Prince Edward Island

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Prince Edward Island also known as PEI or just The Island is one of the three Maritime Provinces. The crescent shaped island is separated from the mainland by the Northumberland Strait. Its neighbours are the Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia both on Canada's mainland. Its total size is 2184 square miles making it Canada's smallest province. No place in the Province is more than 16 km (10 mi) from the sea.

The 9 mile long Confederation Bridge, which opened in 1997, joins PEI with New Brunswick and is the longest bridge over ice covered waters in the world. There is a toll payable when leaving the island. The Province is in the Atlantic Time Zone which is Greenwich Meantime -4 hours. Between the months of April and October Daylight Saving is in effect and the difference is GMT -3 hours.

There is a population of 135,294 people (2001 census). The Province is divided into three counties; in the middle is Queens County, to the east Kings County and to the west Prince County. The Provincial capital of Charlottetown is located in Queens County and the second city of PEI is Summerside located in Prince County.

There are many smaller communities throughout the Province. The terrain is mostly gently rolling hills, there are no mountains on the Island, the highest point of land is only 152 metres (499 feet) above sea level at Springton, Queens County. The Northern shores are predominantly white sandy beaches and in the south it is mostly red sandstone cliffs. There are many small lakes, rivers and Parks PEI's climate is normally milder than the mainland due to the warm waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence that surround it. It receives an average of 868mm of rainfall annually and an average of 340cm of snowfall. Winters are generally cold with an average of -7 degrees Celsius in January. The snow usually comes in November and stays until late April. Summers are usually warm, with an average temperature of 19 degrees Celsius in July.

The Provincial Government of Prince Edward Island is led by Premier the Hon. Patrick George Binns who is the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. The Province is responsible for administering the Healthcare System which provides a basic care system for the PEI residents.

The Education System and the Driving Regulations are also regulated by the Province and have differences from other parts of Canada.

The Provincial Revenue Tax (PST) is a 10 per cent tax applied to the retail sale or rental of most goods and certain services in Prince Edward Island. The tax is calculated on the selling price, after the Federal GST (Good and Services Tax) is applied. Residents of PEI 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.

They offer a very informative section on immigration on the government's Website that can offer advice on employment standards, minimum wages, arrival info and assistance to name a few. The PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada is an organization that help immigrants settle in Prince Edward Island. I'd recommend contacting them if you plan on living in PEI as they can offer invaluable advice and assistance.

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