|Date Entered Confederation:||July 20, 1871|
|Area:||947,800 Sq Km|
|Population:||Click Here for Population Page|
|Motto:||Splendor without Diminishment|
|Known As:||Pacific Playground|
|Provincial Animal:||White Spirit Bear|
|Provincial Bird:||Steller's Jay|
|Provincial Tree:||Western Red Cedar|
|Lieutenant Governor:||Hon. Janet Austin|
|Premier:||Hon. John Horgon|
|Political Party:||New Democratic Party (with Green Party alliance)|
|Main Products:||Agricultural: Cattle, tree fruit, wheat, fish (mainly salmon), timber.|
Manufactured: Lumber and plywood, pulp and paper, food and beverages.
Mined: Copper, coal, natural gas, crude oil, gold, silver.
British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province and one of North America's most mountainous regions. BC is bordered by the province of Alberta, the Yukon Territory and several US states, including Alaska. Given its location, British Columbia is a gateway to the Pacific and Asia. Sometimes simply categorized as part of Canada's "West", the province is actually a very distinct region both geographically and culturally.
The variety of its landscapes is the main reason for BC's distinctiveness: its large area offers remarkable topographical contrasts. Where the Pacific Ocean reaches the continent, it encounters with a chain of islands, large and small, running from north to south. Some of these islands are nestled in fiords carved in the majestic Coastal Mountains, which rise more than 2,000 m above sea level.
To the east of the Coastal Mountains lies a rolling upland of forests, natural grasslands and lakes. Further east, the Rocky Mountains (with peaks more than 4,000 m high) separate BC from neighbouring Alberta. In the north, a small corner of the province is occupied by the Great Plains.
The province's climate equals its topography for variety. For example, the mild coastal region receives abundant precipitation -- from 130 to 380 cm of rain a year - while the interior has a continental climate. Other parts of the province of BC are almost desert-like, with very hot summers followed by very cold winters.
British Columbia is home to more mammal and bird species than any other Canadian Province. Of 209 known terrestrial mammals in Canada, 119 live in BC. Of 462 known resident species of birds, 362 live in BC.
(Text courtesy Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade)
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