Canadian Spotlight: Quebec

CIC News
Published: February 28, 2011

Last month we informed you how to qualify for Canadian permanent residency through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. This month, we would like to tell you what the province of Quebec has to offer.

Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and is home to over 7,800,000 people. Its residents account for nearly 25 percent of Canada's total population. Quebec is the only province whose population is predominately French-speaking, although many Quebec residents can speak multiple languages. Currently, Quebec receives over 45,000 immigrants per year from over 100 countries with the majority of immigrants settling in either Montreal or Quebec City. Despite its large and diverse population, Quebec has some of the lowest crime rates in Canada, making it an ideal destination for families.

The Fundamentals of Living in Quebec

In addition to having some of the most affordable housing costs in Canada, Quebec has one of the most affordable and comprehensive educational systems in North America. Quebec has publicly funded elementary and secondary schools in both French and English. After completing secondary school, Quebec students can attend pre-university or vocational programs through the province's CEGEP (Collège d'Enseignement Général et Professionel) system, which do not charge tuition fees.

Quebec universities offer world-class education in both English and French. Montreal is home to four sizable universities. In particular, McGill University and L'Université de Montreal are renowned around the world for their scholarship and research programs. Concordia University, Bishop's University, L'Université de Sherbrooke and L'Université de Laval offer competitive and well-respected educational programs. The average yearly tuition paid by Quebec students is the lowest in Canada, and the province offers a number of generous student aid-programs.

Health care in Quebec, as in the rest of Canada, is universally available to all residents at no cost to the end-user. The Quebec Health Care plan covers the full cost of all necessary medical services for all citizens and permanent residents in Quebec. This coverage includes doctor examinations, medical testing, emergency care, hospital care and emergency dental care.

Quebec also provides assistance for parents with young children. Parents who have children from ages six months to five years can pay only $7.00 a day for day care. In most cases, new mothers are entitled to one year of parental leave from work and new fathers are given five weeks of parental leave from work.

Quebec Employment

Quebec's advanced manufacturing sector produces a wide variety of products for export, such as airplanes, air traffic control equipment, software, subway trains, helicopters, and more. Quebec's agriculture revenue is also considerable, including the production of dairy products, fruits, and vegetables. Montreal is the economic capital of Quebec, home to major international corporations and some of Canada's most important industries. Montreal and the surrounding area has developed competitive industries in space and aeronautics, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, energy, transportation and finance. While manufacturing remains an important sector for the city's economy, it is being outpaced by the rapid growth of advanced technology sectors. Montreal has become known for its software and information technology industry, most notably with regards to the entertainment and gaming sectors and Montreal's advanced industries are quickly becoming world leaders in their fields.

Quebec's Major Cities

Quebec City
As the political and administrative capital of Quebec, Quebec City welcomes thousands of newcomers each year from all over the world. The Capital Region is home to approximately 670,000 people. Many of the people who work in Quebec City choose to live in one of the many smaller communities that surround the capital, a situation that allows them to experience the best of both worlds.
The majority of the residents of the Quebec City region are employed in the information and service sector. As the provincial capital, government administration is a major employer, as are the region's universities and colleges. Tourism in Quebec City is a major industry as well, as the area has been recognized by major international organizations for both its history and natural beauty.

As the second largest city in Canada, Montreal attracts a large number of immigrants each year to live and work in the area. Montreal is known as a city of festivals, hosting numerous events each year which attract visitors from all over the world. Among these events, the Just for Laughs comedy festival, Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Canadian Grand Prix are some of those known worldwide.
With extensive parks located throughout the city, Montrealers also enjoy natural beauty and outdoor recreation just a short walk from major business and cultural areas. This combination of qualities makes Montreal one of Canada's top destinations for immigrants.

Whether you want to study in a world renowned university or want to live in an affordable and culturally vibrant city, the province of Quebec has just what you are looking for.

To learn more about how you can immigrate to Quebec, please see our article on the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.

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