Canada page 14-14
   Nova Scotia    

The Land

Nova Scotia's 580-km-long peninsula is surrounded by four bodies
of water - the Atlantic Ocean, the Bay of Fundy,
the Northumberland Strait and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Its geographic location, together with large, ice-free,
deep-water harbours, has been a key factor in the province's
economic development.

With an area of 55 491 km2, Nova Scotia is larger than Denmark,
although somewhat smaller than Scotland, after which it is named.
Its average width of 128 km means that no part of the province
is far from the sea.

Nova Scotia is a mosaic of rugged headlands,
tranquil harbours and ocean beaches.
Its indented shoreline stretches 10 424 km, while inland
is a myriad of lakes and streams.
The land is framed by the rocky Atlantic Uplands,
the Cape Breton Highlands and the wooded Cobequid Hills.
The agricultural areas of Nova Scotia are predominantly lowlands.
When the glacial ice withdrew from coastal Nova Scotia
15 000 to 18 000 years ago,
the ocean flooded ancient river valleys and carved out hundreds of
small protected harbours which later became fishing ports.

Nova Scotia lies in the northern temperate zone and,
although the province is almost surrounded by water, the climate
is continental rather than maritime.
The temperature extremes of a continental climate,
however, are moderated by the ocean.


The History

The Mi'Kmaq Indians inhabited Nova Scotia long before the
first explorers arrived from Europe.
The first visitors were Norsemen in the early 11th century,
and, in 1497, Italian explorer John Cabot had
noted the rich fishing grounds in the area.

In the 17th century, all of Nova Scotia, as well as parts of Quebec,
New Brunswick and Maine, which made up an area known as Acadia,
was settled by the French. Pierre de Monts established the first
successful agricultural settlement in Canada, at Port Royal in 1605.
In the next century, the British and the French feuded over the area.
Control passed back and forth until 1713, when all of Acadia was
ceded to the British under the Treaty of Utrecht.

Conflict between Britain and France continued. The Acadians,
mainly settlers from France, tried to convince both sides
of their neutrality, but by 1755 the British had decided
that the Acadians posed too great a security threat.
They expelled all Acadians who would not swear allegiance
to the British Crown.
Many returned to France, some settled in New France and many
others moved to the United States.

In 1783, thousands of United Empire Loyalists from the
newly independent New England states immigrated to Nova Scotia.
They wanted to remain British despite the formation of
the United States of America.
The influx of the Loyalists doubled Nova Scotia's population;
and, in 1784, it was partitioned to create the colonies
of New Brunswick and Cape Breton Island.

In 1848, largely through the efforts of newspaper owner and
patriot Joseph Howe, Nova Scotia became the first British colony
to win responsible government.

Nova Scotia was one of the four provinces that constituted
the new federation called the Dominion of Canada in 1867.
At that time, the province was in the forefront of international
shipbuilding and the lumber and fish trades.
Confederation helped to finance the railroad to Quebec City,
which opened the province to the interior of the continent.
The first and second world wars emphasized the importance
of Halifax, Nova Scotia's capital, as a staging point
for convoys and confirmed it as one of the
world's major military ports.


The People

Over 80 percent of Nova Scotia's population of 940 888
trace their ancestry either wholly or partly tothe British Isles.
Those with French origin rank second: 18 percent of residents
have some French ancestry.
The next largest groups by ancestry are German and Dutch.

Many residents of Nova Scotia are also of Polish, Italian,
Jewish and Lebanese descent.
After the War of 1812, several thousand Blacks,
including the Chesapeake Blacks, settled in the Halifax area;
today over 15 000 residents of the province have Black origins.
More recent immigrants to Nova Scotia have included Chinese,
Indo-Chinese, African, Asian and eastern European groups.

Almost 22 000 residents of Nova Scotia have Aboriginal origins
and primarily belong to the Mi'Kmaq Nation.

The largest concentrations of population are found in the Halifax
metropolitan area with a population of approximately 320 000 and
the Sydney urban area with approximately 116 000.
Major towns include Yarmouth, Kentville, Bridgewater,
Truro, Amherst and New Glasgow.


The Economy

Nova Scotia's economy is highly diversified, having evolved
from resource-based employment to include many types of
manufactured goods as well as business and personal services.

The resources sector started with the sea and the teeming fish
of the Scotian Shelf.
This resource, particularly cod, has been hit by dwindling stocks
in recent years, and quotas are affecting those who derive their
livelihood from this sector.
In 1992, approximately 20 000 workers were directly employed
in fishing and fish processing and many more jobs were indirectly
created by activity in the sector.
The catch is composed mainly of cod, haddock and pollock,
as well as lobsters, scallops and crab.

For a small province, Nova Scotia has a highly developed
forestry sector with four pulp and paper mills
and several hundred sawmills.

The mining sector is dominated by coal production of
four million tonnes.
The province also produces 5.3 million tonnes of gypsum,
over 85 percent of the Canadian total.
Other mining activity includes salt, barite, crushed stone,
peat and sand and gravel.
Extensive exploration of offshore oil and gas has been
undertaken in the past decade, and in 1991 the first commercial
production of oil began near Sable Island.

Nova Scotia has a highly specialized commercial agriculture sector.
Dairy is the largest sector, followed by horticultural crops,
poultry, eggs, beef cattle and hogs.
Export commodities include blueberries, apples and
processed fruits, vegetables and juices.

Tourism is an important sector in the provincial economy.
Total tourism receipts exceed $800 million and over 30 000
are employed in the many aspects of the industry.
More than a million persons visit the province each year,
with almost one quarter of these coming from outside Canada.

The province's physical location has made it well-suited
for industry and trade.
Harbour facilities, modern highways, air transportation,
industrial parks, research and education facilities
all contribute to providing a varied and
positive climate for business.


   Canada    Yukon
   Northwest Territories    Nunavut
   British Columbia    Alberta
   Saskatchwan    Manitoba
   Ontario    Quebec
   Newfoundland    New Brunswick
   Prince Edward Island    Nova Scotia


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