As it goes, Canada is a country in North America, consisting of 10 provinces and 3 territories.

Are there any legally significant differences between being a province compared to a territory?

Do all the provinces and the territories have the same authority and jurisdiction to specify the laws of the land?

1 Answer 1


To answer your question, no they are not the same legally and no, Territories are not able to govern themselves, but only are allowed to exercise power delegated to them by the Federal Government of Canada.

To quote from the linked official Canadian Government Page:

There is a clear constitutional distinction between provinces and territories. While provinces exercise constitutional powers in their own right, the territories exercise delegated powers under the authority of the Parliament of Canada.

Historically, this authority has meant that the North was largely governed by federal officials. However, over the past 40 years, major changes have occurred in the governance of the territories. Federal statutes have established a legislative assembly and executive council for each territory and province-like powers are increasingly being transferred or "devolved" to territorial governments by the Government of Canada. This process, known as "devolution", provides greater local decision-making and accountability.

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