A VPS is an acronym for Virtual Private Server. It's virtual meaning it's an instance of an operating system within an operating system. There can be tens or hundreds of VPS's on one physical host.
Canadian hosting providers are becoming increasingly more popular over American as they must comply with privacy legislation (PIPEDA) whereas America is widely known for the US Patriot Act which is essentially the opposite of privacy.
Prices mentioned were as of Jan 4, 2011, based on annual:
Cirrus hosting $19.99-$129.99
GoTekky in Montreal, PQ $19.95-$159.99/m - 12%
Stardot hosting $22/m
VPSVille Toronto, ON $10-50/m
Hetzner Online Nuremberg? €7.90+
Server4YOU Strasbourg, France €8.85+
Strato Berlin, Germany €7.90+
Hub.org Inc. Panama + Canada $60US/y?+