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British Columbia

With it’s diverse landscape and people, bustling cities and booming economy, British Columbia has something to offer everyone. So, if you are intending to migrate consider British Columbia – you will not be disappointed.

Wonderful Quality of Life

British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, is located on the Pacific coast, and has a land and freshwater area of 95 million hectares. It is Canada’s third largest province and comprises 9.5 percent of the country’s total land area. The province is nearly four times the size of Great Britain, 2.5 times larger than Japan, and larger than any American state except Alaska. Historically, most of the people who live in British Columbia came from Britain but Asia has now become the predominant source of new settlers.

Due to the dominating mountain landscape over half of the population lives in the southwestern part of the province in the cities of Vancouver and provincial capital Victoria. Vancouver is the biggest city in British Columbia with a population of 0.6 million people and over 2 million people over the greater region. As with other communities in British Columbia, social stability and low crime rates create a safe and secure living environment and this is part of the reason why Vancouver is consistently ranked as one of the best places in the world to live for the quality of life it offers. The city is surrounded by water on three sides and overlooked by the Coast Range - mountains that rise abruptly to more than 1,500 m. The city’s British heritage still pervades the downtown area, as well as the older established neighbourhoods and it is the only city in Canada where you can snow-ski and go sailing on the same day, almost year-round.

As British Columbia is situated between the warm Pacific Ocean and the mountains, it has a climate that varies from continental to marine. On the coast the summers are usually pleasantly warm and the winters are wet and cool. In the interior parts of the province winters are colder and summers warmer. Average summer temperature in British Columbia is around 18°C and in winter -5°C

British Columbia’s national, provincial, regional and local parks provide a spectrum of natural beauty, breathtaking scenery and opportunities for outdoor enjoyment and recreation. The 807 protected areas (provincial parks, ecological reserves, recreation areas and other protected areas), covering 11.3 million hectares, are diverse in their features and facilities. There are 13,820 campsites, 508 day-use areas, 125 boat launch areas and 3,000 km of hiking trails within provincial parks, that serve approximately 24 million park visitors each year. Nearly one-tenth of the province’s parks are wilderness, largely untouched and frequented mostly by backpackers and mountaineers. Inland and coastal waters are dotted with marine parks intended primarily for waterborne users

The abundance and variety of wildlife in British Columbia reflects the great diversity of the province’s environment. There are more species in total, and more unique species of birds and mammals than in any other Canadian province.

Economy and Business - a Positive Outlook

The province’s innovative and skilled workforce, rich natural resources, unrivaled quality of life and gateway location between North America and Asia provide the foundation for almost unlimited economic opportunities.

The economy remains based on the province’s great natural resources, primarily its vast forests, which cover 56 percent of its total area. Conifers from these forests are converted into lumber, newsprint, pulp and paper products - about half the total softwood inventory of Canada.

Tourism is an important economic sector in British Columbia with the Rocky Mountains remaining the biggest attraction. Coastal B.C. with its beaches and other attractions, is also popular. Each year, about 15 million people visit British Columbia.

Mining is the province’s third most important economic sector. Copper, gold and zinc are the leading metals extracted but the most valuable resources, however, are coal, petroleum and natural gas. Agriculture and fishing, especially salmon fishing, are two other key sectors of the economy of British Columbia. Manufacturing is still largely resource-based, but is being gradually diversified by high-tech and computer-based industries related to telecommunications and the aerospace and sub-sea industries

British Columbia has the most balanced export market of all Canada’s provinces, with the United States, Japan, the European Union and the Pacific Rim countries as its clientele.

Investing in the Future

As a key priority, British Columbia’s government is investing in research infrastructure, advanced education, training, and transportation systems to complement private sector investment and help build a sustainable competitive advantage. For example, developing higher numbers of university graduates in information technology over the next five years, improving highway infrastructure and investment in applied forestry research.

The British Columbia Government recognises the significant contribution migrants and foreign investors have made to the economy and has established The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). This is an immigration programme designed to increase the economic benefits of immigration to the province by allowing British Columbia to select immigrants based on their ability to contribute to the economy. The Programme is made of several categories divided up into two main streams: Strategic Occupations and Business Categories.

If you think British Columbia may be the place for you, visit the websites below for more information on the province.

British Columbia Tourism

Government of British Columbia

Industry Canada

Invest British Columbia




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