Legal Aspects of Doing Business in North America - 2nd Edition - Loose leaf
Legal Aspects of Doing Business in North America - 2nd Edition - Electronic
Newfoundland and Labrador
Adrienne LW Mercer
St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador is Canada’s easternmost and newest
Province, having joined Canada in 1949 following many years as an English
colony and a brief stint, subsequent to the Statute of Westminster (1931), as an
independent dominion within the British Empire.
It consists of two geographic components — the Island of Newfoundland, a large
island (approximately 111,000 square kilometers) located east of the Gulf of St
Lawrence, and Labrador on the northeastern edge of the North American mainland
(approximately 300,000 square kilometers).
The Province’s northern location, between the 46th and 61st parallels, and
exposure to the North Atlantic keep the climate temperate. The Island tends to
avoid the extremes of cold or heat endured by many parts of North America,
while Labrador has short, intense summers and long, cold winters. The land is
often rocky, a lingering impact of the last ice age. While there are significant
forested areas, there is very little agriculture.
Economically, Newfoundland has had a long history of dependence on the sea.
The first European visitors were Vikings who settled at Lance aux Meadows, in
the northern portion of the Island, and early Basque whaling settlements have
been identified in Labrador. From 1497, when John Cabot landed, until the 20th
century, most settlements depended almost completely on fishing enterprises.
Today there is a broad base of natural resource development, with a large
mining component, pulp and paper mills, hydroelectric development, and
offshore and onshore oil to complement the fishing industry. Recent years have
also seen significant growth in the services sector, in particular with respect to ecommerce
and computer applications.
The population is unusually homogenous for North America. The traditional
settlement pattern of predominantly English and Irish immigrants is modified by
a small number of French communities on the south coast where the French
originally settled, and near Ste. Pierre et Miquelon, a départment d’outre mer