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Western Canada, also referred to as the Western provinces and more commonly known as the West, is a region of Canada
Canada
that includes the four provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba
Manitoba
and Saskatchewan.[3] British Columbia
British Columbia
is culturally, economically, geographically, and politically distinct from the other parts of Western Canada
Canada
and is often referred to as the "west coast" or "Pacific Canada", while Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba
Manitoba
are grouped together as the Prairie Provinces
Prairie Provinces
and most commonly known as "The Prairies".

Contents

1 Capital cities 2 Constitutional history 3 Demographics

3.1 Census metropolitan areas

4 Geography

4.1 Climate

5 Western alienation 6 Economy 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

Capital cities[edit]

Edmonton
Edmonton
is the largest provincial capital city by population in western Canada.

The capital cities of the four western provinces, from west to east, are; Victoria (British Columbia), Edmonton
Edmonton
(Alberta), Regina (Saskatchewan) and Winnipeg
Winnipeg
(Manitoba). Except for Winnipeg, which is the largest city in Manitoba, all the provincial capitals of the Western Provinces are located in second-largest metropolitan areas of their respective province. Constitutional history[edit] Main article: Constitutional history of Canada

Manitoba
Manitoba
established as a province of Canada
Canada
in 1870, following the enacting of the Manitoba
Manitoba
Act.[4][5] Saskatchewan: Established as province in 1905, with the implementation of the Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Act.[4][6] Alberta: In 1905, the same year as Saskatchewan, Alberta
Alberta
also was established as province. Just like Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
had the Saskatchewan Act, Alberta
Alberta
had the Alberta
Alberta
Act.[4][7] British Columbia: Under terms that Canada
Canada
would absorb British Columbia's debt, would begin to subsidize public work, and would begin to construct a railway allowing travel from British Columbia
British Columbia
to Ontario, British Columbia
British Columbia
agreed to join Canadian confederation
Canadian confederation
in 1871.[4][8]

Demographics[edit]

Calgary
Calgary
is the largest municipality by population in western Canada.

As of the 2016 Census, the total population of Western Canada
Canada
was nearly 11.1 million, including approximately 4.65 million in British Columbia, 4.07 million in Alberta, 1.1 million in Saskatchewan, and 1.28 million in Manitoba.[2] This represents 31.5% of Canada's population.[3] While Vancouver
Vancouver
serves as the largest metropolitan area in Western Canada,[9] Calgary
Calgary
serves as the largest city.[10] Census metropolitan areas[edit]

Vancouver
Vancouver
is the largest census metropolitan area by population in western Canada.

As of the 2011 Census, Statistics Canada
Canada
recognized nine census metropolitan areas within Western Canada, including four in British Columbia, two in each of Alberta
Alberta
and Saskatchewan, and one in Manitoba.[9] The following is a list of these areas and their populations as of 2011.

Name Population (2011)[9] National rank[9]

Vancouver 7006231332800000000♠2,313,328 3

Calgary 7006121483900000000♠1,214,839 5

Edmonton 7006115986900000000♠1,159,869 6

Winnipeg 7005730018000000000♠730,018 8

Victoria 7005344615000000000♠344,615 15

Saskatoon 7005260600000000000♠260,600 17

Regina 7005210556000000000♠210,556 18

Kelowna 7005179839000000000♠179,839 22

Abbotsford–Mission 7005170191000000000♠170,191 23

Geography[edit]

Badlands in Southern Saskatchewan

Western Canada
Canada
consists of the country's four westernmost provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. It covers 2.9 million square kilometres – almost 29% of Canada’s land area. British Columbia
British Columbia
adjoins the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
to the west, while Manitoba has a coastline on Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
in its northeast of the province. Both Alberta
Alberta
and Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
are landlocked between British Columbia
British Columbia
and Manitoba. The Canadian Prairies
Canadian Prairies
are part of a vast sedimentary plain covering much of Alberta, southern Saskatchewan, and southwestern Manitoba. The prairies form a significant portion of the land area of Western Canada. The plains generally describes the expanses of largely flat, arable agricultural land which sustain extensive grain farming operations in the southern part of the provinces. Despite this, some areas such as the Cypress Hills and Alberta
Alberta
Badlands are quite hilly and the prairie provinces contain large areas of forest such as the Mid-Continental Canadian forests. In Alberta
Alberta
and British Columbia, the Canadian Cordillera
Canadian Cordillera
is bounded by the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
to the east and the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
to the west. The Canadian Rockies
Canadian Rockies
are part of a major continental divide that extends north and south through western North America
North America
and western South America. The continental divide also defines much of the border between Alberta
Alberta
and British Columbia. The Columbia and the Fraser Rivers have their headwaters in the Canadian Rockies
Canadian Rockies
and are the second- and third-largest rivers, respectively, to drain to the west coast of North America. To the west of their headwaters, across the Rocky Mountain Trench, is a second belt of mountains, the Columbia Mountains, comprising the Selkirk, Purcell, Monashee and Cariboo Mountains sub-ranges.

Peyto Lake
Peyto Lake
in Banff National Park, Alberta

Climate[edit]

Köppen climate types in Western Canada

The coast of British Columbia
British Columbia
enjoys a moderate oceanic climate because of the influence of the Pacific Ocean, with temperatures similar to those of the British Isles
British Isles
(though Vancouver
Vancouver
receives more precipitation than London and most of the Coast is much wetter).[citation needed] Winters are typically wet and summers relatively dry. These areas enjoy the mildest winter weather in all of Canada, as temperatures rarely fall much below the freezing mark. The mountainous Interior of the province is drier and has colder winters, but experiences hotter summers than the more moderate coastal areas. Lytton, British Columbia, a small town that sits at the confluence of the Thompson River and Fraser River
Fraser River
recorded the second-hottest temperature in Canada
Canada
at 44.4 °C (111.9 °F) observed on July 16 and 17 1941,[11] and is regularly referred as Canada's hot spot in summer with temperatures easily reaching the mid to high 30 °C 's (upper 90s to low 100s °F) in July and August and sometimes top 40 °C (104 °F). Alberta
Alberta
has a dry continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The province is open to cold Arctic
Arctic
weather systems from the north, which often produce extremely cold conditions in winter. Winters are generally quite cold, though some areas can experience a phenomenon known as the "chinook wind," wherein warm winds raise the winter temperatures temporarily. In contrast, summers can fluctuate from cool to hot and are generally wetter. Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
and Manitoba
Manitoba
have a continental climate and experience extremes in weather. Winters in both provinces can be classified as harsh with Arctic
Arctic
winds and −40 °C (−40 °F) temperatures possible. Winter temperatures in both provinces average between −10 and −15 °C (14 and 5 °F). In contrast, summers can be hot with temperatures exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) at least once per year in most locations. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada
Canada
was 45 °C (113 °F), observed in 1943 at the weather stations of Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan and neighbouring Cedoux.

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for 7 largest cities in Western Canada

City July (°C) July (°F) January (°C) January (°F)

Calgary[12] 23/9 73/48 2715 !−1/−13 5735 !27/5

Edmonton[13] 23/12 73/54 2213 !−8/−17 4831 !18/1

Regina[14] 26/11 79/52 -10/-22 14/-8

Saskatoon[15] 25/11 77/52 -12/-22 10/-8

Winnipeg[16] 26/13 79/55 −13/−20 9/−4

Vancouver[17] 22/13 71/54 6/1 43/33

Victoria[18] 22/11 71/51 7/1 44/33

Western alienation[edit] Main article: Western alienation In Canadian politics, the term "the West" is used misleadingly in Canadian media style guides as shorthand for the Conservative leanings of Western Canadians, as contrasted with the greater likelihood for candidates from either the Liberal Party of Canada
Canada
or the New Democratic Party (NDP) to be elected in Central Canada[citation needed]. Exceptions exist, particularly in British Columbia, as well as in the prairie city of Winnipeg, and where the Liberal Party hold seats, as well as in other major urban centres such as Edmonton
Edmonton
where Liberal and NDP candidates have been elected in recent history. The social democratic NDP had its origins on the Canadian Prairies
Canadian Prairies
and in the mining and pulp mill towns and railway camps of British Columbia, and has a history of support in Manitoba, and British Columbia. Regarding provincial politics, from June 2015 to June 2017, the British Columbia
British Columbia
Liberal Party formed the provincial government in British Columbia, though despite the name is not formally allied with the federal Liberal Party and is widely seen as conservative in nature and is composed of elements from the federal Conservative Party's right wing, including many ex-Reform Party supporters. Following the 2017 provincial election in British Columbia, the British Columbia
British Columbia
New Democratic Party formed a minority government with the support of the British Columbia
British Columbia
Green Party, following the defeat of Christy Clark's BC Liberal Party government by a confidence vote in the legislature. The Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Party, also a conservative party, holds power in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
and the NDP forms the government in Alberta. The western provinces are represented in the Parliament of Canada
Canada
by 104 Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House of Commons (British Columbia 42, Alberta
Alberta
34, Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
and Manitoba
Manitoba
14 each) and 24 senators (6 from each province). Currently, of the 104 western MPs in the Commons, 54 are Conservatives, 20 are New Democrats, and 29 are Liberals. The West has been the most vocal in calls for reform of the Senate, in which Ontario, Quebec, and particularly Atlantic Canada
Canada
are seen by some westerners as being over-represented. The population of Ontario alone (13.1 million) exceeds that of all the Western provinces combined. The total population of Atlantic Canada, however, is 2.3 million, and this region is represented by 30 senators. Thus, Ontario is under-represented, Quebec
Quebec
has representation proportional to its population and the Atlantic provinces are over-represented. Westerners have advocated the so-called Triple-E Senate, which stands for "equal, elected, effective." They feel if all 10 provinces were allotted an equal number of senators, if those senators were elected instead of appointed, and if the Senate were a body that had more direct political power (for example via an arrangement more similar to the structure of the Australian Senate
Australian Senate
or the United States Senate
United States Senate
rather than the UK model), then their region would have more of its concerns addressed at the federal level. Other westerners find this approach simplistic and either advocate keeping the status quo or may support other models for senate reform. The combination of all of these issues has led to the concept known as Western alienation, as well as calls for Western Canada
Canada
independence by various fringe groups. Since at least the 1930s, economic conditions have contributed to a net emigration from Manitoba
Manitoba
and Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
to Alberta
Alberta
and British Columbia, which have generally provided greater employment opportunities and higher living standards. The population of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
is only slightly larger than it was in 1931. This trend of net emigration in both provinces is reversing because of a lower cost of living than Alberta
Alberta
and BC. Economy[edit]

Vineyards in British Columbia

Energy and agriculture are Western Canada's dominant industries – and this region, with only 10 million inhabitants, is one of the world's largest net exporters of both energy and agricultural commodities. Approximate breakdown:[19] Energy:

Oil (13% of world reserves; 4% of world production) Uranium (8% of world reserves; 20% of world production)

Agriculture:

Potash (60% of world reserves; 30% of world production) Wheat, coarse grains, oilseeds (21% of the world export market for wheat; 10% for oilseeds) Farmland (80% of Canadian total)

See also[edit]

Geography of Canada
Canada
portal

List of regions of Canada Secessionist movements of Canada
Canada
- Includes several movements in Western Canada History of the west coast of North America American Old West Western United States Cascadia Canadian Prairies Western Canada
Canada
Youth Parliament

References[edit]

^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, 2011 and 2006 censuses". Statistics Canada. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-03-17.  ^ a b "Census Profile, for Canada, provinces and territories, 2016 censuses". Statistics Canada. 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2012-02-11.  ^ a b "The Canadian Population in 2011: Population Counts and Growth" (PDF) (PDF). Statistics Canada. February 2012. ISBN 978-1-100-19962-7. Retrieved December 27, 2014.  ^ a b c d Adam Dodek (2013). The Canadian Constitution. Dundurn. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-4597-0932-4.  ^ Kennedy, W.P.M. "Statutes, treaties and documents of the Canadian Constitution, 1713- 1929". Early Canadiana Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 10 February 2015.  ^ "Saskatchewan". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Retrieved 10 February 2015.  ^ "1867-1931: Canada
Canada
in the Making". Canada
Canada
in the Making: Constitutional History. Early Canadiana Online. Archived from the original on 16 May 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.  ^ "British Columbia". Canada
Canada
in the Making: Constitutional History. Early Canadiana Online. Archived from the original on 16 May 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.  ^ a b c d "Population and dwelling counts, for census metropolitan areas, 2011 and 2006 censuses". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-02-11.  ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada
Canada
and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses". Statistics Canada. February 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-12.  ^ Daily Data Report for July 1941 ^ " Calgary
Calgary
International Airport". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved May 8, 2014.  ^ " Edmonton
Edmonton
City Centre Airport". Canadian Climate Normals 1981−2010. Environment Canada. August 19, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2013.  ^ "Regina International Airport". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved 12 May 2014.  ^ " Saskatoon
Saskatoon
Diefenbaker International Airport". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved May 12, 2014.  ^ " Winnipeg
Winnipeg
Richardson International Airport". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved May 7, 2014.  ^ "1981 to 2010 Canadian Climate Normals". Environment Canada. 2015-09-22. Climate ID: 1108447. Retrieved 2016-05-09.  ^ "Victoria Gonzales Heights". Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000. Environment Canada. Retrieved 29 April 2016.  ^ Enquirica Research – Canada’s Bifurcated Economy Archived October 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.

Further reading[edit]

Felske, Lorry W; Beverly Jean Rasporich (2004), Challenging frontiers: the Canadian west, University of Calgary
Calgary
Press, ISBN 1-55238-140-4  Gardner, Matthew (2008), Western Canada, Footprint, ISBN 1906098263 

External links[edit]

Look up Western Canada
Canada
in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Western Canada.

Peel's Prairie Provinces: Sources for Canada
Canada
and Western Canadian History

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Provinces and territories

Provinces

Alberta British Columbia Manitoba New Brunswick Newfoundland and Labrador Nova Scotia Ontario Prince Edward Island Quebec Saskatchewan

Territories

Northwest Territories Nunavut Yukon

Government

Law Constitution Monarch Governor General Parliament (Senate House of Commons) Prime Minister

list

Courts

Supreme Court

Military Local government Foreign relations Law enforcement

Politics

Elections LGBT rights Multiculturalism

Geography

Regions (west to east)

Pacific Northwest Western Canada Great Plains

Canadian Prairies

Northern Canada Canadian Shield Great Lakes Central Canada The Maritimes Eastern Canada Atlantic Canada

Topics

Animals Cities Earthquakes Islands Mountains National Parks Plants Great Lakes Regions Rivers Volcanoes

Economy

Agriculture Banking Bank of Canada Dollar Communications Companies Energy Fishing Oil Stock exchange Taxation Tourism Transportation Science and technology Social programs Poverty

Society

Education Healthcare Crime Values

Demographics

Topics

Canadians Immigration Languages Religion 2001 Census 2006 Census 2011 Census 2016 Census Population

Top 100s

Metropolitan areas and agglomerations Population centres Municipalities

Culture

Architecture Art Cinema Cuisine Festivals Folklore People Holidays Identity Literature Music Nationalisms Online media Protectionism Sports Theatre

Symbols

Coat of arms Flags Provincial and territorial Royal Heraldic

Article overviews

Index Outline Topics

Research

Bibliography Historiography

Bo

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