(/ˌnoʊvə ˈskoʊʃə/; Latin for “New Scotland”) is one of Canada’s three Maritime provinces, and one of the four provinces which form Atlantic Canada. Its provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest province in Canada, with an area of 55,284 square kilometres (21,300 sq mi), including Cape Breton and another 3,800 coastal islands. As of 2011, the population was 921,727, making Nova Scotia the second-most-densely populated province in Canada with almost 20 inhabitants per square kilometre (52/sq mi).
Nova Scotia means New Scotland in Latin (although “Scotia” was originally a Roman name for Ireland) and is the recognized English language name for the province. In Scottish Gaelic, the province is called Alba Nuadh, which also simply means New Scotland. The province was first named in the 1621 Royal Charter granting the right to settle lands including modern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula to Sir William Alexander in 1632.
History of Nova Scotia and Military history of Nova Scotia
The province includes regions of the Mi’kmaq nation of Mi’kma’ki (mi’gama’gi). The Mi’kmaq people inhabited Nova Scotia at the time that the first European colonists arrived. In 1605, French colonists established the first permanent European settlement in the future Canada (and the first north of Florida) at Port Royal, founding what would become known as Acadia.
The British conquest of Acadia took place in 1710. The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 formally recognized this and returned Cape Breton Island (Île Royale) to the French. Present-day New Brunswick then still formed a part of the French colony of Acadia. The British changed the name of the capital from Port Royal to Annapolis Royal. In 1749, the capital of Nova Scotia moved from Annapolis Royal to the newly established Halifax. In 1755 the vast majority of the French population (the Acadians) were forcibly removed in the Expulsion of the Acadians; New England Planters arrived between 1759 and 1768 to replace them.
In 1871, the largest religious denominations were Protestant with 103,500 (27%); Roman Catholic with 102,000 (26%); Baptist with 73,295 (19%); Anglican with 55,124 (14%); Methodist with 40,748 (10%), Lutheran with 4,958 (1.3%); and Congregationalist with 2,538 (0.65%).
According to the 2001 census, the largest denominations by the number of adherents were the Roman Catholic Church with 327,940 (37%); the United Church of Canada with 142,520 (17%); and the Anglican Church of Canada with 120,315 (13%). There are also 8,505(0.9%) Muslims according to 2011 census.
Nova Scotia’s per capita GDP in 2010 was $38,475, significantly lower than the national average per capita GDP of $47,605 and a little more than half that of Canada’s richest province, Alberta. GDP growth has lagged behind the rest of the country for at least the past decade.
Nova Scotia’s traditionally resource-based economy has diversified in recent decades. The rise of Nova Scotia as a viable jurisdiction in North America, historically, was driven by the ready availability of natural resources, especially the fish stocks off the Scotian Shelf. The fishery was a pillar of the economy since its development as part of New France in the 17th century; however, the fishery suffered a sharp decline due to overfishing in the late 20th century. The collapse of the cod stocks and the closure of this sector resulted in a loss of approximately 20,000 jobs in 1992. Other sectors in the province were also hit hard, particularly during the last two decades: coal mining in Cape Breton and northern mainland Nova Scotia has virtually ceased production, and a large steel mill in Sydney closed during the 1990s. More recently, the high value of the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar has hurt the forestry industry, leading to the shut down of a long-running pulp and paper mill near Liverpool. Mining, especially of gypsum and salt and to a lesser extent silica, peat and barite, is also a significant sector. Since 1991, offshore oil and gas have become an increasingly important part of the economy, although production and revenue are now declining. Agriculture remains an important sector in the province, particularly in the Annapolis Valley.
Nova Scotia’s defence and aerospace sector generates approximately $500 million in revenues and contributes about $1.5 billion to the provincial economy annually. To date, 40% of Canada’s military assets reside in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia has the fourth-largest film industry in Canada hosting over 100 productions yearly, more than half of which are the products of international film and television producers. In 2015, the government of Nova Scotia eliminated tax credits to film production in the province, jeopardizing the industry given that most other jurisdictions continue to offer such credits.
The Nova Scotia tourism industry includes more than 6,500 direct businesses, supporting nearly 40,000 jobs. 200,000 cruise ship passengers from around the world flow through the Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia each year. This industry contributes approximately $1.3 billion annually to the economy. The province also boasts a rapidly developing Information & Communication Technology (ICT) sector which consists of over 500 companies and employs roughly 15,000 people. In 2006, the manufacturing sector brought in over $2.6 billion in chained GDP, the largest output of any industrial sector in Nova Scotia. Michelin remains by far the largest single employer in this sector, operating three production plants in the province.