and the Turks and Caicos Islands, an overseas UK territory in the Caribbean, for the latter to enter Confederation in some capacity. While no official negotiations are underway, the two have a long-standing relationship and politicians on both sides have actively explored the circumstances under which a political union could be achieved. [Cite web| url =|title=Canada's Caribbean ambition| author=CBC News| authorlink=Canadian Broadcasting Corporation|accessdate=2007-01-27]

ee also

* West Indies Federation
* Canadian provincial name etymologies


:*Bumsted, J. (2004). "History of the Canadian Peoples", Oxford: Oxford University Press (ISBN 0-19-541688-0):*Statistics Canadandash [ Population by province and territory, by sex and age group,] :*Canada Onlinendash [ Provincial Government Organization]

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