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Feb 20 2011

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British Columbia

British Columbia is the third largest and westernmost province in Canada, it’s larger than any of the U.S. states, except Alaska, and is four times larger than Great Britain. BC is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu (“Splendour without Diminishment”). Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858.

Interesting facts about British Columbia:
• Victoria, the capital city is on Vancouver Island.
• The largest city is Vancouver, which is third largest in Canada. (2.1 million estimated)
• People came from Britain, Western Europe, East and Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, and Pakistan to here.
• B.C. has the largest Chinese community in Canada.
• The top 10 languages spoken are English, Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin), Punjabi, German, French, Tagalog, Korean, Spanish, Persian, and Italian.
• About 75 percent of the people live in the southwest part of the province.
• British Columbia has three main mountain ranges and is two-thirds covered in forest.
• B.C.’s total land and freshwater area is 95 million hectares, larger than France and Germany combined. Only 30 countries are larger. British Columbia occupies about 10 per cent of Canada’s land surface.
• There are seven national parks in B.C.
• There are thousands of islands along the coastline, including the Queen Charlotte Islands (north) and the Gulf Islands near the southern end of Vancouver Island.
• Forestry is the largest industry. Forest covers over half of B.C.
• B.C. has the largest and oldest trees in Canada.
• The province is Canada’s second largest generator of hydroelectricity.
• B.C. is Canada’s second largest natural gas producer.
• B.C. is the third largest film and television production center in North America (after New York and Los Angeles).
• Forestry, tourism, mining and fishing are four main industries of British Columbia.
• Small businesses make up over 98 per cent of the province’s businesses, and now employ more than one million British Columbians.
• Over the last eight years, over 100 tax cuts have been introduced. As a result, B.C. now has some of the lowest taxes in North America.

Time Zone:

Entire British Columbia is in the Pacific Time zone.

Climate:

The climate varies from region to region, as does the topography. Along the coast, summers are warm, winters mild and wet. The southern interior has hotter summers and cooler winter, while the central interior has warm summer and cold winters.

The coastal mountains protect the Lower Mainland and the coast from the cold Arctic air masses in the winter. The mountains along the coast bring the coastal region a lot of rain. Vancouver and Victoria are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than the central areas of the province.

The annual mean temperature in the most populated areas of the province is above 10 °C (50 °F), the mildest anywhere in Canada.

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