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The Maritime provinces, also called the Maritimes or the Canadian Maritimes, is a region of Eastern Canada consisting of three provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. On the Atlantic coast, the Maritimes are a subregion of Atlantic Canada. The population of the Maritime provinces was 1,826,896 in 2008.[1]

The Maritimes front the Atlantic Ocean and its various sub-basins such as the Gulf of Maine and Gulf of St. Lawrence systems. The region is located northeast of New England, southeast of Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula, and southwest of the island of Newfoundland.

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is sometimes mistakenly identified as a Maritime province: it is properly part of Atlantic Canada (with the other three provinces) and thus referred to as an Atlantic province. Although it is located on the Atlantic coast, the Gulf of St. Lawrence physically separates this province from the Maritimes. It also has a uniquely different history; the Dominion of Newfoundland joined Canada eight decades after the three Maritime provinces. The four provinces of Atlantic Canada, combined with the two of Central Canada (Quebec and Ontario), comprise Eastern Canada.

There was talk of a Maritime Union of the three provinces to have greater political power; however, the first discussions on the subject in 1864 at the Charlottetown Conference led to the process of Canadian Confederation which formed the larger Dominion of Canada instead.

The Maritimes are home to Mi'kmaq and Maliseet people and have an extensive history of French and British settlement dating back to the seventeenth century, forming a unique culture that predates Canada.


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