Newfoundland and Labrador is the most recent province to join Canada, entering Confederation in 1949. Geographically, the province consists of the island of Newfoundland and the mainland Labrador, on Canada's Atlantic coast. The entire province was initially known as Newfoundland, but since 1964, the province's government has referred to itself as the "Government of Newfoundland and Labrador", and on December 6, 2001, an amendment was made to the Constitution of Canada to change the province's official name to "Newfoundland and Labrador". In general day-to-day conversation, however, Canadians still refer to the province in a general way as "Newfoundland," while the Labrador region of the province is usually referred to as simply Labrador. Labrador is a sparsely populated piece of mainland located across the Strait of Belle Isle from the Northeastern arm of the island.
Newfoundland and Labrador consistently ranks as Canadas poorest province. The local economy, long dependent on the ever-dwindling fisheries, is turning its focus towards its abundant energy-producing capabilities.
The island's name, "Newfoundland", is derived from English as "New Found Land", Latin translation Terra Nova. Labrador comes from the Portuguese lavrador, a title meaning "landholder" held by Portuguese explorer of the region, João Fernandes Lavrador.
The province of Newfoundland and Labrador totals 405,212 km sq (156,453 mi sq). The island of Newfoundland is 111,390 km sq (43,008 mi sq). Highest elevation [in Labrador]: 1,652 m (5,420 ft).
Newfoundland is located in the Atlantic Ocean, and is the Eastern-most province in Canada.
Latitude and Longitude:
48 45 North Latitude and 56 00 West Longitude. Newfoundland Standard Time Zone (UTC-330).
GMT - 3:30
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Newfoundland has a maritime climate, and has considerable variations between the inland and coastal areas. It has the strongest winds in Canada, with most weather stations recording average wind speeds above 20 km/hour. It is also quite wet, with all regions of the island, except the Northern coast, averaging over 1,000 mm of precipitation/year. St. Johns has an average of 1,513.7 mm/year of precipitation. The spring and summer are quite cool by the Canadian standard. The summers are sunny, with afternoon highs in the area of low 20s Celsius. The average winter in the interior is between 6 C or 10 C, while winters on the Southeast coast is between 2 C and 4 C. The growing season ranges from under 100 days in the interior to approximately 150 days on the South coast.
Trees (for pulp), off-shore petroleum, iron ore, fish
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External Revenue (2003/4 fiscal year): Equalization payment from federal government (Canada): $766 million; Health and Social Transfers: $629 million.
Growth Rate: 6.5% (2003);
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Iron-ore mining, oil (123 million barrels produced in 2003) newsprint production (781,000 tonnes shipped from mills in 2003), fishing, logging and forestry, electricity production, tourism (441,400 visitors in 2003).
Mining, newsprint production, electricity production.
The Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation has launched its 2008 resident winter tourism campaign, which encourages Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to take advantage of events and activities the season has to offer. Promoting resident travel has become an important initiative for the Provincial Government. Latest statistics indicate that resident trips make up 86 per cent of total trips and account for 62 per cent of total expenditures. The total resident and non-resident tourism industry contributes about $840 million to the provincial economy.The Provincial Government has committed to spending an additional $$1 million on tourism marketing in 2008, effectively doubling the marketing budget from $6 million to $12 million since taking office in 2003.
The island was inhabited by the Beothuks and later the Mi'kmaq. The oldest known settlement anywhere in The Americas built by Europeans is located at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. It was founded circa 1000 A.D. by Leif Ericson's Vikings. Remnants and artifacts of the occupation can still be seen at L'Anse aux Meadows, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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St. Johns International Airport is serviced by one major carrier, Air Canada, as well as a variety of regional and charter airlines. It is connected to most major centres in Canada and United States. It has 3 asphalt runways: 1. 2,600 m (8,500 ft), 2. 2,100 m (7,000 ft), 3. 1,500 m (5,025 ft). Flights operated by Air Saint Pierre serve St. Pierre (France). The airport is operated by the St. Johns International Airport Authority. Regular service within the province is provided by Air Canada Jazz, Provincial Airlines, and Air Labrador. Gander International is a joint civil/military airport. It is served by Air Canada Jazz and Provincial Airlines, as well as a variety of charters on a seasonal basis. It has 3 asphalt runways, which are 3,109 m (10,200 ft), 572 m (1,875 ft), and 2,713 m (8,900 ft). Stephenville Airport, on the site of a former United States Airforce Base, is now operated by a local airport authority. It has 2 asphalt runways, which are 3,048 m (10,000 ft) and 1,341 (4,400 ft). Deer Lake Regional Airport features 1 paved runway, which is 1,828 m (6,000 ft). There are two airports in Labrador: Churchill Falls, and Goose Bay.
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St. Johns Port Authority is an autonomous federal Crown corporation. The port features 37 berths. 19 cruise ships visited it in 2004.
The Trans-Canada Highway (Route 1) covers 905 km (562 miles) on the island, connecting Port aux Basques with St. Johns. In total, there are 6,834.8 km (4,247 miles) of asphalt road on the island of Newfoundland, 478.9 km (297.8 miles) of Class 2 Road (gravel surfaced main highways), and 387.8 km (241 miles) of Class 3 Road (local and secondary gravel surfaced roads). Daily bus service between Port aux Basques and St. Johns is available through DRL Coachlines. Service to other communities is also available, including Corner Brook to St. Anthony, which is handled daily by Viking Express. St. Johns has a transit system. In 2003 it consisted of 54 buses, servicing 3,146,646 riders over 17 routes.
Marine Atlantic operates year-round ferry service connecting North Sydney, Nova Scotia and Port aux Basques, Southwest Newfoundland. From mid-June to mid-September an additional ferry operates from North Sydney to Argentia, Southeast Newfoundland. A variety of smaller ferries connect small communities on the island. There is daily service in the summer between St. Barbe and Blanc Sablon, which is on the Quebec/Labrador border. Roll-on/roll-off freighter service is being developed between the Port of Belledune, located in Northeastern New Brunswick and Corner Brook, Newfoundland.
Other Forms of Transportation:
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is a provincial Crown corporation. Its power-generating assets include 1 oil-fired plant, 4 gas turbines, 26 diesel plants, and 10 hydroelectric plants, including Churchill Falls (Labrador) hydraulic plant (5,428 MW). Hydro provides over 80% of the provinces energy needs (6,487 GWH in 2004). The provincial Crown corporation, Newfoundland Power, is responsible for distribution of electricity to approximately 85% of the total population. It buys approximately 90% of its electricity from Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. Approximately 70% of the electricity generated in the province is exported.
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Foreign currencies can be exchanged at the Islands various financial institutions. Currency from the United States is widely accepted by the provinces businesses, although there is no consistency to the exchange rate offered.
Well developed Canadian banking system, which is interwoven into the international banking scene.
Communications on Newfoundland and Labrador are open to the outside world. The provincial government maintains an impressive web presence, with information readily available. The private sphere also maintains a strong presence. There is a strong media presence on the island, including numerous newspapers, radio stations, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television station in St. Johns, and the privately-owned Newfoundland Television Network, which was affiliated with the Canadian Television broadcasting corporation until the 2002-2003 programming season.
The province operates a number of Crown corporations, including the Bull Arm Fabrication Site, the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation, the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, Newfoundland & Labrador Hydro, the Harmon Corporation, the Newfoundland Farm Products Corporation, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. There are also a variety of federal crown corporations present on the island, including the St. Johns Port Authority. Local businesses are supported by the Newfoundland and Labrador Community Business Development Corporation, which provides technical and financial support to small and medium-sized businesses, as well as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
Freehold private land, ownership transferable. Gros Morne National Park, established in 1970, covers 1,805 sq. km. (697 sq. mi.). Located on the western coast of Newfoundland, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Terra Nova National Park, established in 1957, covers 400 sq. km. (154 sq. mi.). It is located on Bonavista Bay, in eastern Newfoundland. The island has many National Historic Sites, including Signal Hall, LAnse aux Meadows, Port-aux-Choix, and Cape Spear. There also 18 ecological reserves in the province (16 are located on the island of Newfoundland). There are 6 Seabird Ecological Reserves, 4 Fossils/Geology Ecological Reserves, 6 Rare Plant/Habitat Ecological Reserves, and 1 Provisional Reserve.
In 2001 there were 643 farms in the province; likewise, in 2003 there were over 100 food manufacturers. The major products are dairy, poultry, red meats, vegetables, and fruit.
Newfoundland and Labradors coastal waters fall under federal jurisdiction.
Out-migration: Between 1996 and 2001 47,000 moved away from the province, while only 16,000 moved into it. This problem is aggravated by the fact that those mostly likely to move are young, productive individuals seeking improved opportunities. There is an acknowledged need to entice the expatriate population back, as well as a need to develop an immigration strategy. Unemployment: The province of Newfoundland and Labrador consistently has the highest level of unemployment in the country. Human Resource Development: There is an acknowledged need in the province to improve career counselling within the school system in order to draw attention to emerging opportunities, as well as a need to emphasize the growth of entrepreneurship.
Parliamentary democracy. Newfoundland and Labrador is governed by a unicameral parliament. Legislative Assembly: consists of 48 members from ridings across the province. The Assembly debates public issues, enacts legislation, approves government financial proposals, and holds government accountable. Monarch: represented in the provinces legislature by the Lieutenant Governor. The Lieutenant Governors responsibilities include summoning, proroguing, and dissolving the legislature. Also reads the Speech from the Throne that opens each Session of Parliament, and ensures that the post of the Premier always occupied. Is appointed by Governor General on advice of Prime Minister. Executive Council: also known as the Cabinet, is the executive branch of government. It handles policy and direction. Ministers appointed by Lieutenant Governor on advice of President of the Executive Council, which is the Premier (also known as the First Minister). Ministers are usually, but not always, designated as head of a specific governmental department. Speaker: selected by secret ballot from within provincial legislature. All members eligible, except for Premier, his/her Executive Council, and leaders of opposition parties. Duty is, in a non-partisan manner, to oversee conduct of parliamentary business. Premier: is the chief minister of the provincial government, and as such dominates the policy direction and activities of the government. The Premier attains office by being party leader of the majority party in the provincial legislature, or, theoretically should a majority not emerge from an election, the leader of the bloc with the most seats. The position of party leader is selected in a party leadership contest. The Premier is responsible for selecting the provincial cabinet, and its members ultimately owe their allegiance to the Premier, as s/he may remove them from their post at any time. The Premier wields additional leverage as the constitutional powers of the Lieutenant Governor are ordinarily exercised on the advice of the Premier. Justice System: The Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador consists of 23 judges, and convenes at 11 locations across the province 9 on the island itself. It is the court of first instances for criminal cases, as well as all non-criminal offences. It also acts as the Youth Court, Traffic Court, Small Claims Court for civil claims up to $5,000, and outside St. Johns handles Family Law. The Provincial Court also has jurisdiction to conduct inquiries into mysterious deaths and fires. The Supreme Court has 3 divisions. The Trial Division has unlimited jurisdiction in criminal matters and all civil cases, although financial disputes tend to be above $3,000, family matters, and appeals from the lower levels. The Court of Appeals hears appeals in criminal and civil matters from the Trial Division and Provincial Court. There is also a Unified Family Court in St. Johns. The Trial Division has 6 judicial centres, while the Court of Appeal is located in St. Johns.
Political Parties: The province is dominated by the Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties. The New Democratic Party also contests elections in the province. Elections: Statutory term is five years; however, term rarely extends this long as parliament may be dissolved at any point by the Lieutenant Governor on advice of Premier.
Newfoundland Act, 23 March 1949: Establishes terms of union between Canada and Newfoundland, including transitional grants, representation in federal parliament, and also clarifies provincial and federal responsibilities for various areas including fisheries and service. Canada-Newfoundland Atlantic Accord Implementation Act, 1987: Agreement between two governments on offshore petroleum resource management and revenue sharing. Grants Newfoundland and Labrador 100% of offshore oil revenues. Typically this oil would belong to the federal government, as Canadian waters are federal jurisdiction. The Charter: The relationship between Canada and its constituent provinces is outlined in the British North America Act, 1867. Section 91 lists the areas of federal jurisdiction, while Section 92 lists the areas of provincial jurisdiction. In 1982 the Canadian constitution was repatriated, and the British North America Act subsequently became a part of the new Constitution Act, 1982. Provincial powers are outlined in Section 92 of the British North America Act, 1867. These include direct taxation within the province, establishment and management of hospitals, asylums, and charities, the administration of licences for shops, saloons, and auctioneers, property and civil rights within the province, and the administration of justice within the province. Federal powers are outlined in Section 91 of the British North America Act, 1867. These include power over the public debt, regulation of trade and commerce, postal service, national defence, shipping and navigation, currency, banking, Native affairs, immigration, and criminal law.
The provincial and federal sales taxes have been amalgamated into one Harmonized Sales Tax, at 15% on all taxable goods and services. Personal income tax: the federal government charges 16% on the first $35,000, 22% on income between $35,001 and $70,000, 26% between 70,001 and 113,804, and 29% above $113,804 (2004). Provincial government also charges income tax: 10.57% up to $29,589, 16.16% between $29,590 and $59,179, and 18.02% above $59,180 (2002). There is a basic federal corporate tax of 25% on net business income. There are 3 provincial corporate tax rates (as of May 2005): general rate 14%, manufacturing and processing rate 5%, and small business rate 5%.
The federal government handles international representation and treaties.
Population (by age, 2004): <15: 82,542; 15-64: 368,003; >64: 66,482.
|Island||Area (km sq.)||Population||% of Total Population|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||37,494||505,469||1.4%|
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Net Migration (Interprovincial): -1,980 (2003-04); -1,683 (2002-03); -3,352 (2001-02).
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77.7 years (1999)
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The vast majority of the population is descended from 19th century settlers from England and Ireland.
The Innu are descended from populations which came to Québec-Labrador thousands of years ago. The Innu originally were caribou hunters. By the mid-1800s most areas were overtrapped, and the southern Innu needed assistance from missions and the government to survive. Soon commercial forestry increased their difficulties, and they were excluded from salmon rivers, which were leased by clubs and individuals.
Starting in 1830, the Husons's Bay Company opened posts in this northern region, supplied first from Fort Chimo and later from North West River, Labrador. The fur trade had disastrous results, because trapping did not fit with nomadic caribou hunting. Large numbers of people died, some of starvation and others from disease. By the 1950s a still unsettled Barren Ground group was trading at Fort Chimo; sick and starving, they were finally persuaded by the government to settle at the new mining town of Schefferville, Québec.
In the early 1970s the Innu organized themselves politically with the Conseil Attikameg-Montagnais in Québec, the Naskapi Montagnais Innu Association in Labrador (now called the Innu Nation) and the Naskapi Band of Schefferville. In 1975 the latter was excluded from the Agreement in Principle leading to the James Bay Agreement, but negotiated a separate agreement, providing them with the new village of Kawawachikamach. Today, the Labrador Innu are represented by the Innu Nation, while the Québec Innu are represented by Mamuitun and Mammit Innuat. The groups are pressing the government for settlement of their land claims, and protection from the impact of forestry, hydroelectric dams, roads, low-level military flights and mines, such as that now planned for Voisey Bay, Labrador.
In 1993 the Innu of Davis Inlet (Utshimassits) attracted the attention of the world's press over a gas-sniffing epidemic. The children involved recovered but the incident came to represent the conditions of native communities in Canada and the world. As a result of the attention, the Innu of Davis Inlet were relocated to their traditional hunting grounds at Sango Bay. Natuashish, the name of the community, is situated on the northern coast of Labrador 185 miles north of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Natuashish is only accessible by water or air. Natuashish is in close proximity to Utshimassits (Davis Inlet), the present community of the Mushuau Innu Band, being only 15 kilometers west of it. Natuashish, unlike Utshimassits, is situated on the mainland, so accessibility to better resources as well as traditional hunting grounds become greater.
The aboriginal people in Labrador have a long history of unequal treatment by private enterprise and government agencies. The Inuktitut language is now being taught in some schools in Labrador.
English, although government services are offered in French according to Canadian bilingual regulations.
According to 1991 census results, 60.5 % of respondents were Protestant, 36.8 % were Roman Catholic, and 1.63% claimed had no religion.
StatsCan research on literacy are not applicable because they combine the Atlantic provinces into one unit.
The Department of Education operates 305 schools in the province. There are 10 Anglophone school boards and 1 francophone. The government funds public education from kindergarten to grade 12. There are 11 private schools operating in the province. Post secondard institutes: College of the North Atlantic, Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.
Private Training Colleges: Academy Canada, CompuCollege, Corona College, Keyin College.
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In total, 82,000 students attended k-12 in 2003-2004. Funding provided by the province for Memorial University (4 campuses, 17,222 students in fall 2003) and College of the North Atlantic, which provides a wide range of programs including business, applied arts, industrial trades, information technology, and health sciences (17 campuses, 6,627 students in fall 2003). Numerous private training schools operate on the Island, providing vocational training.
There are 11 hospitals on the island of Newfoundland (12 province-wide), and many more nursing homes and community health care centres throughout the province. There are approximately 640 physicians province-wide, and 13,000 full-time jobs in health care. Memorial University has its own medical school. Canadian health care is administered by provinces according to the Canada Health Act. It dictates that health care must be publicly administered, comprehensive, universally available, portable and accessible to all Canadian residents. It also contains provisions to discourage extra-billing and user charges for insured health services.
HISTORY AND CULTURE
From its earliest days of European occupation, Newfoundland has been closely linked to the fisheries. Visited by John Cabot in 1497, the British first settled the island in 1610 and, while official rules discouraged permanent settlement in the early years, by 1775 the population exceeded 12,000.
The population continued to grow as the fish trade thrived between the island, Britain, and the West Indies. A thriving colony, it rejected entering Confederation with Canada until 1949, when the debt accumulated by their railway and First World War service rendered continued political independence difficult.
In an effort to modernize the province and better provide services for its population, beginning in 1953, the Newfoundland government assisted the depopulation of small, isolated fishing communities known as the "out ports", as well as the consequential resettlement in predetermined growth centres. This process was formalized in 1965 as the Fisheries Household Resettlement Program, and led to the abandonment of approximately 250 communities.
The Newfoundland economy was dealt a devastating blow in 1992 when the federal government issued a moratorium on cod fishing, causing 19,000 fishers and plant workers, as well as an estimated 20,000 others employed in spin-off employment, to lose their jobs. This fishery has not recovered as had been originally hoped, forcing the province to restructure the economy.
In June 1948 a referendum was held in which Newfoundlanders were asked to choose between entering Confederation, dominion (responsible government) status (perhaps leading to economic union with the United States), or the current system, in which officials appointed by Britain governed the island. Islanders favoured responsible government; however, there was not a clear majority, so a second referendum was held the following month. In a vote that largely divided along sectarian lines (Roman Catholics tended to oppose Confederation, while Protestants favoured it), the option of Confederation with Canada won with 52% of ballots cast. This led to renewed negotiations between Newfoundland and Canada, which led to the provinces ultimate entry as the tenth province in 1949.
Recent Significant Events:
Atlantic Accord: In 1987 a deal between the federal and provincial governments agreed to allow the province to keep the benefits of offshore oil development, as if the resources were located on land. A deal signed between Newfoundland and Labrador and the federal government on February 14, 2005 agreed to refund the province for any reductions in equalization payments brought about by influx of money from offshore oil resources. The arrangement will be reviewed by the parties no later than March 31, 2005. Mega projects: There are a couple projects that look especially promising for the long-struggling province. Voiseys Bay will host an open pit nickel mine, which is expected to begin operations in 2006. It should provide provincial coffers with $11 billion (Canadian) over 30 years. The oil fields are also benefiting the province. With two fields, Hibernia and Terra Nova, in production, in 2003 they accounted for the direct employment of 2,600, and 18% of the provinces total GDP. A third oil field, White Rose, is scheduled to commence production by 2006.
Music, Dance, Handicraft and Patrimony:
Newfoundland folk music arrived from England, Ireland, and Scotland during the colonial times and flourished with a special Newfoundland theme coming from the bare rock and wild seas. Today's Newfoundland music is well-known through artists like Ron Hynes and Great Big Sea.
There are eight Newfoundland theatre companies currently staging or preparing to stage productions, and hundreds of authors of history texts, folk lore, and novels based on Newfoundland and Labrador.
Memorial University Libraries,Newfoundland & Labrador Websites by subject: education: http://www.library.mun.ca/qeii/cns/education.php.
The Newfoundland Aboriginal Womens Network, 2008. http://www.nawn-nf.com/home.htm.
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