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England had claimed Newfoundland as a territory by the end of the 1500s. Fishing was the main industry. Although Newfoundland participated in the Quebec Conference, it did not join Canada in 1867. By 1949 the people had to decide what to do about their political future. Many people wanted to remain a colony of Britain. Others, led by Joseph Smallwood, wanted Newfoundland to become a province of Canada. They had these reasons:
There was a vote, and Newfoundlanders decided to join Canada by just a few votes.
View of St. John's
On December 6, 2001, the province's name was officially changed from Newfoundland to Newfoundland and Labrador.