Provinces of Canada
In this series of articles we will talk about the main provinces of Canada, covering demographic, economic and climatic aspects, among others.
Located in the Atlantic coast, Nova Scotia (Latin for New Scotland), has a population of a little less than 1 million people, making it the most populous province in Atlantic Canada and the second-most densely populated province in the country. In 2019, the province welcomed a record number of almost 7,600 new immigrants and observed the fastest growth in a one year period since 1972. Nova Scotia's capital and largest city is Halifax, which is home to about 45% of the province's population.
One of the four provinces of the Atlantic Region of Canada, Nova Scotia is composed of the Nova Scotia peninsula, the Cape Breton Island and more than 3,800 coastal islands. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and connected to the continent by the Isthmus of Chignecto, the province's only land border is New Brunswick ischaracterized by a variety of landscapes like rolling hills, fertile valleys, forests, rivers, lakes, cliffs and beaches. Nowhere in the province is more than 67 km away from the ocean.
Nova Scotia's climate is greatly influenced by the proximity to the sea, which results in cold wet winters, and warm summers. Halifax, on the central part of the Atlantic coast, has an average temperature of -4.5 °C in the winter and 19 °C in the summer.
English is the official language of the province with more than 90% of the population speaking only English. There is no legal requirement to provide any services in other languages. However, services and education are offered in French. Nova Scotia is home to the largest Scottish Gaelic-speaking community outside of Scotland and the language is taught in a number of schools throughout the province. The native language of the Mi’kmaq is also very common.
Nova Scotia has a diversified economy based on both land and sea resources. Although traditional industries such as fishing, forestry, and mining are now in decline, other industries are becoming more significant components of the economy. Tourism has attracted over 200,000 cruise ship passengers through the capital port of Halifax each year, generating more than 40,000 jobs. There is also off-shore oil and gas exploration.
Most of the labour force is employed in public and private services in telecommunications, computer technology, and education. Recently, the province has attracted many skilled workers for having one of the lowest cost of living in Canada.
The school year in Canada starts in September and ends in June, with the months of July and August being the summer break. Like many other aspects of the country, it is the responsibility of the provinces to monitor and regulate education. In Nova Scotia, all children until 16 years old are requested to go to school. Canadian citizens, permanent residents and children of international students have access to free education from Kindergarten to Grade 12, starting at 5 years old and as long as certain requirements are met. Education can either be in English or French.
The province has ten universities, the largest number of universities per capita per capita of any province in Canada. In Halifax, Dalhousie University is the largest and Mount Saint Vincent University is the only university in Canada to make the education of women its focus. Sainte-Anne is the only French-language university in Nova Scotia.
In addition to the immigration process offered by the federal government, it is also possible to choose one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) to immigrate to Canada. Nova Scotia offers the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP), which nominates internationally trained and experienced workers who have the skills and experience needed for the province's economy to apply for permanent residence.
In 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) was created to address labour shortages in Atlantic Canada, allowing eligible employers to hire foreign-trained workers and international graduates. Due to its success, the pilot is now a permanent program.
Nova Scotia has numerous historical sites and National Parks, as well as many museums and villages that reflect its ethnic heritage. More than a million people visit the province each year.
In Cape Breton Island, the Cabot Trail is one of the best scenic drives in Canada. Other places to visit on the island are Cape Breton Highlands National Park and the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. On the south shore there are many picturesque towns and fishing villages, Peggy’s Cove is the most visited. The historic site of Old Town Lunenburg was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995.
Halifax is a lively city, its waterfront boardwalk is almost 4 kilometre long with many shops, restaurants and museums. Some attractions to visit in Halifax are the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Citadel Hill.
Other attractions in Nova Scotia are the Bay of Fundy tides, the highest in the world, many wineries in Annapolis Valley and whale watching on Brier Island.
By Janayna Sercheli