Nova Scotia is one of the four Atlantic provinces on the east coast of Canada. It is the second smallest province made up of the mainland and Cape Breton Island also includes over 3800 coastal islands. Capital city and largest city is Halifax and it is an international seaport and transportation center. “Nova Scotia” means “New Scotland” in Latin. Many people live in or close to Halifax. Most of the communities are along the coast. People came from Britain, Western Europe, and Southern Europe. Over eighty percent are of British ancestry, eighteen percent are of French ancestry. Other groups include German, Dutch, Poles, Ukrainian, Chinese, Scandinavian and native people. Nova Scotia has Canada’s oldest African-Canadian community. Coal mining, fishing, and fish processing were once major industries.
The Fishery is the oldest and most important natural resource. The main mineral is coal which is used for making electricity. Refineries turn oil into gasoline and other products. Both hardwood and softwood forests cover much of the province. Forest products include lumber, pulp and paper and Christmas trees. There are three pulp and paper mills and several hundred sawmills. Nova Scotia is among the leading producers of gypsum in the world. Gypsum is used in the manufacture of wallboard. Apples, blueberries, pears and strawberries are grown in the Annapolis Valley.
The Minister of Education is responsible for the administration and delivery of education. The powers of the Minister and the Department of Education are defined by the Ministerial regulations and constrained by the Governor-In-Council regulations. Nova Scotia has more than 450 public schools for children.
Public education is administered by seven regional school boards, responsible primarily for English instruction and French immersion. The Nova Scotia Community College system has 13 campuses around the province. The community college, with its focus on training and education, was established in 1988 by amalgamating the province’s former vocational schools. In addition to its community college system the province has 11 universities, including Dalhousie University, University of King’s College, Saint Mary’s University (Halifax), Mount Saint Vincent University, NSCAD University, Acadia University, Université Sainte-Anne, Saint Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Cape Breton University and the Atlantic School of Theology. There are also more than 90 registered private commercial colleges in Nova Scotia.