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Manitoba is the most easterly of the Prairie Provinces and is 250,946 square miles in size. It is situated in central Canada, with Saskatchewan to the West, Ontario to the East, Nunavut bordering the North and the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the South.

The Province is in the Central Time Zone which is Greenwich Meantime -6 hours. Between the months of April and October Daylight Saving is in effect and the difference is GMT -5 hours.

The vast majority of Manitoba's total population of 1,150,800 (2002) live in the Southern part of the Province. The Provincial Capital is Winnipeg which is located in the South of the Province along with Manitoba's second largest city Brandon and the main gateway for goods shipping from the North the city of Selkirk The far North of the Province is mainly wilderness but there are a few settlements of note. The Mining Town of Flin Flon is on the Western border with Saskatchewan. Probably a bit more famous is Churchill which is on the Southern shore of Hudson Bay in the far North and has been the subject of several documentaries about its regular visitors - polar bears.

The Province is a flat, level land with most of it between 150 - 300 metres above sea level, the highest elevation being Baldy Mountain at 831 metres. The province has over 100,000 lakes and water makes up 16% of the land surface. Lake Winnipeg and Lake Winnipegosis are the two largest of all the lakes. The far Northern part of the Province is covered is forest and is glaciated. As with all of Canada, there are fantastic Opportunities For Recreation that range from the great outdoors to all manner of tourism and sports. There are many Provincial and two National Parks in the Province where the wildlife and landscapes are protected and made available for everyone to enjoy.

The climate has great extremes of temperature, the average January high in Winnipeg is -13 degrees centigrade and the record low is -48 degrees centigrade. The South of the Province usually receives over 100cm of snow annually. The summers by contrast are usually sunny and warm, with precipitation in the form of brief heavy showers. Winnipeg's average high in July is 26 degrees centigrade.

The Provincial Government is led by Premier Gary Doer who is the leader of the New Democratic Party. The Province is responsible for administering the Healthcare System which provides a basic care system for the residents. The Education System and the Driving Regulations are also regulated by the Province and have differences from other parts of Canada.

The Provincial Retail Sales Tax (RST) is a 7 per cent tax applied to the retail sale or rental of most goods and certain services in Manitoba. The tax is calculated on the selling price, before the Federal GST (Good and Services Tax) is applied. Residents of Manitoba are subject to Provincial and Federal Taxation. The Government is actively seeking new residents and has a dedicated Provincial Nominee Program for both Business people and Skilled workers with a profile of high demand jobs. The webpages for Immigration are the best Provincial offering we have found and are crammed with excellent information. The Newcomers section is second to none and a must see if you are considering moving to the Province. Also, be sure to acquaint yourself with the Manitoba Emploment Standards which describes your rights and obligations as an employee, the minimum wage system and great links to the health and safety regulations.

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