British Columbia i/ /, also commonly referred to by its initials BC or B.C., (French: Colombie-Britannique, C.-B.) is the westernmost province of Canada. In 1871, it became the sixth province of Canada. British Columbia is also a component of the Pacific Northwest, along with the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington. The province's name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858, reflecting its origins as the British remainder of the Columbia District of the Hudson's Bay Company. Its Latin motto is Splendor sine occasu ("Splendour without Diminishment").
The capital of British Columbia is Victoria, the 15th largest metropolitan region in Canada, named for the Queen that created the Colony of British Columbia. The largest city is Vancouver, the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada, the largest in Western Canada, and the second largest in the Pacific Northwest. In 2012, British Columbia had an estimated population of 4,622,573 (about two and a half million of whom were in Greater Vancouver). The province is currently governed by the BC Liberal Party, led by Premier Christy Clark, who became leader as a result of the party election on February 26, 2011 and who led her party to an election victory on May 14, 2013.
The Lower Mainland is a name commonly applied to the region surrounding and including Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. As of 2011, 2,590,921 people (59% of British Columbia's total population), lived in the region; sixteen of the province's thirty most populous municipalities are located there.
While the term Lower Mainland has been recorded from the earliest period of non-native settlement in British Columbia, it has never been officially defined in legal terms. The British Columbia Geographical Names Information System (BCGNIS) comments that most residents of Vancouver might consider it to be only areas west of Mission and Abbotsford, while residents in the rest of the province consider it to be the whole region south of Whistler and west of Hope. However, the term has historically been in popular usage for over a century to describe a region that extends from Horseshoe Bay south to the Canada – United States border and east to Hope at the eastern end of the Fraser Valley.
Metro Vancouver is the name of a political body and corporate entity designated by provincial legislation as one of the regional districts in British Columbia, Canada. The organization was formerly known as the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD), and that name is still the official name and remains in common colloquial use, especially in the abbreviated form. Metro Vancouver is under the direction of 24 local authorities; it delivers regional services, sets policy and acts as a political forum. The region's most populous city is Vancouver, but Metro Vancouver's administrative offices are located in the City of Burnaby.
The term "Metro Vancouver" can also be used to refer to the geographic territory approximately equivalent to the territory under the authority of the organization Metro Vancouver. This term is used increasingly in favour over the colloquial term "Greater Vancouver". Both terms generally imply reference only to the urban and suburban areas of the region - wilderness and outlying rural regions within the regional district are generally excluded. Statistics Canada defines the Vancouver CMA (census metropolitan area) as having perfectly coterminal boundaries with the Metro Vancouver regional district.
Vancouver is a city on the north bank of the Columbia River in the State of Washington. Incorporated in 1857, it is the fourth largest city in the state, with a 2010 census population of 161,791 as of April 1, 2010 census. Vancouver is the county seat of Clark County and forms part of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, the 23rd-largest metropolitan area in the United States. In 2005, Money magazine named it No. 91 on its list of best places in America to live.