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British Columbia (BC)

British Columbia

FAST FACTS

Capital: Victoria

Major Cities: Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver

Population: Approximately 5.1 million

Total Area: 944,735 km²

Date of Admission: 20 July, 1871

Seats in House of Commons: 42 / 338

Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time & Mountain Standard Time

INTRO

A beautiful province and a prime tourist attraction, British Columbia indeed has it all. Snow-capped mountains, dense rainforests, lush valleys, lakes and even a semi-arid desert- this is the place where the calmness of the Pacific is met with vibrant city life, where mountains lead to scenic valleys, and where urban life easily blends with the nature around it.

LOCATION

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains, it is Canada’s third-largest province. The northern border is occupied by Yukon and Northwest Territories, while Idaho and Montana lie to the south, and Alberta to the east. British Columbia is known for being Canada’s westernmost province.

CLIMATE

Defined by the Pacific coastline and vast mountain ranges, the weather greatly varies depending on the region. Along the coast, winters are quite temperate and mild, whereas, the central region experiences harsh, freezing winters lasting from November to March. In summers, the coastal region enjoys a maritime climate and sufficient rainfall, while the central region has the hottest summers in Canada where temperature can reach range from 30-40°C/86-104°F.

DEMOGRAPHICS

The province is not just geographically distinct, but also culturally diverse. Much of the population is either of British, Irish, or Scottish origin. Most of the population resides in and around Vancouver while most of the natural regions remain uninhabited.  Still attracting immigrants consistently, British Columbia has the highest percentage of minorities in Canada. In general, there remains a unique blend of European, Asian, and First Nations influences, adding to its ethnic diversity.

ECONOMY

With abundant natural resources, it is not surprising that the province’s economy relies primarily upon this factor. The major industries with considerable jobs and opportunities include agriculture, mining, and fishing. Another overlooked industry with exciting potential is that of film and television which has realized the untapped benefits of such a prime shoot destination.

EDUCATION

Dedicated to providing quality education and opportunities for students. Allocating one-third of its budget to education, British Columbia is home to some world-class institutions currently has 25 publicly funded post-secondary learning institutions.

HEALTHCARE

Comprehensive healthcare coverage, ensuring that the citizens do not have to pay any major or minor costs of health services, and have access to premium healthcare.

HISTORY

Around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, the province now called British Columbia was inhabited by a diverse group of people, each of whom has contributed to the rich history of the region. The term “aboriginal” often used in conjunction with the province is used to refer to distinct subgroups of Inuit, Métis. and First Nations peoples who occupied the lands thousands of years ago. This population was reduced after the European settlement. In 1871, British Columbia became Canada’s sixth province, and its currently most populous city, Vancouver, which became official in 1886 is now a major attraction for settlers and tourists alike!