Have you ever asked yourself if you truly know what the difference is between a Canadian province and a Canadian territory? If the answer is no, you don’t know, it seems you’re not alone! A recent Reddit thread has revealed that hundreds of Canadians seem to be unsure of the exact differences between the two, with a number of users admitting that they had always wondered but never bothered to find out.

The original post on the Reddit thread simply asked Canadians, “What's the difference between being a province or a territory?” The person who posted the question added, “Probably a dumb question, but what’s the difference? Why not just all be provinces?”

If the person who posted the question was looking for a straightforward answer from Canadian Reddit users, they unfortunately didn’t get one, as it seemed a lot of people online were also pretty confused by the differences between the two. Within just hours of the question being posted, more than one hundred people had replied to the post, many confirming that they too were unsure about the whole thing.

One Canadian user confirmed that it wasn’t actually a stupid question at all, writing, “It's not a dumb question, provincial education systems largely ignore the territories because it doesn't directly affect them, so its often not taught well if at all (at least in Ontario).”

In a jokey-attempt to set the record straight, one Reddit user explained, “It's pretty straightforward. Provinces are cold. Territories are really, really, really f*cking cold.”

Another user responded to this, writing, “This sorta makes sense. Since Alberta and Sask were once apart of the NWT in their history it explains why in winter they get really really really f*cking cold.”

In a more serious attempt to answer the question, a number of users did their best to break down the most basic differences between a Canadian province and a Canadian territory. 

While several Reddit users did their best to make the situation clearer, some of the information provided was conflicting, making some aspects of their information even more confusing!

In response to the answers given, several Reddit users explained that they had never been taught this information in school, noting that it would have been useful to learn properly during high-school.

One user wrote, “I'm not saying that we should go into super high detail about the territories, but Social Studies was one of my favourite classes when I was in school, and since we spent so much time on Canada (and extremely little on anything else) throughout the years, there was definitely time to learn the difference between a province and a territory, as well as a few things about each one.”

For those still unsure about the main difference between the two, it is mainly related to their governance. Basically, the territories have their own delegated powers under the authority of the Parliament of Canada. They are grouped together and ruled by the federal government. However, the provinces have the ability to exercise constitutional powers on their own. 

If this doesn’t sound completely fair, that’s because it sort-of isn’t. However, the “imbalance of power” is being gradually sorted out, as increasing decision-making powers are being given to the territories.

So, now you know! But for a more detailed overview and explanation of the differences between Canadian provinces and territories, you can visit the Government of Canada website, which pretty much breaks it all down for you!

The more you know, eh?!


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