It is one of the ten provinces that, together with the three territories, make up the thirteen federal entities of Canada. Its capital and the most populous city is Winnipeg. It is located in the centre of the country, bordering northwest with Northwest Territories, north with Nunavut, northeast with Hudson Bay, east with Ontario, south with the United States and west with Saskatchewan.
The province has an area of 649,950 km² in which prairies and a continental climate predominate, with thousands of lakes and many rivers. The economy of the territory is based on agriculture that is practiced in the fertile areas of the south and the west of the province. Other important economic sectors are transport, manufacturing, mining, forestry, energy and tourism.
The capital and largest city of Manitoba in Winnipeg, the eighth city of Canada in population and home to 60% of the inhabitants of the province. Winnipeg is the seat of the provincial government and in it are the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and the Court of Appeal of Manitoba, which is the highest judicial body. Four of the five universities in Manitoba, their professional sports teams and most of the cultural activities are in Winnipeg.
The fur traders first came to the territory of present-day Manitoba at the end of the 17th century and the area became the heart of Rupert Land, owned by the Hudson Bay Company. Manitoba reached the category of a province of Canada in 1870, after the Red River Rebellion. In 1919 a general strike took place in Winnipeg and shortly after the region was affected by the economic crisis known as the Great Depression. These events led to the creation of what would eventually become the New Democratic Party of Manitoba, one of the main political parties in the province.
The economy is based mainly on agriculture, tourism, energy, oil, mining and forestry. Agriculture is vital and is found mainly in the southern half of the province, with cereals as the dominant crop. About 12% of agricultural land in Canada is located in Manitoba. The most common type of farm found in rural areas is livestock (34.6%), followed by a variety of grains (19.0%) and oilseeds (7.9%).
Manitoba is the largest national producer of sunflower seeds and dried beans and one of the main sources of potatoes. Portage la Prairie is a processing centre for large potatoes and is home to the McCain Foods and Simplot plants, which offer McDonald's, Wendy, and other commercial chains. Can-oat milling, one of the largest oat factories in the world, also has a plant in the township.
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