The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world’s second-largest country by area. Canada is made up of 10 provinces and three territories. It can be divided into five regional areas:
- The East, also called the Atlantic region, includes the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
- The Central region includes the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
- The Prairies includes Manitoba, Saskatchewan and some parts of Alberta.
- The West includes most of Alberta and British Columbia.
- The North is made up of the three territories—Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
Each province and territory has its own capital city where the provincial or territorial government is permanently located. The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces are jurisdictions that receive their power and authority directly from the Constitution Act, 1867, whereas territories derive their mandates and powers from the federal government. In modern Canadian constitutional theory, the provinces are considered to be co-sovereign divisions, and each province has its own “Crown” represented by the lieutenant-governor, whereas the territories are not sovereign, but simply parts of the federal realm, and have a commissioner.
Though there are many similarities in the provincial and territorial educational system across Canada, there are significant differences in the prospectus, assessment, and accountability policies among the jurisdictions that express the geographical spectrum, history, language, culture, and corresponding specialized needs of the populations served. The comprehensive, spread, and widely accessible nature of the educational system in Canada reflects the societal belief in the importance of education in the country. For more information, contact us.