British Columbia

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Posted by r2d2 04/06/2009 @ 04:18

Tags : british columbia, counties, canada, world

News headlines
"Green" power producers gets Canada election lift - Reuters
By Susan Taylor OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian green energy companies are shaping up as winners after British Columbia's Liberals kept their hold on power in the Pacific province and upped the odds that clean energy projects would go ahead....
BC power grid goes under the microscope - Vancouver Sun
By Scott Simpson, Vancouver SunMay 19, 2009 The debate over independent power production in British Columbia did not end with the recent provincial election. The BC Liberals loved it, the New Democrats hated it, and environmental groups were split....
Treacherous Victoria Day long weekend claims eight lives in BC - The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER, BC — A treacherous Victoria Day long weekend in British Columbia has left eight people dead. The body of a 19-year-old Delta resident was discovered Monday morning after his vehicle went off the road near Harrison Hot Springs....
CUPE BC: Community Safety Gets a Boost With New "City Watch" - Market Wire (press release)
VERNON, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 19, 2009) - Community safety got a big boost here today with the launch of a new program designed to give Vernon police 'extra eyes and ears' in the fight against crime. "City Watch", an initiative of the...
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Fewer Housing Starts ... - Market Wire (press release)
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 19, 2009) - A slowing job market and ample housing supply in the existing home market will contribute to fewer housing starts this year. The housing outlook improves in 2010 with smaller projected declines...
biOasis Enters Into Collaborative Research Agreement With the ... - GlobeNewsWire (press release)
It has extensive and comprehensive intellectual property ("IP"), which it obtained, from the University of British Columbia. The Company's initial area of focus will be on the utilization of its IP to pursue a biomarker for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's...
Should we call it the Salish Sea, not Puget Sound? - Seattle Post Intelligencer
A retired professor at Western Washington University is getting some traction with an idea to name the inland waters that Washington and British Columbia the Salish Sea. Bert Webber told The Bellingham Herald that the name would reinforce the idea that...
BC volunteers rankled as Spitfire sold for $1 -
At the centre of the sale is the Y2K Spitfire, estimated to be worth around $700000 and now being rebuilt at the air force museum at Comox, BC The project to get the plane flying again was financed by a $250000 federal grant as well as $325000 in...
Deadly long weekend claims nine lives in BC - CTV British Columbia
Nine people are now confirmed dead in recreational accidents following a treacherous Victoria Day long weekend in British Columbia. A 20-year-old man drowned Sunday morning in Sugar Lake, east of Lumby, BC, in the North Okanagan after his canoe flipped...
BC pilot missing for 4 days found dead - The Gazette (Montreal)
VANCOUVER -- The body of an 83-year-old pilot who went missing four days ago in the British Columbia Interior has been found. The man, whose name has not been released, was scheduled to travel from Cranbrook, BC, to Kelowna, BC, but never arrived....

British Columbia

Map of Canada with British Columbia highlighted

British Columbia ( ˌbrɪtɨʃ kəˈlʌmbiə (help·info)) (BC) (French: la Colombie-Britannique, C.-B.) is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is famed for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu ("Splendour without Diminishment"). It was the sixth province to join the Canadian Confederation.

The capital of British Columbia is Victoria, the 15th largest metropolitan region in Canada. The largest city is Vancouver, the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada and the second-largest in the Pacific Northwest.

The province's name was chosen by Queen Victoria when the Mainland became a British colony in 1858. It references the Columbia District, the British name for the territory drained by the Columbia River, which has its origins and upper reaches in southeastern British Columbia, which was the namesake of the pre-Oregon Treaty Columbia Department of the Hudson's Bay Company. Queen Victoria chose British Columbia to distinguish what was the British sector of the Columbia District from that of the United States ("American Columbia" or "Southern Columbia"), which became the Oregon Territory in 1848 as a result of the treaty.

British Columbia is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west, by the U.S. state of Alaska on the northwest, and to the north by the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, on the east by the province of Alberta, and on the south by the U.S. states of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. The current southern border of British Columbia was established by the 1846 Oregon Treaty, although its history is tied with lands as far south as the California border. British Columbia's land area is 944,735 square kilometres (364,764 square miles). British Columbia's rugged coastline stretches for more than 27,000 kilometres (17,000 mi), and includes deep, mountainous fjords and about 6,000 islands, most of which are uninhabited.

British Columbia's capital is Victoria, located at the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island. The province's most populous city is Vancouver, which is not on Vancouver Island but rather is located in the southwest corner of the mainland (an area often called the Lower Mainland). Other major cities include Surrey, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Richmond, Delta, and New Westminster in the Lower Mainland; Abbotsford, Pitt Meadows and Langley in the Fraser Valley; Nanaimo on Vancouver Island; and Kelowna and Kamloops in the Interior. Prince George is the largest city in the northern part of the province, while a village northwest of it, Vanderhoof, is near the geographic centre of the province.

The Coast Mountains and the Inside Passage's many inlets provide some of British Columbia's renowned and spectacular scenery, which forms the backdrop and context for a growing outdoor adventure and ecotourism industry. Seventy-five percent of the province is mountainous (more than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level); 60% is forested; and only about 5% is arable.

The Okanagan area is one of three wine-growing regions in Canada and also produces excellent ciders. The city of Penticton, and rural towns of Oliver, and Osoyoos have some of the warmest and longest summer climates in Canada, although their temperature ranges are exceeded by the warmer Fraser Canyon towns of Lillooet and Lytton, where shade temperatures on summer afternoons often surpass 40 °C (104 °F) but with very low humidity.

Much of the western part of Vancouver Island and the rest of the coast is covered by temperate rain forest. This region, which includes parts of the west coast of the United States, is one of a mere handful of such temperate rain forest ecosystems in the world (notable others being in Turkey, Georgia, Chile, New Zealand, Tasmania, and the Russian Far East). The province's mainland away from the coastal regions is not as moderated by the Pacific Ocean and ranges from desert and semi-arid plateau to the range and canyon districts of the interior plateau. A few southern interior valleys have short cold winters with infrequent heavy snow, while those in the Cariboo, the northern part of the Central Interior, are colder because of their altitude and latitude, but without the intensity or duration experienced at similar latitudes elsewhere in Canada. The northern two-thirds of the province is largely unpopulated and undeveloped, and is mostly mountainous except east of the Rockies, where the Peace River District in the northeast of the province contains BC's portion of the Canadian Prairies.

There are 14 designations of parks and protected areas in the province that reflects the different administration and creation of these areas in a modern context. There are 141 ecological Reserves, 35 provincial marine parks, 7 Provincial Heritage Sites, 6 National Historic Sites, 4 National Parks and 3 National Park Reserves. 12.5% (114,000 km²) of British Columbia is currently considered protected under one of the 14 different designations that includes over 800 distinct areas.

British Columbia also contains a large network of provincial parks, run by BC Parks of the Ministry of Environment. British Columbia's provincial parks system is the second largest parks system in Canada (the largest is Canada's National Parks system).

In addition to these areas, over 4.7 million hectares of arable land are protected by the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The discovery of stone tools on the Beatton River near Fort St. John date human habitation in British Columbia to at least 11,500 years ago. The Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast spread throughout the region, achieving a high population density; at the time of European contact, nearly half the aboriginal people in present-day Canada lived in the region.

The explorations of James Cook in the 1770s and George Vancouver in 1792 established British jurisdiction over the coastal area north and west of the Columbia River. In 1793, Sir Alexander Mackenzie was the first European to journey across North America overland to the Pacific Ocean, inscribing a stone marking his accomplishment on the shoreline of Dean Channel near Bella Coola. His expedition theoretically established British sovereignty inland, and a succession of other fur company explorers charted the maze of rivers and mountain ranges between the Canadian Prairies and the Pacific. Mackenzie and these other explorers — notably John Finlay, Simon Fraser, Samuel Black, and David Thompson — were primarily concerned with extending the fur trade, rather than political considerations. In 1794, by the third of a series of agreements known as the Nootka Conventions, Spain conceded its claims of exclusivity in the Pacific. This opened the way for formal claims and colonization by other powers, including Britain, but because of the Napoleonic Wars there was little British action on its claims in the region until later.

The establishment of trading posts under the auspices of the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), effectively established a permanent British presence in the region. The Columbia District, broadly defined as being south of 54°40′ north latitude, (the southern limit of Russian America) and north of Mexican Controlled California west of the Rocky Mountains was, by the Anglo-American Convention of 1818, under the "joint occupancy and use" of citizens of the United States and subjects of Britain (which is to say, the fur companies). This co-occupancy was ended with the Oregon Treaty of 1846.

The major supply route was the York Factory Express between Hudson Bay and Fort Vancouver. Some of the early outposts grew into settlements, communities, and cities. Among the places in British Columbia that began as fur trading posts are Fort St John (established 1794); Hudson's Hope (1805); Fort Nelson (1805); Fort St. James (1806); Prince George (1807); Kamloops (1812); Fort Langley (1827); Victoria (1843); Yale (1848); and Nanaimo (1853). Fur company posts that became cities in what is now the United States include Vancouver, Washington (Fort Vancouver), formerly the "capital" of Hudson's Bay operations in the Columbia District, Colville, Washington and Walla Walla, Washington (old Fort Nez Perces).

With the amalgamation of the two fur trading companies in 1821, the region now comprising British Columbia existed in three fur trading departments. The bulk of the central and northern interior was organized into the New Caledonia district, administered from Fort St. James. The interior south of the Thompson River watershed and north of the Columbia was organized into the Columbia District, administered from Fort Vancouver on the lower Columbia River. The northeast corner of the province east of the Rockies, known as the Peace River Block, was attached to the much larger Athabasca District, headquartered in Fort Chipewyan, in present day Alberta.

Until 1849, these districts were a wholly unorganized area of British North America under the de facto jurisdiction of HBC administrators. Unlike Rupert's Land to the north and east, however, the territory was not a concession to the company. Rather, it was simply granted a monopoly to trade with the First Nations inhabitants. All that was changed with the westward extension of American exploration and the concomitant overlapping claims of territorial sovereignty, especially in the southern Columbia basin (within present day Washington state and Oregon). In 1846, the Oregon Treaty divided the territory along the 49th parallel to Georgia Strait, with the area south of this boundary, excluding Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands) transferred to sole American sovereignty. The Colony of Vancouver Island was created in 1849, with Victoria designated as the capital. New Caledonia, as the whole of the mainland rather than just its north-central Interior came to be called, continued to be an unorganized territory of British North America, "administered" by individual HBC trading post managers.

With the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush in 1858, an influx of Americans into New Caledonia prompted the colonial office to formally designate the mainland as the Colony of British Columbia, with New Westminster as its capital. A series of gold rushes in various parts of the province followed, the largest being the Cariboo Gold Rush in 1862, forcing the colonial administration into deeper debt as it struggled to meet the extensive infrastructure needs of far-flung boom communities like Barkerville and Lilooet, which sprang up overnight. The Vancouver Island colony was facing financial crises of its own, and pressure to merge the two eventually succeeded in 1866.

The Confederation League, including such figures as Amor De Cosmos, John Robson, and Robert Beaven, led the chorus pressing for the colony to join Canada, which had been created out of three British North American colonies in 1867 (the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick). Several factors motivated this agitation, including the fear of annexation to the United States, the overwhelming debt created by rapid population growth, the need for government-funded services to support this population, and the economic depression caused by the end of the gold rush. 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 borders of the province were not completely settled until 1903, however, when the province's territory shrank somewhat after the Alaska Boundary Dispute settled the vague boundary of the Alaska Panhandle.

Population in British Columbia continued to expand as the province's mining, forestry, agriculture, and fishing sectors were developed. Mining activity was particularly notable in the Boundary Country, in the Slocan, in the West Kootenay around Trail, the East Kootenay (the southeast corner of the province), the Fraser Canyon, the Cariboo and elsewhere. Agriculture attracted settlers to the fertile Fraser Valley, and cattle ranchers and later fruit growers came to the drier grasslands of the Thompson River area, the Cariboo, the Chilcotin, and the Okanagan. Forestry drew workers to the lush temperate rain forests of the coast, which was also the locus of a growing fishery.

Meanwhile, the province continued to grow. In 1914, the last spike of a second transcontinental rail line, the Grand Trunk Pacific, linking north-central British Columbia from the Yellowhead Pass through Prince George to Prince Rupert was driven at Fort Fraser. This opened up the north coast and the Bulkley Valley region to new economic opportunities. What had previously been an almost exclusively fur trade and subsistence economy soon became a locus for forestry, farming, and mining.

When the men returned from World War I, they discovered the recently-enfranchised women of the province had helped vote in the prohibition of liquor in an effort to end the social problems associated with the hard-core drinking that Vancouver and the rest of the province was famous for until the war. Because of pressure from veterans, prohibition was quickly relaxed so that the "soldier and the working man" could enjoy a drink, but widespread unemployment among veterans was hardened by many of the available jobs being taken by European immigrants and disgruntled veterans organized a range of "soldier parties" to represent their interests, variously named Soldier-Farmer, Soldier-Labour, and Farmer-Labour Parties. These formed the basis of the fractured labour-political spectrum that would generate a host of fringe leftist and rightist parties, including those who would eventually form the Co-operative Commonwealth and the early Social Credit splinter groups.

The advent of prohibition in the United States created new opportunities, and many found employment or at least profit in cross-border liquor smuggling. Much of Vancouver's prosperity and opulence in the 1920s results from this "pirate economy", although growth in forestry, fishing and mining continued. The end of U.S. prohibition, combined with the onset of the Great Depression, plunged the province into economic destitution. Compounding the already dire local economic situation, tens of thousands of men from colder parts of Canada swarmed into Vancouver, creating huge hobo jungles around False Creek and the Burrard Inlet rail yards, including the old Canadian Pacific Railway mainline right-of-way through the heart of the city's downtown (at Hastings and Carrall). Increasingly desperate times led to intense political organizing efforts, an occupation of the main Post Office at Granville & Hastings which was violently put down by the police and an effective imposition of martial law on the docks for almost three years. A Vancouver contingent for the On-to-Ottawa Trek was organized and seized a train, which was loaded with thousands of men bound for the capital but was met by a Gatling gun straddling the tracks at Mission; the men were arrested and sent to work camps for the duration of the Depression.

There were some signs of economic life beginning to return to normal towards the end of the 1930s, but it was the onset of World War II which transformed the national economy and ended the hard times of the Depression. Because of the war effort, women entered the workforce as never before.

During World War II the mainstream British Columbia Liberal Party and British Columbia Conservative Party Parties of British Columbia united in a formal coalition government under new Liberal leader John Hart, who replaced Duff Pattullo when the latter failed to win a majority in the 1941 election. While the Liberals won the most number of seats, they actually received fewer votes than the socialist Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). Pattullo was unwilling to form a coalition with the rival Conservatives led by Royal Lethington Maitland and was replaced by Hart who formed a coalition cabinet made up of five Liberal and three Conservative ministers. The CCF was invited to join the coalition but refused. The pretext for continuing the coalition after the end of World War II was to prevent the CCF, which had won a surprise victory in Saskatchewan in 1944, from ever coming to power in British Columbia. The CCF's popular vote was high enough in the 1945 election that they were likely to have won three-way contests and could have formed government. However, the coalition prevented that by uniting the anti-socialist vote. In the post-war environment the government initiated a series of infrastructure projects, notably the completion of Highway 97 north of Prince George to the Peace River Block, a section called the John Hart Highway and also public hospital insurance.

In 1947 the reins of the Coalition were taken over by Byron Ingemar Johnson. The Conservatives had wanted their new leader Herbert Anscomb to be premier, but the Liberals in the Coalition refused. Johnson led the coalition to the highest percentage of the popular vote in British Columbia history (61%) in the 1949 election. This victory was attributable to the popularity of his government's spending programmes, despite rising criticism of corruption and abuse of power. During his tenure, major infrastructure continued to expand, and the agreement with Alcan to build the Kemano-Kitimat hydro and aluminum complex was put in place. Johnson achieved popularity for flood relief efforts during the 1948 flooding of the Fraser Valley, which was a major blow to that region and to the province's economy.

Increasing tension between the Liberal and Conservative coalition partners led the Liberal Party executive to vote to instruct Johnson to terminate the arrangement. Johnson ended the coalition and dropped his Conservative cabinet ministers, including Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Herbert Anscomb, precipitating the general election of 1952. A referendum on electoral reform prior to this election had instigated an elimination ballot (similar to a preferential ballot), where voters could select second and third choices. The intent of the ballot, as campaigned for by Liberals and Conservatives, was that their supporters would list the rival party in lieu of the CCF, but this plan backfired when a large group of voters from all major parties, including the CCF, voted for the fringe British Columbia Social Credit Party (Socreds), who wound up with the largest number of seats in the House (19), only one seat ahead of the CCF, despite the CCF having 34.3% of the vote to Social Credit's 30.18%. The Social Credit Party, led by rebel former Conservative MLA W. A. C. Bennett, formed a minority government backed by the Liberals and Conservatives (with 6 and 4 seats respectively). Bennett began a series of fiscal reforms, preaching a new variety of populism as well as waxing eloquent on progress and development, laying the ground for a second election in 1953 in which the new Bennett regime secured a majority of seats, with 38% of the vote.

With the election of the Social Credit Party, British Columbia embarked a phase of rapid economic development. Bennett and his party governed the province for the next twenty years, during which time the government initiated an ambitious programme of infrastructure development, fuelled by a sustained economic boom in the forestry, mining, and energy sectors.

During these two decades, the government nationalized British Columbia Electric and the British Columbia Power Company, as well as smaller electric companies, renaming the entity BC Hydro. By the end of the 1960s, several major dams had been begun or completed in — among others — the Peace, Columbia, and Nechako River watersheds. Major transmission deals were concluded, most notably the Columbia River Treaty between Canada and the United States. The province's economy was also boosted by unprecedented growth in the forest sector, as well as oil and gas development in the province's northeast.

The 1950s and 1960s were also marked by development in the province's transportation infrastructure. In 1960, the government established BC Ferries as a crown corporation, in order to provide a marine extension of the provincial highway system. That system was improved and expanded through the construction of new highways and bridges, and paving of existing highways and provincial roads.

Vancouver and Victoria become cultural centres as poets, authors, artists, musicians, as well as dancers, actors, and haute cuisine chefs flocked to the beautiful scenery and warmer temperatures. Similarly, these cities have either attracted or given rise to their own noteworthy academics, commentators, and creative thinkers. Tourism also began to play an important role in the economy. The rise of Japan and other Pacific economies was a great boost to British Columbia's economy.

Politically and socially, the 1960s brought a period of significant social ferment. The divide between the political left and right, which had prevailed in the province since the Depression and the rise of the labour movement, sharpened as so-called free enterprise parties coalesced into the defacto coalition represented by Social Credit — in opposition to the social democratic New Democratic Party, the successor to the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. As the province's economy blossomed, so did labour-management tensions. Tensions emerged, also, from the counterculture movement of the late 1960s, of which Vancouver and Nanaimo were centres. The conflict between hippies and Vancouver mayor Tom Campbell was particularly legendary, culminating in the so-called Gastown Riots of 1971. By the end of the decade, with social tensions and dissatisfaction with the status quo rising, the Bennett government's achievements could not stave off its growing unpopularity.

On 27 August 1969, the Social Credit Party was re-elected in a general election for what would be Bennett's final term in power. At the start of the 1970s, the economy was quite strong because of rising coal prices and an increase in annual allowable cuts in the forestry sector. However, BC Hydro reported its first loss, which was the beginning of the end for Bennett and the Social Credit Party.

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. Under Barrett, the large provincial surplus soon became a deficit, although changes to the accounting system makes it likely that some of the deficit was carried over from the previous Social Credit regime and its "two sets of books", as WAC Bennett had once referred to his system of fiscal management. The brief three year ("Thousand Days") period of NDP governance brought several lasting changes to the province, most notably the creation of the Agricultural Land Reserve, intended to protect farmland from redevelopment, and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, a crown corporation charged with a monopoly on providing single-payer basic automobile insurance.

Perceptions that the government had instituted reforms either too swiftly or that were too far-reaching, coupled with growing labour disruptions led to the ouster of the NDP in the 1975 general election. Social Credit, under W.A.C. Bennett's son, Bill Bennett, was returned to office. Under the younger Bennett's government, 85% of the province's land base was transferred from Government Reserve to management by the Ministry of Forests, reporting of deputy ministers was centralized to the Premier's Office, and NDP-instigated social programs were rolled back, with then-Human Resources Minister infamously demonstrating a golden shovel to highlight his welfare policy, although the new-era Socreds also reinforced and backed certain others instigated by the NDP — notably the Resort Municipality of Whistler.. Also during the "Miniwac" regime (WAC was "Big Wac"), certain money-losing Crown-owned assets were "privatized" in a mass giveaway of shares in the British Columbia Resources investment Corporation, "BCRIC", with the "Brick shares" soon becoming near-worthless. Towards the end of his tenure in power, Bennett oversaw the completion of several megaprojects meant to stimulate the economy and win votes Most notable of these was the winning of a world's fair for Vancouver, which came in the form of Expo 86, to which was tied the construction of the Coquihalla Highway and Vancouver's SkyTrain system. The Coquihalla Highway project became the subject of a scandal after revelations that the premier's brother bought large tracts of land needed for the project before it was announced to the public, and also because of graft investigations of the huge cost overruns on the project. Both investigations were derailed in the media by a still further scandal, the Doman Scandal, in which the Premier and millionaire backer Herb Doman were investigated for insider-trading and securities fraud. Nonetheless, the Socreds were re-elected in 1979 under Bennett, who led the party until 1986.

As the province entered a sustained recession, Bennett's popularity and media image were in decline. On April 1, 1983 Premier Bennett overstayed his constitutional limits of power by exceeding the legal tenure of a government, and the Lieutenant-Governor was forced to call Bennett to Government House to resolve the impasse, and an election was called for April 30, while in the meantime government cheques were covered by special emergency warrants as the Executive Council no longer had signing authority because of the constitutional crisis. Campaigning on a platform of moderation, and backed by the support and computer-organization tactics of the Big Blue Machine from Ontario and other consultants who were electoral lobbyists for the American Republican Party, Bennett won an unexpected majority. After several weeks of silence in the aftermath, a sitting of the House was finally called and in the speech from the Throne the Socreds instituted a programme of fiscal cutbacks dubbed "restraint", which had been a buzzword for moderation during the campaign. The programme include cuts to "motherdhood" issues of the left, including the human rights branch, the offices of the Ombudsman and Rentalsman, women's programs, environmental and cultural programs, while still supplying mass capital infusions to corporate British Columbia. This sparked a backlash, with tens of thousands of people in the streets the next day after the budget speech, and through the course of a summer repeated large demonstrations of up to 100,000 people. This became known as the 1983 Solidarity Crisis, from the name of the Solidarity Coalition, a huge grassroots opposition movement mobilized, consisting of organized labour and community groups, with the British Columbia Federation of Labour forming a separate organization of unions, Operation Solidarity, under the direction of Jack Munro, then-President of the IWA, the most powerful of the province's resource unions. Tens of thousands participated in protests and many felt that a general strike would be the inevitable result unless the government backed down from its policies they had claimed were only about restraint and not about recrimination against the NDP and the left. Just as a strike at Pacific Press ended, which had crippled the political management of the public agenda by the publishers of the province's major papers, the movement collapsed after an apparent deal was struck by union leader and IWA president, Jack Munro and Premier Bennett. A tense winter of blockades at various job sites around the province ensued, as among the new laws were those enabling non-union labour to work on large projects and other sensitive labour issues, with companies from Alberta and other provinces brought in to compete with union-scale British Columbia companies. Despite the tension, Bennett's last few years in power were relatively peaceful as economic and political momentum grew on the megaprojects associated with Expo, and Bennett was to end his career by hosting Prince Charles and Lady Diana on their visit to open Expo 86. His retirement being announced, a Social Credit convention was scheduled for the Whistler Resort, which came down to a three-way shooting match between Bud Smith, the Premier's right-hand man but an unelected official, Social Credit party grande dame Grace McCarthy, and the charismatic but eccentric William Vander Zalm.

Bill Vander Zalm became the new Socred leader when Smith threw his support to him rather than see McCarthy win, and led the party to victory in the election later that year. Vander Zalm was later involved in a conflict of interest scandal following the sale of Fantasy Gardens, a Christian and Dutch culture theme park built by the Premier, to Tan Yu, a Taiwanese gambling kingpin. There were also concerns over Yu's application to the government for a bank licence, and lurid stories from flamboyant realtor Faye Leung of a party in the "Howard Hughes Suite" on the top two floors of the Bayshore Inn, where Tan Yu had been staying, with reports of a bag of money in a brown paper bag passed from Yu to Vander Zalm during the goings-on. These scandals forced Vander Zalm's resignation, and Rita Johnston became premier of the province. Johnston presided over the end of Social Credit power, calling an election which led to the reducing of the party's caucus to only two seats, and the revival of the long-defunct British Columbia Liberal Party as Opposition to the victorious NDP under former Vancouver mayor Mike Harcourt.

In 1988, David See-Chai Lam was appointed by the Queen of Canada to become British Columbia’s twenty-fifth Lieutenant-Governor, and was the Province's first Lieutenant-Governor of Chinese origin.

Johnston lost the 1991 general election to the NDP, under the leadership of Mike Harcourt, a former mayor of Vancouver. Although the unprecedented creation of new parkland and protected areas was popular and helped boost the province's growing tourism sector, the economy continued to struggle against the backdrop of a weak resource economy. Harcourt ended up resigning over "Bingogate" — a political scandal involving the funnelling of charity bingo receipts into the premier's party's coffers. Harcourt was not directly implicated, but he resigned nonetheless. Glen Clark, a former president of the BC Federation of Labour, was chosen the new leader of the party, which won a second term in 1996, even though it secured fewer total votes than the opposition BC Liberals. Clark's tenure marked a change in British Columbia. Unemployment and taxes rose and key industries struggled, which amounted to low economic growth levels. More scandals dogged the party, most notably the Fast Ferry Scandal, involving the province trying to rebuild a shipbuilding industry in British Columbia. An allegation (never explicitly substantiated) that the Premier had received a favour in return for granting a gaming licence led to Clark's resignation as Premier. He was succeeded on an interim basis by Dan Miller who was in turn followed by Ujjal Dosanjh. For Dosanjh and the NDP, however, it was too late to save the party from near-oblivion in the next election.

In the 2001 general election Gordon Campbell's BC Liberals soundly defeated the NDP party, gaining 77 out of 79 seats. Campbell instituted various reforms including scrapping the "fast ferries" project, lowering income taxes and selling BC Rail to CN Rail (sparking yet another scandal). Campbell was also the subject of scandal after he was arrested for driving under the influence during a vacation in Hawaii. However, Campbell still managed to lead his party to victory in the 2005 general election against a substantially strengthened NDP opposition, making him the first elected premier in over a decade to finish a term as premier without resigning, and the first premier to win back to back elections since Bill Bennett. Campbell's government successfully led the coalition to bring the 2010 Winter Olympics to Vancouver. Under the Campbell regime the economy of British Columbia has revived substantially, aided significantly by improvements in global resource markets.

British Columbia has also been significantly affected by demographic changes within Canada and around the world. Vancouver (and to a lesser extent some other parts of British Columbia) was a major destination for many of the emigrants from Hong Kong who left the former UK colony (either temporarily or permanently) in the years immediately prior to its handover to the People's Republic of China. British Columbia has also been a significant destination for internal Canadian migrants. This has been the case throughout recent decades, because of its image of natural beauty, mild climate and relaxed lifestyle, but is particularly true during periods of economic growth. As a result, British Columbia has moved from approximately 10% of Canada's population in 1971 to approximately 13% in 2006. The final fundamental demographic shift is that away from rural British Columbia to urban centres, particularly the Lower Mainland. This trend has reversed itself to a limited degree in recent years with improved resource-economy prospects, but the Greater Vancouver metro area now includes 52% of the Province's population, followed in second place by Greater Victoria. These two metro regions have traditionally dominated the demographics of BC.

In 2008, British Columbia celebrated the 150th anniversary of its designation as a crown colony (strictly speaking, it marks the anniversary of the mainland portion of the province gaining such status, Colony of British Columbia). At the same time, Victoria celebrated its 165th anniversary of its founding on the formerly separate Colony of Vancouver Island. On August 4, 2008, the main birthday party took place on the grounds of the legislature in Victoria, with approximately 40,000 people in attendance, along with Premier Gordon Campbell, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and others. Afterwards, Sarah McLachlan, Burton Cummings, Colin James, and Feist performed for the crowd at a free concert.

Canadian Amateur radio operators may also use special call sign prefixes from October 1 to November 30 as part of the anniversary.

The largest denominations by number of adherents according to the 2001 census were none (atheist, agnostic, etc) with 1,388,300 (35.9%); the Roman Catholic Church with 666,905 (17 %); the United Church of Canada with 361,840 (9 %); and the Anglican Church of Canada with 298,375 (8 %).

The following statistics represent both single (e.g., "German") and multiple (e.g., "part Chinese, part English") responses to the 2001 Census, and thus do not add up to 100%. Likewise "Canadian" is not necessarily associated with any ethnic or racial group, but simply with self-identification as a Canadian, of whatever ancestry,.

British Columbia has a very diverse ethnic population, with a large number of immigrants having lived in the province for 30 years or less. Asians are by far the largest visible minority demographic, with many of the Lower Mainland's large cities having sizable Chinese, South Asian, Japanese, Filipino, and Korean communities. Within the South Asian communities, the Sikh population is the most notable in extent, especially in Surrey and South Vancouver.

Also present in large numbers relative to other cities in Canada (except Toronto), and ever since the province was first settled (unlike Toronto), are many European ethnicities of the first and second generation, notably Germans, Scandinavians, Yugoslavs and Italians; third-generation Europeans are generally of mixed lineage, and traditionally intermarried with other ethnic groups more than in any other Canadian province. First-generation Britons remain a strong component of local society despite limitations on immigration from Britain since the ending of special status for British subjects in the 1960s. It is the only province where "English" ethnicity gets more response than "Canadian". American ancestry is under-reported; many Americans crossed into British Columbia during 19th century gold rushes and political turmoil like the Vietnam War.

The percentages add to more than 100% because of dual responses (e.g. "French-Canadian" generates an entry in both the category "French" and the category "Canadian".) Figures shown are the total number of responses and the percentage of the 3,868,875 responses to this question in the 2001 Census. Groups with more than 12,000 responses are included.

British Columbia has a resource dominated economy, centred on the forestry industry but also with increasing importance in mining. While employment in the resource sector has fallen steadily, unemployment is currently at a 30-year low of 4.5%. New jobs are mostly in the construction and retail/service sectors. Known as Hollywood North, the Vancouver region is the third-largest feature film production location in North America, after Los Angeles and New York City.

The economic history of British Columbia is replete with tales of dramatic upswings and downswings, and this boom and bust pattern has influenced the politics, culture and business climate of the province. Economic activity related to mining in particular has widely fluctuated with changes in commodity prices over time, with documented costs to community health.

Transportation played a major role in British Columbia history. The Rocky Mountains and the ranges west of them constituted a significant obstacle to overland travel until the completion of the transcontinental railway in 1885. The Peace River Canyon through the Rocky Mountains was the route that the earliest explorers and fur traders used. Fur trade routes were only marginally used for access to British Columbia through the mountains. Travel from the rest of Canada before 1885 meant the difficulty of overland travel via the United States, around Cape Horn or overseas from Asia. Nearly all travel and freight to and from the region occurred via the Pacific Ocean, primarily through the ports of Victoria and New Westminster.

Until the 1930s, rail was the only means of overland travel to and from the rest of Canada; travellers using motor vehicles needed to journey through the United States. With the construction of the Inter-Provincial Highway in 1932 (now known as the Crowsnest Pass Highway), and later the Trans-Canada Highway, road transportation evolved into the preferred mode of overland travel to and from the rest of the country.

Because of its size and rugged, varying topography, British Columbia requires thousands of kilometres of provincial highways to connect its communities. British Columbia's roads systems were notoriously poorly maintained and dangerous until a concentrated programme of improvement was initiated in the 1950s and 1960s. There are now freeways in the Lower Mainland and Central Interior of the province, and much of the rest of the province is accessible by well-maintained two lane arterial highways with additional passing lanes in mountainous areas. The building and maintenance of provincial highways is the responsibility of the provincial government.

There are four major routes through the Rocky Mountains to the rest of Canada. From south to north they are: The Crowsnest Pass Highway through Sparwood, the Trans-Canada Highway through Banff National Park, the Yellowhead Highway through Jasper National Park, and Highway 2 through Dawson Creek. There are also several highway crossings to the adjoining American states of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. The longest highway is Highway 97, running 2,081 kilometres (1,293 mi) from the British Columbia-Washington border at Osoyoos north to Watson Lake, Yukon.

As of 2008, the provincial Occupational Health and Safety Regulation was amended to require that fuel purchases must be prepaid. The regulation amendment — nicknamed "Grant's Law" - was enacted following the death of gas station employee Grant DePatie, who attempted to stop a theft of gasoline in 2005. British Columbia is the first province in Canada to enact such a rule.

Prior to 1978, surface public transit was administered by BC Hydro, the provincially-owned electricity utility. Subsequently, the province established BC Transit to oversee and operate all municipal transportation systems. In 1998, Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (TransLink) (now South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority), a separate authority for the Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver), was established.

Public Transit in British Columbia consists mainly of diesel buses such as those in Victoria, although Vancouver is also serviced by a fleet of trolleybuses. Victoria has some newer hybrid buses that has both gasoline and electric engines. TransLink operates SkyTrain, a light rapid transit system serving Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, and North Surrey. Presently, extensions of the line south to Richmond (the Canada Line) and east to Coquitlam and Port Moody (the Evergreen Line) are being developed.

Rail development expanded greatly in the decades after the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885 and was the chief mode of long-distance surface transportation until the expansion and improvement of the provincial highways system began in the 1950s. Two major routes through the Yellowhead Pass competed with the Canadian Pacific Railway—the Grand Trunk Pacific, terminating at Prince Rupert, and the Canadian National Railway, terminating at Vancouver. The Pacific Great Eastern line supplemented this service, providing a north-south route between Interior resource communities and the coast. The Pacific Great Eastern(later known as British Columbia Railway and now owned by Canadian National Railway) connects Fort St James, Fort Nelson, and Tumbler Ridge with North Vancouver. The E&N Railway, rebranded as Southern Railway of Vancouver Island, serves the commercial and passenger train markets of Vancouver Island by owning the physical rail lines. Passenger train service on Vancouver Island is operated by Via Rail.

BC Ferries was established as a provincial crown corporation in 1960 to provide passenger and vehicle ferry service between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland as a cheaper and more reliable alternative to the service operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway. It now operates 25 routes among the islands of British Columbia, as well as between the islands and the mainland. Ferry service to Washington is offered by the Washington State Ferries (between Sidney and Anacortes) and Black Ball Transport (between Victoria and Port Angeles, Washington). Ferry service over inland lakes and rivers is provided by the provincial government.

Commercial ocean transport is of vital importance. Major ports are located at Vancouver, Roberts Bank (near Tsawwassen), Prince Rupert, and Victoria. Of these, the Port of Vancouver is the most important, being the largest in Canada and the most diversified in North America. Vancouver, Victoria, and Prince Rupert are also major ports of call for cruise ships. In 2007, a large maritime container port will be opened in Prince Rupert with an inland sorting port located in Prince George.

There are over 200 airports located throughout British Columbia, the major ones being the Vancouver International Airport, the Victoria International Airport, the Kelowna International Airport, and the Prince George International Airport, the first three of which each served over 1,000,000 passengers in 2005. Vancouver International Airport is the second busiest airport in the country with an estimated 17.9 million travellers passing through in 2008.

The Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, Steven Point, is the Queen of Canada's representative in the Province of British Columbia. During the absence of the lieutenant-governor, the Governor General in Council may appoint an administrator to execute the duties of the office. In practice, this is usually the Chief Justice of British Columbia.

British Columbia has a 79-member elected Legislative Assembly, elected by the plurality voting system, though in recent years there has been significant debate about switching to a single transferable vote system.

Currently, the province is governed by the British Columbia Liberal Party under Premier Gordon Campbell. Campbell won the largest landslide election in British Columbia history in 2001 (77 of 79 seats), but the legislature is more evenly divided between Liberals and members of the social democratic New Democratic Party (NDP) following the 2005 provincial election. Recent years have seen the Green Party of British Columbia becoming a serious contender with double digit support, though they have not yet won a seat in the legislature.

The British Columbia Liberal Party is not related to the federal Liberal Party and does not share the same ideology. Instead, the BC Liberal party is a rather diverse coalition, made up of the remnants of the Social Credit Party, many federal Liberals, federal Conservatives, and those who would otherwise support right-of-centre or free enterprise parties. Historically, there have commonly been third parties present in the legislature (including the Liberals themselves from 1952 to 1975), but there are presently none.

Prior to the rise of the Liberal Party, British Columbia's main political party was the British Columbia Social Credit Party which ruled British Columbia for 20 continuous years. While sharing some ideology with the current Liberal government, they were more right-wing although undertook nationalization of various important monopolies, notably BC Hydro and BC Ferries. In an April poll by polling firm Ipsos-Reid, the BC Liberals were shown as having the support of 49% of voters, compared to 32% for the NDP. The next election is scheduled for May 2009.

British Columbia is known for having politically active labour unions who have traditionally supported the NDP or its predecessor, the CCF.

British Columbia's political history is typified by scandal and a cast of colourful characters, beginning with various colonial-era land scandals and abuses of power by early officials (such as those that led to McGowan's War in 1858-59). Notable scandals in Social Credit years included the Robert Bonner Affair, the Fantasy Gardens scandal which forced Premier Bill Vander Zalm to resign and ended the Social Credit era, the Bingogate scandal which brought down NDP Premier Mike Harcourt, the alleged scandal named Casinogate which drove NDP Premier Glen Clark to resign. A variety of scandals have plagued the current Liberal government, but with little apparent effect on the electorate, including the Premier's arrest for drunk driving in Maui and the resignation of various cabinet ministers because of conflict-of-interest allegations. A Christmas Eve raid on the Parliament Buildlings in Victoria, including the Premier's Office, has resulted in charges only for ministerial aides, although key cabinet members from the time have since resigned. The case, currently in preliminary hearings in the courts and relating to the sale of BC Rail to an American company, may not reach trial because of the mass of evidence and various procedural problems.

Half of all British Columbians live in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, which includes Vancouver, Surrey, New Westminster, West Vancouver, North Vancouver (city), North Vancouver (district municipality), Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Langley (city), Langley (district municipality), Delta, Pitt Meadows, White Rock, Richmond, Port Moody, Anmore, Belcarra, Lions Bay and Bowen Island, with adjacent unincoprated areas represented in the regional district as the electoral area known as Greater Vancouver Electoral Area A. Seventeen Indian reserves are located in the metropolitan area but are outside the jurisdiction of the regional district and not represented in its government. Also in the metropolitan area but not represented in the regional district are the University Endowment Lands.

The second largest concentration of British Columbia population is located at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, which is made up of the 13 municipalities of Greater Victoria, (Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt, Oak Bay, View Royal, Highlands, Colwood, Langford, Central Saanich/Saanichton, North Saanich, Sidney, Metchosin, Sooke, which are part of the Capital Regional District. The metropolitan area also includes several Indian Reserves (the governments of which are not part of the regional district). Almost half of the Vancouver Island population is located in Greater Victoria.

Much of the province is wild or semi-wild, so that populations of many mammalian species that have become rare in much of the United States still flourish in British Columbia. Watching animals of various sorts, including a very wide range of birds, has also long been popular. Bears (grizzly, black, and the Kermode bear or spirit bear—only found in British Columbia) live here, as do deer, elk, moose, caribou, big-horn sheep, mountain goats, marmots, beavers, muskrat, coyotes, wolves, mustelids (such as wolverines, badgers and fishers), mountain lions, eagles, ospreys, herons, Canada geese, swans, loons, hawks, owls, ravens, harlequin ducks, and many other sorts of ducks. Smaller birds (robins, jays, grosbeaks, chickadees, etc.) also abound.

Healthy populations of many sorts of fish are found in the waters (including salmonids such as several species of salmon, trout, char, etc.). Besides salmon and trout, sport-fishers in B.C. also catch halibut, steelhead, bass, and sturgeon. On the coastlines, harbour seals and river otters are common. Cetacean species native to the coast include the Orca, Gray Whale, Harbour Porpoise, Dall's Porpoise, Pacific White-Sided Dolphin and Minke Whale.

British Columbian introduced species include: common dandelion, ring-necked pheasant, Pacific oyster, brown trout, black slug, European starling, cowbird, knapweed, bullfrog, purple loosestrife, Scotch broom, European earwig, tent caterpillar, sowbug, gray squirrel, Asian long-horn beetle, English ivy, fallow deer, thistle, gorse, Norway rat, crested mynah, and Asian or European gypsy moth.

Some endangered species in British Columbia are: Vancouver Island marmot, spotted owl, white pelican, and badgers.

Given its varied mountainous terrain and its coasts, lakes, rivers, and forests, British Columbia has long been enjoyed for pursuits like hiking and camping, rock climbing and mountaineering, hunting and fishing.

Water sports, both motorized and non-motorized, are enjoyed in many places. Sea kayaking opportunities abound on the British Columbia coast with its fjords. Whitewater rafting and kayaking are popular on many inland rivers. Sailing and sailboarding are widely enjoyed.

In winter, cross-country and telemark skiing are much enjoyed, and in recent decades high-quality downhill skiing has been developed in the Coast Mountain range and the Rockies, as well as in the southern areas of the Shuswap Highlands and the Columbia Mountains. Snowboarding has mushroomed in popularity since the early 1990s. The 2010 Winter Olympics downhill events will be held in Whistler-Blackcomb area of the province, while the indoor events will be in the Vancouver area.

In Vancouver and Victoria (as well as some other cities), opportunities for joggers and bicyclists have been developed. Cross-country bike touring has been popular since the ten-speed bike became available many years ago. Since the advent of more robust mountain bikes, trails in more rugged and wild places have been developed for them. Some of the province's retired rail beds have been converted and maintained for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Longboarding is also a popular activity because of the hilly geography of the region.

Horseback riding is enjoyed by many British Columbians. Opportunities for trail riding, often into especially scenic areas, have been established for tourists in numerous areas of the province.

British Columbia also has strong participation levels in many other sports, including golf, tennis, soccer, hockey, Canadian football, rugby union, softball, basketball, curling and figure skating. British Columbia has produced many outstanding athletes, especially in aquatic and winter sports.

Consistent with both increased tourism and increased participation in diverse recreations by British Columbians has been the proliferation of lodges, chalets, bed and breakfasts, motels, hotels, fishing camps, and park-camping facilities in recent decades.

In certain areas, there are businesses, non-profit societies, or municipal governments dedicated to promoting ecotourism in their region. A number of British Columbia farmers offer visitors to combine tourism with farm work, e.g. through the WWOOF Canada program.

A 2004 study (published 2006) by the University of Victoria Centre for Addictions Research of BC and Simon Fraser University Applied Research on Mental Health and Addictions indicated cannabis use is more widespread among British Columbians than other Canadians. However, a UN report published in July 2007 actually placed Quebec as the highest consumption province, citing 15.8% of Quebecers having used marijuana in a single year, versus 14.1% of Canadians nationally, and resulted in Canada being placed first in the industrialized world in marijuana use. With the actual growing of marijuana, British Columbia is responsible for 40% of all cannabis produced in Canada.

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Regional districts of British Columbia

Canadian Provinces and Territories

The Canadian Province of British Columbia is divided into regional districts. Like counties in nearly all states of the United States and in Eastern Canada, regional districts serve as the local government in areas not incorporated into a municipality and in certain regional affairs of shared interest to the municipalities. In those predominantly rural areas, regional districts provide services such as land-use planning, building inspection and fire protection. Regional districts also provide some services, such as solid-waste management and emergency management, to their entire territory, including municipalities. They are not the equivalent of counties, however, and their powers and democratic mandate are substantially weaker.

Regional districts are governed by boards of directly and indirectly elected directors. Municipalities appoint directors to represent their populations (usually the mayors), while residents of unincorporated areas elect directors directly. The votes of directors from heavily populated areas sometimes count more than the votes of directors from sparser areas. For example, both North Saanich and Metchosin appoint one director to the Capital Regional District board of directors, but the vote of North Saanich's director counts three times as much as the vote of Metchosin's appointee.

The western half of Dewdney-Alouette, comprising Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, was incorporated into the Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver). Mission and the unincorporated areas east to the Chehalis River were incorporated into the Fraser Valley Regional District.

This amalgamation took place due to the western part of Dewdney-Alouette had become essentially a suburb of Vancouver and would be better served by being within Metro Vancouver. The Central Fraser Valley RD would be nearly completely dominated by the newly amalgamated City of Abbotsford, bringing its role as into question; similarly the remnant of Dewdney-Alouette would be dominated by Mission. Given the rapid growth being experienced in the Fraser Valley at the time, and expected to continue for the foreseeable future, the creation of the Fraser Valley Regional District was seen as the best option.

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University of British Columbia

Coat of Arms of the University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a Canadian public research university with campuses in Vancouver and in Kelowna, British Columbia. The Vancouver campus is located on Point Grey, a peninsula about 10 km from downtown Vancouver. While the originating legislation created UBC on March 7, 1908, the first day of lectures was September 30, 1915. On September 22, 1925, lectures began on the new Point Grey campus.

UBC was ranked as the fourth best university (Medical Doctoral Rankings) in Canada by Maclean's Magazine in 2008. In 2006, Newsweek magazine ranked UBC second in Canada and 27th in the world. In 2007, the Times Higher Education Supplement ranked UBC as second in Canada and 33rd in the world (Social Sciences 12th, Life & Biomedical 14th, Natural Sciences 20th, Arts & Humanities 18th, Technology 22nd).

The UBC library, which comprises 4.7 million books and journals, is the second largest research library in Canada.

The University of British Columbia, a single, public provincial university created in 1908 was modelled on the American state university system, with an emphasis on extension work and applied research.

The University of British Columbia is a non-denominational undergraduate and graduate teaching and research institution. A provincial university was first called into being by the British Columbia University Act of 1908, although its location was not yet specified.

The governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906 which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate (faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors (citizens) exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the 2 bodies and to perform institutional leadership. The Act constituted a twenty-one member senate with Francis Carter-Cotton of Vancouver as Chancellor. Before the University Act, there had been several attempts at establishing a degree-granting university with assistance from the Universities of Toronto and McGill. Columbian College in New Westminster, through its affiliation with Victoria College of the University of Toronto, began to offer university-level credit at the turn-of-the-century, but it was McGill that would come to dominate higher education in the early 1900s.

Building on a successful affiliation between Vancouver and Victoria high schools with McGill University, Henry Marshall Tory helped to establish the McGill University College of British Columbia. From 1906 to 1915, McGill BC (as it was called) operated as a private institution providing the first few years toward a degree at McGill University or elsewhere. The Henry Marshall Tory Medal was established in 1941 by Henry Marshall Tory (1864-1947), FRSC, founding President of the University of Alberta and of the National Research Council of Canada, and a co-founder of Carlton University.

In the meantime appeals were again made to the government to revive the earlier legislation for a provincial institution, leading to the University Endowment Act in 1907, and The University Act in 1908. In 1910 the Point Grey site was chosen, and the government appointed Dr. Frank Fairchild Wesbrook as President in 1913. A declining economy and the outbreak of war in August, 1914 compelled the University to postpone plans for building at Point Grey, and instead the former McGill University College site at Fairview became home to the University until 1925. The first day of lectures was September 30, 1915, the new university absorbing McGill University College. University of British Columbia awarded its first degrees in 1916.

World War I dominated campus life, and the student body was "decimated" by enlistments for active service, with three hundred UBC students in Company "D" alone. By the end of the war, 697 members of the University had enlisted. A total of 109 students graduated in the three war-time congregations, all but one in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

By 1920, the university had only three faculties: Arts, Applied Science, and Agriculture (with Departments of Agronomy, Animal Husbandry, Dairying, Horticulture and Poultry). It only awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.), and Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (B.S.A.). There were 576 male students and 386 female students in the 1920-21 winter session, but only 64 academic staff, including 6 women.

In the early part of the twentieth century, professional education expanded beyond the traditional fields of theology, law and medicine. UBC provided no degrees in these areas, but was beginning to offer degrees in new professional areas such as engineering, agriculture, nursing, and school teaching. Graduate training based on the German-inspired American model of specialized course work and the completion of a research thesis was introduced, with students completing M.A. degrees in natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

In 1922 the now twelve-hundred-strong student body embarked on a "Build the University" campaign. Students marched in the streets of Vancouver to draw attention to their plight, enlist popular support, and embarrass the government. 56,000 signatures were presented at legislature in support, and on September 22, 1925, lectures began on the new Point Grey campus.

Except for the Library, Science and Power House buildings, all the campus buildings were temporary constructions. Two playing fields were built by the students themselves, but the University had no dormitories and no social centre. Still, the University continued to grow steadily.

Soon, however, the effects of the depression began to be felt. The provincial government, upon which the University depended heavily, cut the annual grant severely. In 1932-33 salaries were cut by up to 23%. Posts remained vacant, and a few faculty lost their jobs. Most graduate courses were dropped. In 1935, the University established the Department of Extension. Just as things began to improve, World War II broke out.

From the day of the declaration of war, the University has been prepared to put at the disposal of the Government all possible assistance by way of laboratories, equipment and trained personnel, insofar as such action is consistent with the maintenance of reasonably efficient instructional standards. To do less would be unthinkable.

Heavy rains and melting snowfall eroded a deep ravine across the north end of the campus, in the Grand Campus Washout of 1935. The campus did not yet have storm drains, and surface runoff went down a ravine to the beach. When the University carved a ditch to drain flooding on University Avenue, the rush of water steepened the ravine and eroded it back as fast as 10 feet (3.0 m) per hour. The resulting gully eventually consumed 100,000 cubic yards (76,455 m3), two bridges, and buildings near Graham House. The University was closed for 4½ days. Afterwards, the gully was filled with debris from a nearby landslide, and only traces are visible today.

Military training on the campus became popular, then mandatory. WWII marked the first provision of money from the federal government to the University for research purposes. By the end of the war, it became clear that the facilities at Point Grey had become totally inadequate to cater to the huge influx of veterans returning to their studies. The University needed new staff, new courses, new faculties, and new buildings for teaching and accommodation. The student population rose from 2,974 in 1944-45 to 9,374 in 1947-48.

The University of British Columbia launched its program in architecture in 1947.

Student numbers hit 9,374 in 1948; more than 53% of the students were war veterans in 1947-67. Between 1947 and 1951 twenty new permanent buildings were erected.

In 1957, the first Canadian graduate program in adult education was established at the University of British Columbia.

The policy of university education initiated in the 1960s responded to population pressure and the belief that higher education was a key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and for society. In 1961, the first doctoral program in adult education in Canada was introduced by the University of British Columbia.

The single-university policy in the West was changed as existing colleges of the provincial universities gained autonomy as universities — the University of Victoria was established in 1963.

UBC's current president is Dr. Stephen Toope, appointed on July 1, 2006. He succeeds Dr. Martha Piper, who was the University's first female president and the first non-Canadian born president.

The Provost and Vice-President (VP) Academic, is currently Dr. David H. Farrar. The Vice-President Students is Brian Sullivan; VP External and Legal is Stephen Owen, VP Research is John Hepburn and VP Finance and Administration is Terry Sumner.

The Chancellor of the University, who acts as the University's ceremonial head and sits on the academic Senate and the Board of Governors, is Sarah Morgan-Silvester (as of July 1, 2008).

The UBC Okanagan campus is led by Dr. Doug Owram, Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

In 2003, UBC had 3,167 full-time Faculty, and 4,612 non-faculty full-time employees. It had over forty thousand students (33,566 undergraduate students and 7,379 graduate students), and more than 180,000 alumni in 120 countries. Enrollment continues to grow. The founding of the new Okanagan campus will increase these numbers dramatically. The university is one of only two Canadian universities to have membership in Universitas 21, an international association of research-led institutions (McGill University is the other).

Buildings on the Vancouver campus currently occupy 1,091,997 m² gross, located on 1.7 km² of maintained land.

The Vancouver campus' street plan is mostly in a grid of malls (for driving and pedestrian-only). Lower Mall and West Mall are in the southwestern part of the peninsula, with Main, East, and Wesbrook Malls northeast of them.

Wireless internet access is available at no charge to students, faculty, and staff inside and outside of most buildings at both campuses.

The Coat of Arms of UBC has the second longest history of all the post-secondary institutions of British Columbia, dating back to 1915.

The University of British Columbia Press, which was founded in 1971, deals with Canadian affairs and Pacific studies.

In 2001-02, UBC had one of the lowest undergraduate tuition rates in Canada, at an average of $2,181 CAD per year for a full-time programme. This was due to a government-instituted tuition freeze.

In 2001, however, the BC Liberal party defeated the NDP in British Columbia and lifted the tuition freeze. In 2002-03 undergraduate and graduate tuition rose by an average of 30%, and by up to 40% in some faculties. This has led to better facilities, but also to student unrest and contributed to a teaching assistant union strike.

UBC again increased tuition by 30% in the 2003-04 year, again by approximately 15% in the 2004-05 season, and 2% in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 years. Increases were lower than expected because, in the 2005 Speech from the Throne, the government announced that tuition increases would be capped to inflation.

Despite these increases, UBC's tuition remains below the national average and below other universities in the regions. In 2006-07, the Canadian average undergraduate tuition fee was $4347 and the BC average was $4960. UBC tuition for 2007-2008 is $4,257 for a Canadian student in a basic 30-unit program, though various programs cost from $3,406 to $9,640. Medicine tuition fees are $14,566. The faculty of Dentistry charges $14,566 for tuition and a clinic fee in excess of $25,000. Tuition for international students is roughly four times as much.

For 2006-2007, UBC had expected a $36 million deficit. With various cost cutting measures, the University posted a small surplus of $1.92 million. For example, the discontinuation of credit card payments for domestic students is estimated to save $2.5 million per year.

As of March 2007, UBC had assets of $3.2 billion and liabilities of $1.8 billion. Total revenue for 2006-2007 was $1.59 billion, of which 36% came from the provincial government, 11% from the federal government, 17% from "sales of goods and services", 18% from tuition, and 18% from all other sources. Total expenses were $1.50 billion, of which salaries, wages, benefits, and honoraria were 59%, office supplies and expenses were 12%, amortization was 9%, and all other expenses were 20%. Less than 1% of expenses went to fundraising.

The Vancouver campus is located at Point Grey, a twenty-minute drive from downtown Vancouver. It is near several beaches and has views of the North Shore mountains. The 7.63 km² Pacific Spirit Regional Park serves as a green-belt between the campus and the city. The campus, along with Pacific Spirit Regional Park, the University Endowment Lands, and the residential community of University Hill, is not within Vancouver's city limits. As a result, UBC is policed by the RCMP rather than the Vancouver Police Department. However, the Vancouver Fire Department does provide service to UBC under a contract. Also, all postage sent to any building on campus includes Vancouver in the address. The Army Huts on the Vancouver campus are on the Registry of Historic Places of Canada UBC Vancouver also has two satellite campuses within the City of Vancouver: a campus at Vancouver General Hospital for the medical sciences, and UBC Robson Square in downtown Vancouver for part-time credit and non-credit programmes. Moreover, UBC is also a partner in the consortium backing Great Northern Way Campus Ltd. The University of British Columbia is affiliated with a group of adjacent theological colleges, which include the Vancouver Theological School, Regent College, Carey College and the Corpus Christi College.

The Kelowna campus, known as UBC Okanagan, is located on the former North Kelowna Campus of Okanagan University College, adjacent to the international airport on the north-east side of Kelowna, British Columbia. This campus offers undergraduate degrees in Arts, Science, Nursing, Education, Management and Engineering as well as graduate degrees in most of these disciplines. The Okanagan campus is experiencing a rapid expansion with construction of several new residential, teaching and research buildings now underway.

The UBC Library, which comprises 4.7 million books and journals, 5.0 million microforms, over 800,000 maps, videos and other multimedia materials and over 46,700 subscriptions, is the second largest research library in Canada. The library has twenty-six branches and divisions at UBC and at other locations, including three branches at teaching hospitals (Saint Paul's Hospital, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre, BC Children's Hospital), one at UBC's Robson Square campus in downtown Vancouver, and one at the new UBC Okanagan campus. Plans are also under way to establish a library at the Great Northern Way Campus on the Finning Lands.

The former Main Library has undergone construction and has been renamed the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. The new library incorporates the centre heritage block of the old Main Library with two new expansion wings and features an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS), the first of its kind in Canada.

Major General Victor Odlum CB, CMG, DSO, VD donated his personal library of 10,000 books, which has been housed in "the Rockwoods Centre Library" of the UBC library since 1963.

UBC's academic activity is organized into "faculties", and "schools". There are also "institutes" and "colleges", which are research organizations, and some "residential colleges" which are residence-focused academic communities.

UBC consistently ranks as one of the top three Canadian universities by Research InfoSource and ranks as second in Canada and thirty-sixth in the world in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. In 2006, Newsweek magazine ranked the University of British Columbia second in Canada and 27th in the world. The Times Higher Education Supplement of the UK ranked UBC as second in Canada and thirty-third in the world in 2007. According to Maclean's University Rankings, UBC has the highest percentage of Ph. D level professors among all public universities in North America (92%). It has received widespread recognition by Maclean's and Newsweek magazines for its foreign language program; the Chinese program is North America's largest, and the Japanese program is North America's second largest (after the University of Hawaii).The Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Theory has been recognized consistently for the world-class artists who teach there. In 2003 the National Post stated UBC had the highest entrance requirements for undergraduate admission out of all universities in Canada.

The Faculty of Forestry is part of the AUFSC and has accredited baccalaureate of science programs with specializations in Natural Resource Conservation; Forest Science; Forest Resources Management; Major Forest Operations; International Forestry; Wood Products Processing; and International Forestry.

The UBC’s Longhouse is a dedicated space for Aboriginal institutions, a “zone of comfort” for Aboriginal students and a focus for Aboriginal culture and activities on campus. At UBC, Aboriginal staff particularly in academic positions, signal the institution’s commitment to success for Aboriginal students. UBC, for example has an Associate Dean of Indigenous Education. UBC offers degrees in First Nations Studies through a dedicated program in the Arts Faculty. UBC provides services to Aboriginal people in more remote communities. The UBC’s First Nations Forestry Initiatives was developed in partnership with specific Aboriginal communities to meet specific needs within Aboriginal communities. The UBC also offers a Chinook Diploma Program in the Sauder School of Business. The UBC reaches into Aboriginal communities to talk to potential students at a much younger age through Chinook Summer Biz Camp, which fosters entrepreneurship among young First Nations and Métis students. The UBC hosts a Bridge Through Sport Program, Summer Science Program, Native Youth Program, and Cedar Day Camp and Afterschool Program. The UBC has had success in recruiting and retaining Aboriginal faculty. UBC developed governing board and senate policies as well as Aboriginal governed councils within the university structure.

UBC Vancouver students are represented by the Alma Mater Society, or AMS. The society's mandate is to improve the quality of educational, social, and personal lives of UBC students. The executive - composed of the President; Vice President, External Affairs; Vice President, Administration; Vice President, Finance; and Vice President, Academic and University Affairs - are responsible for lobbying the UBC administration on behalf of the student body, providing services, such as the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan, supporting and administering student clubs, and maintaining the Student Union Building (aka SUB) and the services it houses.

UBC Okanagan students are represented by The University of British Columbia Students' Union - Okanagan.

UBC has a lively campus community with over three hundred student run clubs.

UBC has a small but vibrant Greek community. The NPC sororities on campus are Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Kappa Kappa Gamma. All sororities have a chapter room in the Panhellenic House on Wesbrook Mall; the building also offers housing for 72 college women, with preference given to sorority members. The first Greek organization on campus was Alpha Delta Phi fraternity in 1832, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Psi Upsilon, Sigma Chi, Beta Theta Pi, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta, and Kappa Sigma; all except Alpha Epsilon Pi have a house. Fraternity Rush and Sorority Recruitment occur during the first weeks of school in September.

UBC is represented in Canadian Interuniversity Sport by the UBC Thunderbirds. UBC is considering joining the NCAA Division II.

Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement and convocation, and athletic games are: "Hail, U.B.C" with words and music by Harold King and "High on Olympus" with words by D.C. Morton and music by J.C.F. Haeffner.

A small number of large-scale, campus-wide events occur annually at UBC.

Additionally, a number of unofficial 'traditions,' exist at UBC: jumping from the UBC Aquatic Centre's outdoor 10-metre diving board late at night; and frequent repainting of the Engineering cairn, refashioning its large red-and-white 'E' into other letters representative of other faculties, clubs, and groups.

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Monarchy in British Columbia

Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg

The Monarchy in British Columbia is the constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of the Canadian province of British Columbia, forming the core of the province's Westminster style parliamentary democracy. As the institution from which the power of the state flows, the terms Crown in Right of British Columbia, Her Majesty in Right of British Columbia, or The Queen in Right of British Columbia may also be used to refer to the entire executive of the government of British Columbia. As the pinnacle of governance, the authority of the Crown in the province is symbolised through elements included in various government institutions' insignia.

The Crown in Right of British Columbia was established by an Order-in-Council of Queen Victoria in 1871, though the governments of the previous incarnations of the province, going back to the establishment of the Colony of Vancouver Island in 1849, have been monarchical in nature, and historical links with the Spanish and British Crowns extend back even further, to the late 1700s. Thus, there are numerous monuments and memorials to members of the Royal Family located across the province. However, though British Columbia has a separate government headed by the Queen, as a province, British Columbia is not itself a kingdom.

The present Canadian monarch is Elizabeth II, who has reigned since February 6, 1952; as she does not reside in British Columbia, a vice-regal representative, the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, is appointed by the Governor General, on the advice of the Prime Minister of Canada, to carry out all the monarch's duties in the province, which include a vast number of functions and duties central to the provincial government, judicial system, and system of honours, as well as governing provincial Crown corporations and Crown Land, and calling Royal Commissions. His Honour The Honourable Steven Point is the current Lieutenant Governor, having served since October 1, 2007. The viceroy is provided an official residence by the Crown: Government House in Victoria. The building belongs to the Crown; being held in trust for future rulers, and cannot be sold by the monarch. However, members of the Royal Family have owned property in a private capacity: Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth II, owned Portland Island, though this was offered on permanent loan to the Crown in Right of British Columbia.

Though the Crown is central to the functioning of the government in British Columbia, members of the Royal Family predominantly perform ceremonial duties when on a tour of the province, visiting hospitals, charities, schools, communities, and the like.

Gifts are offered to members of the Royal Family from the people of British Columbia on regular occasions; usually to mark a visit or an important milestone. For instance, Queen Elizabeth II was given a necklace and earrings made of British Columbia jade, to mark her visit in 1971. As part of her Jubilee Year celebrations, this gift was amongst others on display at Buckingham Palace throughout the summer.

In March 1778, Captain James Cook arrived, with HMS Resolution and Discovery, at Friendly Cove in Nootka Sound and claimed the surrounding land for King George III. However, Captain Juan Francisco had earlier made a claim to much of the Pacific coast of North America for the Spanish King. This conflict was resolved when Francisco and Captain George Vancouver reached an agreement that resulted, in 1793, in a treaty that saw all lands north of California remaining as a possession of the British Crown.

As the Cariboo Gold Rush gained momentum, in 1858 Queen Victoria dispatched Colonel Richard Clement Moody and the Royal Engineers to British Columbia to establish her sovereignty there, build a colonial capital, and provide needed infrastructure. Within thirteen years, British Columbia became the seventh province to join the Dominion of Canada, changing the Governor of the United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia into a position that had the dual role of representing the sovereignty of the Crown in British Columbia while also representing the federal government in Ottawa. In 1882 then Governor General John Campbell, Duke of Argyll, and his wife, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, daughter of the Queen, undertook an extensive three month visit to British Columbia, which did much to reconsile the colony to Confederation. The Princess proved so popular that when the Governor General announced that the awaited completion of the transcontinental railway would pass through Kicking Horse Pass into what has since become Vancouver, rather than by the Yellowhead Pass to Bute Inlet, then Premier Robert Beaven asked the Duke whether it would be possible for Vancouver Island to become a separate kingdom with Princess Louise as Queen. In 1903, before political parties were a part of British Columbia politics, Lieutenant Governor Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière was the last Lieutenant Governor in Canada to dismiss an incumbent premier, Edward Gawler Prior, from office; Prior had been found to have given an important construction contract to his own hardware business, though he was later appointed as Lieutenant Governor himself. Sixteen years following, Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), visited the province, attending a civic reception and military ball, visiting areas of Greater Vancouver, and opening the New Westminster Exhibition.

Edward's brother, King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth came to British Columbia in 1939, making George the first reigning monarch to visit the province. The royal party stopped in Vancouver, Victoria, and a number of other smaller communities. The monarchs' minister in attendance, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, was enthused, stating in his diary on May 29, 1939: "The day in Vancouver was one of the finest on the entire tour," and, the following day: "Without question, Victoria has left the most pleasing of all impressions. It was a crowning gem..." Their daughter, Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, made her first appearance in British Columbia in 1951, on behalf of her ailing father. Within three months she was queen, and, the same year, her representative in British Columbia was, without a clear majority in the Legislature following the general election, required to exercise his personal judgement in selecting his premier. Though the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) (now the New Democratic Party) held one fewer seat than the Social Credit Party (SoCred), the Lieutenant Governor, Clarence Wallace, was under pressure to call on the CCF leader to form the new Cabinet; however, Wallace went with SoCred leader W.A.C. Bennett, which resulted in the start of a twenty-year dynasty for the latter.

British Columbia's monarchical status is illustrated via associations between the Crown and many private organizations within the province, as well as through royal names applied regions, communities, schools, buildings, and monuments, many of which may also have a specific history with a member or members of the Royal Family. Organizations in British Columbia may be founded by a Royal Charter, receive a royal prefix, and/or be honoured with the patronage of a member of the Royal Family, such as the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, which is under the patronage of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, along with the Vancouver Rowing Club, and the Vancouver Raquets Club. The Royal British Columbia Museum received its royal prefix from Queen Elizabeth II in 1986.

At the various levels of education within British Columbia there exist a number of scholarships and academic awards either established by or named for members of the Royal Family. The Queen Elizabeth II Centennial Scholarship was set up by the Government of British Columbia to coincide with the visit of the Queen to the province in 1971; it awards one major scholarship of $60,000, and two minor scholarships of $5,000, to Masters students.

Schools across the province are also named for Canadian sovereigns, royal family members, or either federal or provincial viceroys.

A number of buildings, monuments and geographic locations are named for Canadian monarchs, members of the Royal Family, or federal or provincial viceroys. For example, the Queen Charlotte Islands were named by Captain George Dixon after his ship, the Queen Charlotte, which, in turn, had been named for Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III. On those islands are the Queen Charlotte Mountains and the town of Queen Charlotte. Waterways between the islands also bear royal names, such as Princess Louisa Inlet – named for Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, daughter of Queen Victoria – off of which branch Prince of Wales Reach, named for Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), and Princess Royal Reach, named either for Princess Victoria, Princess Royal, daughter of Victoria, or for Victoria's mother, Princess Victoria, Duchess of Kent. During her 1958 visit, Princess Margaret was presented with the deed to Portland Island, which she offered to the Crown on permanent loan in 1966, after lengthy correspondence between the Lieutenant Governor and Kensington Palace. The island and surrounding waters eventually became Princess Margaret Marine Provincial Park. The names of the major islands in the Estevan Group, on the outer North Coast, commemorate early Lieutenant-Governors – Joseph Trutch, Francis Stillman Barnard, Edward Gawler Prior, Edgar Dewdney, and Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière; Trutch, Dewdney, and Prior are also commemorated on street names in Greater Vancouver and, in Dewdney's case, the community of Dewdney and, indirectly, the Dewdney Trunk Road in the Fraser Valley.

Numerous mountains in British Columbia also bear names with royal association: Queen Peak, in the province's north, was named for Queen Victoria in 1933, as was Victoria Peak. One of the highest summits in the Pacific Ranges is Mount Queen Bess, named for Queen Elizabeth I, and, in the Vancouver Island Ranges, Mount Albert Edward is named for Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), as is Mount King Edward, near the Athabasca Pass, and Mount George V is called such after King George V. Around Queen's Reach on Princess Louisa Inlet are five mountains that derive their names from children of Queen Victoria: Mount Victoria, after Princess Victoria, Princess Royal; Mount Albert, after Prince Edward Albert; Mount Alice, after Princess Alice; Mount Arthur, after Prince Arthur; and Mount Helena, after Princess Helena, all part of the Pacific Ranges complex. Mount Minto, a volcano near the Yukon border and the town of Atlin, was named after Governor General Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, Earl of Minto, as was Minto Landing, a former steamboat landing near Chilliwack, and a short street in Vancouver near Main Street & Second Avenue. Other outdoor spaces are: Consort Park, named for Victoria's consort, Albert; Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, honouring Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother; and Princess Louisa Marine Provincial Park, associated with the above Princess Louisa Inlet. Also named in honour of Prince Albert are the Coburg Peninsula, Saxe Point (originally Cape Saxe), Albert Head, and Gotha Point near Royal Roads, all deriving their names from the Prince's titular fief Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The names of streets and highways within the province also have royal inspiration, including King Edward Avenue, named for King Edward VII, and which runs across midtown Vancouver, beginning at Crown Street and terminating at Kingsway. Also, King George VI Highway (commonly known as the King George Highway), in Surrey, is named after King George VI; King George Station, near the intersection of King George Highway and 100th Avenue, is named after the above mentioned highway. Also named for George VI is King George VI Provincial Park near Rossland. Other buildings of royal note are the Royal Jubilee Hospital, a teaching hospital in Victoria; the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver; and King Edward Station, which is proposed to be opened in 2009. Also, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, laid the cornerstone for the new Provincial Library at the Legislature; during her 1958 visit, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, opened the new floating bridge in Kelowna, with two plaques marking the ceremony; and the University of Northern British Columbia was opened by Margaret's sister, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1994. As well, there can be found plaques, cornerstones, and trees, documenting the official visits of members of the Royal Family, along with monuments, including a statue of Queen Victoria on the grounds of the Parliament Buildings. The foundation stone of this statue was laid by Prince Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), in 1919, when he visited the capital as part of a two-month tour of the country.

One mansion in British Columbia nearly became a royal palace: In 1940 Hatley Castle, near Victoria, and built by former Lieutenant Governor James Dunsmuir, was purchased as a residence for King George VI and his family, intended as the place the King would live out the duration of the Second World War. These plans fell through, however, and the Royal Roads Military College, originally established as a replacement for the Royal Canadian Naval College, which had been closed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1921, moved in. It later became the combined Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force College in 1946, but was closed in 1996 due to cuts to the Department of National Defence's budget. It is now Royal Roads University.

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Source : Wikipedia