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Saskatchewan
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Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan
(In Detail) (In Detail)
Motto: Multis E Gentibus Vires (From many peoples, strength)
Capital
Largest city
Regina
Saskatoon
Area

 - Total
 - % fresh water
7th largest
(5th lgst prov.)

651 036 km²
9.1%
Population
 - Total (2001)
 - Density
Ranked 6th
1 015 800
1.72/km²
Admittance into Confederation
 - Date
 - Order
Split off
from NWT

1 September 1905
10
Time zoneUTC -6 (no daylight saving)
Lloydminster and vicinity: UTC -7, and does observe DST
Postal information
Postal abbreviation
Postal code prefix
 
SK
S
ISO 3166-2CA-SK
Parliamentary
representation

 House seats
 Senate seats
 

14
6
PremierLorne Calvert (NDP)
Lieutenant-GovernorLynda M. Haverstock
Government of Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is a Canadian prairie province. It has an area of 651,900 km2 (251,700 mi2) and a population of 1,013,035 (Saskatchewanians) (January 1, 2002). Most of its population lives in the southern part of the province. The largest city is Saskatoon with a population of 225,928, followed by the province's capital, Regina (population: 187,500). Other major cities include Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Yorkton and Swift Current. See also List of communities in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan is (approximately) a quadrilateral bounded on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the American states of Montana and North Dakota.

The province's name comes from the Saskatchewan River, whose name is Cree for "swift flowing river" (kisiskatchewan).

Economy

Saskatchewan's economy is dominated by agriculture. Wheat is the most familiar crop, and perhaps the one stereotypically associated with the province, but other grains like canola, flax, rye, oats and barley are also produced. Mining is also a major industry in the province, with Saskatchewan being the world leader in potash exports. In the northern part of the province, forestry is significant.

Saskatchewan is also the world's most important supplier of uranium, and supplies much of the western world's supplies. The uranium industry is closely regulated by the provincial government which allows the government of Saskatchewan great latitude in setting world uranium prices.

History

Prior to European settlement, Saskatchewan was settled by Athabaskan, Algonquian, and Sioux tribes. The first European to enter Saskatchewan was Henry Kelsey in 1690, who travelled up the Saskatchewan River in hopes of trading fur with the province's indigenous peoples. The first permanent European settlement was a Hudson's Bay Company post at Cumberland House founded by Samuel Hearne in 1774.

In the 1870s settlement of the province started to take off as the Canadian Pacific Railway was built, and the Canadian government divided up the land by the Dominion Land Survey and gave free land to any willing settlers. The North West Mounted Police set up several forts across Saskatchewan.

The indigenous peoples were forced onto their own reservations, and the Métis people who had settled there, led by Louis Riel, attempted the North-West Rebellion to form their own government independent from Canada. Riel surrendered after two months and was convicted of treason.

As more settlers came to Saskatchewan on the railway, its population grew and it became a full province in 1905.

Politics

Saskatchewan has the same form of government as the other Canadian provinces with a premier, legislature, and lieutenant-governor.

For many years Saskatchewan has been one of the most leftist provinces. In 1944 they elected Tommy Douglas Premier of the first socialist government in North America. Under his Cooperative Commonwealth Federation government Saskatchewan became the first province to have socialized healthcare. In 1961, Douglas left provincial politics to become the first leader of the federal New Democratic Party .

During the post-war period the CCF and its successor the Saskatchewan New Democrats have dominated provincial politics with Douglas, Allan Blakeney and Roy Romanow all serving long periods as Premier and becoming national figures .

The Saskatchewan Liberal Party was the province's main right wing party for several decades but became insignificant following the defeat of Ross Thatcher's government in 1971. The Progressive Conservatives displaced the Liberals but imploded and officially withdrew from politics following the defeat of the scandal ridden government of Grant Devine.

Today, the official opposition in the province is the Saskatchewan Party, a new right-wing party built out of the remains of the Tories and right wing former Liberals. The current premier of Saskatchewan is New Democrat Lorne Calvert, whose government was re-elected in the 2003 election with a majority government.

See also


Provinces and territories of Canada
Provinces: British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario | Quebec | New Brunswick | Prince Edward Island | Nova Scotia | Newfoundland and Labrador
Territories: Yukon | Northwest Territories | Nunavut