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Facts about British Columbia For Kids

British Columbia is also a component of the Pacific Northwest, along with the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington. The province’s name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858, reflecting its origins as the British remainder of the Columbia District of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

  • In 1871, it became the sixth province of Canada.
  • The capital of British Columbia is Victoria, the fifteenth-largest metropolitan region in Canada, named for the Queen who created the Colony of British Columbia.
  • The largest city is Vancouver, the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada, the largest in Western Canada, and the second-largest in the Pacific Northwest.
  • The province is currently governed by the BC Liberal Party, led by Premier Christy Clark, who became leader as a result of a leadership convention vote on 26 February 2011, and who led her party to an election victory on 14 May 2013.
  • Though less than 5% of its vast 364,764 sq mi land is arable, the province is agriculturally rich, because of milder weather near the coast and in certain sheltered southern valleys.
  • Queen Victoria chose British Columbia to distinguish what was the British sector of the Columbia District from that of the United States, which became the Oregon Territory in 1848, as a result of the treaty.
  • Much of the western part of Vancouver Island and the rest of the coast is covered by thick, tall and sometimes impenetrable temperate rainforest.
  • The Southern Interior cities of Kamloops and Penticton have some of the warmest and longest summer climates in Canada, although their temperatures can be exceeded north of the Fraser Canyon, close to the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson rivers, where the terrain is rugged and covered with desert-type flora.
  • Annual sunshine hours vary from 2200 near Cranbrook and Victoria to less than 1300 in Prince Rupert, located on the North Coast, just south of the Alaska Panhandle.
  • There are 141 ecological Reserves, 35 provincial marine parks, 7 Provincial Heritage Sites, 6 National Historic Sites of Canada, 4 National Parks and 3 National Park Reserves.
  • British Columbia contains seven of Canada’s national parks: Glacier National Park Gulf Islands National Park Reserve Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site Kootenay National Park Mount Revelstoke National Park Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Yoho National Park British Columbia also contains a large network of provincial parks, run by BC Parks of the Ministry of Environment.
  • With the agreement by the Canadian government to extend the Canadian Pacific Railway to British Columbia and to assume the colony’s debt, British Columbia became the sixth province to join Confederation on 20 July 1871.
  • The Socreds were forced from power in the August 1972 election, paving the way for a provincial New Democratic Party (NDP) government under Dave Barrett.
  • In 2009, the Canada Line SkyTrain was completed, linking Vancouver International Airport and the city of Richmond to downtown Vancouver bringing the total to three operating metro lines.