Talk:British Columbia

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Request for comment on first sentence of lead[edit]

Which of the following should be the first sentence in the lead?

  1. British Columbia (BC) is the westernmost province of Canada ....
  2. British Columbia (BC) (French: Colombie-Britannique) is the westernmost province of Canada ....
  3. British Columbia (BC) (French: Colombie-Britannique | Halkomelem: S'ólh Téméxw) is the westernmost province of Canada .... Magnolia677 (talk) 10:52, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Option 1 - A consensus of editors at MOS:LEADLANG agreed that a close associated with a non-English language is necessary to included "a single foreign language equivalent name" in the lead sentence. Only 8.5 percent of British Columbians claim French as their ethnic origin, and the French had little involvement in the province's history. Moreover, the bilingual status of Canada should have no influence over Wikipedia's inclusion criteria. As well, a large number of Indigenous people have occupied the BC area throughout history, and one single language translation may not be inclusive. Finally, MOS:FIRST addresses the need to keep the first sentence uncluttered. Magnolia677 (talk) 11:11, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 as per MOS:LEADLANG.--Moxy-Maple Leaf (Pantone).svg 13:14, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 BC doesn't have a particularly large francophone population (govt. stats show 1.4%, which is amongst the bottom few) and there are otherwise not many reasons (outside of the bilingual status of Canada) why a foreign-language name (which is a plain translation and not dramatically different; and not much used in English-language works anyway) would need to be mentioned in the lead. RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 16:29, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 2 Other petitioner's reliance and use of MOS:LEADLANG is at most a distraction. Their arguments presuppose that the phrase "Colombie-Britannique" is nothing more than a direct translation of the phrase "British Columbia", and that the only association under the policy that can justify it's inclusion is there being a large cohort of french speakers in British Columbia. However this line of thinking misses one crucial element, "Colombie-Britannique" is not merely a unofficial translation of the province's English title, but rather one of the two official titles of province under the Canadian Constitution. On this point I would like to paraphrase an earlier comment on this dispute from Trackratte:
1: The Government of British Columbia acknowledges that the French title is official here
2: Treasury Board Circular 1983-58, 23 November 1983 declares that "'British Columbia' and 'Colombie-Britannique'" are both official.
3: In British Columbia's GEOGRAPHICAL NAMING PRINCIPLES, POLICY AND PROCEDURES, the government of BC says that "The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is responsible for naming geographical features in British Columbia. The Minister delegates this responsibility to the Geographical Names Office.....The Geographical Names Board of Canada (formerly known as the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names) is the coordinating body for provincial and territorial geographical names authorities in Canada. As a member of this committee, British Columbia endorses the geographical naming principles and procedures established by the committee
3.5: The Geographic Names Board of Canada (GNBC) "is comprised of members from each province and territory and various federal departments concerned" and whose role is as a "national coordinating body for the development of standard policies for the treatment of names and terminology, the promotion of the use of official names, and the encouragement of the development of international standards in cooperation with the United Nations". It's entry here clearly shows that "Colombie-Britannique" is an official title.
4: The Constitution of Canada, which is equally authoritative in both french and english (because Canada is a bilingual country) refers to British Columbia as Colombie-Britannique see here
My point essentially is that having a second official name in a other language is more than enough of a association to justify the inclusion of that name under MOS:LEADLANG. Think about this for a second, if BC had a second official name but it was in english, there would be no serious dispute that it should to be included in the parenthesis, especially given that the parenthesis is far from cluttered. This official name is also far from being obscure, it's what nearly 1/4th of the Canadian population refers to the province by (about 1/4th of the Canadian population has french as it's mother tongue). It's for these reasons, that in my respectful submission, focusing on the number of BC french speakers as the sole way to establish an association under MOS:LEADLANG is a bit of a red herring and a fallacy. I should also note that while MOS:LEADLANG is silent on the current scenario we're facing (where a place has two official name in two different languages) it does say this, "For example, an article about a location in a non-English-speaking country will typically include the local-language equivalent", so official names in other languages are afforded significance.
Finally, as a minor side-note, and by no means the crux of my argument. I would also note that including the french-official-title in the parenthesis would be the more consistent choice, as out of the provinces/territories in Canada with different french/english titles, articles on 4 out of 6 have chosen to include the french title in the parenthesis. CASalt (talk) 19:39, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Every province and territory except British Columbia has implemented measures to recognize the official languages or the provision of French-language services.Moxy-Maple Leaf (Pantone).svg 03:56, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your link refers to the regulatory frameworks for the provision of French language services, it has nothing to do with the official titles of the province, which are well substantiated. CASalt (talk) 18:04, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, they have to official language use. BC does not use French except when requesting federal services, and even, when I have walked in and started a conversation with bonjour, a look of panic crosses the federal employee's face and they ask if I need to be assisted in French and explain that there will be a delay in service if I do. No, the supposedly "well substantiated" content is just as useless as your argument here. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:13, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Full administrative bilingualism is not the threshold here. I don't know why you and Moxy keep circling back to this, you're arguing against a point that was never made. Having an official name in French is enough. CASalt (talk) 18:42, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The threshold for inclusion in this article and every other article on Wikipedia, is what a consensus of Wikipedia says it is, not what some government agency says it is. Magnolia677 (talk) 19:04, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, the threshold for inclusion is adherence to the Wikipedia:Core content policies. "The principles upon which these policy statements are based are not superseded by other policies or guidelines, or by editors' consensus." maclean (talk) 00:07, 25 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
CASalt, you seem to be confused. I am not making the argument you claim. Administrative anything is of no consequence. MOS:LEADLANG tells you you are simply wrong.
Having an official name in a language other than English matters one bit. As an example, the English-language exonym of Switzerland is the only one used in its lede and not one in any of the four official languages.
My evidence is an objection to editors who think that because BC is a Canadian province it therefore must have a non-English term in the infobox or lede. That is simply not supported by any policy, guideline, or manual of style. Walter Görlitz (talk) 22:38, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is a ugly variant of the WP:WHATABOUT argument, this RFC is about BC not Switzerland, people here are not familiar enough with Switzerland and it's nomenclature to discuss it, and none of this even matters, since after taking a peek at that talk page, this issue has never even been brought up there yet. So there is not even any precedential value in this point. CASalt (talk) 17:44, 25 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • That "Colombie Britannique" is a direct translation equivalent of "British Columbia" is a fact, not an unfounded opinion, and whether it is the official name should not have that much bearing here, if it is not used that much in English sources. RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 20:57, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 2 - MOS:LEADLANG does not apply to this question, because French is not a foreign language in Canada, any more than English is a foreign language. French has equal constitutional status in British Columbia along with English at the federal level, under the Charter (ss. 16 through 22), and also within the administration of aspects of British Columbia provincial matters. For example, French has constitutional status within the BC education system, by virtue of s. 23 of the Charter. French also has statutory status in the criminal courts, under both federal and provincial laws. The fact that the francophone population in BC is low does not mean that French lacks status in BC. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 19:59, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note that Colombie-britannique is also used by Canada Post:
Educational material ..."The Official Languages Act does not apply to provincial or municipal governments or to private businesses".Moxy-Maple Leaf (Pantone).svg 04:06, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Both of the above seem to ignore that WP:OFFICIALNAMES are not preferred, and Wikipedia is not a court of law either. French is an official language of Canada (I speak it, figure I have a clue on that), but that doesn't mean that we should base the content of this article (about a mostly non-French province) on that, anymore than we should include content in articles about places in French-speaking Belgium about the Dutch names of the place if these have no relevance... On top of that, the above is a load of OR based on editors interpreting laws and constitutional documents... RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 20:52, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Bizarre attempt to use WP:OFFICIALNAMES here. This is no discussion on what the title of the article should be, no one is proposing that the title be changed to "Colombie britannique". But rather the discussion here is whether this official name (which is used by the 1/4th of Canadian population, so far from obscure) should be included in the parenthesis as an alternate name. There is no conflict between WP:OFFICIALNAMES and WP:COMMONNAME here. CASalt (talk) 21:31, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Colour me surprised. Poste Canada is a government service and naturally they need to provide service in both French and English. That changes bugger all to the fact English language sources (you've linked the French page) generally don't use the French name... RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 21:07, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 2. Option 2 has been the status quo at this Wiki page for over a decade (which given the age of the site, basically means forever), and long standing status quo prevails unless clear consensus for change. As per my other comment, CB is official according to both the Government of BC and Government of Canada sources. trackratte (talk) 02:06, 22 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 2 Canada is officially a bilingual country with English and French, the French is also an official name, and not a just a translation of the English. Further WP:OFFICIALNAMES is about the article page name and has nothing to do with what the lead sentence says. You can easily see all the biography articles where the lead sentence personal name is not the same as the article page title. -- (talk) 13:04, 22 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 2 per Trackratte above and elsewhere; also per and CASalt. As I've said a number of times, BC the province exists wholly as a subdivision of Canada. Canada is bilingual and the name Colombie-Britannique appears throughout legislation. No one is suggesting the article's title be changed but both versions of the province's name, in both the country's official languages, clearly ought to be included. —Joeyconnick (talk) 20:46, 22 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 - While the province is a part of Canada, which is officially bilingual, it is not itself officially bilingual. New Brunswick is the only province that is officially bilingual. Stating that the nation is bilingual violates the separation of power between the two levels of government. While the province's name has an official French-language translation, it also has official German, Japanese, Mandarin and probably several other translations. Those should be used in the articles of those wiki projects, but as exonyms, have no place on the English project. The source provided above ( calls it a "French form" not official name. So if you wanted to write it in French, that is how to do so. CASalt's first and second points are one-and-the-same as the link points to Treasury Board Circular 1983-58, 23 November 1983. The latter,, is a federal document, not a provincial one. As such LEADLANG (I trust I do not need to link this again) applies. No close association at the provincial level. Walter Görlitz (talk) 00:20, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You and Moxy miss that full administrative bilingualism is not required for the French name to be included, merely having an official name in french is already a strong enough association for inclusion in the parentheses. And you're right Treasury Board Circular 1983-58 is a federal policy, however that's not the point, British Columbia has delegated it's naming conventions and endorsed (like all provinces) that exact policy. Also if the approved french form is merely a tip from the province on how to translate it into another language, and not an official title, why only provide the approved french form? Why are, in your own words, the "official German, Japanese, Mandarin" titles not provided on that source? It's not like the province even legally has to, as Moxy pointed out, the OLA does not require provinces to provide administrative services in both languages. so what is it? CASalt (talk) 18:32, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not to mention that the elephant in the room, the Constitution and the BC terms of Union, wasn't even addressed by your comment CASalt (talk) 18:33, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 - it's not Quebec. Common usage is not French, and typical RS coverage is not French, so that should not get lead prominence anymore than one would start the Manhattan article with "Manhattan (Dutch: Nieuw Amsterdam)". Cheers Markbassett (talk) 03:39, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As far as I'm aware, "Nieuw Amsterdam" is not an official title of Manhattan CASalt (talk) 18:35, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 - Fundamental to WP:MOSLEAD is that it "summarize the body of the article". CASalt makes some great points above about the use of "Colombie-Britannique" which would be fantastic for the body of the article. If that content was in the body of the article I might have a different opinion on a summarized version in the lead. maclean (talk) 00:07, 25 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1, "British Columbia" is the common name, and it is largely English-speaking, so a French translation is not needed. Seraphimblade Talk to me 02:14, 25 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Comment WP:COMMONNAME is an article page name procedure, and not a lead sentence guideline. It's not applicable, and the article page is already residing at the Common Name. And I will point out that many biography articles reside at common names but that does not mean that the lead sentence uses only that form. Many times it does not. Just look at Bill Clinton which in its lead sentence says William Jefferson Clinton (né Blythe III; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and not Bill Clinton (born August 19, 1946) is an American politician; the common name is the article title, not the content of the lead sentence. -- (talk) 03:18, 25 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • You are referring to MOS:HYPOCORISM. If BC were a person, only its legal name would appear in the opening paragraph. In that spirit, British Columbia is the province's legal name. The French variant is not its legal name. It is the name that French-language people should use when referring to the province. It does not appear in any of documents related to BC's foundation. Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:20, 25 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Well this comment is just outright factually false. CASalt (talk) 17:29, 25 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to pick on one of your points, Are the BC Terms of Union not foundational enough for you? CASalt (talk) 17:32, 25 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have no idea what a French version of BC's terms of union on a federal website is meant to represent oth8er than your clear and utter ignorance of the languages act in Canada. Please do not represent that as the only official document that is available in both languages. You failed to show the English version ( I will assume good faith, but if you continue to misrepresent information in the future I suggest you join Mr. Trump's political frey and leave our fair country. Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:24, 1 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You have completely and utterly missed the point. it's almost like you're deliberately trolling at this point. CASalt (talk) 06:02, 1 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The BC terms of Union forms a part of the constitution of Canada (see schedule 1 to the 1982 Constitution Act). Which is equally authoritative in both french and english. Don't worry about missing that though, it's not like this point has been repeated ad nauseam in even just this RFC or anything, including by comments you've directly replied to. CASalt (talk) 06:09, 1 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are the troll and failed to actually convey the point. The fact is clear: the federal authority of official languages ends at the borders of its offices, not to the provinces official name. Don't worry about not understanding that. It's not like this point has not been repeatedly stated, ad nauseam, in even just this RFC or anything, including by comments you've directly replied to and haws been explained in intricate detail so fine that not even you could misunderstand it. Walter Görlitz (talk) 07:15, 1 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 2. I just read through all of this talk page, and this was a wild ride haha. Thank you to everyone who contributed. I had a lot of fun reading it! Ok, so the "arguments" for removing Colombie-Britanique are always one of three:
1) Having Colombie-Britanique in the lede clutters it because its too long!! >:(
    Its 1 word
2) Colombie-Britanique is a French word, and it shouldn't be added because few people here speak French!
    Its literally one of the 2 official names this federated state has. Official documents legislating stuff for British Columbia have Colombie-Britanique on them, and government employees, elected officials and non-elected officials (like the Senators) say "Colombie-Britanique" to refer to this place. Not "不列顛哥倫比亞省", not "ब्रिटिश कोलंबिया", not "Britisch-Kolumbien", or anything like that. Its "British Columbia" and "Colombie-Britanique". Who cares if few French-speakers live there? When India was a part of the British Empire, few people there spoke English, but the legal and legislative stuff was in English anyway.
3) Having Colombie-Britanique is imposing French people's worldview on British Columbia!! Qwebec is oppressing me!!! :,(
    Its not, please stop embarrassing yourself
Lets just say the arguments aint good, or even "arguments" in the case of 1) and 3). Is there a British Columbia separation movement that I didn't know about? Is that what's happening here? I'm genuinely asking lol 7288P (talk) 16:09, 5 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh my. You've completely missed the point! This is the English project and MOS:LEADLANG applies to that. While Canada is bilingual, British Columbia is not. No one is claiming Quebec is oppressing anyone in this article, but realize that if you run a business there, you cannot have English on any signage. No such language laws in BC. Oh, and your grammar and formatting are atrocious; please stop embarrassing yourself. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:36, 5 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Imagine being so ignorant about Canada you actually believe it is illegal to put English-language signs up in Quebec smh 7288P (talk) 18:47, 6 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry. French must be prominent. etc.
Back to the point, part of our general Wikipedia:Manual of Style, MOS:GEO is clear: "Names in languages with no particular present-day or historical ties to the place in question (English excepted, of course) should not be listed as alternatives." So what is the the historical tie that French has to the province that it should be present? Were the first people French speakers? Were the first Europeans here? Were any legislators? Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:53, 6 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1, plus add explanation of French name, federal position, and GNB to the Etymology or an Other names section. If French is official at the federal level, it should also go in the infobox. (Motivation: leadclutter.) ⁓ Pelagicmessages ) 18:53, 16 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 - agree with both Markbassett and RandomCanadian above. Phatblackmama (talk) 14:29, 18 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • At the moment the Etymology section discusses only the English-language name. To Magnolia's point that the proposed option 3 risks not being inclusive of the variety of Indigenous names for the province - an argument I agree with - this issue could be addressed with a more complete set of Indigenous names in Etymology, rather than by prioritizing one in particular for the lead sentence. Nikkimaria (talk) 14:14, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why have random Indigenous names? 34 of we also add other translations like "Briṭiśa kōlabī'ā" (Punjabi) second most spoken language. Should only mention translations if the etymology is derived from Indigenous origins.--Moxy-Maple Leaf (Pantone).svg 16:39, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Why is Option 3 even an option? There has been no serious dispute on the inclusion of the indigenous languages in the parenthesis. The sole contentious dispute has been on whether the french language title should be included (given that it's an official title). The presence of this option feels like a bad-faith attempt to stir the pot, provide an opportunity for the opponents of option 2 to make a 'parade of horribles' to argue against option 2, and frankly just seems like a poison pill. Especially given that we know the position of the person who started this RFC, and it's very much not in favour of including additional languages. CASalt (talk) 19:56, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • What is Option 3 for? Where are all the other indigenous languages? Why select this one? -- (talk) 13:00, 22 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit Needed[edit]

Request someone to update hottest temp section. It’s outdated 2001:569:74E7:7D00:28C8:4AE:3555:F84B (talk) 05:49, 23 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dispute about Infobox content[edit]

An issue has come up: should the infobox to this article contain the field "government_type", filled in with "Parliamentary constitutional monarchy". Since this issue affects all ten provinces and the three territories, a Request for Comment has been started on the Canadian Wikipedians Notice Board. If you are interested in this issue, please come to the Notice Board and contribute to the discussion. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 01:07, 3 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion[edit]

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