Western Canada (English Western Canada, French Ouest canadien, in Canadian English often just The West ) is a region of Canada.
The most common definition is one of Western Canada, all provinces west of Ontario. From west to east these are:
- British Columbia
The last three provinces form the prairie provinces. The status of British Columbia is questioned frequently. Together accommodate the provinces with almost 10 million inhabitants, about 30 % of all Canadians. It is the area with the currently strongest population and economic growth, mainly due to the oil reserves in the prairies. Politically, Western Canada was often home - conservative libertarian separatist who see Western Canada disadvantaged by the dominance of Ontario and Quebec in the central government.
The most common definition is followed by both the geographical logic that the entire area west of Ontario is one of Western Canada, as well as the regional breakdown of the Canadian Senate. Particularly the coastal region of British Columbia at Vancouver, often referred to as Pacific Canada, but one limited to the region. Due to the location on the water and the separation from the rest of Western Canada through the Rocky Mountains has there developed a very different culture and political stance that with the North Western United States, Washington and Oregon, together more than with the rest of Western Canada.
The population throughout Western Canada is about ten million people, of whom 4.3 million live in British Columbia, 3.3 million in Alberta, close to a million in Saskatchewan and 1.2 million in Manitoba. So they have about 30 % of the population of Canada and together something more than the province of Quebec, albeit significantly less than Ontario.
Population 2005 estimate important metropolitan regions:
- Vancouver: 2,208,300
- Calgary: 1,038,700
- Edmonton: 1,016,000
- Winnipeg: 706.900
- Victoria: 334.700
- Saskatoon: 235.800
- Regina: 199,000
- Kelowna: 165.221
- Abbotsford: 162.800
The western British Columbia is located on the Pacific Ocean, while Alberta and Saskatchewan does not have a coastline, Manitoba has only a very small coastline on Hudson Bay.
The coast of British Columbia has. Influence by the Pacific oceanic climate with relatively wet winters and dry summers There one enjoys the mildest winters in Canada, with temperatures rarely fall below freezing.
Alberta benefited from the Rocky Mountains, the gotten through the Föhnwind the Chinooks enough heat to make the outer stay still possible even in winter, so that there enjoys winter sports popularity. Due to the weather, depending on the wind but this can change rapidly, so that in January and February prevail warm temperatures, just as it may happen in rare cases that it snows in July or August.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba have continental climate with very cold winters and hot summers. The temperature in the provinces can fall in winter to -40 ° C, the average maximum temperature during the cold months are between -10 ° C and -15 ° C. In summer, temperatures can rise to over 35 ° C.
Politically, is "The West " is often equated with the Conservative Party and then placed in the contrast to liberalism in Central Canada. Of the 92 members in the lower house of the western provinces currently has 72 of the Conservative Party, 13 a member of the New Democratic Party, 4 are liberal and a member of the Greens. In the Senate, the region has 24 seats; because senators are appointed by the Prime Minister but whose distribution has no significance on the preferences of the population. The current Minister of International Trade, David Emerson, was elected as a Liberal in Parliament, but resigned shortly after the ruling party of conservatives.
Of particular concern politicians from this region, a reform of the Senate: In relation to the population of western Canada there is far over-represented far below, the eastern Maritime Provinces. Politicians from Canada favor a Senate, which is elected directly (as opposed to the previous appointment ), in which each province, regardless of the population an equal number of senators represents and should thus work more effectively and legitimate political power to exercise. The perceived discrimination at the federal level has also led to vociferous criticism of established politicians, as also the repeated occurrence secession.