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Quebec k or k is a province
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

 in east
Eastern Canada
Eastern Canada is generally considered to be the region of Canada east of Manitoba, consisting of the following provinces:* New Brunswick* Newfoundland and Labrador* Nova Scotia* Ontario* Prince Edward Island* Quebec...

-central
Central Canada
Central Canada is a region consisting of Canada's two largest and most populous provinces: Ontario and Quebec. Due to their high populations, Ontario and Quebec have traditionally held a significant amount of political power in Canada, leading to some amount of resentment from other regions of the...

 Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking
Francophone
The adjective francophone means French-speaking, typically as primary language, whether referring to individuals, groups, or places. Often, the word is used as a noun to describe a natively French-speaking person....

 population and the only one whose sole official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 is French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 at the provincial level.
Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut
Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

 is larger. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, James Bay
James Bay
James Bay is a large body of water on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean. James Bay borders the provinces of Quebec and Ontario; islands within the bay are part of Nunavut...

 and Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

, to the north by Hudson Strait
Hudson Strait
Hudson Strait links the Atlantic Ocean to Hudson Bay in Canada. It lies between Baffin Island and the northern coast of Quebec, its eastern entrance marked by Cape Chidley and Resolution Island. It is long...

 and Ungava Bay
Ungava Bay
Ungava Bay is a large bay in northeastern Canada separating Nunavik from Baffin Island. The bay is shaped like a rounded square with a side length of about and has an area of approximately...

, to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence
Gulf of Saint Lawrence
The Gulf of Saint Lawrence , the world's largest estuary, is the outlet of North America's Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean...

 and the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

 and New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

. It is bordered on the south by the US states of Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

, New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

, Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, and New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut
Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

, Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

, and Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

.

Quebec is Canada's second most populous province, after Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

. Most inhabitants live in urban areas near the Saint Lawrence River
Saint Lawrence River
The Saint Lawrence is a large river flowing approximately from southwest to northeast in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It is the primary drainage conveyor of the Great Lakes Basin...

 between Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 and Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

, the capital. English-speaking communities and English-language institutions are concentrated in the west of the island of Montreal
Island of Montreal
The Island of Montreal , in extreme southwestern Quebec, Canada, is located at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. It is separated from Île Jésus by the Rivière des Prairies....

 but are also significantly present in the Outaouais, Eastern Townships
Eastern Townships
The Eastern Townships is a tourist region and a former administrative region in south-eastern Quebec, lying between the former seigneuries south of the Saint Lawrence River and the United States border. Its northern boundary roughly followed Logan's Line, the geologic boundary between the flat,...

, and Gaspé
Gaspé Peninsula
The Gaspésie , or Gaspé Peninsula or the Gaspé, is a peninsula along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, extending into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

 regions. The Nord-du-Québec
Nord-du-Québec
Nord-du-Québec is the largest of the seventeen administrative regions of Quebec, Canada. With , of which are lakes and rivers, it covers much of the Labrador Peninsula and about 55% of the total land surface area of Quebec....

 region, occupying the northern half of the province, is sparsely populated and inhabited primarily by Aboriginal peoples
Aboriginal peoples in Canada
Aboriginal peoples in Canada comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have fallen into disuse in Canada and are commonly considered pejorative....

.

Sovereignty plays a large role in the politics of Quebec
Politics of Quebec
The politics of Quebec are centred on a provincial government resembling that of the other Canadian provinces, namely a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. The capital of the province is Quebec City, where the Lieutenant Governor, Premier, the legislature, and cabinet reside.The...

, and the official opposition
Opposition (parliamentary)
Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based parliamentary system. Note that this article uses the term government as it is used in Parliamentary systems, i.e. meaning the administration or the cabinet rather than the state...

 social democratic Parti Québécois
Parti Québécois
The Parti Québécois is a centre-left political party that advocates national sovereignty for the province of Quebec and secession from Canada. The Party traditionally has support from the labour movement. Unlike many other social-democratic parties, its ties with the labour movement are informal...

 advocates national sovereignty for the province and secession from Canada. Sovereignist
Quebec sovereignty movement
The Quebec sovereignty movement refers to both the political movement and the ideology of values, concepts and ideas that promote the secession of the province of Quebec from the rest of Canada...

 governments have held referendums on independence in 1980
1980 Quebec referendum
The 1980 Quebec referendum was the first referendum in Quebec on the place of Quebec within Canada and whether Quebec should pursue a path toward sovereignty. The referendum was called by Quebec's Parti Québécois government, which strongly favoured secession from Canada...

 and 1995
1995 Quebec referendum
The 1995 Quebec referendum was the second referendum to ask voters in the Canadian province of Quebec whether Quebec should secede from Canada and become an independent state, through the question:...

; both were voted down by voters, the latter defeated by a very narrow margin. In 2006, the Canadian House of Commons
Canadian House of Commons
The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign and the Senate. The House of Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 308 members known as Members of Parliament...

 passed a symbolic motion, the Québécois nation motion
Québécois nation motion
The Québécois nation motion was a parliamentary motion tabled by Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 and approved by the Canadian House of Commons on Monday, November 27, 2006...

, recognizing the "Québécois
French-speaking Quebecer
French-speaking Quebecers are francophone residents of the Canadian province of Quebec....

 as a nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

 within a united Canada."

While the province's substantial natural resources
Natural Resources
Natural Resources is a soul album released by Motown girl group Martha Reeves and the Vandellas in 1970 on the Gordy label. The album is significant for the Vietnam War ballad "I Should Be Proud" and the slow jam, "Love Guess Who"...

 have long been the mainstay of its economy, sectors of the knowledge economy
Knowledge economy
The knowledge economy is a term that refers either to an economy of knowledge focused on the production and management of knowledge in the frame of economic constraints, or to a knowledge-based economy. In the second meaning, more frequently used, it refers to the use of knowledge technologies to...

 such as aerospace
Aerospace
Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

, information and communication technologies, biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

 and the pharmaceutical industry also play leading roles. These many industries have all contributed to helping Quebec become the second most economically influential province, second only to Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

.

Etymology and boundary changes



The name "Quebec", which comes from the Algonquin
Algonquin language
Algonquin is either a distinct Algonquian language closely related to the Ojibwe language or a particularly divergent Ojibwe dialect. It is spoken, alongside French and to some extent English, by the Algonquin First Nations of Quebec and Ontario...

 word kébec meaning "where the river narrows", originally referred to the area around Quebec City where the Saint Lawrence River narrows to a cliff-lined gap. Early variations in the spelling of the name included Québecq (Levasseur, 1601) and Kébec (Lescarbot 1609). French explorer Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain , "The Father of New France", was a French navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He founded New France and Quebec City on July 3, 1608....

 chose the name Québec in 1608 for the colonial outpost he would use as the administrative seat for the French colony of New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

.

The Province of Quebec
Province of Quebec (1763-1791)
The Province of Quebec was a colony in North America created by Great Britain after the Seven Years' War. Great Britain acquired Canada by the Treaty of Paris when King Louis XV of France and his advisors chose to keep the territory of Guadeloupe for its valuable sugar crops instead of New France...

 was founded in the Royal Proclamation of 1763
Royal Proclamation of 1763
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763, by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 after the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 formally transferred the French colony
French colonial empires
The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

 of Canada to Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 after the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

. The proclamation restricted the province to an area along the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. The Quebec Act
Quebec Act
The Quebec Act of 1774 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain setting procedures of governance in the Province of Quebec...

 of 1774 restored the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 and the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 Valley regions to the province. The Treaty of Versailles, 1783 ceded territories south of the Great Lakes to the United States.

After the Constitutional Act of 1791
Constitutional Act of 1791
The Constitutional Act of 1791, formally The Clergy Endowments Act, 1791 , is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain...

, the territory was divided between Lower Canada
Lower Canada
The Province of Lower Canada was a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River and the shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

 (present day Quebec) and Upper Canada
Upper Canada
The Province of Upper Canada was a political division in British Canada established in 1791 by the British Empire to govern the central third of the lands in British North America and to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States of America after the American Revolution...

 (present day Ontario), with each being granted an elected Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature, or to one of its branch.The name is used by a number of member-states of the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as a number of Latin American countries....

. In 1840, these became Canada East
Canada East
Canada East was the eastern portion of the United Province of Canada. It consisted of the southern portion of the modern-day Canadian Province of Quebec, and was primarily a French-speaking region....

 and Canada West after the British Parliament unified Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada
Province of Canada
The Province of Canada, United Province of Canada, or the United Canadas was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations made by John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham in the Report on the Affairs of British North America following the Rebellions of...

. This territory was redivided into the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario at Confederation
Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the federal Dominion of Canada was formed on July 1, 1867. On that day, three British colonies were formed into four Canadian provinces...

 in 1867. Each became one of the first four provinces.

In 1870, Canada purchased Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land, or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America, consisting of the Hudson Bay drainage basin that was nominally owned by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 years from 1670 to 1870, although numerous aboriginal groups lived in the same territory and disputed the...

 from the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

. Over the next few decades the Parliament of Canada
Parliament of Canada
The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislative branch of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in the national capital, Ottawa. Formally, the body consists of the Canadian monarch—represented by her governor general—the Senate, and the House of Commons, each element having its own officers and...

 transferred portions of this territory to Quebec that more than tripled the size of the province. In 1898, the Canadian Parliament passed the first Quebec Boundary Extension Act
Quebec Boundary Extension Act, 1898
The Quebec Boundary Extension Act of 1898 was an act of the Parliament of Canada that expanded the territory of the province of Quebec. The province's northern boundary was set along the eastern shore of James Bay to the mouth of the Eastmain River, north along the river, then due east to the...

 that expanded the provincial boundaries northward to include the lands of the Cree
Cree
The Cree are one of the largest groups of First Nations / Native Americans in North America, with 200,000 members living in Canada. In Canada, the major proportion of Cree live north and west of Lake Superior, in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories, although...

. This was followed by the addition of the District of Ungava
District of Ungava
The District of Ungava was a regional administrative district of Canada's Northwest Territories from 1895 to 1912. It covered the northern portion of what is today Quebec, the interior of Labrador and the offshore islands to the west and north, which are now part of the Nunavut.The continental...

 through the Quebec Boundaries Extension Act of 1912
Quebec Boundaries Extension Act, 1912
The Quebec Boundaries Extension Act, 1912 is an act passed by the Parliament of Canada on April 1, 1912, that expanded the territory of the Province of Quebec. It was supplemental to the Quebec Boundary Extension Act, 1898 that granted the province its first territorial enlargement...

 that added the northernmost lands of the aboriginal Inuit
Inuit
The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada , Denmark , Russia and the United States . Inuit means “the people” in the Inuktitut language...

 to create the modern Province of Quebec. In 1927, the border between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

 was established by the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. Established by the Judicial Committee Act 1833 to hear appeals formerly heard by the King in Council The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is one of the highest courts in the United...

. Quebec officially disputes this boundary.

Geography


Located in the eastern part
Eastern Canada
Eastern Canada is generally considered to be the region of Canada east of Manitoba, consisting of the following provinces:* New Brunswick* Newfoundland and Labrador* Nova Scotia* Ontario* Prince Edward Island* Quebec...

 of Canada and (from a historical and political perspective) part of Central Canada
Central Canada
Central Canada is a region consisting of Canada's two largest and most populous provinces: Ontario and Quebec. Due to their high populations, Ontario and Quebec have traditionally held a significant amount of political power in Canada, leading to some amount of resentment from other regions of the...

, Quebec occupies a territory nearly three times the size of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 or Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, most of which is very sparsely populated. Its area is very different from a region to another due to the varying composition of the ground, the climate (latitude and altitude) and with the proximity with water. The Saint Lawrence Lowland
Saint Lawrence Lowlands
The St. Lawrence Lowlands is an ecoregion of Mixedwood Plains and a physiographic region of Canada and the United States. It is sometimes named the "Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowlands", but that name improperly includes the Great Lakes Basin which, while it might drain to the Atlantic Ocean by way...

 (south) and the Canadian Shield
Canadian Shield
The Canadian Shield, also called the Laurentian Plateau, or Bouclier Canadien , is a vast geological shield covered by a thin layer of soil that forms the nucleus of the North American or Laurentia craton. It is an area mostly composed of igneous rock which relates to its long volcanic history...

 (north) are the two main topographic regions and are radically different.

Present borders


Quebec shares a land border with four northeast states of the United States (Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

, New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 and Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

) and with three other Canadian provinces (New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

, Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 and Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

). However, as said in the Etymology and boundary changes section, a border dispute remains regarding the ownership of Labrador
Labrador
Labrador is the distinct, northerly region of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It comprises the mainland portion of the province, separated from the island of Newfoundland by the Strait of Belle Isle...

. The border with Labrador
Labrador
Labrador is the distinct, northerly region of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It comprises the mainland portion of the province, separated from the island of Newfoundland by the Strait of Belle Isle...

 is still not officially recognized by Quebec Government. A maritime boundary also exists with the territories of Nunavut
Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

, Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

 and Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

. Quebec has officially more than 12000 kilometres (7,456.5 mi) of borders of all types. Half of these are land limits, 12% river limits and 38% marine limits.

Hydrography


Quebec has one of the world's largest reserves of freshwater
Freshwater
Fresh water is naturally occurring water on the Earth's surface in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and underground as groundwater in aquifers and underground streams. Fresh water is generally characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts and...

, which occupies 12% of its surface. It has 3% of the world's renewable fresh water, whereas it is only 0.1% of its population. More than half a million lake
Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

s, including 30 with an area
Area
Area is a quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional surface or shape in the plane. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint necessary to cover the surface with a single coat...

 greater than 250 km², and 4,500 river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

s pour their torrents into the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

, through the Gulf of Saint Lawrence
Gulf of Saint Lawrence
The Gulf of Saint Lawrence , the world's largest estuary, is the outlet of North America's Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean...

 and the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

, by James
James Bay
James Bay is a large body of water on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean. James Bay borders the provinces of Quebec and Ontario; islands within the bay are part of Nunavut...

, Hudson
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

 and Ungava
Ungava Bay
Ungava Bay is a large bay in northeastern Canada separating Nunavik from Baffin Island. The bay is shaped like a rounded square with a side length of about and has an area of approximately...

 bays. The largest inland body of water is the Caniapiscau Reservoir
Caniapiscau Reservoir
The Caniapiscau Reservoir is a reservoir on the upper Caniapiscau River in the Côte-Nord administrative region of the Canadian province of Quebec...

, created in the realization of James Bay Project
James Bay Project
The James Bay Project is a series of hydroelectric development with a combined installed capacity of over 16,000 megawatts built since 1974 for Hydro-Québec by the on the La Grande and other rivers of Northern Quebec....

 to produce hydroelectric power. The Lake Mistassini
Lake Mistassini
Lake Mistassini is the largest natural lake by surface area in the province of Quebec, Canada, with a total surface area of approximately 2,335 km² and a net area of 2,164 km². It is located in the Jamésie region of the province, approximately east of James Bay...

 is the largest natural lake in Quebec.
The Saint Lawrence River
Saint Lawrence River
The Saint Lawrence is a large river flowing approximately from southwest to northeast in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It is the primary drainage conveyor of the Great Lakes Basin...

 has one of the world's largest sustaining inland Atlantic ports at Montreal (the province's largest city), Trois-Rivières
Trois-Rivières
Trois-Rivières means three rivers in French and may refer to:in Canada*Trois-Rivières, the largest city in the Mauricie region of Quebec, Canada*Circuit Trois-Rivières, a racetrack in Trois-Rivières, Quebec...

, and Quebec City (the capital). Its access to the Atlantic Ocean and the interior of North America made it the base of early French exploration and settlement
French colonization of the Americas
The French colonization of the Americas began in the 16th century, and continued in the following centuries as France established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere. France founded colonies in much of eastern North America, on a number of Caribbean islands, and in South America...

 in the 17th and 18th centuries. Since 1959, the Saint Lawrence Seaway
Saint Lawrence Seaway
The Saint Lawrence Seaway , , is the common name for a system of locks, canals and channels that permits ocean-going vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the North American Great Lakes, as far as Lake Superior. Legally it extends from Montreal to Lake Erie, including the Welland Canal...

 has provided a navigable link between the Atlantic Ocean and Great Lakes. Northeast of Quebec City, the river broadens into the world's largest estuary
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

, the feeding site of numerous species of whales, fish and sea birds. The river empties into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence
Gulf of Saint Lawrence
The Gulf of Saint Lawrence , the world's largest estuary, is the outlet of North America's Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean...

. This marine environment sustains fisheries and smaller ports in the Lower Saint Lawrence
Bas-Saint-Laurent
The Bas-Saint-Laurent region is located along the south shore of the lower Saint Lawrence River in Quebec.It has a population of 200,653 and a land area of 22,232.11 km² .-Subdivisions:...

 (Bas-Saint-Laurent), Lower North Shore
Côte-Nord
Côte-Nord is the second largest administrative region by land area in Quebec, Canada, after Nord-du-Québec...

 (Côte-Nord), and Gaspé
Gaspé Peninsula
The Gaspésie , or Gaspé Peninsula or the Gaspé, is a peninsula along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, extending into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

 (Gaspésie) regions of the province. The Saint Lawrence River
Saint Lawrence River
The Saint Lawrence is a large river flowing approximately from southwest to northeast in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It is the primary drainage conveyor of the Great Lakes Basin...

 and its estuary
Gulf of Saint Lawrence
The Gulf of Saint Lawrence , the world's largest estuary, is the outlet of North America's Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean...

 forms the basis of Quebec's development through the centuries. At the same time, many affluent rivers testify to the exploration of land, whose rivers Ashuapmushuan
Ashuapmushuan River
The Ashuapmushuan River is a river in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region of the Canadian provinces of Quebec. It starts at the outlet of Lake Ashuapmushuan, and flows first in a north-easterly direction for about whereafter it continues south-east to Saint-Félicien...

, Chaudière
Chaudière River
The Chaudière River is a long river with its source near the Town of Lac-Mégantic, in southeast Quebec, Canada. From its source Lake Megantic in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, it runs northwards to flow into the St. Lawrence River opposite Quebec City...

, Gatineau
Gatineau River
The Gatineau River is a river in western Quebec, Canada, which rises in lakes north of the Baskatong Reservoir and flows south to join the Ottawa River at the city of Gatineau, Quebec...

, Manicouagan
Manicouagan River
The Manicouagan River is a river in Côte-Nord region of Quebec, Canada. The river originates at the Daniel-Johnson Dam of the Manicouagan Reservoir and flows approximately south, emptying into the Saint Lawrence River near Baie-Comeau...

, Ottawa
Ottawa River
The Ottawa River is a river in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. For most of its length, it now defines the border between these two provinces.-Geography:...

, Richelieu
Richelieu River
The Richelieu River is a river in Quebec, Canada. It flows from the north end of Lake Champlain about north, ending at the confluence with the St. Lawrence River at Sorel-Tracy, Quebec downstream and northeast of Montreal...

, Rupert
Rupert River
The Rupert River is one of the largest rivers in Quebec, Canada. From its headwaters in Lake Mistassini, the largest natural lake in Québec, it flows west into Rupert Bay on James Bay. The Rupert drains an area of . There is some extremely large whitewater on the river, but paddlers can avoid...

, Saguenay
Saguenay River
The Saguenay River is a major river of Quebec, Canada.It drains Lac Saint-Jean in the Laurentian Highlands, leaving at Alma and running east, and passes the city of Saguenay. It drains into the Saint Lawrence River at Tadoussac....

, Saint-François
Saint-François River
The Saint-François River is a river in the Canadian province of Quebec.The Saint-François takes its source from Lake Saint-François in Chaudière-Appalaches, southeast of Thetford Mines...

, Saint-Maurice
Saint-Maurice River
The Saint-Maurice River is a river in central Quebec which flows south from Gouin Reservoir to empty into the Saint Lawrence River at Trois-Rivières, Quebec. The river is 563 km in length and has a drainage basin of 43,300 km² ....

, etc.

Topography



Quebec's highest point at meters is Mont D'Iberville
Mount Caubvik
Mount Caubvick is a mountain located on the border between Labrador and Quebec in the Selamiut Range of the Torngat Mountains. Mount Caubvick is the highest point in mainland Canada east of Alberta. Its relatively low elevation disguises a massive peak that rises sharply from nearby sea levels...

, known in English as Mount Caubvick, located on the border with Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

 in the northeastern part of the province, in the Torngat Mountains
Torngat Mountains
The Torngat Mountains are a mountain range on the Labrador Peninsula at the northern tip of Newfoundland and Labrador and eastern Quebec. They are part of the Arctic Cordillera. This is the peninsula that separates Ungava Bay from the Atlantic Ocean....

. The most populous physiographic region is the Saint Lawrence Lowland
Saint Lawrence Lowlands
The St. Lawrence Lowlands is an ecoregion of Mixedwood Plains and a physiographic region of Canada and the United States. It is sometimes named the "Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowlands", but that name improperly includes the Great Lakes Basin which, while it might drain to the Atlantic Ocean by way...

. It extends northeastward from the southwestern portion of the province along the shores of the Saint Lawrence River to the Quebec City region, limited to the North by the Laurentian Mountains
Laurentian mountains
The Laurentian Mountains are a mountain range in southern Quebec, Canada, north of the St. Lawrence River and Ottawa River, rising to a highest point of 1166 metres at Mont Raoul Blanchard, north east of Quebec City in the Reserve Faunique des Laurentides. The Gatineau, L'Assomption, Lièvre,...

 and to the South by the Appalachians
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

. It mainly covers the areas of the Centre-du-Québec
Centre-du-Québec
Centre-du-Québec is a region of Quebec, Canada. The main centres are Drummondville, Victoriaville and Bécancour. It has a land area of 6,928.78 km² and a 2006 census population of 224,200 inhabitants.-Description:...

, Laval, Montérégie
Montérégie
Montérégie is an administrative region in southwest Québec. It includes the cities of Boucherville, Brossard, Granby, Longueuil, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Saint-Hyacinthe, Sorel-Tracy, and Vaudreuil-Dorion....

 and Montreal, the southern regions of the Capitale-Nationale
Capitale-Nationale
Capitale-Nationale is one of 17 administrative regions of Quebec, Canada. Quebec City, Quebec's centre of government, is located in this region. It has a land area of 18,638.7 km2...

, Lanaudière
Lanaudière
Lanaudière is one of the seventeen administrative regions of Quebec, Canada, situated immediately to the northeast of Montreal. It has a total population of 429,053 inhabitants.-Geography:...

, Laurentides, Mauricie
Mauricie
Mauricie is a traditional and current administrative region of Quebec. La Mauricie National Park is contained within the region, making it a prime tourist location. The region has a land area of 35,855.22 km² and a 2006 census population of 258,928 residents...

 and includes Anticosti Island
Anticosti Island
Anticosti Island is an island at the outlet of the Saint Lawrence River into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, in Quebec, Canada, between 49° and 50° N., and between 61° 40' and 64° 30' W. At in size, it is the 90th largest island in the world and 20th largest island in Canada...

, the Mingan Archipelago
Mingan Archipelago
The Mingan Archipelago is an archipelago located east of Quebec, Canada. It consists of a chain of about 40 islands.Starting but 124 miles from the end of the road along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River , the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada spreads about 109 miles...

, and other small islands of the Gulf of St. Lawrence lowland forests
Gulf of St. Lawrence lowland forests
The Gulf of St. Lawrence lowland forests are a Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests ecoregion of eastern Canada-Setting:Located on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the world's largest estuary, this ecoregion covers all of Prince Edward Island, the Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine of Quebec, most of...

 ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

. Its landscape is low-lying and flat, except for isolated igneous outcrops near Montreal called the Monteregian Hills, formerly covered by the waters of Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain is a natural, freshwater lake in North America, located mainly within the borders of the United States but partially situated across the Canada—United States border in the Canadian province of Quebec.The New York portion of the Champlain Valley includes the eastern portions of...

. The Oka hills also arise from the plain. Geologically, the lowlands formed as a rift valley
Rift valley
A rift valley is a linear-shaped lowland between highlands or mountain ranges created by the action of a geologic rift or fault. This action is manifest as crustal extension, a spreading apart of the surface which is subsequently further deepened by the forces of erosion...

 about 100 million years ago and are prone to infrequent but significant earthquakes. The most recent layers of sedimentary rock
Sedimentary rock
Sedimentary rock are types of rock that are formed by the deposition of material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause mineral and/or organic particles to settle and accumulate or minerals to precipitate from a solution....

 were formed as the seabed of the ancient Champlain Sea
Champlain Sea
The Champlain Sea was a temporary inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, a paratropical subsea or epeiric sea created by the retreating glaciers during the close of the last ice age...

 at the end of the last ice age
Wisconsin glaciation
The last glacial period was the most recent glacial period within the current ice age occurring during the last years of the Pleistocene, from approximately 110,000 to 10,000 years ago....

 about 14,000 years ago. The combination of rich and easily arable soils and Quebec's relatively warm climate make the valley Quebec's most prolific agricultural area. Mixed forests
Mixedwood Plains
The Mixedwood Plains Ecozone is the Canadian ecozone with the most southerly extent, covering all of southwestern Ontario, and parts of central and northeastern Ontario and southern Quebec along the Saint Lawrence River...

 provide most of Canada's maple syrup
Maple syrup
Maple syrup is a syrup usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species such as the bigleaf maple. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then...

 crop every spring. The rural part of the landscape is divided into narrow rectangular tracts of land that extend from the river and date back to settlement patterns in 17th century New France
Seigneurial system of New France
The seigneurial system of New France was the semi-feudal system of land distribution used in the North American colonies of New France.-Introduction to New France:...

.

More than 95% of Quebec's territory lies within the Canadian Shield
Canadian Shield
The Canadian Shield, also called the Laurentian Plateau, or Bouclier Canadien , is a vast geological shield covered by a thin layer of soil that forms the nucleus of the North American or Laurentia craton. It is an area mostly composed of igneous rock which relates to its long volcanic history...

. It is generally a quite flat and exposed, mountainous terrain interspersed with higher points such as the Laurentian Mountains
Laurentian mountains
The Laurentian Mountains are a mountain range in southern Quebec, Canada, north of the St. Lawrence River and Ottawa River, rising to a highest point of 1166 metres at Mont Raoul Blanchard, north east of Quebec City in the Reserve Faunique des Laurentides. The Gatineau, L'Assomption, Lièvre,...

 in southern Quebec, the Otish Mountains in central Quebec and the Torngat Mountains
Torngat Mountains
The Torngat Mountains are a mountain range on the Labrador Peninsula at the northern tip of Newfoundland and Labrador and eastern Quebec. They are part of the Arctic Cordillera. This is the peninsula that separates Ungava Bay from the Atlantic Ocean....

 near Ungava Bay
Ungava Bay
Ungava Bay is a large bay in northeastern Canada separating Nunavik from Baffin Island. The bay is shaped like a rounded square with a side length of about and has an area of approximately...

. The topography of the Shield has been shaped by glaciers from the successive ice ages, which explains the glacial deposits of boulders, gravel and sand, and by sea water and post-glacial lakes that left behind thick deposits of clay in parts of the Shield. The Canadian Shield also has a complex hydrological network of more than a million lakes, bogs, streams and rivers. It is rich in the forestry, mineral and hydro-electric resources that are a mainstay of the Quebec economy. Primary industries sustain small cities in regions of Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Abitibi-Témiscamingue is a region located in western Quebec, Canada, along the border with Ontario. It became part of the province in 1898. It has a land area of 57,674.26 km2 . As of the 2006 census, the population of the region was 143,872 inhabitants.-History:The land was first occupied...

, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, and Côte-Nord
Côte-Nord
Côte-Nord is the second largest administrative region by land area in Quebec, Canada, after Nord-du-Québec...

.

The Labrador Peninsula
Labrador Peninsula
The Labrador Peninsula is a large peninsula in eastern Canada. It is bounded by the Hudson Bay to the west, the Hudson Strait to the north, the Labrador Sea to the east, and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the south-east...

 is covered by the Laurentian Plateau (Canadian Shield
Canadian Shield
The Canadian Shield, also called the Laurentian Plateau, or Bouclier Canadien , is a vast geological shield covered by a thin layer of soil that forms the nucleus of the North American or Laurentia craton. It is an area mostly composed of igneous rock which relates to its long volcanic history...

), dotted with mountains such as Otish Mountains. The Ungava Peninsula
Ungava Peninsula
The Ungava Peninsula of Nunavik, Quebec, Canada, is bounded by Hudson Bay to the west, Hudson Strait to the north, and Ungava Bay to the east. The Ungava Peninsula is part of the Labrador Peninsula and covers about 252,000 km²...

 is notably composed of D'Youville mountains, Puvirnituq mountains and Pingualuit crater. While low and medium altitude peak from western Quebec to the far north, high altitudes mountains emerge in the Capitale-Nationale
Capitale-Nationale
Capitale-Nationale is one of 17 administrative regions of Quebec, Canada. Quebec City, Quebec's centre of government, is located in this region. It has a land area of 18,638.7 km2...

 region to the extreme east, along its longitude. In the Labrador Peninsula
Labrador Peninsula
The Labrador Peninsula is a large peninsula in eastern Canada. It is bounded by the Hudson Bay to the west, the Hudson Strait to the north, the Labrador Sea to the east, and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the south-east...

 portion of the Shield, the far northern region of Nunavik
Nunavik
Nunavik comprises the northern third of the province of Quebec, Canada. Covering a land area of 443,684.71 km² north of the 55th parallel, it is the homeland of the Inuit of Quebec...

 includes the Ungava Peninsula
Ungava Peninsula
The Ungava Peninsula of Nunavik, Quebec, Canada, is bounded by Hudson Bay to the west, Hudson Strait to the north, and Ungava Bay to the east. The Ungava Peninsula is part of the Labrador Peninsula and covers about 252,000 km²...

 and consists of flat Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

 tundra
Tundra
In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr "uplands," "treeless mountain tract." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine...

 inhabited mostly by the Inuit
Inuit
The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada , Denmark , Russia and the United States . Inuit means “the people” in the Inuktitut language...

. Further south lie the subarctic
Subarctic
The Subarctic is a region in the Northern Hemisphere immediately south of the true Arctic and covering much of Alaska, Canada, the north of Scandinavia, Siberia, and northern Mongolia...

 taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

 of the Eastern Canadian Shield taiga
Eastern Canadian Shield taiga
The Eastern Canadian Shield taiga is an ecoregion of Canada as defined by the World Wildlife Fund categorization system.-Setting:Located in northeastern Canada, this ecoregion covers a large part of northern Quebec and most of Labrador, reaching from Hudson Bay and James Bay in the west, across to...

 ecoregion and the boreal forest of the Central Canadian Shield forests
Central Canadian Shield forests
The Central Canadian Shield forests are a taiga ecoregion of Canada.-Setting:This ecoregion consists of rolling hills, lakes, bogs and rocky outcrops covering a large curved swathe on the Canadian Shield from eastern Manitoba and Northern Ontario running southeastwards through Thunder Bay District...

, where spruce
Spruce
A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical...

, fir
Fir
Firs are a genus of 48–55 species of evergreen conifers in the family Pinaceae. They are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring in mountains over most of the range...

, and poplar
Poplar
Populus is a genus of 25–35 species of deciduous flowering plants in the family Salicaceae, native to most of the Northern Hemisphere. English names variously applied to different species include poplar , aspen, and cottonwood....

 trees provide raw materials for Quebec's pulp and paper
Pulp and paper industry in Canada
The pulp and paper industry in Canada is one of the country's most important and profitable industries. It is especially concentrated in Ontario and Quebec but plays an important role in many other provinces.- Leading companies :...

 and lumber
Lumber
Lumber or timber is wood in any of its stages from felling through readiness for use as structural material for construction, or wood pulp for paper production....

 industries. Although the area is inhabited principally by the Cree
Grand Council of the Crees
The Grand Council of the Crees , or the GCC, is the political body that represents the approximately 16,357 Crees or “Iyyu” / “Iynu” of the Eeyou Istchee territory in the James Bay and Nunavik regions of Northern Quebec, Canada...

, Naskapi
Naskapi
The Naskapi are the indigenous Innu inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinan, which comprises most of what other Canadians refer to as eastern Quebec and Labrador, Canada....

, and Innu
Innu
The Innu are the indigenous inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinan , which comprises most of the northeastern portions of the provinces of Quebec and some western portions of Labrador...

 First Nations
First Nations
First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The...

, thousands of temporary workers reside at Radisson
Radisson, Quebec
Radisson is a small village situated near the Robert-Bourassa hydroelectric power station on the La Grande River in the James Bay region of Quebec...

 to service the massive James Bay Hydroelectric Project on the La Grande
La Grande River
La Grande River is a river in northwestern Quebec, Canada, which rises in the highlands of north central Quebec and flows roughly west to drain into James Bay. It is the second largest river in Quebec, surpassed only by the Saint Lawrence River....

 and Eastmain
Eastmain River
The Eastmain River is a river in northwestern Quebec which rises in north central Quebec and flows 800 km west to drain into James Bay. 'East Main' is an old name for the east side of James Bay. This river drains an area of 46,400 km²...

 rivers. The southern portion of the shield extends to the Laurentians
Laurentian mountains
The Laurentian Mountains are a mountain range in southern Quebec, Canada, north of the St. Lawrence River and Ottawa River, rising to a highest point of 1166 metres at Mont Raoul Blanchard, north east of Quebec City in the Reserve Faunique des Laurentides. The Gatineau, L'Assomption, Lièvre,...

, a mountain range just north of the Saint Lawrence Lowland
Saint Lawrence Lowlands
The St. Lawrence Lowlands is an ecoregion of Mixedwood Plains and a physiographic region of Canada and the United States. It is sometimes named the "Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowlands", but that name improperly includes the Great Lakes Basin which, while it might drain to the Atlantic Ocean by way...

, that attracts local and international tourists to ski hills and lakeside resorts.

The Appalachian
Chaudière-Appalaches
Chaudière-Appalaches is an administrative region in Quebec, Canada. It comprises most of what is historically known as the "Beauce" |the electoral district of Beauce]]). It is named for the Chaudière River and the Appalachian Mountains....

 region of Quebec has a narrow strip of ancient mountains along the southeastern border of Quebec. The Appalachians
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

 is actually a huge chain that extends from Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 to Newfoundland
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

. In between, it covers in Quebec near 800 km, from the Montérégie hills to the Gaspé Peninsula. In western Quebec, the average altitude is about 500 meters, while in the Gaspé Peninsula, the Appalachian peaks (especially the Chic-Choc) are among the highest in Quebec, since they exceed 1000 meters.

Climate



Quebec has three main climate regions. Southern and western Quebec, including most of the major population centres, have a humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Dfb) with four distinct seasons having warm to occasionally hot and humid summers and often very cold and snowy winters. The main climatic influences are from western and northern Canada and move eastward, and from the southern and central United States that move northward. Because of the influence of both storm systems from the core of North America and the Atlantic Ocean, precipitation is abundant throughout the year, with most areas receiving more than 1000 mm (40 in) of precipitation, including over 300 centimetres (120 in) of snow in many areas. During the summer, severe weather patterns (such as tornado
Tornado
A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider...

es and severe thunderstorms) occur occasionally. Most of central Quebec has a subarctic climate
Subarctic climate
The subarctic climate is a climate characterized by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers. It is found on large landmasses, away from the moderating effects of an ocean, generally at latitudes from 50° to 70°N poleward of the humid continental climates...

 (Köppen Dfc). Winters are long, very cold, and snowy, and among the coldest in eastern Canada, while summers are warm but very short due to the higher latitude and the greater influence of Arctic air masses. Precipitation is also somewhat less than farther south, except at some of the higher elevations. The northern regions of Quebec have an arctic climate (Köppen ET), with very cold winters and short, much cooler summers. The primary influences in this region are the Arctic Ocean currents (such as the Labrador Current
Labrador Current
The Labrador Current is a cold current in the North Atlantic Ocean which flows from the Arctic Ocean south along the coast of Labrador and passes around Newfoundland, continuing south along the east coast of Nova Scotia...

) and continental air masses from the High Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

.

The four seasons in Quebec are the spring
Spring (season)
Spring is one of the four temperate seasons, the transition period between winter and summer. Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and broadly to ideas of rebirth, renewal and regrowth. The specific definition of the exact timing of "spring" varies according to local climate, cultures and...

, the summer
Summer
Summer is the warmest of the four temperate seasons, between spring and autumn. At the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day-length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice...

, the autumn
Autumn
Autumn is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer into winter usually in September or March when the arrival of night becomes noticeably earlier....

 and the winter
Winter
Winter is the coldest season of the year in temperate climates, between autumn and spring. At the winter solstice, the days are shortest and the nights are longest, with days lengthening as the season progresses after the solstice.-Meteorology:...

, whose conditions differ by region. They are then differentiated according to the brightness, temperature and precipitation of snow and rain.

Daily sunshine duration is eight hours in December, time of year when it is the shortest. From temperate zones to the northern territories of the Far North, the brightness varies with latitude, as well as the Northern Lights
Aurora (astronomy)
An aurora is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere...

 and Midnight Sun
Midnight sun
The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon occurring in summer months at latitudes north and nearby to the south of the Arctic Circle, and south and nearby to the north of the Antarctic Circle where the sun remains visible at the local midnight. Given fair weather, the sun is visible for a continuous...

.
Quebec is divided into four climatic zones: arctic, subarctic, humid continental and East maritime. From south to north, average temperatures range in summer between 25 °C (77 °F) and 5 °C (41 °F) and, in winter, between -10 °C and -25 °C. In periods of intense heat and cold, temperatures can reach 35 °C (95 °F) in the summer and -40 °C during the Quebec winter, it may vary depending on the Humidex
Humidex
The humidex is an index number used by Canadian meteorologists to describe how hot the weather feels to the average person, by combining the effect of heat and humidity. The humidex is a unit-less number based on the dew point, but it is equivalent to dry temperature in degrees Celsius...

 or Wind chill
Wind chill
Wind chill is the felt air temperature on exposed skin due to wind. The wind chill temperature is always lower than the air temperature, and the windchill is undefined at the higher temps...

.

The all time record of the most precipitations in winter was established in winter 2007-2008 with more than five meters of snow in the area of Quebec city
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

, while the average amount received per winter is around three meters. It is, however, in 1971 that came the "Century's Snowstorm
Eastern Canadian Blizzard of March 1971
The Eastern Canadian Blizzard of March 1971 was a severe winter storm that struck portions of eastern Canada from March 3 to March 5, 1971. The storm was also nicknamed the "Storm of the Century" in Quebec. The event was the worst 24-hour snowfall event on record in the city of Montreal with of...

" with more than 40 centimetres (15.7 in) (Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

) to 80 centimetres (31.5 in) (Mont Apica
RCAF Station Mont Apica
RCAF Mont Apica was a radar station of the Pinetree Line, located in Mont-Apica, Quebec, Canada, during the Cold War. The station opened in 1952 and had a staff of some 500 persons at its peak. Political and technological changes made the station redundant and it closed in 1990. The radar...

) of snow within 24 hours in many regions of southern Quebec. Also, the winter of 2010 was the warmest and driest ever recorded in more than 60 years.

Wildlife


The large land wildlife is mainly composed of the White-tailed Deer
White-tailed Deer
The white-tailed deer , also known as the Virginia deer or simply as the whitetail, is a medium-sized deer native to the United States , Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America as far south as Peru...

, the Moose
Moose
The moose or Eurasian elk is the largest extant species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic configuration...

, the Musk ox
Musk Ox
The muskox is an Arctic mammal of the family Bovidae, noted for its thick coat and for the strong odor emitted by males, from which its name derives. This musky odor is used to attract females during mating season...

, the Caribou, the American black bear
American black bear
The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most common bear species. Black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in...

 and the polar Bear
Polar Bear
The polar bear is a bear native largely within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world's largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak Bear, which is approximately the same size...

. The average land wildlife includes the Cougar, the Coyote
Coyote
The coyote , also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States and Canada...

, the Eastern Wolf
Eastern Wolf
The Eastern Wolf , also known as Eastern Canadian Wolf or Eastern Canadian Red Wolf, may be a subspecies of gray wolf or a distinct species of canid native to the eastern part of North America since the Pleistocene era. It seems to be closely related to the Red Wolf...

, the Bobcats (wild cat), the Arctic Fox
Arctic fox
The arctic fox , also known as the white fox, polar fox or snow fox, is a small fox native to Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and is common throughout the Arctic tundra biome. The Greek word alopex, means a fox and Vulpes is the Latin version...

, the Fox
Fox
Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids , characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail .Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to...

, etc. Small animals, seen most commonly, include the Eastern gray squirrel
Eastern Gray Squirrel
The eastern gray squirrel is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus native to the eastern and midwestern United States, and to the southerly portions of the eastern provinces of Canada...

, the Snowshoe Hare
Snowshoe Hare
The Snowshoe Hare , also called the Varying Hare, or Snowshoe Rabbit, is a species of hare found in North America. It has the name "snowshoe" because of the large size of its hind feet and the marks its tail leaves. The animal's feet prevent it from sinking into the snow when it hops and walks...

, the Groundhog (siffleux), the Skunk
Skunk
Skunks are mammals best known for their ability to secrete a liquid with a strong, foul odor. General appearance varies from species to species, from black-and-white to brown or cream colored. Skunks belong to the family Mephitidae and to the order Carnivora...

, the Raccoon
Raccoon
Procyon is a genus of nocturnal mammals, comprising three species commonly known as raccoons, in the family Procyonidae. The most familiar species, the common raccoon , is often known simply as "the" raccoon, as the two other raccoon species in the genus are native only to the tropics and are...

, the Chipmunk
Chipmunk
Chipmunks are small striped squirrels native to North America and Asia. They are usually classed either as a single genus with three subgenera, or as three genera.-Etymology and taxonomy:...

 and the Canadian Beaver.

Biodiversity of the estuary and gulf of St. Lawrence River consists of an aquatic mammal wildlife, which most goes upriver through the estuary and the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park  until the Île d'Orléans (French for Orleans Island)
Île d'Orléans
Île d'Orléans is located in the Saint Lawrence River about east of downtown Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The island was one of the first parts of the province to be colonized by the French, and a large percentage of French Canadians can trace ancestry to early residents of the island...

, such as the blue Whale
Blue Whale
The blue whale is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales . At in length and or more in weight, it is the largest known animal to have ever existed....

, the Beluga, the Minke Whale
Minke Whale
Minke whale , or lesser rorqual, is a name given to two species of marine mammal belonging to a clade within the suborder of baleen whales. The minke whale was given its official designation by Lacepède in 1804, who described a dwarf form of Balænoptera acuto-rostrata...

 and the Harp seal
Harp Seal
The harp seal or saddleback seal is a species of earless seal native to the northernmost Atlantic Ocean and adjacent parts of the Arctic Ocean. It now belongs to the monotypic genus Pagophilus. Its scientific name, Pagophilus groenlandicus, means "ice-lover from Greenland", and its synonym, Phoca...

 (Earless seal). Among the Nordic marine animals there are two particularly important to cite: the Walrus
Walrus
The walrus is a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the Arctic Ocean and sub-Arctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. The walrus is the only living species in the Odobenidae family and Odobenus genus. It is subdivided into three subspecies: the Atlantic...

 and the Narwhal
Narwhal
The narwhal, Monodon monoceros, is a medium-sized toothed whale that lives year-round in the Arctic. One of two living species of whale in the Monodontidae family, along with the beluga whale, the narwhal males are distinguished by a characteristic long, straight, helical tusk extending from their...

.

Inland waters consist of small to large fresh water fish, such as the Largemouth bass
Largemouth bass
The largemouth bass is a species of black bass in the sunfish family native to North America . It is also known as widemouth bass, bigmouth, black bass, bucketmouth, Potter's fish, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, green trout, linesides, Oswego bass, southern largemouth...

, the American Pickerel
American pickerel
The American pickerels are two subspecies of Esox americanus, a species of freshwater fish in the pike family of order Esociformes: the redfin pickerel, E. americanus americanus Gmelin, 1789, and the grass pickerel, E. americanus vermiculatus Lesueur, 1846.Both subspecies are native to North America...

, the Walleye
Walleye
Walleye is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European pikeperch...

, the Acipenser oxyrinchus
Acipenser oxyrinchus
Acipenser oxyrinchus is a species of sturgeon with two subspecies:* Atlantic sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus.* Gulf sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi....

, the Muskellunge
Muskellunge
A muskellunge , also known as a muskelunge, muscallonge, milliganong, or maskinonge , is a large, relatively uncommon freshwater fish of North America. Muskellunge are the largest member of the pike family, Esocidae...

, the Atlantic cod
Atlantic cod
The Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, is a well-known demersal food fish belonging to the family Gadidae. It is also commercially known as cod, codling or haberdine....

, the Arctic char
Arctic char
Arctic char or Arctic charr is both a freshwater and saltwater fish in the Salmonidae family, native to Arctic, sub-Arctic and alpine lakes and coastal waters. No other freshwater fish is found as far north. It is the only species of fish in Lake Hazen, on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic...

, the Brook trout
Brook trout
The brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, is a species of fish in the salmon family of order Salmoniformes. In many parts of its range, it is known as the speckled trout or squaretail. A potamodromous population in Lake Superior are known as coaster trout or, simply, as coasters...

, the Microgadus tomcod (tomcod), the Atlantic salmon
Atlantic salmon
The Atlantic salmon is a species of fish in the family Salmonidae, which is found in the northern Atlantic Ocean and in rivers that flow into the north Atlantic and the north Pacific....

, the rainbow trout
Rainbow trout
The rainbow trout is a species of salmonid native to tributaries of the Pacific Ocean in Asia and North America. The steelhead is a sea run rainbow trout usually returning to freshwater to spawn after 2 to 3 years at sea. In other words, rainbow trout and steelhead trout are the same species....

 etc.

Among the birds commonly seen in the south inhabited part of Quebec, there are the American robin
American Robin
The American Robin or North American Robin is a migratory songbird of the thrush family. It is named after the European Robin because of its reddish-orange breast, though the two species are not closely related, with the European robin belonging to the flycatcher family...

, the house sparrow
House Sparrow
The House Sparrow is a bird of the sparrow family Passeridae, found in most parts of the world. One of about 25 species in the genus Passer, the House Sparrow occurs naturally in most of Europe, the Mediterranean region, and much of Asia...

, the Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird
The Red-winged Blackbird is a passerine bird of the family Icteridae found in most of North and much of Central America. It breeds from Alaska and Newfoundland south to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, and Guatemala, with isolated populations in western El Salvador, northwestern Honduras, and...

, the Mallard
Mallard
The Mallard , or Wild Duck , is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia....

, the common Grackle
Common Grackle
The Common Grackle, Quiscalus quiscula, is a large icterid.-Description:The long adult has a long dark bill, pale yellowish eyes and a long tail; its feathers appear black with purple, green or blue iridescence on the head, and primarily bronze shine in the body plumage...

, the blue Jay
Blue Jay
The Blue Jay is a passerine bird in the family Corvidae, native to North America. It is resident through most of eastern and central United States and southern Canada, although western populations may be migratory. It breeds in both deciduous and coniferous forests, and is common near and in...

, the American crow
American Crow
The American Crow is a large passerine bird species of the family Corvidae. It is a common bird found throughout much of North America...

, the Black-capped Chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee
The Black-capped Chickadee is a small, North American songbird, a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. It is the state bird of both Maine and Massachusetts in the United States, and the provincial bird of New Brunswick in Canada...

, some Warblers
New World warbler
The New World warblers or wood-warblers are a group of small, often colorful, passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are not related to the Old World warblers or the Australian warblers....

 and Swallow
Swallow
The swallows and martins are a group of passerine birds in the family Hirundinidae which are characterised by their adaptation to aerial feeding...

s, the Starling
European Starling
The Common Starling , also known as the European Starling or just Starling, is a passerine bird in the family Sturnidae.This species of starling is native to most of temperate Europe and western Asia...

 and the Rock Pigeon
Rock Pigeon
The Rock Dove or Rock Pigeon, is a member of the bird family Columbidae . In common usage, this bird is often simply referred to as the "pigeon"....

, the latter two having been introduced in Quebec and are found mainly in urban areas. Avian fauna includes birds of prey like the Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas...

, the Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon
The Peregrine Falcon , also known as the Peregrine, and historically as the Duck Hawk in North America, is a widespread bird of prey in the family Falconidae. A large, crow-sized falcon, it has a blue-gray back, barred white underparts, and a black head and "moustache"...

, the Snowy owl
Snowy Owl
The Snowy Owl is a large owl of the typical owl family Strigidae. The Snowy Owl was first classified in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, the Swedish naturalist who developed binomial nomenclature to classify and organize plants and animals. The bird is also known in North America as the Arctic Owl, Great...

 and the Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. It is the national bird and symbol of the United States of America. This sea eagle has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle...

. Sea and semi-aquatic birds seen in Quebec are mostly the Canada Goose
Canada Goose
The Canada Goose is a wild goose belonging to the genus Branta, which is native to arctic and temperate regions of North America, having a black head and neck, white patches on the face, and a brownish-gray body....

, the Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
The Double-crested Cormorant is a member of the cormorant family of seabirds. It occurs along inland waterways as well as in coastal areas, and is widely distributed across North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down to Florida and Mexico...

, the Northern Gannet
Northern Gannet
The Northern Gannet is a seabird and is the largest member of the gannet family, Sulidae.- Description :Young birds are dark brown in their first year, and gradually acquire more white in subsequent seasons until they reach maturity after five years.Adults are long, weigh and have a wingspan...

, the European Herring Gull, the Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
The Great Blue Heron is a large wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North and Central America as well as the West Indies and the Galápagos Islands. It is a rare vagrant to Europe, with records from Spain, the Azores and England...

, the Sandhill Crane
Sandhill Crane
The Sandhill Crane is a large crane of North America and extreme northeastern Siberia. The common name of this bird references habitat like that at the Platte River, on the edge of Nebraska's Sandhills in the American Midwest...

, the Atlantic Puffin
Atlantic Puffin
The Atlantic Puffin is a seabird species in the auk family. It is a pelagic bird that feeds primarily by diving for fish, but also eats other sea creatures, such as squid and crustaceans. Its most obvious characteristic during the breeding season is its brightly coloured bill...

 and the Great Northern Loon.
Many more species of land, maritime or avian wildlife are seen in Quebec but most of the Quebec specific species and the most commonly seen species are listed above.

Some livestock have the title of "Québec heritage breed", namely the Canadian horse
Canadian Horse
The Canadian Horse is a breed of horse developed in Canada. Although previously relatively unknown due to its rarity, the Canadian Horse has influenced many other North American breeds, including the Morgan, American Saddlebred, and Standardbred...

, the Chantecler chicken
Chantecler (chicken)
The Chantecler is a breed of chicken originating in Canada. One of only two native Canadian breeds , the Chantecler was developed in the early 20th century, at the Abbey of Notre-Dame du Lac in Oka, Quebec...

 and the Canadian cow
Canadienne cattle
Canadienne cattle are a breed of dairy cattle from Canada. They originated in the 16th century, when the hardiest cows and bulls were selected from herds in northern France, and sent to Canada as foundation stock. Canadiennes were the most common breed of domestic cattle in Canada until the late...

. Moreover, in addition to food certified as "organic", Charlevoix lamb is the first local Quebec product whose geographical indication is protected. Livestock production also includes the pig breeds Landrace, Duroc and Yorkshire and many breeds of sheep and cattle.

The Wildlife Foundation of Quebec and the Data Centre on Natural Heritage of Quebec (CDPNQ)(French acronym) are the main agencies working with officers for wildlife conservation in Quebec.

Vegetation



Given the geology of the province and its different climates, there is an established number of large areas of vegetation in Quebec. These areas, listed in order from the northernmost to the southernmost are: the tundra
Tundra
In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr "uplands," "treeless mountain tract." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine...

, the taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

, the Canadian boreal forest
Boreal forest of Canada
Canada's boreal forest comprises about one third of the circumpolar boreal forest that rings the northern hemisphere, mostly north of the 50th parallel. Other countries with boreal forest include Russia, which contains the majority, and the Scandinavian and Nordic countries . The boreal region in...

 (coniferous), mixed forest and deciduous forest.

On the edge of the Ungava Bay
Ungava Bay
Ungava Bay is a large bay in northeastern Canada separating Nunavik from Baffin Island. The bay is shaped like a rounded square with a side length of about and has an area of approximately...

 and Hudson Strait
Hudson Strait
Hudson Strait links the Atlantic Ocean to Hudson Bay in Canada. It lies between Baffin Island and the northern coast of Quebec, its eastern entrance marked by Cape Chidley and Resolution Island. It is long...

 is the tundra
Tundra
In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr "uplands," "treeless mountain tract." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine...

, whose flora is limited to a low vegetation of lichen
Lichen
Lichens are composite organisms consisting of a symbiotic organism composed of a fungus with a photosynthetic partner , usually either a green alga or cyanobacterium...

 with only less than 50 growing days a year. The tundra vegetation survives an average annual temperature of -8 °C. The tundra covers more than 24% of the area of Quebec. Further south, the climate is conducive to the growth of the Canadian boreal forest
Boreal forest of Canada
Canada's boreal forest comprises about one third of the circumpolar boreal forest that rings the northern hemisphere, mostly north of the 50th parallel. Other countries with boreal forest include Russia, which contains the majority, and the Scandinavian and Nordic countries . The boreal region in...

, bounded on the north by the taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

.

Not as arid as the tundra
Tundra
In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr "uplands," "treeless mountain tract." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine...

, the taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

 is associated with the sub-Arctic regions of the Canadian Shield
Canadian Shield
The Canadian Shield, also called the Laurentian Plateau, or Bouclier Canadien , is a vast geological shield covered by a thin layer of soil that forms the nucleus of the North American or Laurentia craton. It is an area mostly composed of igneous rock which relates to its long volcanic history...

 and is characterized by a greater number of both plant (600) and animal (206) species, many of whom live there all year. The taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

 covers about 20% of the total area of Quebec. The Canadian boreal forest
Boreal forest of Canada
Canada's boreal forest comprises about one third of the circumpolar boreal forest that rings the northern hemisphere, mostly north of the 50th parallel. Other countries with boreal forest include Russia, which contains the majority, and the Scandinavian and Nordic countries . The boreal region in...

 is the northernmost and most abundant of the three forest areas in Quebec that straddle the Canadian Shield
Canadian Shield
The Canadian Shield, also called the Laurentian Plateau, or Bouclier Canadien , is a vast geological shield covered by a thin layer of soil that forms the nucleus of the North American or Laurentia craton. It is an area mostly composed of igneous rock which relates to its long volcanic history...

 and the upper lowlands
Saint Lawrence Lowlands
The St. Lawrence Lowlands is an ecoregion of Mixedwood Plains and a physiographic region of Canada and the United States. It is sometimes named the "Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowlands", but that name improperly includes the Great Lakes Basin which, while it might drain to the Atlantic Ocean by way...

 of the province. Given a warmer climate, the diversity of organisms is also higher, since there are about 850 plant species and 280 vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

s species. The Canadian boreal forest
Boreal forest of Canada
Canada's boreal forest comprises about one third of the circumpolar boreal forest that rings the northern hemisphere, mostly north of the 50th parallel. Other countries with boreal forest include Russia, which contains the majority, and the Scandinavian and Nordic countries . The boreal region in...

 covers 27% of the area of Quebec. The mixed forest is a transition zone between the Canadian boreal forest
Boreal forest of Canada
Canada's boreal forest comprises about one third of the circumpolar boreal forest that rings the northern hemisphere, mostly north of the 50th parallel. Other countries with boreal forest include Russia, which contains the majority, and the Scandinavian and Nordic countries . The boreal region in...

 and deciduous forest. By virtue of its transient nature, this area contains a diversity of habitats resulting in large numbers of plant (1000) and vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

s (350) species, despite relatively cool temperatures. The ecozone mixed forest covers 11.5% of the area of Quebec and is characteristic of the Laurentians, the Appalachians
Chaudière-Appalaches
Chaudière-Appalaches is an administrative region in Quebec, Canada. It comprises most of what is historically known as the "Beauce" |the electoral district of Beauce]]). It is named for the Chaudière River and the Appalachian Mountains....

 and the eastern lowlands
Saint Lawrence Lowlands
The St. Lawrence Lowlands is an ecoregion of Mixedwood Plains and a physiographic region of Canada and the United States. It is sometimes named the "Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowlands", but that name improperly includes the Great Lakes Basin which, while it might drain to the Atlantic Ocean by way...

 forests. The third most northern forest area is characterized by deciduous forests. Because of its climate (average annual temperature of 7 °C (44.6 °F)), it is in this area that one find the greatest diversity of species, including more than 1600 vascular plants and 440 vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

s. Its relatively longe growing season lasting almost 200 days and its fertile soils make it the centre of agricultural activity and therefore of urbanisation of Quebec. Most of Quebec's population lives in this area of vegetation, almost entirely along the banks of the St. Lawrence. Deciduous forests cover approximately 6.6% of the area of Quebec.

The total forest area of Quebec is estimated at 750300 sqkm. From the Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Abitibi-Témiscamingue is a region located in western Quebec, Canada, along the border with Ontario. It became part of the province in 1898. It has a land area of 57,674.26 km2 . As of the 2006 census, the population of the region was 143,872 inhabitants.-History:The land was first occupied...

 to the North Shore
Côte-Nord
Côte-Nord is the second largest administrative region by land area in Quebec, Canada, after Nord-du-Québec...

, the forest is composed primarily of conifers such as the Abies balsamea, the Jack Pine
Jack Pine
Jack pine is a North American pine with its native range in Canada east of the Rocky Mountains from Northwest Territories to Nova Scotia, and the northeast of the United States from Minnesota to Maine, with the southernmost part of the range just into northwest Indiana...

, the white spruce, the black Spruce and the Tamarack. When approaching the river in the south, gradually appear some species of deciduous trees such as the Yellow Birch. The deciduous forest of the Saint Lawrence Lowlands
Saint Lawrence Lowlands
The St. Lawrence Lowlands is an ecoregion of Mixedwood Plains and a physiographic region of Canada and the United States. It is sometimes named the "Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowlands", but that name improperly includes the Great Lakes Basin which, while it might drain to the Atlantic Ocean by way...

 is mostly composed of deciduous species such as the Sugar Maple, the Red Maple, the white Ash, the American beech, the Butternut (White Walnut), the American elm, the basswood
Tilia americana
Tilia americana is a species of Tilia native to eastern North America, from southeast Manitoba east to New Brunswick, southwest to northeast Texas, and southeast to South Carolina, and west along the Niobrara River to Cherry County, Nebraska...

, the Bitternut Hickory and the northern red oak as well as some conifers such as the Eastern White Pine
Eastern White Pine
Pinus strobus, commonly known as the eastern white pine, is a large pine native to eastern North America, occurring from Newfoundland west to Minnesota and southeastern Manitoba, and south along the Appalachian Mountains to the northern edge of Georgia.It is occasionally known as simply white pine,...

 and the Northern Whitecedar
Thuja occidentalis
Thuja occidentalis is an evergreen coniferous tree, in the cypress family Cupressaceae, which is widely cultivated for use as an ornamental plant known as American Arbor Vitae. The endemic occurrence of this species is a northeastern distribution in North America...

. The distribution areas of the Paper Birch, the Trembling Aspen
Populus tremuloides
Populus tremuloides is a deciduous tree native to cooler areas of North America, commonly called quaking aspen, trembling aspen, American aspen, and Quakies,. The trees have tall trunks, up to 25 metres, with smooth pale bark, scarred with black. The glossy green leaves, dull beneath, become golden...

 and the Mountain Ash
Sorbus
Sorbus is a genus of about 100–200 species of trees and shrubs in the subfamily Maloideae of the Rose family Rosaceae. Species of Sorbus are commonly known as whitebeam, rowan, service tree, and mountain ash...

 cover more than half of Quebec territory.

History


Indigenous peoples and European exploration


At the time of first European contact and later colonization, Algonquian
Algonquian peoples
The Algonquian are one of the most populous and widespread North American native language groups, with tribes originally numbering in the hundreds. Today hundreds of thousands of individuals identify with various Algonquian peoples...

, Iroquois
Iroquois
The Iroquois , also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse", are an association of several tribes of indigenous people of North America...

 and Inuit
Inuit
The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada , Denmark , Russia and the United States . Inuit means “the people” in the Inuktitut language...

 tribes were the peoples who inhabited what is now Quebec. Their lifestyles and cultures reflected the land on which they lived. Seven Algonquian groups lived nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

ic lives based on hunting, gathering, and fishing in the rugged terrain of the Canadian Shield: (James Bay Cree, Innu
Innu
The Innu are the indigenous inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinan , which comprises most of the northeastern portions of the provinces of Quebec and some western portions of Labrador...

, Algonquins) and Appalachian Mountains (Mi'kmaq, Abenaki
Western Abenaki
The Abenaki are a tribe of Native American and First Nations people, one of the Algonquian-speaking peoples of northeastern North America. The Abenaki live in the New England region of the United States and Quebec and the Maritimes of Canada, a region called Wabanaki in the Eastern Algonquian...

). St. Lawrence Iroquoians
St. Lawrence Iroquoians
The St. Lawrence Iroquoians were a prehistoric First Nations/Native American indigenous people who lived from the 14th century until about 1580 CE along the shores of the St. Lawrence River in present-day Quebec and Ontario, Canada, and New York State, United States. They spoke Laurentian...

, a branch of the Iroquois, lived more settled lives, planting squash and maize in the fertile soils of the St. Lawrence Valley. They appear to have been later supplanted by the Mohawk tribe. The Inuit continue to fish and hunt whale and seal
Pinniped
Pinnipeds or fin-footed mammals are a widely distributed and diverse group of semiaquatic marine mammals comprising the families Odobenidae , Otariidae , and Phocidae .-Overview: Pinnipeds are typically sleek-bodied and barrel-shaped...

 in the harsh Arctic climate along the coasts of Hudson and Ungava Bay. These people traded fur and food and sometimes warred with each other.

Basque
Basque people
The Basques as an ethnic group, primarily inhabit an area traditionally known as the Basque Country , a region that is located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France.The Basques are known in the...

 whalers and fishermen traded furs with Saguenay natives throughout the 16th century. The first French explorer to reach Quebec was Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier was a French explorer of Breton origin who claimed what is now Canada for France. He was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big...

, who planted a cross in 1534 at either Gaspé
Gaspé, Quebec
Gaspé is a city at the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula in the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region of eastern Quebec, Canada. As of the 2006 census, the city had a total population of 14,819....

 or Old Fort Bay on the Lower North Shore. He sailed into the St. Lawrence River in 1535 and established an ill-fated colony near present-day Quebec City at the site of Stadacona
Stadacona
Stadacona was a 16th century St. Lawrence Iroquoian village near present-day Quebec City.French explorer and navigator Jacques Cartier, travelling and charting the Saint Lawrence River, reached it on 7 September 1535. He returned to Stadacona to spend the winter there with his group of 110 men...

, a village of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians. Linguists and archeologists have determined these people were distinct from the Iroquoian nations encountered by later French and Europeans, such as the five nations of the Haudenosaunee. Their language was Laurentian
Laurentian language
Laurentian, or St. Lawrence Iroquoian, was an Iroquoian language spoken until the late 16th century along the shores of the Saint Lawrence River in present-day Quebec and Ontario, Canada. It is believed to have disappeared with the extinction of the St...

, one of the Iroquoian family. By the late 16th century, they had disappeared from the St. Lawrence Valley.

New France



Around 1522 - 1523, the Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano
Giovanni da Verrazano
Giovanni da Verrazzano was an Italian explorer of North America, in the service of the French crown. He is renowned as the first European since the Norse expeditions to North America around AD 1000 to explore the Atlantic coast of North America between the Carolinas and Newfoundland, including New...

 persuaded King Francis I of France to commission an expedition to find a western route to Cathay
Cathay
Cathay is the Anglicized version of "Catai" and an alternative name for China in English. It originates from the word Khitan, the name of a nomadic people who founded the Liao Dynasty which ruled much of Northern China from 907 to 1125, and who had a state of their own centered around today's...

 (China). Late in 1523, Verrazzano set sail in Dieppe
Dieppe, Seine-Maritime
Dieppe is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in France. In 1999, the population of the whole Dieppe urban area was 81,419.A port on the English Channel, famous for its scallops, and with a regular ferry service from the Gare Maritime to Newhaven in England, Dieppe also has a popular pebbled...

, crossing the Atlantic on a small caravel with 50 men. After exploring the coast of the present-day Carolinas early the following year, he headed north along the coast, eventually anchoring in the Narrows of New York Bay. The first European to discover the site of present-day New York, he named it Nouvelle-Angoulême in honour of the king, the former count of Angoulême. Verrazzano's voyage convinced the king to seek to establish a colony in the newly discovered land. Verrazzano gave the names Francesca and Nova Gallia to that land between New Spain (Mexico) and English Newfoundland.
In 1534, Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier was a French explorer of Breton origin who claimed what is now Canada for France. He was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big...

 planted a cross in the Gaspé Peninsula
Gaspé Peninsula
The Gaspésie , or Gaspé Peninsula or the Gaspé, is a peninsula along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, extending into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

 and claimed the land in the name of King Francis I. It was the first province of New France. However, initial French attempts at settling the region met with failure. French fishing fleets, however, continued to sail to the Atlantic coast and into the St. Lawrence River, making alliances with First Nations that would become important once France began to occupy the land. French merchants soon realized the St. Lawrence region was full of valuable fur
Fur
Fur is a synonym for hair, used more in reference to non-human animals, usually mammals; particularly those with extensives body hair coverage. The term is sometimes used to refer to the body hair of an animal as a complete coat, also known as the "pelage". Fur is also used to refer to animal...

-bearing animals, especially the beaver
American Beaver
The North American Beaver is the only species of beaver in the Americas, native to North America and introduced to South America. In the United States and Canada, where no other species of beaver occurs, it is usually simply referred to as "beaver"...

, an important commodity as the European beaver
European Beaver
The Eurasian beaver or European beaver is a species of beaver, which was once widespread in Eurasia, where it was hunted to near extinction both for fur and for castoreum, a secretion of its scent gland believed to have medicinal properties...

 had almost been driven to extinction. Eventually, the French crown decided to colonize the territory to secure and expand its influence in America.

Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain , "The Father of New France", was a French navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He founded New France and Quebec City on July 3, 1608....

 was part of a 1603 expedition from France that travelled into the St. Lawrence River. In 1608, he returned as head of an exploration party and founded Quebec City with the intention of making the area part of the French colonial empire
French colonial empire
The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

. Champlain's Habitation de Quebec, built as a permanent fur trading
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

 outpost, was where he would forge a trading, and ultimately a military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 alliance, with the Algonquin and Huron nations. Natives traded their furs for many French goods such as metal objects, guns, alcohol, and clothing.

Hélène Desportes
Helen Desportes
Hélène Desportes is often cited as the first white child born in Canada, New France. There is considerable disagreement about when she was born and, in particular, if she was born in Quebec or before she arrived on the continent...

, born July 7, 1620, to the French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 habitants
Habitants
Habitants is the name used to refer to both the French settlers and the inhabitants of French origin who farmed the land along the two shores of the St. Lawrence Gulf and River in what is the present-day Province of Quebec in Canada...

 (settlers) Pierre Desportes and his wife Françoise Langlois, was the first child of European descent
European ethnic groups
The ethnic groups in Europe are the various ethnic groups that reside in the nations of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe....

 born in Quebec.

From Quebec, coureurs des bois, voyageurs
Voyageurs
The Voyageurs were the persons who engaged in the transportation of furs by canoe during the fur trade era. Voyageur is a French word which literally translates to "traveler"...

 and Catholic missionaries used river canoe
Canoe
A canoe or Canadian canoe is a small narrow boat, typically human-powered, though it may also be powered by sails or small electric or gas motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over A canoe (North American English) or Canadian...

s to explore the interior of the North American continent, establishing fur trading forts on the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 (Étienne Brûlé
Étienne Brûlé
Étienne Brûlé , was the first of European French explorers to journey along the St. Lawrence River with the Native Americans and to view Georgian Bay and Lake Huron Canada in the 17th century. A rugged outdoorsman, he took to the lifestyle of the First Nations and had a unique contribution to the...

 1615), Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

 (Radisson
Pierre-Esprit Radisson
Pierre-Esprit Radisson was a French-Canadian fur trader and explorer. He is often linked to his brother-in-law Médard des Groseilliers who was about 20 years older. The decision of Radisson and Groseilliers to enter the English service led to the formation of the Hudson's Bay Company.Born near...

 and Groseilliers
Médard des Groseilliers
Médard Chouart des Groseilliers was a French explorer and fur trader in Canada. He is often paired with his brother-in-law Pierre-Esprit Radisson who was about 20 years his junior...

 1659–60), Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 and Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 (La Salle 1682), as well as the Saskatchewan River
Saskatchewan River
The Saskatchewan River is a major river in Canada, approximately long, flowing roughly eastward across Saskatchewan and Manitoba to empty into Lake Winnipeg...

 and Missouri River
Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through the central United States, and is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is the longest river in North America and drains the third largest area, though only the thirteenth largest by discharge. The Missouri's watershed encompasses most of the American Great...

 (de la Verendrye 1734–1738).


After 1627, King Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1610 to 1643.Louis was only eight years old when he succeeded his father. His mother, Marie de Medici, acted as regent during Louis' minority...

 introduced the seigneurial system
Seigneurial system of New France
The seigneurial system of New France was the semi-feudal system of land distribution used in the North American colonies of New France.-Introduction to New France:...

 and forbade settlement in New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 by anyone other than Roman Catholics. Sulpician and Jesuit clerics founded missions in Trois-Rivières
Trois-Rivières
Trois-Rivières means three rivers in French and may refer to:in Canada*Trois-Rivières, the largest city in the Mauricie region of Quebec, Canada*Circuit Trois-Rivières, a racetrack in Trois-Rivières, Quebec...

 (Laviolette) and Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 or Ville-Marie (Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve
Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve
Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve was a French military officer and the founder of Montreal.- Early career :...

 and Jeanne Mance
Jeanne Mance
Jeanne Mance was a French settler of New France. She was one of the founders of Montreal who secured its survival and was the founder and head of the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal.-Origins:...

) to convert New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

's Huron and Algonquian allies to Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

. The seigneurial system of governing New France also encouraged immigration from the motherland.

New France became a Royal Province in 1663 under King Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

 with a Sovereign Council
Sovereign Council of New France
The Sovereign Council of New France was a political body appointed by the King of France and consisting of a Governor General, an Intendant of New France answered to the French Minister of the Marine, And also the Bishop witch helped with laws and land...

 that included intendant
Intendant of New France
New France was governed by three rulers: the governor, the bishop and the intendant, all appointed by the King, and sent from France. The intendant was responsible for finance, economic development, and the administration of justice . He also presided over the Sovereign Council of New France...

 Jean Talon
Jean Talon
Jean Talon, Comte d'Orsainville was a French colonial administrator who was the first and most highly regarded Intendant of New France under King Louis XIV...

. This ushered in a golden era of settlement and colonization
French colonization of the Americas
The French colonization of the Americas began in the 16th century, and continued in the following centuries as France established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere. France founded colonies in much of eastern North America, on a number of Caribbean islands, and in South America...

 in New France, including the arrival of les "Filles du Roi". The population grew from about 3,000 to 60,000 people between 1666 and 1760. Colonists built farms on the banks of St. Lawrence River and called themselves "Canadiens" or "Habitants
Habitants
Habitants is the name used to refer to both the French settlers and the inhabitants of French origin who farmed the land along the two shores of the St. Lawrence Gulf and River in what is the present-day Province of Quebec in Canada...

". The colony's total population was limited, however, by a winter climate much harsher than that of France, by the spread of diseases, and by the refusal of the French crown to allow Huguenots, or French Protestants, to settle there. The population of New France lagged far behind that of the Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

 to the south, leaving it vulnerable to attack. In 1689, the English–allied Mohawks attacked Lachine
Lachine massacre
The Lachine massacre, part of the Beaver Wars, occurred when 1,500 Mohawk warriors attacked by surprise the small, 375 inhabitant, settlement of Lachine, New France at the upper end of Montreal Island on the morning of August 5, 1689...

, committing the worst massacre in the history of New France. Many donnes (the assistants to the Jesuit priests) tried to convert the natives of New France during the 17th century.

Seven Years' War and capitulation of New France



Authorities in New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 became more aggressive in their efforts to expel British traders and colonists from the Ohio Valley
Ohio Country
The Ohio Country was the name used in the 18th century for the regions of North America west of the Appalachian Mountains and in the region of the upper Ohio River south of Lake Erie...

. They began construction of a series of fortifications to protect the area. In 1754, George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 launched a surprise attack on a group of Canadien soldiers sleeping in the early morning hours. It came at a time when no declaration of war had been issued by either countries. This frontier aggression known as the Jumonville affair, set the stage for the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 (a US designation; in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 it is usually just referred to as the Seven Years' War, although French Canadian
French Canadian
French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

s often call it La guerre de la Conquête ["The War of Conquest"]) in North America. By 1756, France and Britain were battling the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 worldwide. In 1758, the British
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 mounted an attack on New France by sea and took the French fort at Louisbourg.

On September 13, 1759, General James Wolfe
James Wolfe
Major General James P. Wolfe was a British Army officer, known for his training reforms but remembered chiefly for his victory over the French in Canada...

 defeated General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm
Louis-Joseph de Montcalm
Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, Marquis de Saint-Veran was a French soldier best known as the commander of the forces in North America during the Seven Years' War .Montcalm was born near Nîmes in France to a noble family, and entered military service...

 on the Plains of Abraham
Plains of Abraham
The Plains of Abraham is a historic area within The Battlefields Park in Quebec City, Quebec, that was originally grazing land, but became famous as the site of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which took place on 13 September 1759. Though written into the history books, housing and minor...

 outside Quebec City. With the exception of the small islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, located off the coast of Newfoundland, France ceded its North American possessions to Great Britain through the Treaty of Paris (1763)
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 in favor of the island of Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe is an archipelago located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and a population of 400,000. It is the first overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. As with the other overseas departments, Guadeloupe...

 for its then-lucrative sugar cane industry. The British Royal Proclamation of 1763 renamed Canada (part of New France) as the Province of Quebec
Province of Quebec (1763-1791)
The Province of Quebec was a colony in North America created by Great Britain after the Seven Years' War. Great Britain acquired Canada by the Treaty of Paris when King Louis XV of France and his advisors chose to keep the territory of Guadeloupe for its valuable sugar crops instead of New France...

.
At roughly the same time as the northern parts of New France were being turned over to the British and beginning their evolution towards modern day Quebec and Canada, the southern parts of New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 (Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

) were signed over to Spain by the Treaty of Fontainebleau
Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762)
The Treaty of Fontainebleau was a secret agreement in which France ceded Louisiana to Spain. The treaty followed the last battle in the French and Indian War, the Battle of Signal Hill in September 1762, which confirmed British control of Canada. However, the associated Seven Years War continued...

 of 1762. As a result of double cession of Quebec to the British and Louisiana to the Spanish, the first French colonial empire
French colonial empire
The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

 collapsed, with France being expelled almost entirely from the continental Americas, left only with a rump set of colonies restricted principally to scattered territories and islands in the Caribbean.

After the capture of New France the British implemented a plan to control the Canadiens and entice them to assimilate into the British way of life. They prevented Catholics from holding public office and forbade the recruitment of priests and brothers, effectively shutting down Quebec's schools and colleges. This first British policy of assimilation (1763–1774) was deemed a failure. Both the demands in the petitions of the Canadiens' élites and the recommendations by Governor Guy Carleton
Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester
Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, KB , known between 1776 and 1786 as Sir Guy Carleton, was an Irish-British soldier and administrator...

 played an important role in persuading London to drop the assimilation scheme, but the looming American revolt was certainly also a factor as the British were fearful that the French-speaking population of Quebec would side with the rebellious Thirteen Colonies to the south, especially if France allied with the Americans as it appeared it would.

Quebec Act



With unrest growing in the colonies to the south, which would one day grow into the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, the British were worried that the French-speaking Canadians might also support the growing rebellion. At that time, French-speaking Canadians formed the vast majority of the population of the province of Quebec (more than 99%) and British immigration was not going well. To secure the allegiance of the approximately 90,000 French-speaking Canadians to the British crown, first Governor James Murray
James Murray (military officer)
James Murray FRS was a British soldier, whose lengthy career included service as colonial administrator and governor of the Province of Quebec and later as Governor of Minorca from 1778 to 1782.-Early life:He was a younger son of Alexander Murray, 4th Lord Elibank, and his wife Elizabeth...

 and later Governor Guy Carleton
Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester
Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, KB , known between 1776 and 1786 as Sir Guy Carleton, was an Irish-British soldier and administrator...

 promoted the need for change. There was also a need to compromise between the conflicting demands of the French-speaking Canadians subjects and those of newly arrived British subjects. These efforts by the colonial governors eventually resulted in enactment of the Quebec Act
Quebec Act
The Quebec Act of 1774 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain setting procedures of governance in the Province of Quebec...

 of 1774.

The Quebec Act provided the Quebec people with their first Charter of Rights. This paved the way to later official recognition of the French language and French culture. The act also allowed Canadiens to maintain French civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 and sanctioned freedom of religion, allowing the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 to remain, one of the first cases in history of state-sanctioned freedom of practice. Further, it restored the Ohio Valley to Quebec, reserving the territory for the fur trade. New France had thus been restored, so that it could play the same role as it did before the Conquest in North America.

Effects of the American Revolution


Although the Quebec Act
Quebec Act
The Quebec Act of 1774 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain setting procedures of governance in the Province of Quebec...

 was unrelated to the events in Boston
Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party was a direct action by colonists in Boston, a town in the British colony of Massachusetts, against the British government and the monopolistic East India Company that controlled all the tea imported into the colonies...

 of 1773, and not regarded as one of the Coercive Acts. The timing of its passage led British colonists to the south to believe that it was part of the program to punish them. The Quebec Act offended a variety of interest groups in the British colonies. Land speculators and settlers objected to the transfer of western lands previously claimed by the colonies to a non-representative government. Many feared the establishment of Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 in Quebec, and that the French Canadians were being courted to help oppress British Americans.

On June 27, 1775, General George Washington decided to attempt an invasion of Canada
Invasion of Canada (1775)
The Invasion of Canada in 1775 was the first major military initiative by the newly formed Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. The objective of the campaign was to gain military control of the British Province of Quebec, and convince the French-speaking Canadiens to join the...

 by the American Continental Army
Continental Army
The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

 to wrest Quebec and the St. Lawrence River from the British. A force led by Brigadier General Richard Montgomery
Richard Montgomery
Richard Montgomery was an Irish-born soldier who first served in the British Army. He later became a brigadier-general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and he is most famous for leading the failed 1775 invasion of Canada.Montgomery was born and raised in Ireland...

 headed north from Fort Ticonderoga
Fort Ticonderoga
Fort Ticonderoga, formerly Fort Carillon, is a large 18th-century fort built by the Canadians and the French at a narrows near the south end of Lake Champlain in upstate New York in the United States...

 along Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain is a natural, freshwater lake in North America, located mainly within the borders of the United States but partially situated across the Canada—United States border in the Canadian province of Quebec.The New York portion of the Champlain Valley includes the eastern portions of...

 and up the St. Lawrence River valley. Meanwhile, Colonel Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold V was a general during the American Revolutionary War. He began the war in the Continental Army but later defected to the British Army. While a general on the American side, he obtained command of the fort at West Point, New York, and plotted to surrender it to the British forces...

 persuaded Washington to have him lead a separate expedition through the Maine wilderness. The two forces joined at Quebec City, but were defeated at the Battle of Quebec
Battle of Quebec (1775)
The Battle of Quebec was fought on December 31, 1775 between American Continental Army forces and the British defenders of the city of Quebec, early in the American Revolutionary War. The battle was the first major defeat of the war for the Americans, and it came at a high price...

 in December 1775. Prior to this battle Montgomery (killed in the battle) had met with some early successes but the invasion failed when British reinforcements came down the St. Lawrence in May 1776 and the Battle of Trois-Rivières
Battle of Trois-Rivières
The Battle of Trois-Rivières was fought on June 8, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War. A British army under Quebec Governor Guy Carleton defeated an attempt by units from the Continental Army under the command of Brigadier General William Thompson to stop a British advance up the Saint...

 turned into a disaster for the Americans. The army withdrew back to Ticonderoga. Although some help was given to the Americans by the locals, Governor Carleton punished American sympathizers and public support of the American cause came to an end.

The American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 was ultimately successful in winning independence for the Thirteen Colonies. In the Treaty of Paris (1783)
Treaty of Paris (1783)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain on the one hand and the United States of America and its allies on the other. The other combatant nations, France, Spain and the Dutch Republic had separate agreements; for details of...

, the British ceded their territory south of the Great Lakes to the newly formed United States of America.

In 1778, Frederick Haldimand
Frederick Haldimand
Sir Frederick Haldimand, KB was a military officer best known for his service in the British Army in North America during the Seven Years' War and the American Revolutionary War...

 took over for Guy Carleton
Guy Carleton
Guy Carleton may refer to:*Guy Carleton , , Anglican bishop*Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, , Irish soldier and early Governor of Canada*Guy Carleton Wiggins, American landscape painter...

 as governor of Quebec. Haldimand, like the previous governors of the Province of Quebec, appreciated the hard-working Canadiens and acted in his power to keep the English merchants in line.

The arrival of 10,000 Loyalists to Quebec in 1784 destroyed the political balance that Haldimand (and Carleton before him) had worked so hard to achieve. The swelling numbers of English encouraged them to make greater demands for recognition with the colonial government. To restore stability to his largest remaining North American colony, King George III sent Carleton back to Quebec to remedy the situation.

In ten years, Quebec had undergone a dramatic change. What worked for Carleton in 1774 was not likely to succeed in 1784. Specifically, there was no possibility of restoring the previous political balance—there were simply too many English people unwilling to reach a compromise with the 145,000 Canadiens or its colonial governor. The situation called for a more creative approach to problem solving.

Separation of the Province of Quebec


Loyalists soon petitioned the government to be allowed to use the British legal system they were
used to in the American colonies. The creation of Upper and Lower Canada allowed most Loyalists to live under British laws and institutions, while the French-speaking population of Lower Canada could maintain their familiar French civil law and the Catholic religion.

The fact was that the two peoples simply could not co-exist. Therefore, Governor Haldimand (at the suggestion of Carleton) drew Loyalists away from Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

 and Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 by offering free land on the northern shore of Lake Ontario to anyone willing to swear allegiance to George III. The Loyalists were thus given land grants of 200 acres (81 ha) per person. Basically, this approach was designed with the intent of keeping French and English as far apart as possible. Therefore, after the separation of the Province of Quebec, Lower Canada
Lower Canada
The Province of Lower Canada was a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River and the shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

 and Upper Canada
Upper Canada
The Province of Upper Canada was a political division in British Canada established in 1791 by the British Empire to govern the central third of the lands in British North America and to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States of America after the American Revolution...

 were formed, each with its own government.

Patriotes Rebellion in Lower Canada




In 1837 residents of Lower Canada, led by Louis-Joseph Papineau
Louis-Joseph Papineau
Louis-Joseph Papineau , born in Montreal, Quebec, was a politician, lawyer, and the landlord of the seigneurie de la Petite-Nation. He was the leader of the reformist Patriote movement before the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837–1838. His father was Joseph Papineau, also a famous politician in Quebec...

 and Robert Nelson, formed an armed resistance group to seek an end to the unilateral control of the British governors. They made a Declaration of Rights with equality for all citizens without discrimination and a Declaration of Independence of Lower-Canada in 1838. Their actions resulted in rebellions in both Lower and Upper Canada
Upper Canada
The Province of Upper Canada was a political division in British Canada established in 1791 by the British Empire to govern the central third of the lands in British North America and to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States of America after the American Revolution...

. An unprepared British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 had to raise militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 force, the rebel forces scored a victory in Saint-Denis
Battle of Saint-Denis (1837)
The Battle of St. Denis was fought on November 22, 1837 between British colonial authorities under Lieutenant-Colonel Gore and Lower Canada rebels. The rebels were victoriously led by Wolfred Nelson.- See also :*Lower Canada Rebellion...

 but were soon defeated. The British army burned the Church of St-Eustache
Saint-Eustache, Quebec
Saint-Eustache is an off-island suburb of Montreal, in western Quebec, Canada, west of Montreal on the north shore of the Rivière des Mille-Îles....

, killing the rebels who were hiding within it. The bullet and cannonball marks on the walls of the church are still visible to this day.

After the rebellions, Lord Durham
John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham
John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham GCB, PC , also known as "Radical Jack" and commonly referred to in history texts simply as Lord Durham, was a British Whig statesman, colonial administrator, Governor General and high commissioner of British North America...

 was asked to undertake a study and prepare a report
Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839)
The Report on the Affairs of British North America, commonly known as The Durham Report, is an important document in the history of Quebec, Ontario, Canada and the British Empire....

 on the matter and to offer a solution for the British Parliament to assess. The final report recommended that the two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada be united, and that the French speaking population of Lower Canada be assimilated into British culture. Durham's second recommendation was the implementation of responsible government
Responsible government
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy...

 across the colonies. Following Durham's Report
Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839)
The Report on the Affairs of British North America, commonly known as The Durham Report, is an important document in the history of Quebec, Ontario, Canada and the British Empire....

, the British government merged the two colonial provinces into one Province of Canada
Province of Canada
The Province of Canada, United Province of Canada, or the United Canadas was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations made by John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham in the Report on the Affairs of British North America following the Rebellions of...

 in 1840 with the Act of Union
Act of Union 1840
The Act of Union, formally the The British North America Act, 1840 , was enacted in July 1840 and proclaimed 10 February 1841. It abolished the legislatures of Lower Canada and Upper Canada and established a new political entity, the Province of Canada to replace them...

. However, the political union proved contentious. Reformers in both Canada West (formerly Upper Canada) and Canada East (formerly Lower Canada) worked to repeal limitations on the use of the French language in the Legislature. The two colonies remained distinct in administration, election, and law.

In 1848, Baldwin and LaFontaine, allies and leaders of the Reformist party, were asked by Lord Elgin
James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin
Sir James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine, KT, GCB, PC , was a British colonial administrator and diplomat...

 to form an administration together under the new policy of responsible government
Responsible government
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy...

. The French language subsequently regained legal status in the Legislature.

Canadian Confederation



In the 1860s, the delegates from the colonies of British North America
British North America
British North America is a historical term. It consisted of the colonies and territories of the British Empire in continental North America after the end of the American Revolutionary War and the recognition of American independence in 1783.At the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775 the British...

 (Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland) met in a series of conferences to discuss self-governing status for a new confederation. The first Charlottetown Conference
Charlottetown Conference
The Charlottetown Conference was held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island for representatives from the colonies of British North America to discuss Canadian Confederation...

 took place in Charlottetown
Charlottetown
Charlottetown is a Canadian city. It is both the largest city on and the provincial capital of Prince Edward Island, and the county seat of Queens County. Named after Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III, Charlottetown was first incorporated as a town in 1855 and designated as a city in 1885...

, Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

, followed by the Quebec Conference
Quebec Conference, 1864
The Quebec Conference was the second meeting held in 1864 to discuss Canadian Confederation.The 16 delegates from the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island had agreed at the close of the Charlottetown Conference to meet again at Quebec City October 1864...

 in Quebec City which led to a delegation going to London, Britain, to put forth a proposal for a national union.

As a result of those deliberations, in 1867 the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 passed the British North America Act, providing for the Confederation of most of these provinces. The former Province of Canada
Province of Canada
The Province of Canada, United Province of Canada, or the United Canadas was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations made by John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham in the Report on the Affairs of British North America following the Rebellions of...

 was divided into its two previous parts as the provinces of Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 (Upper Canada) and Quebec (Lower Canada). New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

 and Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

 joined Ontario and Quebec in the new Dominion of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. The other provinces then joined the Confederation, one after the other: Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

 and the Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada.Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, and three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, and Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south...

 in 1870, British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 in 1871, Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

 in 1873, Yukon
Yukon
Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. It was named after the Yukon River. The word Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich’in....

 in 1898, Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

 and Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

 in 1905, Newfoundland
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

 in 1949 and finally Nunavut
Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

 in 1999.

Terminology


Canada is a federal state
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

 and not a confederate association of sovereign states, the usual meaning of confederation
Confederation
A confederation in modern political terms is a permanent union of political units for common action in relation to other units. Usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution, confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues such as defense, foreign...

; but is often considered to be among the world's more decentralized
Decentralization
__FORCETOC__Decentralization or decentralisation is the process of dispersing decision-making governance closer to the people and/or citizens. It includes the dispersal of administration or governance in sectors or areas like engineering, management science, political science, political economy,...

 federations. In this Canadian context, confederation generally describes the political process that united the colonies in the 1860s and related events, and the subsequent incorporation of other colonies and territories.

Quiet Revolution



The conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 government of Maurice Duplessis
Maurice Duplessis
Maurice Le Noblet Duplessis served as the 16th Premier of the Canadian province of Quebec from 1936 to 1939 and 1944 to 1959. A founder and leader of the highly conservative Union Nationale party, he rose to power after exposing the misconduct and patronage of Liberal Premier Louis-Alexandre...

 and his Union Nationale
Union Nationale (Canada)
The Union nationale was a political party in Quebec, Canada, that identified with conservative Québécois autonomist nationalism. It was created during the Great Depression and held power in Quebec from 1936 to 1939, and from 1944 to 1960 under the leadership of Premier Maurice Duplessis, and...

 dominated Quebec politics from 1944 to 1959 with the support of the Catholic Church. Pierre Elliot Trudeau and other liberals formed an intellectual opposition to Duplessis's regime, setting the groundwork for the Quiet Revolution
Quiet Revolution
The Quiet Revolution was the 1960s period of intense change in Quebec, Canada, characterized by the rapid and effective secularization of society, the creation of a welfare state and a re-alignment of politics into federalist and separatist factions...

 under Jean Lesage
Jean Lesage
Jean Lesage, PC, CC, CD was a lawyer and politician in Quebec, Canada. He served as the 19th Premier of Quebec from 22 June 1960, to 16 August 1966...

's Liberals
Parti libéral du Québec
The Quebec Liberal Party is a centre-right political party in Quebec. It has been independent of the federal Liberal Party of Canada since 1955....

. The Quiet Revolution was a period of dramatic social and political changes that saw the decline of Anglo supremacy in the Quebec economy, the decline of the Roman Catholic Church's influence, the nationalization
Nationalization
Nationalisation, also spelled nationalization, is the process of taking an industry or assets into government ownership by a national government or state. Nationalization usually refers to private assets, but may also mean assets owned by lower levels of government, such as municipalities, being...

 of hydro-electric companies under Hydro-Québec
Hydro-Québec
Hydro-Québec is a government-owned public utility established in 1944 by the Government of Quebec. Based in Montreal, the company is in charge of the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity across Quebec....

 and the emergence of a pro-sovereignty movement
Quebec sovereignty movement
The Quebec sovereignty movement refers to both the political movement and the ideology of values, concepts and ideas that promote the secession of the province of Quebec from the rest of Canada...

 under former Liberal minister René Lévesque
René Lévesque
René Lévesque was a reporter, a minister of the government of Quebec, , the founder of the Parti Québécois political party and the 23rd Premier of Quebec...

.

Front de libération du Québec



Beginning in 1963, a paramilitary group that became known as the Front de libération du Québec
Front de libération du Québec
The Front de libération du Québec was a left-wing Quebecois nationalist and Marxist-Leninist paramilitary group in Quebec, Canada. It was active between 1963 and 1970, and was regarded as a terrorist organization for its violent methods of action...

 (FLQ) launched a decade-long series of propaganda and terrorism that included bombings, robberies and attacks directed primarily at English institutions, resulting in at least five deaths. In 1970, their activities culminated in events referred to as the October Crisis
October Crisis
The October Crisis was a series of events triggered by two kidnappings of government officials by members of the Front de libération du Québec during October 1970 in the province of Quebec, mainly in the Montreal metropolitan area.The circumstances ultimately culminated in the only peacetime use...

 when James Cross
James Cross
James Richard Cross, CMG was a British diplomat in Canada who was kidnapped by the Front de libération du Québec terrorist group during the October Crisis of October 1970....

, the British trade commissioner to Canada, was kidnapped along with Pierre Laporte
Pierre Laporte
Pierre Laporte was a Canadian lawyer, journalist and politician who was the Deputy Premier and Minister of Labour of the province of Quebec before being kidnapped and killed by members of the group Front de libération du Québec during the October Crisis. Mr...

, a provincial minister and Vice-Premier. Laporte was strangled with his own rosary beads a few days later. In their published Manifesto, the militants stated: "In the coming year Bourassa
Robert Bourassa
Jean-Robert Bourassa, was a politician in Quebec, Canada. He served as the 22nd Premier of Quebec in two different mandates, first from May 12, 1970, to November 25, 1976, and then from December 12, 1985, to January 11, 1994, serving a total of just under 15 years as Provincial Premier.-Early...

 will have to face reality; 100,000 revolutionary workers, armed and organized."

At the request of Premier Robert Bourassa, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau
Pierre Trudeau
Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau, , usually known as Pierre Trudeau or Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was the 15th Prime Minister of Canada from April 20, 1968 to June 4, 1979, and again from March 3, 1980 to June 30, 1984.Trudeau began his political career campaigning for socialist ideals,...

 invoked the War Measures Act
War Measures Act
The War Measures Act was a Canadian statute that allowed the government to assume sweeping emergency powers in the event of "war, invasion or insurrection, real or apprehended"...

. In addition, the Quebec Ombudsman
Ombudsman
An ombudsman is a person who acts as a trusted intermediary between an organization and some internal or external constituency while representing not only but mostly the broad scope of constituent interests...

 Louis Marceau was instructed to hear complaints of detainees and the Quebec government agreed to pay damages to any person unjustly arrested (only in Quebec). On February 3, 1971, John Turner
John Turner
John Napier Wyndham Turner, PC, CC, QC is an English Canadian lawyer and retired politician, who served as the 17th Prime Minister of Canada from June 30 to September 17, 1984....

, the Minister of Justice of Canada
Minister of Justice (Canada)
The Minister of Justice is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for the Department of Justice and is also Attorney General of Canada .This cabinet position is usually reserved for someone with formal legal training...

, reported that 497 persons had been arrested throughout Canada under the War Measures Act, of whom 435 had been released. The other 62 were charged, of which 32 were crimes of such seriousness that a Quebec Superior Court
Quebec Superior Court
Quebec Superior Court is the highest trial Court in the Province of Quebec, Canada. It consists of 144 judges who are appointed by the federal government.Chief Justices : [partial listing]* Edward Bowen...

 judge refused them bail. The crisis ended a few weeks after the death of Pierre Laporte at the hands of his captors. The fallout of the crisis marked the zenith and twilight of the FLQ which lost membership and public support.

Parti Québécois and national unity



In 1977, the newly elected Parti Québécois
Parti Québécois
The Parti Québécois is a centre-left political party that advocates national sovereignty for the province of Quebec and secession from Canada. The Party traditionally has support from the labour movement. Unlike many other social-democratic parties, its ties with the labour movement are informal...

 government of René Lévesque
René Lévesque
René Lévesque was a reporter, a minister of the government of Quebec, , the founder of the Parti Québécois political party and the 23rd Premier of Quebec...

 introduced the Charter of the French Language
Charter of the French Language
The Charter of the French Language , also known as Bill 101 and Loi 101, is a law in the province of Quebec in Canada defining French, the language of the majority of the population, as the only official language of Quebec, and framing fundamental language rights for everyone in the province...

. Often known as Bill 101, it defined French as the only official language of Quebec in areas of provincial jurisdiction.

Lévesque and his party had run in the 1970 and 1973 Quebec elections under a platform of separating Quebec from the rest of Canada. The party failed to win control of Quebec's National Assembly both times — though its share of the vote increased from 23 percent to 30 percent — and Lévesque was defeated both times in the riding
Electoral district (Canada)
An electoral district in Canada, also known as a constituency or a riding, is a geographical constituency upon which Canada's representative democracy is based...

 he contested. In the 1976 election, he softened his message by promising a referendum (plebiscite) on sovereignty-association rather than outright separation, by which Quebec would have independence in most government functions but share some other ones, such as a common currency, with Canada. On November 15, 1976, Lévesque and the Parti Québécois won control of the provincial government for the first time. The question of sovereignty-association was placed before the voters in the 1980 Quebec referendum
1980 Quebec referendum
The 1980 Quebec referendum was the first referendum in Quebec on the place of Quebec within Canada and whether Quebec should pursue a path toward sovereignty. The referendum was called by Quebec's Parti Québécois government, which strongly favoured secession from Canada...

. During the campaign, Pierre Trudeau
Pierre Trudeau
Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau, , usually known as Pierre Trudeau or Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was the 15th Prime Minister of Canada from April 20, 1968 to June 4, 1979, and again from March 3, 1980 to June 30, 1984.Trudeau began his political career campaigning for socialist ideals,...

 promised that a vote for the "no" side was a vote for reforming Canada. Trudeau advocated the patriation
Patriation
Patriation is a non-legal term used in Canada to describe a process of constitutional change also known as "homecoming" of the constitution. Up until 1982, Canada was governed by a constitution that was a British law and could be changed only by an Act of the British Parliament...

 of Canada's Constitution from the United Kingdom. The existing constitutional document, the British North America Act, could only be amended by the United Kingdom Parliament upon a request by the Canadian parliament.

Sixty percent of the Quebec electorate voted against the proposition. Polls showed that the overwhelming majority of English and immigrant Quebeckers voted against, and that French Quebeckers were almost equally divided, with older voters less in favour and younger voters more in favour. After his loss in the referendum, Lévesque went back to Ottawa to start negotiating a new constitution with Trudeau, his minister of Justice Jean Chrétien
Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....

 and the nine other provincial premiers. Lévesque insisted Quebec be able to veto any future constitutional amendments. The negotiations quickly reached a stand-still.

Then on the night of November 4, 1981, (widely known in Quebec as La nuit des longs couteaux and in the rest of Canada as the "Kitchen Accord") Federal Justice Minister Jean Chrétien met with all of the provincial premiers except René Lévesque
René Lévesque
René Lévesque was a reporter, a minister of the government of Quebec, , the founder of the Parti Québécois political party and the 23rd Premier of Quebec...

 to sign the document that would eventually become the new Canadian constitution. The next morning, they presented the "fait accompli" to Lévesque. Lévesque refused to sign the document and returned to Quebec. In 1982, Trudeau had the new constitution approved by the British Parliament, with Quebec's signature still missing (a situation that persists to this day). The Supreme Court of Canada confirmed Trudeau's assertion that every province's approval is not required to amend the constitution. Quebec is the only province not to have assented to the patriation
Patriation
Patriation is a non-legal term used in Canada to describe a process of constitutional change also known as "homecoming" of the constitution. Up until 1982, Canada was governed by a constitution that was a British law and could be changed only by an Act of the British Parliament...

 of the Canadian constitution
Constitution of Canada
The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law in Canada; the country's constitution is an amalgamation of codified acts and uncodified traditions and conventions. It outlines Canada's system of government, as well as the civil rights of all Canadian citizens and those in Canada...

 in 1982.

In subsequent years, two attempts were made to gain Quebec's approval of the constitution. The first was the Meech Lake Accord
Meech Lake Accord
The Meech Lake Accord was a package of proposed amendments to the Constitution of Canada negotiated in 1987 by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and ten provincial premiers. It was intended to persuade the government of the Province of Quebec to endorse the 1982 Canadian Constitution and increase...

 of 1987, which was finally abandoned in 1990 when the province of Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

 did not pass it within the established deadline. (Newfoundland
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

 premier Clyde Wells
Clyde Wells
Clyde Kirby Wells, QC was the fifth Premier of Newfoundland and was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador from 1999 to March 2009...

 had expressed his opposition to the accord, but, with the failure in Manitoba, the vote for or against Meech never took place in his province.) This led to the formation of the sovereignist Bloc Québécois
Bloc Québécois
The Bloc Québécois is a federal political party in Canada devoted to the protection of Quebec's interests in the House of Commons of Canada, and the promotion of Quebec sovereignty. The Bloc was originally a party made of Quebec nationalists who defected from the federal Progressive Conservative...

 party in Ottawa under the leadership of Lucien Bouchard
Lucien Bouchard
Lucien Bouchard, is a Canadian lawyer, diplomat, politician and former Minister of the Environment of the Canadian Federal Government. He was the Leader of Opposition in the Canadian House of Commons from 1993 to 1996, and the 27th Premier of Quebec from January 29, 1996 to March 8, 2001...

, who had resigned from the federal cabinet. The second attempt, the Charlottetown Accord
Charlottetown Accord
The Charlottetown Accord was a package of proposed amendments to the Constitution of Canada, proposed by the Canadian federal and provincial governments in 1992. It was submitted to a public referendum on October 26 of that year, and was defeated.-Background:...

 of 1992, was rejected by 56.7 percent of all Canadians and 57 percent of Quebeckers. This result caused a split in the Quebec Liberal Party
Parti libéral du Québec
The Quebec Liberal Party is a centre-right political party in Quebec. It has been independent of the federal Liberal Party of Canada since 1955....

 that led to the formation of the new Action démocratique
Action démocratique du Québec
The Action démocratique du Québec, commonly referred to as the ADQ is a centre-right political party in Quebec, Canada. On the sovereignty question, it defines itself as autonomist, and has support from both soft nationalists and federalists....

 (Democratic Action) party led by Mario Dumont
Mario Dumont
Mario Dumont is a television personality and former politician in the province of Quebec. He was a Member of the National Assembly of Quebec , and the leader of the Action démocratique du Québec , from 1994 to 2009...

 and Jean Allaire
Jean Allaire
Jean Allaire was the author of the Allaire Report, and subsequently in 1994 the first leader of the fiscally conservative, autonomist provincial level political party in Quebec, the Action démocratique du Québec...

.

On October 30, 1995, with the Parti Québécois
Parti Québécois
The Parti Québécois is a centre-left political party that advocates national sovereignty for the province of Quebec and secession from Canada. The Party traditionally has support from the labour movement. Unlike many other social-democratic parties, its ties with the labour movement are informal...

 back in power since 1994, a second referendum
1995 Quebec referendum
The 1995 Quebec referendum was the second referendum to ask voters in the Canadian province of Quebec whether Quebec should secede from Canada and become an independent state, through the question:...

 on sovereignty took place. This time, it was rejected by a slim majority (50.6 percent NO to 49.4 percent YES).

The referendum was enshrouded in controversy. Federalists complained that an unusually high number of ballots had been rejected in pro-federalist areas, notably in the largely Jewish and Greek riding of Chomedey
Chomedey (electoral district)
Chomedey is a provincial electoral district in Quebec, Canada, in the western part of Laval. It takes in part of the Chomedey neighbourhood. The current boundary is the Rivière des Prairies to the south, Autoroute 15 to the east, Autoroute 440 to the north and Autoroute 13 to the west.The district...

 (11.7 percent or 5,500 of its ballots were spoiled, compared to 750 or 1.7 percent in the general election of 1994) although Quebec's chief electoral officer found no evidence of outright fraud. Moreover, this accusation had been brought despite the fact that only 1.82% of total votes were rejected on a total participation rate of 93,5% which is lower than the normal rejection rate. The federal government was accused of not respecting provincial laws with regard to spending during referendums (leading to a corruption scandal
Sponsorship scandal
The sponsorship scandal, "AdScam", "Sponsorship" or Sponsorgate, is a scandal that came as a result of a Canadian federal government "sponsorship program" in the province of Quebec and involving the Liberal Party of Canada, which was in power from 1993 to 2006...

 that would become public a decade later, greatly damaging the Liberal Party's standing), and of having accelerated the naturalization of immigrants in Quebec before the referendum in order that they could vote, as naturalized citizens were believed more likely to vote no. (43,850 immigrants were naturalized in 1995, whereas the average number between 1988 and 1998 was 21,733.)

The same night of the referendum, an angry Jacques Parizeau
Jacques Parizeau
Jacques Parizeau, is an economist and noted Quebec sovereignist who was the 26th Premier of the Canadian province of Quebec from September 26, 1994 to January 29, 1996.-Early life and career:...

, then premier and leader of the "Yes" side, declared that the loss was because of "Money and the ethnic vote
Money and the ethnic vote
"Money and the ethnic vote" is a phrase that is part of a speech by Jacques Parizeau.On October 30, 1995, Parizeau, then-Quebec premier, walked onto a Quebec City stage and gave what remains to this day the most infamous concession speech in Canada's history...

". Parizeau resigned over public outrage and as per his commitment to do so in case of a loss. Lucien Bouchard
Lucien Bouchard
Lucien Bouchard, is a Canadian lawyer, diplomat, politician and former Minister of the Environment of the Canadian Federal Government. He was the Leader of Opposition in the Canadian House of Commons from 1993 to 1996, and the 27th Premier of Quebec from January 29, 1996 to March 8, 2001...

 became Quebec's new premier in his place.

Federalists accused the sovereignist side of asking a vague, overly complicated question on the ballot. Its English text read as follows:

Do you agree that Québec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Québec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?

After winning the next election in 1998, Bouchard retired from politics in 2001. Bernard Landry
Bernard Landry
Bernard Landry, is a Quebec lawyer, teacher, politician, who served as the 28th Premier of Quebec , leader of the Opposition and leader of the Parti Québécois .-Personal:...

 was then appointed leader of the Parti Québécois
Parti Québécois
The Parti Québécois is a centre-left political party that advocates national sovereignty for the province of Quebec and secession from Canada. The Party traditionally has support from the labour movement. Unlike many other social-democratic parties, its ties with the labour movement are informal...

 and premier of Quebec
Premier of Quebec
The Premier of Quebec is the first minister of the Canadian province of Quebec. The Premier is the province's head of government and his title is Premier and President of the Executive Council....

. In 2003, Landry lost the election to the Quebec Liberal Party
Parti libéral du Québec
The Quebec Liberal Party is a centre-right political party in Quebec. It has been independent of the federal Liberal Party of Canada since 1955....

 and Jean Charest
Jean Charest
John James "Jean" Charest, PC, MNA is a Canadian politician who has been the 29th Premier of Quebec since 2003. He was leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1993 to 1998 and has been leader of the Quebec Liberal Party since 1998....

. Landry stepped down as PQ leader in 2005, and in a crowded race for the party leadership, André Boisclair
André Boisclair
André Boisclair is a politician in Quebec, Canada. He was the leader of the Parti Québécois, a social democratic and separatist party in Quebec....

 was elected to succeed him. He also resigned after the renewal of the Quebec Liberal Party's government in the 2007 general election and the Parti Québécois becoming the second opposition party, behind the Action Démocratique. The PQ has promised to hold another referendum should it return to government.

Statut particulier ("special status")



Given the province's heritage and the preponderance of French (unique among the Canadian provinces), there is an ongoing debate in Canada regarding the unique status (statut particulier) of Quebec and its people, wholly or partially. Prior attempts to amend the Canadian constitution to acknowledge Quebec as a 'distinct society
Distinct society
Distinct society is a political term especially used during constitutional debate in Canada, in the second half of the 1980s and in the early 1990s, and present in the two failed constitutional amendments, the Meech Lake Accord and the Charlottetown Accord...

' – referring to the province's uniqueness within Canada regarding law, language, and culture – have been unsuccessful; however, the federal government under Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 Jean Chrétien
Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....

 would later endorse recognition of Quebec as a distinct society.

On October 30, 2003, the National Assembly of Quebec voted unanimously to affirm "that the people of Québec form a nation." On November 27, 2006, the House of Commons
Canadian House of Commons
The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign and the Senate. The House of Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 308 members known as Members of Parliament...

 passed a symbolic motion
Québécois nation motion
The Québécois nation motion was a parliamentary motion tabled by Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 and approved by the Canadian House of Commons on Monday, November 27, 2006...

 moved by Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 declaring "that this House recognize that the Québécois
French-speaking Quebecer
French-speaking Quebecers are francophone residents of the Canadian province of Quebec....

 form a nation within a united Canada." However, there is considerable debate and uncertainty over what this means.

At present, nationalism
Quebec nationalism
Quebec nationalism is a nationalist movement in the Canadian province of Quebec .-1534–1774:Canada was first a french colony. Jacques Cartier claimed it for France in 1534, and permanent French settlement began in 1608. It was part of New France, which constituted all French colonies in North America...

 plays a large role in the politics of Quebec, with all three major provincial political parties seeking greater autonomy and recognition of Quebec's unique status. In recent years, much attention has been devoted to examining and defining the nature of Quebec's association with the rest of Canada.

As of the most recent polls (April 2010), a minority of 39.9 percent of Quebeckers support separation, with a majority of 52.8 percent who opposed separation, and with 7.3 percent undecided. The number of Quebeckers who support separatism has remained relatively stable since the year 2000, hovering around at roughly 38-43 percent. There was a decline in support after the failed 1995 referendum, where vote levels of support for separation was at 49.4 percent.

Fundamental values of Quebec society


On February 8, 2007, Quebec Premier Jean Charest
Jean Charest
John James "Jean" Charest, PC, MNA is a Canadian politician who has been the 29th Premier of Quebec since 2003. He was leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1993 to 1998 and has been leader of the Quebec Liberal Party since 1998....

 announced the setting up of a Commission tasked with consulting Quebec Society on the matter of arrangements regarding cultural diversity. The Premier's press release reasserted the three fundamental values of Quebec society:
Furthermore, Quebec is a free and democratic society that abides by the rule of law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

.

Quebec society bases its cohesion and specificity on a set of statements, a few notable examples of which include:
  • The Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms
  • The Charter of the French Language
    Charter of the French Language
    The Charter of the French Language , also known as Bill 101 and Loi 101, is a law in the province of Quebec in Canada defining French, the language of the majority of the population, as the only official language of Quebec, and framing fundamental language rights for everyone in the province...

  • The Civil Code of Quebec
    Civil Code of Quebec
    The Civil Code of Quebec is the civil code in force in the province of Quebec, Canada. The Civil Code of Quebec came into effect on January 1, 1994, except for certain parts of the book on Family Law which were adopted by the National Assembly in the 1980s...


Government



The Lieutenant Governor
Lieutenant Governor of Quebec
The Lieutenant Governor of Quebec : Lieutenant-gouverneur du Québec, or : Lieutenant-gouverneure du Québec) is the viceregal representative in Quebec of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who operates distinctly within the province but is also shared equally with the ten other jurisdictions...

 represents Queen Elizabeth II as the de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

. The head of government is the premier
Premier of Quebec
The Premier of Quebec is the first minister of the Canadian province of Quebec. The Premier is the province's head of government and his title is Premier and President of the Executive Council....

 (called premier ministre in French) who leads the largest party in the unicameral National Assembly
National Assembly of Quebec
The National Assembly of Quebec is the legislative body of the Province of Quebec. The Lieutenant Governor and the National Assembly compose the Parliament of Quebec, which operates in a fashion similar to those of other British-style parliamentary systems.The National Assembly was formerly the...

, or Assemblée Nationale, from which the Executive Council of Quebec
Executive Council of Quebec
The Executive Council of Quebec is the cabinet of the government of Quebec, Canada....

 is appointed.

Until 1968, the Quebec legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 was bicameral, consisting of the Legislative Council
Legislative Council of Quebec
From 1867 until 1968, the Legislative Council of Quebec was the unelected upper house of the bicameral legislature in the Canadian province of Quebec...

 and the Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly of Quebec
The Legislative Assembly of Quebec was the name of the lower house of Quebec's legislature until 1968, when it was renamed the National Assembly of Quebec. At the same time, the upper house of the legislature, the Legislative Council, was abolished...

. In that year the Legislative Council was abolished, and the Legislative Assembly was renamed the National Assembly. Quebec was the last province to abolish its legislative council.

The government of Quebec awards an order of merit called the National Order of Quebec
National Order of Quebec
The National Order of Quebec, termed officially in French as l'Ordre national du Québec, and in English abbreviation as the Order of Quebec, is a civilian honour for merit in the Canadian province of Quebec...

. It is inspired in part by the French Legion of Honour
Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

. It is conferred upon men and women born or living in Quebec (but non-Quebeckers can be inducted as well) for outstanding achievements.

Administrative subdivisions


Quebec has subdivisions at the regional, supralocal and local levels. Excluding administrative units reserved for Aboriginal lands, the primary types of subdivision are:

At the regional level:
  • 17 administrative regions.

At the supralocal level:
  • 86 regional county municipalities
    Regional county municipality
    The term regional county municipality or RCM is used in Quebec to designate one of 86 county-like political and geographic units. In most cases, they are also census divisions. Regional County Municipalities are a supralocal type of "Regional Municipality" and are still commonly referred to as...

     or RCMs (municipalités régionales de comté, MRC);
  • 2 metropolitan communities
    Metropolitan Community (Quebec)
    There are two metropolitan communities or CMs in the province of Quebec :* Greater Montreal * Communauté métropolitaine de Québec...

     (communautés métropolitaines).

At the local level:
  • 1,117 local municipalities
    Local government in Quebec
    The lowest unit of local government in Quebec is the municipality, also called local municipality to distinguish it from the higher-level regional county municipality or RCM, which is also a municipal government at the supralocal level....

     of various types
    Types of municipalities in Quebec
    The following is a list of the types of local and supralocal territorial units in Quebec, including those used solely for statistical purposes, as defined by the Institut de la Statistique du Québec....

    ;
  • 11 agglomerations
    Urban agglomerations of Quebec
    An agglomeration, or urban agglomeration, is an administrative subdivision of Quebec at the local level that may group together a number of municipalities which were abolished as independent entities on 1 January 2002 but reconstituted on 1 January 2006.Urban agglomerations have certain powers that...

     (agglomérations) grouping 42 of these local municipalities;
  • within 8 local municipalities, 45 boroughs (arrondissements).

Economy


Quebec has an advanced
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

, market-based
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

 and open economy
Open economy
An open economy is an economy in which there are economic activities between domestic community and outside, e.g. people, including businesses, can trade in goods and services with other people and businesses in the international community, and flow of funds as investment across the border...

. In 2009, its gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 (GDP) of US$ 32,408 per capita
Per capita
Per capita is a Latin prepositional phrase: per and capita . The phrase thus means "by heads" or "for each head", i.e. per individual or per person...

 at purchasing power parity
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

 puts the province at par with Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, but remains lower than the Canadian average of US$ 37,830 per capita. The economy of Quebec is ranked the 37th largest economy in the world just behind Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and ranked the 21st largest in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Quebec is 16th among selected industrialized countries for the unemployment rate and 17th for the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. The economy of Quebec represents 20.36% of the total GDP of Canada. Like most industrialized countries, the economy of Quebec is based mainly on the services sector. Quebec's economy has traditionally been fueled by abundant natural resources, a well-developed infrastructure, and average productivity. The provincial GDP in 2010 is C$ 303,747 billion which makes Quebec the second largest economy in Canada.

The credit rating
Credit rating
A credit rating evaluates the credit worthiness of an issuer of specific types of debt, specifically, debt issued by a business enterprise such as a corporation or a government. It is an evaluation made by a credit rating agency of the debt issuers likelihood of default. Credit ratings are...

 of Quebec is currently rated Aa2 according to Moody's
Moody's
Moody's Corporation is the holding company for Moody's Analytics and Moody's Investors Service, a credit rating agency which performs international financial research and analysis on commercial and government entities. The company also ranks the credit-worthiness of borrowers using a standardized...

 rating agency. In comparison to the rest of the world, Quebec has the same credit rating as countries such as Italy, Japan and Spain. The Quebec economy has changed dramatically in recent years. Between 1995 and 2001, the credit rating of Quebec was rated A2, considered as the worst rating in the Quebec history. The provincial debt has reached 47% of GDP in 2011 which represent approximately C$129 billion or C$16 642 per inhabitant. The government of Quebec will reducing the provincial debt by 25% by 2025.

Quebec's economy has undergone tremendous changes over the last decade. Firmly grounded in the knowledge economy
Knowledge economy
The knowledge economy is a term that refers either to an economy of knowledge focused on the production and management of knowledge in the frame of economic constraints, or to a knowledge-based economy. In the second meaning, more frequently used, it refers to the use of knowledge technologies to...

, Quebec has one of the highest growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) in Canada. The knowledge sector represents about 30.9% of Quebec's GDP. Quebec is experiencing faster growth of its R&D spending than other Canadian provinces. Quebec's spending in R&D in 2011 was equal to 3% of GDP, above the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 average of 1.84% and the Lisbon Strategy
Lisbon Strategy
The Lisbon Strategy, also known as the Lisbon Agenda or Lisbon Process, was an action and development plan devised in 2000, for the economy of the European Union between 2000 and 2010....

 target of devoting 3% of GDP to research and development activities. The percentage spent on research and technology (R&D) is the highest in Canada and higher than the averages for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

 and the G7 countries. Approximately 1.1 million Quebeckers work in the field of science and technology.
Quebec is also a major player in several leading-edge industries including aerospace
Aerospace
Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

, information technologies and software and multimedia
Multimedia
Multimedia is media and content that uses a combination of different content forms. The term can be used as a noun or as an adjective describing a medium as having multiple content forms. The term is used in contrast to media which use only rudimentary computer display such as text-only, or...

. Approximately 60% of the production of the Canadian aerospace industry are from Quebec, where sales totaled C$ 12.4 billion in 2009. Quebec is one of North America's leading high-tech player. This vast sector encompassing approximately 7,300 businesses and employ more than 145,000 people.

The mining industry accounted for approximately 6.3% of Quebec's GDP. It employs approximately 50,000 people in 158 different companies. Quebec is one of the ten largest producers in the world in the mining sector.

The pulp and paper industries generate annual shipments valued at more than $14 billion. The forest products industry ranks second in exports, with shipments valued at almost $11 billion. It is also the main, and in some circumstances only, source of manufacturing activity in more than 250 municipalities in the province. The forest industry has slowed in recent years because of the softwood lumber dispute. This industry employs 68,000 people in several regions of Quebec. This industry accounted for 3.1% of Quebec's GDP.

Agri-food industry plays an important role in the economy of Quebec. It accounts for 8% of the Quebec's GDP and generate $19.2 billion. This industry generated 487,000 jobs in agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing of food, beverages and tobacco and food distribution.

Imports and exports



In 2008, Quebec exports elsewhere in Canada and in the world totaled 157.3 billion Canadian dollars, or 51.8% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Of this total, the share of international exports is 60.4% compared with 39.6% for interprovincial exports. The breakdown by destination of international exports of goods is: United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (72.2%), Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 (14.4%), Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 (5.1%) Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 (2.7%), Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 (2.3%), South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 (1.9%), Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 (0, 8%) and Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

 (0.7%). In 2008, Quebec imports C$ 178.0 billion in goods and services, or 58.6% of GDP. International imports up 62.9% of the total compared with 37.1% for interprovincial imports. The breakdown by source of international merchandise imports is as follows: United States (31.1%), Europe (28.7%), Asia (17.1%), Africa (11.7%), South America (4.5%), Central America (3.7%), Middle East (1.3%) and Oceania (0.7%).

The North American Free Trade Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

 (NAFTA), grants Quebec, among other things, the access to a market of 130 million consumers within 1000 km. With the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 (WTO) and the NAFTA, Quebec is increasing its ability to compete internationally. Following these agreements, trade relations with other countries were boosted. As a result, Quebec has seen its exports increase significantly. These international trade contribute to the strength of the Quebec economy, especially concerning employment.

In 2010, Quebec exports declined by 0.6% compared to previous years. Exports to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 have remained fairly stable while those to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 surged by 46.3% and sales to Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 were down 12.8%. The unemployment rate in Quebec is around 7%.

Several prominent Quebec companies work within the international market: the producers of pulp and paper Cascades
Cascades (company)
Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products composed mainly of recycled fibres. Cascades employs more than 11,000 men and women in more than 100 modern, versatile operating units in North Amercica and Europe....

 and AbitibiBowater
AbitibiBowater
Resolute Forest Products , formerly known as AbitibiBowater Inc. is a pulp and paper manufacturer headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, formed by the merger of Bowater and Abitibi-Consolidated, which was announced 29 January 2007...

, the milk producer Agropur
Agropur
Agropur is a Canadian Agricultural cooperative headquartered in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada.Founded in 1938, the Agropur cooperative is the Canadian dairy industry leader, with $3 billion in annualized sales...

, the manufacturer of transport Bombardier, the company of information technology CGI
CGI Group
CGI Group Inc. is an information technology management and business process services company. Founded in 1976 and headquartered in Montreal, Canada, CGI employs approximately 31,000 professionals in over 125 offices in 16 countries. As of September 2010, CGI had an annual revenue of CA $3.7...

, the Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil , is a Canadian entertainment company, self-described as a "dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment." Based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and located in the inner-city area of Saint-Michel, it was founded in Baie-Saint-Paul in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy...

, the convenience stores Couche-Tard
Alimentation Couche-Tard
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. or simply Couche-Tard is one of the largest company-owned convenience store operators in the world with up to 6,000 stores across Canada, the United States, Mexico, Japan, China, Indonesia and Guam....

, the Garda (security company)
Garda (security company)
Garda World Security Corporation is a Canadian private security firm, based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with 45,000 employees . Established in 1972, the company is the fifth largest consulting and security services firm in the world, with operations in North America, Europe and the Middle East...

, the energy distributor Gaz Métro
Gaz Metro
Gaz Métro is an energy company in Quebec and one of the largest natural gas distributors in Canada. It owns energy companies in the United States as well.-History:...

, the marketing firm Cossette Communication Group, the media and telecommunications company Quebecor
Quebecor
Quebecor Inc. is a communications company based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was founded by Pierre Péladeau, and remains run by his family. Quebecor Inc. owns 55% of Quebecor Media Inc...

, the accounting firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a Quebec-based accounting firm, the largest independent accounting firm in Quebec, and one of the largest in Canada, with over 95 offices across Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick....

, the Saputo
Saputo Incorporated
Saputo Inc. is a Montreal-based Canadian dairy company. Founded as a cheese store in 1954 by Italian immigrant Giuseppe Saputo, today Saputo’s business includes cheese, baked goods and milk production, and it is the world's twelfth largest dairy producing company...

 empire and the Vachon bakery
Vachon Inc.
Vachon, Inc. is a Canadian maker of popular snack pastries, owned by Saputo, Inc.Vachon was founded by Joseph-Arcade and Rose-Anna Vachon Giroux in 1923 when the couple left his home village of Saint-Patrice-de-Beaurivage to develop a bakery in Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce in Quebec.Brands include:*May...

, the engineering and construction group SNC-Lavalin
SNC-Lavalin
SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is a large Canadian engineering firm. It is one of the ten largest engineering firms in the world and is based in Montreal, Quebec. It formed in 1991 from the merger of SNC and the failing Lavalin, another Quebec based engineering firm....

, etc.

Transport


Development and security of land transportation in Canada are provided by the ministère des Transports du Québec. Other organizations, such as the Canadian Coast Guard
Canadian Coast Guard
The Canadian Coast Guard is the coast guard of Canada. It is a federal agency responsible for providing maritime search and rescue , aids to navigation, marine pollution response, marine radio, and icebreaking...

 and Nav Canada
NAV CANADA
Nav Canada is a privately run, not-for-profit corporation that owns and operates Canada's civil air navigation system .The company employs approximately 2,000 air traffic controllers , 800 flight service specialists and 700 technologists...

, provide the same service for the sea and air transportation. The Commission des transports du Québec works with the freight carriers and the public transport.

The réseau routier québécois (Quebec road network) is managed by the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec
Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec
The Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec or SAAQ , is a Quebec crown corporation responsible for licensing drivers and vehicles in the province and providing public auto insurance which insures all drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists involved in road collisions...

 (SAAQ) (Quebec Automobile Insurance Corporation) and consists of about 185000 kilometres (114,954 mi) of highways and national, regional, local, collector and forest roads. In addition, Quebec has almost 12,000 bridges, tunnels, retaining walls, culverts and other structures such as the Quebec Bridge
Quebec Bridge
right|thumb|Lifting the centre span in place was considered to be a major engineering achievement. Photo caption from [[Popular Mechanics]] Magazine, December 1917...

, the Laviolette Bridge
Laviolette Bridge
The Laviolette Bridge is an arch bridge connecting the city of Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada to Bécancour on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River via Autoroute 55.-Overview:...

 and the Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine Bridge-Tunnel.

In the waters of the St. Lawrence there are eight deep-water ports for the transhipment of goods. In 2003, 3886 cargo and 9.7 million tonnes of goods transited the Quebec portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Concerning the rail transport, Quebec has 6678 kilometres (4,149.5 mi) of railways integrated in the large North American network. Although primarily intended for the transport of goods through companies such as the Canadian National (CN) and the Canadian Pacific (CP), the Quebec railway network is also used by inter-city passengers via Via Rail Canada and Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

.

The upper air network includes 43 airports that offer scheduled services on a daily basis. In addition, the Government of Quebec owns airports and heliports to increase the accessibility of local services to communities in the Basse-Côte-Nord and northern regions.

Various other transport networks crisscross the province of Quebec, including hiking trails, snowmobile trails and bike paths; the Green Road
Route Verte
The Route Verte is a network of bicycling and multiuse trails and designated roads, lanes, and surfaces, spanning 4036 kilometres as of October 31, 2008, in the Canadian province of Quebec, inaugurated on August 10, 2007...

 being the largest with nearly 4000 kilometres (2,485.5 mi) in length.

Science and technology



Science and technology are key factors in the economic position of Quebec. More than one million people in Quebec are employed in science and technology sector. The research and development expenditures represented more than 3% of the province's GDP. The R&D expenditure in Quebec is higher than the average G7 and OECD countries. Quebec is ranked, as of March 2011, 13th in the world in terms of investment in research and development.

Quebec is considered as one of world leaders in fundamental scientific research
Basic Research
Basic Research is an herbal supplement and cosmetics manufacturer based in Salt Lake City, Utah that distributes products through a large number of subsidiaries. In addition, their products are sold domestically and internationally through a number of high-end retailers. Dennis Gay is the...

, having produced ten Nobel laureates
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 in either physics, chemistry, astrophysics or medicine. It is also considered as one of the world leaders in sectors such as aerospace, information technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, and therefore plays a significant role in the world's scientific and technological communities. Quebec is also active in the development of its energy industries, including renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

 such as hydropower
Hydropower
Hydropower, hydraulic power, hydrokinetic power or water power is power that is derived from the force or energy of falling water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower has been used for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices, such as...

 and wind power
Wind power
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships....

. Quebec has had over 9,469 scientific publications in the sector of medicine, biomedical research and engineering since the year 2000. Overall, the province of Quebec count about 125 scientific publications per 100,000 inhabitants in 2009. The contriubution of Quebec in science and technology represent approximately 1% of the researches worldwide since 1980s to 2009. Between 1991 to 2000, Quebec has had produces more scientific papers per 100 000 inhabitants than the United States and Germany.

The Canadian Space Agency was established in Quebec due to its major role in this research field. A total of three Quebeckers have been in space since the creation of the CSA: Marc Garneau
Marc Garneau
Joseph Jean-Pierre Marc Garneau, CC CD FCASI MP is a Canadian retired military officer, former astronaut, engineer and politician.Garneau was the first Canadian in space taking part in three flights aboard NASA Space shuttles...

, Julie Payette
Julie Payette
Julie Payette, OC, CQ is a Canadian engineer and a Canadian Space Agency astronaut. Payette has completed two spaceflights, STS-96 and STS-127, logging more than 25 days in space...

 and Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté, OC, CQ is a Canadian entrepreneur, philanthropist, poker player, space tourist and the current CEO of Cirque du Soleil...

. Quebec has also contributed to the creation of some Canadian artificial satellites including SCISAT-1
SCISAT-1
SCISAT-1 is a Canadian satellite designed to make observations of the Earth's atmosphere. Its most important instrument is an optical Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, the ACE-FTS Instrument...

, ISIS
ISIS (satellite)
ISIS I and II were the third and fourth satellites that were launched in a series of Canadian satellites sent up to study the ionosphere. After the success of Canada's Alouette 1, Canada and the United States decided to jointly launch three more satellites which they called the ISIS program...

, Radarsat-1
RADARSAT-1
Radarsat-1 is Canada's first commercial Earth observation satellite.-Mission:It was launched at 14h22 UTC on November 4, 1995 from Vandenberg AFB in California, into a sun-synchronous orbit above the Earth with an altitude of 798 kilometers and inclination of 98.6 degrees...

 and Radarsat-2
RADARSAT-2
Radarsat-2 is an Earth observation satellite that was successfully launched December 14, 2007 for the Canadian Space Agency by Starsem, using a Soyuz FG launch vehicle, from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome....

.

The province is one of the world leaders in the field of space science
Space science
The term space science may mean:* The study of issues specifically related to space travel and space exploration, including space medicine.* Science performed in outer space ....

 and contributed to important discoveries in this field. One of the most recent is the discovery of the complex extrasolar planet
Extrasolar planet
An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet outside the Solar System. A total of such planets have been identified as of . It is now known that a substantial fraction of stars have planets, including perhaps half of all Sun-like stars...

s system HR 8799
HR 8799
HR 8799 is a young main sequence star located 129 light years away from Earth in the constellation of Pegasus, with roughly 1.5 times the Sun's mass and 4.9 times its luminosity. It is part of a system that also contains a debris disk and at least four massive planets...

. HR 8799 is the first direct observation of an exoplanet in history. Olivier Daigle and Claude Carignan, astrophysicists from Université de Montréal
Université de Montréal
The Université de Montréal is a public francophone research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It comprises thirteen faculties, more than sixty departments and two affiliated schools: the École Polytechnique and HEC Montréal...

 have invented an astronomical camera approximately 500 times more powerful than those currently on the market. It is therefore considered as the most sensitive camera in the world. The Mont Mégantic Observatory
Mont Mégantic Observatory
The Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic is an astronomical observatory owned and operated jointly by the Université de Montréal, the Université Laval and the McGill University...

 was recently equipped with this camera.

Quebec ranks among the world leaders in the field of life science. Quebec has more than 450 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies which together employ more than 25,000 people and 10,000 highly qualified researchers. Montreal is ranked 4th in North America for the number of jobs in the pharmaceutical sector.

Energy



Quebec has been described as a clean energy superpower
Energy superpower
The term energy superpower does not have a clear definition. It has come to be used to refer to a nation that supplies large amounts of energy resources to a significant number of other states, and which therefore has the potential to influence world markets to gain a political or economic...

. The energy balance of Quebec has undergone a large shift over the past 30 years. In 2008, electricity ranked as the main form of energy used in Quebec (41.6%), followed by oil
Oil
An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

 (38.2%) and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 (10.7%).

Quebec is the fourth largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world after China, Brazil and the United States and relies almost exclusively (97% in 2008) on this source of renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

 for its electricity needs.

Government-owned Hydro-Québec
Hydro-Québec
Hydro-Québec is a government-owned public utility established in 1944 by the Government of Quebec. Based in Montreal, the company is in charge of the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity across Quebec....

 has a virtual monopoly on the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Quebec. With 60 hydroelectric and one nuclear power plant
Nuclear power plant
A nuclear power plant is a thermal power station in which the heat source is one or more nuclear reactors. As in a conventional thermal power station the heat is used to generate steam which drives a steam turbine connected to a generator which produces electricity.Nuclear power plants are usually...

, Hydro-Quebec is the largest producer of electricity in Canada and the single largest hydroelectric generation company in the world In 2010, the company owned a total generation capacity of 36,671 megawatts and sold 192.8 terawatt-hours of electricity.

Natural resources



The abundance of natural resources gives Quebec an advantageous position on the world market. Quebec stands out particularly in the mining sector, ranking among the top ten world producers. It also stands for the exploitation of its forest resources.

Quebec is remarkable for the natural resources of its vast territory. It has about 30 mines, 158 exploration companies and fifteen primary processing industries. Many metallic minerals are exploited, the principals are gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

, copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 and zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

. Many other substances are extracted including titanium
Titanium
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant transition metal with a silver color....

, the asbestos
Asbestos
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their eponymous, asbestiform habit: long, thin fibrous crystals...

, the silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

, the magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

, the nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

 and many other metals and industrial minerals. However, only 40% of the mineral potential of Quebec is currently known. In 2003, the value of mineral exploitation reached Quebec 3.7 billion Canadian dollars. Moreover, as a major centre of exploration for the diamond
Diamond
In mineralogy, diamond is an allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at ambient conditions...

, Quebec has seen, since 2002, an increase in its mineral explorations, particularly in the Northwest as well as in the Otish Mountains and the Torngat Mountains
Torngat Mountains
The Torngat Mountains are a mountain range on the Labrador Peninsula at the northern tip of Newfoundland and Labrador and eastern Quebec. They are part of the Arctic Cordillera. This is the peninsula that separates Ungava Bay from the Atlantic Ocean....

.

The vast majority (90.5%) of Quebec's forests are publicly owned. Forests cover more than half of Quebec's territory, for a total area of nearly 761100 sqkm. The Quebec forest area covers seven degrees of latitude.

Quebec covers more than a million lakes and rivers, occupying 21% of the total area of its territory. The aquatic environment is composed of 12.1% of fresh water and 9.2% of saltwater (percentage of total QC area).

Tourism




Tourism plays an important role in the economy of Quebec. Tourism represents 2.5% of Quebec's GDP and nearly 400,000 people are employed in the tourism sector. Nearly 30,000 businesses are related to this industry which 70% are located outside of Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 and Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

. In 2011, Quebec welcomed 26 million foreign tourists, most of them from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

.

The province of Quebec has 22 tourist regions, each of which presents its geography, its history and culture. The capital, Quebec City, is the only fortified city in North America and has its own European cachet. The oldest Francophone city in North America, Quebec City was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 in 1985 and has celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2008. Montreal is the only Francophone metropolis in North America and also the second largest Francophone city after Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 in terms of population. This major centre of 3.6 million inhabitants is a tapestry of cultures from the world over with its many neighbourhoods, including Chinatown, the Latin Quarter, the Gay Village, Little Italy, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, the Quartier International and Old Montreal. Montreal has a rich architectural heritage, along with many cultural activities, sports events and festivals.

The province of Quebec has over 400 museums including the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, which is the oldest museum in Canada and one of the most important art institutions. It is Montreal's largest museum and is amongst the most prominent in the world.

Quebec is also a religious tourism
Religious tourism
Religious tourism, also commonly referred to as faith tourism, is a form of tourism, whereby people of faith travel individually or in groups for pilgrimage, missionary, or leisure purposes. The world's largest form of mass religious tourism takes place at the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca,...

 destination. The Basilique Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is a basilica set along the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, east of Quebec City. It has been credited by the Roman Catholic Church with many miracles of curing the sick and disabled. It is an important Catholic sanctuary which receives about a...

 and Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal
Saint Joseph's Oratory
Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal, , is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and national shrine on the west slope of Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.-History:...

 are the most popular religious site in the province. In 2005, the Oratory was added to the List of National Historic Sites of Canada on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. Quebec has over 130 church and Cathedrals. All of which bear witness to the many origins that colonized the region.

Environmental and energy policy


Since 2006, Quebec has a green plan in order to achieve the objective of the Kyoto protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

 on climate change. The Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs du Québec (Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks) is primarily responsible for implementing environmental policy. For its part, the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (SEPAQ) is the lead agency for the management of national parks and wildlife reserves. Quebec currently protects nearly 8.12% (135,326 km2) of its territory. The first protected area was the creation of Parc du Mont-Royal in 1876 followed by the Parc national du Mont-Tremblant
Mont-Tremblant National Park
Mont-Tremblant National Park is a 1,510.10 km² provincial park located north of the town of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, and the village of Saint-Donat and Saint-Côme...

 in 1894.

The Quebec government has been working to introduce the electric car
Electric car
An electric car is an automobile which is propelled by electric motor, using electrical energy stored in batteries or another energy storage device. Electric cars were popular in the late-19th century and early 20th century, until advances in internal combustion engine technology and mass...

 since 1994, including contributing financing for technologies such as the TM4 MФTIVE, an electric motor designed and manufactured in Quebec. Hydro-Québec
Hydro-Québec
Hydro-Québec is a government-owned public utility established in 1944 by the Government of Quebec. Based in Montreal, the company is in charge of the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity across Quebec....

 has recently tested more than 50 i-MiEV in order to gradually introduce the charging station
Charging station
An electric vehicle charging station, also called EV charging station, electric recharging point, charging point and EVSE , is an element in an infrastructure that supplies electric energy for the recharging of electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric-gasoline vehicles) or semi-static and mobile...

s across the province. This is the largest pilot test of electric cars in Canada. Quebec was the first province in Canada to allowed the ZENN car to drive on the roads. During the inaugural speech of 2011, Jean Charest
Jean Charest
John James "Jean" Charest, PC, MNA is a Canadian politician who has been the 29th Premier of Quebec since 2003. He was leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1993 to 1998 and has been leader of the Quebec Liberal Party since 1998....

 has announced five priorities for the next 30 years including the Plan Nord and has called for a revolution in electric car.

On November 23, 2009, Premier Jean Charest had announced targets for reducing greenhouse gases during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen
2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference
The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly known as the Copenhagen Summit, was held at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 7 December and 18 December. The conference included the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate...

. Quebec will cut its emissions by 20% by the year 2020 compared to international reference of 1990. On January 14, 2010, a new law came into force to reduce greenhouse gases from automobiles which represent 40% of Quebec GHGs. This new law stipulates that car manufacturers serving the territory of Quebec must meet an emission ceiling of 187 grams of GHG/km or approximatively 7.7 L/100 km. This level must be reduced annually up to 127 grams of GHG/km or approximatively 5.3 L/100 km in the year 2016. These standards are as stringent as those in California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 (United States), according to the Government of Quebec. The provincial government plans to offer up to 8,000$ rebate towards the purchase of an electric car. The government hopes that by 2020, a quarter of cars purchased in Quebec will be electric. The plan would position Quebec as a world leader in electrified transportation according to Jean Charest.

Quebec became the first nation in North America to set a carbon tax
Carbon tax
A carbon tax is an environmental tax levied on the carbon content of fuels. It is a form of carbon pricing. Carbon is present in every hydrocarbon fuel and is released as carbon dioxide when they are burnt. In contrast, non-combustion energy sources—wind, sunlight, hydropower, and nuclear—do not...

. Since 2007, consumers pay a special tax on gasoline. Since July 2011, Quebec has imposed a carbon tax that affect more than 85% of industries in the province. This tax will be mandatory from 2013. The sectors affected by this carbon tax will have to reduced their carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 below 25 000 kilotonnes per year. Only the forest industry, agriculture and waste industries are not affected by this tax. In addition, the Quebec government plans to recover 60% of putrescible organic matter by 2015 in order to reduce its emissions. Quebec climate policy has been harsly criticised by the federal government under Prime minister Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

. In 2010, former minister Jim Prentice
Jim Prentice
James "Jim" Prentice, PC, QC is a Canadian lawyer, and politician. In the 2004 federal election he was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a candidate of the Conservative Party of Canada...

 has openly criticized Quebec's plan to set GHG standards for motor vehicles sold in the province, describing it as "lunatic". However, ten months later, Prentice successor, John Baird
John Baird (Canadian politician)
John Russell Baird, PC, MP is a Canadian politician currently serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper....

, has praised Quebec as a world leader in GHG abatement.

Demographics



At 1.74 children per woman, Quebec's 2010 fertility rate is above the Canada-wide rate of 1.59, and has increased for five consecutive years. However, it is still below the replacement fertility rate of 2.1. This contrasts with its fertility rates before 1960, which were among the highest of any industrialized society. Although Quebec is home to only 23.9 percent of the population of Canada, the number of international adoptions in Quebec is the highest of all provinces of Canada. In 2001, 42 percent of international adoptions in Canada were carried out in Quebec. By the year 2012, the population of Quebec will reach 8 million and the population will reach 9.2 million in 2056.

All the tables in the following section have been reduced from their original size, for full tables see main article Demographics of Quebec.
Year Population Five-year
% change
Ten-year
% change
Rank among
provinces
1971 6,027,765 4.3 14.6 2
1976 6,234,445 3.4 7.8 2
1981 6,438,403 3.3 6.8 2
1986 6,532,460 1.5 4.8 2
1991 6,895,963 5.6 7.1 2
1996 7,138,795 3.5 9.3 2
2001 7,237,479 1.4 5.0 2
2006 7,546,131 4.3 5.7 2

Source: Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada is the Canadian federal government agency commissioned with producing statistics to help better understand Canada, its population, resources, economy, society, and culture. Its headquarters is in Ottawa....



Origins in this table are self-reported and respondents were allowed to give more than one answer.
Ethnic origin Population Percent
Canadian (Canadiens) 4,474,115 60.1%
French
French Canadian
French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

2,151,655 28.9%
Irish
Irish Canadian
Irish Canadian are immigrants and descendants of immigrants who originated in Ireland. 1.2 million Irish immigrants arrived, 1825 to 1970, at least half of those in the period from 1831-1850. By 1867, they were the second largest ethnic group , and comprised 24% of Canada's population...

406,085 5.5%
Italian 299,655 4.0%
English
English Canadian
An English Canadian is a Canadian of English ancestry; it is used primarily in contrast with French Canadian. Canada is an officially bilingual state, with English and French official language communities. Immigrant cultural groups ostensibly integrate into one or both of these communities, but...

245,155 3.3%
North American Indian
First Nations
First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The...

219,815 3.0%
Scottish
Scottish Canadian
Scottish Canadians are people of Scottish descent or heritage living in Canada. As the third-largest ethnic group in Canada and among the first to settle in Canada, Scottish people have made a large impact on Canadian culture since colonial times...

202,515 2.7%
Québécois 140,075 1.9%
German 131,795 1.8%


Percentages are calculated as a proportion of the total number of respondents (7,435,905) and may total more than 100 percent due to dual responses.
Only groups with 1.5 percent or more of respondents are shown.


The 2006 census counted a total aboriginal population of 108,425 (1.5 percent) including 65,085 North American Indians
First Nations
First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The...

 (0.9 percent), 27,985 Métis
Métis people (Canada)
The Métis are one of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada who trace their descent to mixed First Nations parentage. The term was historically a catch-all describing the offspring of any such union, but within generations the culture syncretised into what is today a distinct aboriginal group, with...

 (0.4 percent), and 10,950 Inuit
Inuit
The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada , Denmark , Russia and the United States . Inuit means “the people” in the Inuktitut language...

 (0.15 percent). It should be noted however, that there is a significant undercount, as many of the biggest Indian bands regularly refuse to participate in Canadian censuses for political reasons regarding the question of aboriginal sovereignty. In particular, the largest Mohawk
Mohawk nation
Mohawk are the most easterly tribe of the Iroquois confederation. They call themselves Kanien'gehaga, people of the place of the flint...

 Iroquois
Iroquois
The Iroquois , also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse", are an association of several tribes of indigenous people of North America...

 reserves (Kahnawake, Akwesasne
Akwesasne
The Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne is a Mohawk Nation territory that straddles the intersection of international and provincial borders on both banks of the Saint Lawrence River. Most of the land is in what is otherwise the United States...

 and Kanesatake) were not counted.

Nearly 9 percent of the population of Quebec belongs to a visible minority
Visible minority
A visible minority is a person who is visibly not one of the majority race in a given population.The term is used as a demographic category by Statistics Canada in connection with that country's Employment Equity policies. The qualifier "visible" is important in the Canadian context where...

 group. This is a lower percentage than that of British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

, and Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

 but higher than that of the other five provinces. Most visible minorities in Quebec live in or near Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

.

Visible minority Population Percentage
Total visible minority population 654,355 8.8%
Black 188,070 2.5%
Arab 109,020 1.5%
Latin American 89,505 1.2%
Chinese 79,830 1.1%
South Asian 72,845 1.0%
Southeast Asian 50,455 0.7%

Percentages are calculated as a proportion of the total number of respondents (7,435,905).
Only groups with more than 0.5 percent of respondents are shown


Quebec is unique among the provinces in its overwhelmingly Roman Catholic population. This is a legacy of colonial times when only Roman Catholics were permitted to settle in New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

. The 2001 census showed the population to be 90.3 percent Christian (in contrast to 77 percent for the whole country) with 83.4 percent Catholic Christian
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 (including 83.2 percent Roman Catholic); 4.7 percent Protestant Christian (including 1.2 percent Anglican, 0.7 percent United Church
United Church of Canada
The United Church of Canada is a Protestant Christian denomination in Canada. It is the largest Protestant church and, after the Roman Catholic Church, the second-largest Christian church in Canada...

; and 0.5 percent Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

); 1.4 percent Orthodox Christian (including 0.7 percent Greek Orthodox); and 0.8 percent other Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

; as well as 1.5 percent Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

; 1.3 percent Jewish; 0.6 percent Buddhist; 0.3 percent Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

; and 0.1 percent Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

. An additional 5.8 percent of the population said they had no religious affiliation (including 5.6 percent who stated that they had no religion at all).

Percentages are calculated as a proportion of the total number of respondents (7,125,580)

Language


The official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of Quebec is French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

. Quebec is the only Canadian province whose population is mainly francophone
Francophone
The adjective francophone means French-speaking, typically as primary language, whether referring to individuals, groups, or places. Often, the word is used as a noun to describe a natively French-speaking person....

, with 80.1 percent (5,877,660) of the population giving a singular response regarding their first language according to the 2006 Census. About 97.4 percent of the people reported being able to speak French, whether as their first, second, or in some cases, third language. English is not designated an official language by Quebec law
Quebec law
Quebec law is unique in Canada because Quebec is the only province in Canada to have a bijuridical legal system under which civil matters are regulated by French-heritage civil law. Public law, criminal law and other federal law operate according to Canadian common law.- Historical Development...

. However, both English and French are required by the Constitution Act, 1867
Constitution Act, 1867
The Constitution Act, 1867 , is a major part of Canada's Constitution. The Act created a federal dominion and defines much of the operation of the Government of Canada, including its federal structure, the House of Commons, the Senate, the justice system, and the taxation system...

 for the enactment of laws and regulations and any person may use English or French in the National Assembly and the courts of Quebec. The books and records of the National Assembly must also be kept in both languages.

In 2006, 575,560 (7.7 percent of population) people in Quebec declared English to be their mother tongue, 744,430 (10.0 percent) mostly used English as their home language
Home language
Following a widely accepted definition by Valdes , a heritage language is a language that is acquired by individuals raised in homes where the dominant language of the region, such as English in the United States, is not spoken or not exclusively spoken...

, and 918,955 (12.9 percent according to the 2001 Census) reported English to be their First Official language spoken. The English-speaking community or Anglophones are entitled to services in English in the areas of justice, health, and education; services in English are offered in municipalities in which more than half the residents have English as their mother tongue. Allophones
Allophone (Quebec)
In Quebec, an allophone is a resident, usually an immigrant, whose mother tongue or home language is neither English nor French. The term is also sometimes used in other parts of Canada. The term parallels Anglophone and Francophone, which designate people whose mother tongues are English and...

, people whose mother tongue is neither French nor English, made up 11.9 percent (886,280) of the population, according to the 2006 census.

A considerable number of Quebec residents consider themselves to be bilingual (having a knowledge of French and English). In Quebec, about 40.6 percent (3,017,860) of the population are bilingual; on the island of Montreal, this proportion reaches 60.0 percent (1,020,760). Quebec has the highest proportion of bilinguals of any Canadian province. In contrast, in the rest of Canada, only about 10.2 percent (2,430,990) of the population has a knowledge of both of the country's official languages. Overall, 17.4 percent (5,448,850) of Canadians report being bilingual. Since the 1970s, languages other than French on commercial signs have been permitted only if French is given marked prominence. This law has been the subject of periodic controversy since its inception. French place-names in Canada retain their accents in English text. Legitimate exceptions are Montreal and Quebec,. However, the accented forms are increasingly evident in some publications. The Canadian Style states that Montréal and Québec (the city) must retain their accents in English federal documents.

Of the population of 7,546,131 counted by the 2006 census, 7,435,905 people completed the section about language. Of these, 7,339,495 gave singular responses to the question regarding their first language
First language
A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

. The languages most commonly reported were the following:
Language Number of
native speakers
Percentage of
singular responses
French
Quebec French
Quebec French , or Québécois French, is the predominant variety of the French language in Canada, in its formal and informal registers. Quebec French is used in everyday communication, as well as in education, the media, and government....

5,877,660 80.1%
English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

575,555 7.8%
Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

124,820 1.7%
Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

108,790 1.5%
Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

108,105 1.5%


Following were Chinese (0.9%), Berber (0.6%), Portuguese (0.5%), Romanian (0,4%), Vietnamese (0,3%), Russian (0,3%), etc. Numerous other languages were also counted, but only languages with more than 1% of native speakers on the total population are shown.
(Figures shown are for the number of single language responses and the percentage of total single-language responses)

Population centres


Music and dance




Being a modern cosmopolitan society, today, all types of music can be found in Quebec. From folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 to hip-hop, music has always played an important role in Quebercers culture. From La Bolduc
La Bolduc
Mary Rose-Anna Travers, was a French Canadian singer and musician. She was known as Madame Bolduc or La Bolduc. During the peak of her popularity in the 1930s, she was known as the Queen of Canadian Folksingers. Bolduc is often considered to be Quebec's first singer/songwriter...

 in 1920s-1930s to the contemporary artists, the music in Quebec has announced multiple songwriters and performers, pop singers and crooners, music groups and many more. Here are photos of two of Quebec's most popular artists of the last century: the singers Félix Leclerc
Félix Leclerc
Félix Leclerc, was a French-Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, writer, actor and Québécois political activist. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada on December 20, 1968...

 ('50s) and Céline Dion
Celine Dion
Céline Marie Claudette Dion, , , is a Canadian singer. Born to a large family from Charlemagne, Quebec, Dion emerged as a teen star in the French-speaking world after her manager and future husband René Angélil mortgaged his home to finance her first record...

 (present). The First Nations
First Nations
First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The...

 and the Inuit
Inuit
The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada , Denmark , Russia and the United States . Inuit means “the people” in the Inuktitut language...

 of Quebec also have their own traditional music.

From Quebec's musical repertoire, the song A La Claire Fontaine was the anthem of the New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

, Patriots and French Canadian
French Canadian
French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

, then replaced by the O Canada
O Canada
It has been noted that the opening theme of "O Canada" bears a strong resemblance to the "Marsch der Priester" , from the opera Die Zauberflöte , composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and that Lavallée's melody was inspired by Mozart's tune...

. Currently, the song Gens du pays
Gens du pays
"Gens du pays" has been called the unofficial national anthem of Quebec. Written by poet, songwriter, and avowed Quebec nationalist Gilles Vigneault , it was first performed by Vigneault on June 24, 1975 during a concert on Montreal's Mount Royal at that year's Fête nationale du Québec ceremony...

 is by far preferred by many Quebecers to be the national anthem of Quebec. The Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo
ADISQ
The ADISQ is a nonprofit organization with the mission to help the music industry in Quebec. It was created in 1978....

 (ADISQ) was created in 1978 to promote the music industry in Quebec. The Orchestre symphonique de Québec
Orchestre Symphonique de Québec
Orchestre symphonique de Québec is a Canadian symphony orchestra based in Quebec City. Founded in 1902 as the Société symphonique de Québec, the OSQ is the oldest active Canadian orchestra. Joseph Vézina was the OSQ's first music director, from 1902 to 1924...

 and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal are respectively associated with the Opéra de Québec and the Opéra de Montreal whose performances are presented at the Grand Théâtre de Québec
Grand Théâtre de Québec
The Grand Théâtre de Québec is an arts complex in Quebec City, Canada. It was conceived to commemorate the Canadian Centennial of 1967 and the Quebec Conference, 1864, one of the key meetings leading to the Canadian Confederation of 1867....

 and at Place des Arts
Place des Arts
right|frame|View of the Place des Arts esplanade. The Musée d'art contemporain is on the left; behind it is the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, with the Théâtre Maisonneuve on the rightPlace des Arts is a major performing arts centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada....

. The Ballets Jazz de Montreal, the Grands Ballets and La La La Human Steps
La La La Human Steps
La La La Human Steps is a Québécois contemporary dance group in Canada, known for its energetic, acrobatic style that often involves fast-paced and athletic physical contact...

 are three important professional troups of contemporary dance
Contemporary dance
Contemporary dance is a genre of concert dance that employs compositional philosophy, rather than choreography, to guide unchoreographed movement...

.

Various musical events are held throughout Quebec, such as the Festival d'été de Québec, the Emerging Music Festival of Rouyn-Noranda, Festival en chanson de Petite-Vallée, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Granby International Song Festival, the International Festival of Rhythms of the World in Saguenay, the Festival Western de Saint-Tite
Festival Western de Saint-Tite
The Festival western de Saint-Tite is an annual event held in September, in Saint-Tite, Quebec.It developed from a rodeo inaugurated in 1967 to promote the leather industry.It hosts a major rodeo competition, along with other cultural events....

, the Montreal FrancoFolies festival
Les FrancoFolies de Montréal
Les FrancoFolies de Montréal is a large annual music and performance festival held in Downtown Montreal, Quebec, featuring over 1,000 French-language performers from all over the world, as well as attracting over 500,000 visitors....

, the Mondial des Cultures
Mondial des Cultures
The Mondial des Cultures The Mondial des Cultures The Mondial des Cultures (formerly called the Festival Mondial de Folklore (World Folklore Festival) is a folk dance festival which is held every summer in early July at the Woodyatt Park, in Drummondville, a city located in the Centre-du-Québec...

 of Drummondville, the White Nights of Anse de Roche, Woodstock en Beauce
Woodstock en Beauce
Woodstock en Beauce is a yearly weekend-long music festival held in St-Ephrem-de-Beauce, Quebec, Canada. It was created in 1995 with the intention to re-create the atmosphere of the original Woodstock Festival in 1969, emphasizing on the atmosphere of peace and fun. The first edition of the...

, etc. Other festivals join music to fireworks, such as Grand Feux Loto-Québec at the Montmorency Falls
Montmorency Falls
The Montmorency Falls are a large waterfall on the Montmorency River in Quebec, Canada. The falls are located on the boundary between the borough of Beauport, Quebec City, and Boischatel, about 12 km from the heart of old Quebec City...

, Quebec City, the International Loto-Québec Firework
L'International des Feux Loto-Québec
L'International des Feux Loto-Québec, also known as the Montreal Fireworks Festival, is a major international fireworks competition. It has been held yearly in La Ronde over the Dolphins lake, since 1985, and is named after its main sponsor, Loto-Québec...

 at amusement park La Ronde
La Ronde (amusement park)
La Ronde is an amusement park in Montreal, owned and operated by Six Flags. It is the largest in the province of Quebec and the second largest in Canada after Canada's Wonderland, with about 2.5 million guests in 2006...

, Montreal, or the Grands Feux du Casino in the park of Lac-Leamy in Gatineau.

Traditional music is imbued with many dances, such as the jig
Jig
The Jig is a form of lively folk dance, as well as the accompanying dance tune, originating in England in the 16th century and today most associated with Irish dance music and Scottish country dance music...

, the quadrille
Quadrille
Quadrille is a historic dance performed by four couples in a square formation, a precursor to traditional square dancing. It is also a style of music...

, the reel
Reel (dance)
The reel is a folk dance type as well as the accompanying dance tune type. In Scottish country dancing, the reel is one of the four traditional dances, the others being the jig, the strathspey and the waltz, and is also the name of a dance figure ....

 and line dancing, which developed in the festivities since the early days of colonization. Various instruments are more popular in Quebec's culture: harmonica
Harmonica
The harmonica, also called harp, French harp, blues harp, and mouth organ, is a free reed wind instrument used primarily in blues and American folk music, jazz, country, and rock and roll. It is played by blowing air into it or drawing air out by placing lips over individual holes or multiple holes...

 (music-of-mouth or lip-destruction), fiddle
Fiddle
The term fiddle may refer to any bowed string musical instrument, most often the violin. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music...

, spoons
Spoon (musical instrument)
Spoons can be played as a makeshift percussion instrument, or more specifically, an idiophone related to the castanets. "Playing the spoons" originated in Ireland as "playing the bones," in which the convex sides of a pair of sheep rib bones were rattled in the same way.- Techniques :# A pair of...

, jaw harp and accordion
Accordion
The accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone family, sometimes referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist....

. The podorythmie is a characteristic of traditional Quebec music and means giving the rhythm with the feet. Quebec traditional music is currently provided by various contemporary groups seen mostly during Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 and New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is observed annually on December 31, the final day of any given year in the Gregorian calendar. In modern societies, New Year's Eve is often celebrated at social gatherings, during which participants dance, eat, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the...

 celebrations, Quebec National Holiday and many local festivals.

Film, television, and radio




The Cinémathèque québécoise
Cinémathèque québécoise
The Cinémathèque québécoise is a film conservatory in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1963, its mission is to "preserve and document film and television heritage in order to make it available to an ever-growing and diversified public."...

 has a mandate to promote the film and television heritage of Quebec. Similarly, the National Film Board of Canada
National Film Board of Canada
The National Film Board of Canada is Canada's twelve-time Academy Award-winning public film producer and distributor. An agency of the Government of Canada, the NFB produces and distributes documentary, animation, alternative drama and digital media productions...

 (NFB), a federal Crown corporation, provides for the same mission in Canada.
In a similar way, the Association of Film and Television in Quebec (APFTQ) promotes independent production in film and television. While the Association of producers and directors of Quebec (APDQ) represents the business of filmmaking and television, the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters of Quebec (ARCQ)(French acronym) represents the independent radio stations. Several movie theatres across Quebec ensure the dissemination of Quebec cinema. With its cinematic installations, such as the Cité du cinéma and Mel's studios, the city of Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 is home to the filming of various productions. The State corporation Télé-Québec
Télé-Québec
Télé-Québec is a French language public educational television network in the Canadian province of Quebec. Known legally as Société de télédiffusion du Québec , it is a provincial crown corporation owned by the Government of Quebec...

, the federal Crown corporation CBC
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster...

, general and specialized private channels, networks, independent and community radio stations broadcast the various Quebec téléromans
Téléroman
A téléroman is a French-language dramatic programming television series, similar to a soap opera or a Spanish language telenovela, in Canada. In France, the téléroman genre is known as feuilleton télévisé...

, the national and regional news, interactive and spoken programmations, etc.
Les Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois
Les Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois
The Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois is a festival created in 1982 to celebrate the cinematographic production of Quebec, Canada.The goal of the festival is to promote the Cinema of Quebec and its makers in order to support its culture and stimulate its industry. It occurs in February, to coincide...

 is a festival surrounding the ceremony of the Jutra Awards Night
Jutra Award
The Jutra Award is a Canadian annual cinema award that recognizes talent and achievement in the mainly francophone feature film industry in the province of Quebec...

 that rewards work and personalities of Quebec cinema. The Artis and the Gemini Awards gala recognize the personalities of television and radio industry in Quebec and French Canada. The Film Festival of the 3 Americas, Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

, the Festival of International Short Film, Saguenay
Saguenay, Quebec
Saguenay is a city in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec, Canada, on the Saguenay River, about north of Quebec City....

, the World Film Festival
Montreal World Film Festival
The Montreal World Film Festival , founded in 1977, is one of Canada's oldest international film festivals and the only competitive film festival in North America accredited by the FIAPF...

 and the Festival of New Cinema
Festival du Nouveau Cinéma
The Festival du Nouveau Cinéma was known as the Montreal Festival of New Cinema and New Media until 2004. Founded in 1971, by Claude Chamberlan and Dimitri Eipides, it is an annual independent film festival held in Montreal and features independent films from around the world...

, Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, are other annual events surrounding the film industry in Quebec.

Literature and theatre




From New France, Quebec literature was first developed in the travel accounts of explorers such as Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier was a French explorer of Breton origin who claimed what is now Canada for France. He was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big...

, Jean de Brébeuf
Jean de Brébeuf
Jean de Brébeuf was a Jesuit missionary, martyred in Canada on March 16, 1649.-Early years:Brébeuf was born in Condé-sur-Vire, Normandy, France. He was the uncle of the fur trader Georges de Brébeuf. He studied near home at Caen. He became a Jesuit in 1617, joining the Order...

, the Baron de La Hontan
Louis-Armand de Lom d'Arce de Lahontan, Baron de Lahontan
Louis Armand, Baron de Lahontan served in the French military in Canada where traveled extensively in the Wisconsin and Minnesota region and the upper Mississippi Valley. Upon his return to Europe he wrote an enormously popular travelogue. In it he embellished his knowledge of the geography of the...

 and Nicolas Perrot
Nicolas Perrot
Nicolas Perrot , explorer, diplomat, and fur trader, was one of the first white men in the upper Mississippi Valley. Born in France, he came to New France around 1660 with Jesuits and had the opportunity to visit Indian tribes and learn their languages...

, describing their relations with indigenous peoples. The Moulin à paroles traces the great texts that have shaped the history of Quebec since its foundation in 1534 until the era of modernity. The first to write the history of Quebec, since its discovery, was the historian François-Xavier Garneau
François-Xavier Garneau
François-Xavier Garneau was a nineteenth century French Canadian notary, poet, civil servant and liberal who wrote a three-volume history of the French Canadian nation entitled Histoire du Canada between 1845 and 1848.Born in Quebec City, Garneau argued that Conquest was a tragedy, the consequence...

. This author will be part of the current of patriotic literature (also known as the "poets of the country" and literary identity) that will arise after the Patriots Rebellion
Lower Canada Rebellion
The Lower Canada Rebellion , commonly referred to as the Patriots' War by Quebeckers, is the name given to the armed conflict between the rebels of Lower Canada and the British colonial power of that province...

 of 1837-1838.

Various tales and stories are told through oral tradition, such as, among many more, the legends of the Bogeyman
Bogeyman
A bogeyman is an amorphous imaginary being used by adults to frighten children into compliant behaviour...

, the Chasse-galerie
Chasse-galerie
La Chasse-galerie also known as "The Bewitched Canoe" or "The Flying Canoe" is a popular French-Canadian tale of voyageurs who make a deal with the devil, a variant of the Wild Hunt. Its most famous version was written by Honoré Beaugrand...

, the Black Horse of Trois-Pistoles, the Complainte de Cadieux, the Corriveau
Marie-Josephte Corriveau
Marie-Josephte Corriveau , better known as "la Corriveau", is one of the most popular figures in Québécois folklore. She lived in New France, and was sentenced to death by a British court martial for the murder of her second husband, was hanged for it and her body hanged in chains...

, the dancing devil of Saint-Ambroise, the Giant Beaupré
Edouard Beaupré
Edouard Beaupré was a circus and freak show giant, strongman, and a star in Barnum and Bailey's circus.-Life:...

, the monsters of the lakes Pohénégamook
Lake Pohenegamook
Lake Pohenegamook is a Canadian lake located in southeastern Quebec immediately north of the International Boundary with Maine ....

 and Memphremagog
Lake Memphremagog
Lake Memphremagog is a fresh water glacial lake located between Newport, Vermont, United States and Magog, Quebec, Canada. The lake is long with 73 percent of the lake's surface area in Quebec, where it drains into the Magog River. However, three-quarters of its watershed, , is in Vermont. The...

, of Quebec Bridge
Quebec Bridge
right|thumb|Lifting the centre span in place was considered to be a major engineering achievement. Photo caption from [[Popular Mechanics]] Magazine, December 1917...

 (called the Devil's Bridge), the Rocher Percé and of Rose Latulipe, for example.

Many Quebec poets and prominent authors marked their era and today remain anchored in the collective imagination, like, among others, Philippe Aubert de Gaspé, Octave Crémazie
Octave Crémazie
Octave Crémazie was a French Canadian poet. He has been called "the father of French Canadian poetry" for his patriotic verse, often rhetorical in style, celebrating such subjects as Montcalm's defence of Fort Carillon in "Le drapeau de Carillon"...

, Honoré Beaugrand
Honoré Beaugrand
Honoré Beaugrand was a Quebec journalist, politician, author and folklorist, born in Berthier County, Quebec....

, Émile Nelligan
Émile Nelligan
Émile Nelligan was a francophone poet from Quebec, Canada.-Biography:Nelligan was born in Montreal on December 24, 1879 at 602, rue de La Gauchetière. He was the first son of David Nelligan, who arrived in Quebec from Dublin, Ireland at the age of 12. His mother was Émilie Amanda Hudon, from...

, Lionel Groulx
Lionel Groulx
Lionel-Adolphe Groulx was a Roman Catholic priest, historian and Quebec nationalist. -Early life and ordination:Groulx was born at Chenaux, Quebec, Canada, the son of a farmer and lumberjack, and died in Vaudreuil, Quebec. After his seminary training and studies in Europe, he taught at Valleyfield...

, Gabrielle Roy
Gabrielle Roy
Gabrielle Roy, CC, FRSC was a French Canadian author.- Biography :Born in Saint Boniface , Manitoba, Roy was educated at Saint Joseph's Academy...

, Hubert Aquin
Hubert Aquin
Hubert Aquin was a novelist, political activist, essayist, filmmaker and editor....

, Michel Tremblay
Michel Tremblay
Michel Tremblay, CQ is a Canadian novelist and playwright.Tremblay grew up in the Plateau Mont-Royal, a French-speaking neighbourhood of Montreal, at the time of his birth a neighbourhood with a working-class character and joual dialect, something that would heavily influence his work...

, Marie Laberge, Fred Pellerin and Gaston Miron
Gaston Miron
Gaston Miron, was an important poet, writer, and editor of the Quebec post Quiet Revolution. His masterpiece, L'homme rapaillé has sold over 100 000 copies, in Quebec and overseas, ensuring Miron as one of the most widely read authors of...

. The regional novel from Quebec is called Terroir novel and is a literary tradition specific to the province. It includes such works as The Old Canadians, Maria Chapdelaine
Maria Chapdelaine
Maria Chapdelaine is a novel written in 1913 by the French writer Louis Hémon, who was then residing in Quebec.-Adaptations:The novel has had three film adaptations, two French and one Québécois: in 1934, by Julien Duvivier, with Madeleine Renaud , and Jean Gabin , partly filmed in Péribonka; in...

, Un homme et son péché
Séraphin: un homme et son péché
Séraphin: un homme et son péché is a Quebec film released in 2002. The script is based on a novel by Claude-Henri Grignon...

, Le Survenant, etc. There are also many successful plays from this literary category, such as Les Belles-sœurs and Broue (Brew).

Among the theatre troupes are the Compagnie Jean-Duceppe
Jean Duceppe
Jean Hotte-Duceppe, CQ was a stage and television actor from Montreal, Quebec. He founded the Compagnie de théâtre Jean Duceppe in 1973....

, the Théâtre La Rubrique at the Pierrette-Gaudreault venue of the Institut of arts in Saguenay, the Théâtre Le Grenier, etc. In addition to the network of cultural centres in Quebec, the venues include the Monument-National
Monument-National
The Monument-National is a historic Canadian theatre located at 1182 Saint Laurent Boulevard in Montreal, Quebec. Erected between 1891 and 1894, it was originally the Cultural centre of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society.-Yiddish theatre:...

 and the Rideau Vert (green curtain) Theatre in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, the Trident Theatre in Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

, etc. The National Theatre School of Canada
National Theatre School of Canada
The National Theatre School of Canada is a private college located in Montreal, Quebec.Established in Montreal in 1960, the National Theatre School of Canada offers professional training in English and French in a setting that unites all the theatre arts: acting, playwriting, directing, set and...

 and the Conservatoire de musique et d'art dramatique du Québec
Conservatoire de musique et d'art dramatique du Québec
The Conservatoire de musique et d'art dramatique du Québec is a public network of nine state-subsidised schools offering higher education in music and theatre in Quebec, Canada. The organization was established in 1942 as a branch of the Ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec by the...

 form the future players. The summer theatre is a true symbol of Quebec literature. Presented in the summer, it offers a variety of amusements, usually musicals or humorous dramas, sometimes outdoors, in rural and semi-rural regions of Quebec, in venues such as the theatre of la Dame de Cœur (the Lady of Heart) in Upton
Upton, Quebec
Upton is a municipality in the Regional County Municipality of Acton, in the province of Quebec, Canada. The population as of the Canada 2006 Census was 1,954.-Population:Population trend...

, Montérégie
Montérégie
Montérégie is an administrative region in southwest Québec. It includes the cities of Boucherville, Brossard, Granby, Longueuil, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Saint-Hyacinthe, Sorel-Tracy, and Vaudreuil-Dorion....

, the Grands Chênes (Great Oaks) Theatre in Kingsey Falls, Centre-du-Québec
Centre-du-Québec
Centre-du-Québec is a region of Quebec, Canada. The main centres are Drummondville, Victoriaville and Bécancour. It has a land area of 6,928.78 km² and a 2006 census population of 224,200 inhabitants.-Description:...

 and the theatre of la Marjolaine in Eastmain
Eastmain, Quebec
Eastmain is a Cree community located on James Bay at the mouth of the Eastmain River, Quebec, Canada. It is the smallest of the coastal Cree villages with a population of 606 people...

, Estrie
Estrie
The Estrie is an administrative region of Quebec that overlaps mostly the Eastern Townships. Estrie, a French neologism, was coined as a derivative of est, "east."...

. The Quebec Theatre Academy and the Quebec Association of Playwrights (AQAD) are the main organizations for the promotion of literature and theatre in Quebec. The Quebec literary awards, including the Medal of the Académie des lettres du Québec
Académie des lettres du Québec
The Académie des lettres du Québec is a national academy for Quebec writers.It was founded as the Académie canadienne-française in 1944 by Victor Barbeau and a group of writers. In 1992 it changed its name to the Académie des lettres du Québec, under much controversy.It brings together writers and...

, and the Soirée des Masques reward the important personalities of the year.

Fine arts



First influenced, since the days of New France, by the religious cult of Catholicism, with works from Frère Luc (Brother Luke) and more recently from Ozias Leduc
Ozias Leduc
Ozias Leduc is one of Quebec's early painters. He was born in Saint-Hilaire-de-Rouville. Leduc produced many portraits, still lives and landscapes, as well as religious works.-Biography:...

 and Guido Nincheri
Guido Nincheri
Guido Nincheri was a Canadian artist working mainly in stained glass and fresco.-Biography:Born in Prato, Italy, he studied art in Florence and immigrated to Montreal in 1915 after a short stay in Boston where he decorated the Boston Opera House.Nincheri designed the interior decoration of many...

, art of Quebec has developed around the specific characteristics of its landscapes and cultural, historical, social and political representations.

Thus, the development of Quebec masterpieces in painting, printmaking and sculpture is marked by the contribution of artists such as Louis-Philippe Hébert
Louis-Philippe Hébert
Louis-Philippe Hébert was the son of Théophile Hébert, a farmer, and Julie Bourgeois of Ste-Sophie de Mégantic, Quebec. Louis-Philippe Hébert was a sculptor who sculpted forty monuments, busts, medals and statues in wood, bronze and terra-cotta. He taught at the Conseil des arts et manufactures in...

, Cornelius Krieghoff
Cornelius Krieghoff
Cornelius David Krieghoff is probably the most popular Canadian painter of the 19th century. Krieghoff is most famous for his paintings of Canadian landscapes and Canadian life outdoors, which were sought-after in his own time as they are today. He is particularly famous for his winter scenes,...

, Alfred Laliberté
Alfred Laliberté
Alfred Laliberté was a Canadian sculptor and painter based in Quebec. His output includes more than 900 sculptures in bronze, marble, wood, and plaster. Many of his sculptures depict national figures and events in Canada and France like Louis Hebert, François-Xavier-Antoine Labelle, Adam Dollard...

, Marc-Aurèle Fortin
Marc-Aurèle Fortin
Marc-Aurèle Fortin was a Québécois painter.His works are displayed at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal...

, Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté, Jean-Paul Lemieux, Clarence Gagnon
Clarence Gagnon
Clarence Gagnon was a Québécois painter.A native of Montreal, he studied at the Art Association of Montreal in 1897...

, Adrien Dufresne, Alfred Pellan
Alfred Pellan
For the federal district in Laval, Quebec, see Alfred-Pellan Alfred Pellan, was an important figure in twentieth-century Quebec painting. He was born in Quebec City in 1906. From the age of fourteen until his graduation in 1926 he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts de Québec...

, Jean-Philippe Dallaire, Charles Daudelin
Charles Daudelin
Charles Daudelin, was a Canadian sculptor and painter, a major Quebec artist.Born in Granby, Quebec, he became a pioneer in integrating art into public space...

, Arthur Villeneuve
Arthur Villeneuve
Arthur Villeneuve, C.M. was a Québécois painter and member of the Order of Canada.-Life before painting:...

, Jean-Paul Riopelle
Jean-Paul Riopelle
Jean-Paul Riopelle, was a painter and sculptor from Quebec, Canada.-Biography:Born in Montreal, he studied under Paul-Émile Borduas in the 1940s and was a member of Les Automatistes movement. He was one of the signers of the Refus global manifesto...

, Paul-Émile Borduas
Paul-Émile Borduas
Paul-Émile Borduas was a Canadian painter known for his abstract paintings. He was also an activist for the separation of church and state, especially for art, in Quebec.- Biography :...

 and Marcelle Ferron
Marcelle Ferron
Marcelle Ferron, , a Québécoise painter and stained glass artist, was a major figure in the Quebec contemporary art scene....

.

The Fine art
Fine art
Fine art or the fine arts encompass art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application. Art is often a synonym for fine art, as employed in the term "art gallery"....

s of Quebec are displayed at the Quebec National Museum of Fine Arts
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a museum in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada gathering approximately 25,000 works essentially produced in Quebec, or by Quebec artists, some of which dating from the 18th century. It also houses a library since 1987...

, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal is a contemporary art museum in the Place des Arts complex, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The collection includes over 7,000 works of art by more than 1,500 artists , covering contemporary art in Quebec in particular and Canada in general, as well as...

, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is a major museum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1860, making it Canada's oldest art institution, it moved to its current location in 1912 thanks to a large donation from businessman James Ross....

, the Quebec Salon des métiers d'art and in many art galleries. While many works decorate the public areas of Quebec, others are displayed in foreign countries such as the sculpture Embâcle (Jam) by Charles Daudelin on Québec Place in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and the statue Québec Libre! (free Quebec!) by Armand Vaillancourt
Armand Vaillancourt
Armand Vaillancourt is a Québécois sculptor, painter and performance artist born on September 3, 1929, in the city of Black Lake, Quebec, Canada.- Major sculptures :...

 in San Francisco.
The Montreal School of Fine Arts
École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal
École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal was an educational institution founded in Quebec in 1922. The Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society was instrumental in its creation....

 forms the painters, printmakers and sculptors of Quebec.

Various buildings reflect the architectural heritage that characterizes Quebec, such as religious buildings, city halls, houses of estates, etc.

Humor and youth programs



Several comedy festivals were created in Quebec, including the festival Just for Laughs
Just for Laughs
Just for Laughs is a comedy festival held each July in Montreal, Quebec, founded in 1983. It is the largest international comedy festival in the world.- Information :...

 in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, which enjoys an international reputation, and the Grand Rire festival of Québec
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

, Gatineau
Gatineau
Gatineau is a city in western Quebec, Canada. It is the fourth largest city in the province. It is located on the northern banks of the Ottawa River, immediately across from Ottawa, Ontario, and together they form Canada's National Capital Region. Ottawa and Gatineau comprise a single Census...

 and Sherbrooke. Several prominent Quebec artists and humorous groups are known nationally and internationally, such as Rose Ouellette
Rose Ouellette
Rose-Alma Ouellette also known by her stage name La Poune was a Quebec actress, comedian, theatre manager and artistic director. In the later part of her career, she appeared in film and on television, but she is most remembered for her work on stage...

 (known as La Poune), Juliette Petrie, Stéphane Rousseau
Stéphane Rousseau
Stéphane Rousseau is a Québécois actor and comedian. He starred in the Academy Award winning film The Barbarian Invasions . He has also been in Asterix at the Olympic Games...

, Roméo Pérusse, Gilles Latulippe
Gilles Latulippe
Gilles Latulippe is a Québécois actor, comedian and theatre director and manager. Latulippe is a central figure in the history of comic theatre in Quebec. In 1998, he was named Quebec's favorite actor by the daily tabloid Le Journal de Montréal.-Career:In the late 1950s, Latulippe joined Yvon...

, Yvon Deschamps
Yvon Deschamps
Yvon Deschamps, CQ is a Quebec author, actor, comedian and producer best known for his monologues. His social-commentary-tinged humour propelled him to prominence in Quebec popular culture in the 1970s and 1980s...

, Marc Favreau
Marc Favreau
Marc Favreau, was a Canadian television and film actor and poet....

 (famous for his character of Sol, a hobo clown), Michael Noël (and the character of Captain Bonhomme), Jacques Desrosiers (performer of the famous clown Patof), Serge Thériault
Serge Thériault
-Background:Theriault played several roles in several Quebec television series and movies since it debut in the acting industry in 1973.Theriault most famous role was in the popular television series La Petite Vie which played from 1993 to 1999 on French-Canadian television network Radio-Canada and...

 and Claude Meunier (as Ding et(and) Dong), Les Grandes Gueules, Lise Dion, Jean-Michel Anctil, Martin Matte and Louis-José Houde
Louis-José Houde
Louis-José Houde is a French-Canadian comedian, who mostly does stand-up comedy and also has his own TV show. Recently Houde has broken into acting in feature films, such as the 2006 hit movie, Bon Cop, Bad Cop and the 2009 hit movie De père en flic...

, to name only a few. Some humorous programs are or were also popular such as Cré Basile, Le Zoo du Capitaine Bonhomme, Lundi des Ha! Ha! (Monday, Ha! Ha!), Démons du midi (Midday Devils), La Petite Vie
La Petite Vie
La petite vie was first a stage sketch of the comedy duo Ding et Dong, formed by Claude Meunier and Serge Thériault, and later a hit Quebec television sitcom aired by Radio-Canada from 1993 to 1999...

, Les Bougon
Les Bougon
Les Bougon - c'est aussi ça la vie! was a Quebec sitcom broadcast by Radio-Canada from 2004 to 2006, written by François Avard and Jean-François Mercier and produced by Fabienne Larouche. The show won three Gémeaux in 2004. The show's first episode aired on January 7, 2004, and the last one aired...

, The sketch show (Quebec version)
The Sketch Show
The Sketch Show is a British television sketch comedy programme, featuring many leading British comedians. It aired on ITV between 2001 and 2003.A short-lived spinoff of the same title was produced in the United States.- Original line-up :...

, etc.

The National improvisation League (LNI), created in 1977, puts on scene number of actors and comedians in humorous shows joining the improvisation theatre to comedy. The National School of humor (École nationale de l'humour) was created in 1988 to form the next generations of Quebec comedians. The Association of professionals of the humor industry (APIH) was created in 1998 and is the premier organization for promoting and developing the cultural sector of humor in Quebec. The Gala Les Olivier, in honour of the former comedian Olivier Guimond, recognizes Quebec personalities of humor.

Children also have their comedy
Comedy
Comedy , as a popular meaning, is any humorous discourse or work generally intended to amuse by creating laughter, especially in television, film, and stand-up comedy. This must be carefully distinguished from its academic definition, namely the comic theatre, whose Western origins are found in...

 and animated cartoon
Animated cartoon
An animated cartoon is a short, hand-drawn film for the cinema, television or computer screen, featuring some kind of story or plot...

s such as The Surprise Box, Bobino
Bobino (TV series)
Bobino is a Quebec French language children's television show made in Quebec and broadcast on Radio Canada, the French language television service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, between 1957 and 1985. Its stories revolved around Bobino and his sister Bobinette...

, Le Pirate Maboule, Fanfreluche
Fanfreluche
Fanfreluche was a French-language Canadian children's television show made in Quebec by Radio-Canada. The show made its debut in 1968 and ran for forty-six episodes until 1971. It starred Fanfreluche, a living doll who retold fairy tales and legends to the viewers...

, the Ribouldingue, Les 100 tours de Centour, Patofville, Passe-Partout
Passe-Partout
Passe-Partout was a Quebec French language children's television program produced by Radio-Québec that was in production from 1977 to 1987. It aired on Radio-Québec, Radio-Canada and TVOntario, lasting on some networks until 1998...

, Robin et Stella
Robin et Stella
Robin et Stella was a youth TV show aired on Radio-Québec from 1988 to 1992 featuring France Chevrette as Robin and Lorraine Auger as Stella....

, Iniminimagimo
Iniminimagimo
Iniminimagimo was a French language children's television show made in Quebec. It played in the late 1980s. Each episode featured a classic fairy tale played by the same cast....

, Vazimolo, Tele-Pirate, Bibi et Geneviève
Bibi et Geneviève
Bibi et Geneviève was a Quebec French language children's show made in Québec in the early 1990s. It chronicled the adventures of the green-haired extraterrestrial Bibi ZZ99944X and his friend Geneviève...

, Watatatow
Watatatow
Watatatow was a Canadian French-language children/youth television series, airing from 1991 to 2005 on Radio-Canada. The first show aired on September 17, 1991. 104 half-hour episodes were filmed every year; they were shown four afternoons a week on Radio-Canada...

, Caillou
Caillou
Caillou is a Canadian children's television show based on the books by author Christine L'Heureux and illustrator Hélène Desputeaux. Many of the stories in the animated version began with a grandmother introducing the story to her grandchildren, then reading the story about the book...

, Cornemuse, Macaroni tout garni,Toc toc toc, Ramdam, Tactik and many more.

Circus and street art



Several circus troupes were created in recent decades, the most important being without any doubts the Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil , is a Canadian entertainment company, self-described as a "dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment." Based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and located in the inner-city area of Saint-Michel, it was founded in Baie-Saint-Paul in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy...

. Among these troops are contemporary, travelling and on horseback circuses, such as Cirque Éloize
Cirque Éloize
Cirque Éloize is a Quebec-based nouveau cirque troupe. It was founded in 1993 by Jeannot Painchaud, Daniel Cyr and Julie Hamelin. Having created seven original productions so far, it has presented more than 3000 performances in more than 375 cities and 30 countries...

, Cavalia
Cavalia
Cavalia is a company based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada that presents large-scale equestrian productions involving trick riding, vaulting, haute école and pas de deux, unbridled displays, and Cirque du Soleil-like performances....

, Kosmogonia, Saka and Cirque Akya. Presented outdoors under a tent or in venues similar to the Montreal Casino, they attract large crowds both in Quebec and abroad. In the manner of touring companies of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, the clown
Clown
Clowns are comic performers stereotypically characterized by the grotesque image of the circus clown's colored wigs, stylistic makeup, outlandish costumes, unusually large footwear, and red nose, which evolved to project their actions to large audiences. Other less grotesque styles have also...

s, street performers, minstrel
Minstrel
A minstrel was a medieval European bard who performed songs whose lyrics told stories of distant places or of existing or imaginary historical events. Although minstrels created their own tales, often they would memorize and embellish the works of others. Frequently they were retained by royalty...

s, or troubadour
Troubadour
A troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages . Since the word "troubadour" is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz....

s travel from city to city to play their comedies. Although they may randomly appear from time to time during the year, they are always visible in the cultural events such as the Winterlude in Gatineau, the Quebec Winter Carnival, the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival
Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival
The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival is a yearly festival, held in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, and organized by a not-for-profit organization, during which hot air balloons of every shape and colour are flown and where 300 shows and performances adding up to over 60 hours’ worth of programming are...

, the Quebec City Summer Festival
Quebec City Summer Festival
The Festival d'été, or Summer Festival , has been taking place annually since 1968. It is organized by groups of businesspersons and artists of Quebec City in order to show the artistic, economic, and tourist potential of the region...

, the Just for Laughs Festival
Just for Laughs
Just for Laughs is a comedy festival held each July in Montreal, Quebec, founded in 1983. It is the largest international comedy festival in the world.- Information :...

 in Montreal and the Festival of New France in Quebec.

The National Circus School
École nationale de cirque
The National Circus School is a professional circus school located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is a school for higher education in arts; after the great schools of music, dance and theatre, the NCS also offers academic subjects at the secondary and college levels...

 and the École de cirque de Québec were created to train future Contemporary circus
Contemporary circus
Contemporary circus, or nouveau cirque , is a genre of performing art developed in the later 20th century in which a story or a theme is conveyed through traditional circus skills. Animals are rarely used in this type of circus, and traditional circus skills are blended with a more character-driven...

 artists. For its part, Tohu, la Cité des Arts du Cirque was founded in 2004 to disseminate the circus arts.

Heritage


The Cultural Heritage Fund is a program of Quebec government for the conservation and development of Quebec's heritage, together with various laws. Several organizations ensure that same mission, both in the social and cultural traditions in the countryside and heritage buildings, including the Commission des biens culturels du Québec, the Quebec Heritage Fondation, the Conservation Centre of Quebec, the Centre for development of living heritage, the Quebec Council of living heri tage, the Quebec Association of heritage interpretation, etc.

Several sites, houses and historical works reflect the cultural heritage of Quebec, such as the Village Québécois d'Antan
Village Québécois d'Antan
The site of the Village Québécois d'Antan is a historical and tourist village depicting life in Québec during the 19th century. The village is located in Drummondville in Québec, .- History :...

, the historical village of Val-Jalbert
Val-Jalbert, Quebec
Val-Jalbert is a ghost town in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec, Canada. It is located 8 km northwest of the town of Chambord.The village was founded in 1901 and soon saw success in the pulp mill created by Damase Jalbert at the base of the Ouiatchouan Falls...

, the Fort Chambly
Fort Chambly
Fort Chambly is a historic fort in the Canadian La Vallée-du-Richelieu Regional County Municipality, Quebec. The fort is designated as a National Historic Site. Fort Richelieu was part of a series of five forts built along the Richelieu River. Fort Richelieu is at the mouth of the Richelieu River....

, the national home of the Patriots, the Chicoutimi pulp mill (Pulperie de Chicoutimi), the Lachine Canal
Lachine Canal
The Lachine Canal is a canal passing through the southwestern part of the Island of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, running 14.5 kilometres from the Old Port of Montreal to Lake Saint-Louis, through the boroughs of Lachine, Lasalle and Sud-Ouest.The canal gets its name from the French word for China...

 and the Victoria Bridge
Victoria Bridge (Montreal)
Victoria Bridge , formerly originally known as Victoria Jubilee Bridge, is a bridge over the St. Lawrence River, linking Montreal, Quebec, to the south shore city of Saint-Lambert....

. Strongly influenced by the presence of the Catholic Church, the development of the religious history of Quebec is provided by organizations like the Council of the religious heritage of Quebec. Since 2007, the government promotes, with the various players in the field, the conclusion of agreements on the use of property belonging to episcopal factories and corporations to establish "partnerships in financing the restoration and renovation of religious buildings".

Various museums tell the cultural history of Quebec, like the Museum of Civilization
Musée de la civilisation
The Musée de la civilisation is a museum located in Quebec City. It is situated in old Québec near the Saint Lawrence River...

, the Museum of French America
Musée de l'Amérique française
The Musée de l'Amérique française is situated in old Quebec City, Québec, Canada. Its mission is for the development and promotion of the french culture in North America...

, the McCord Museum
McCord Museum
The McCord Museum is a public research and teaching museum dedicated to the preservation, study, diffusion, and appreciation of Canadian history...

 or the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History in Pointe-à-Callière, displaying artifacts, paintings and other remains from the past of Quebec. Many literary works reproduce the daily lives of the past, following the social and cultural traditions of Quebec television series reproducing the old days such as the trilogy of Pierre Gauvreau
Pierre Gauvreau
Pierre Gauvreau was a Québécois painter who has also worked in film and television productions.He was born in Montreal, and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, today part of UQAM...

 (Le Temps d'une paix, Cormoran and Le Volcan tranquille), La Famille Plouffe
La famille Plouffe
La famille Plouffe was a Canadian television drama, more specifically a téléroman, about a Quebec family that first aired in the French-language on Société Radio-Canada in 1953. The show was created to fill a void in francophone television in Canada...

, Les Belles Histoires des Pays-d'en-Haut
Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut
Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut is a Canadian television drama series, which aired on Radio-Canada from 1956 to 1970. One of the longest-running programs in the history of Canadian television, the series produced 495 episodes during its 14-year run and was one of the first influential...

, La Petite Patrie
La Petite Patrie
La Petite patrie was a French Canadian television programme from Quebec. It was broadcast between 1974 and 1976.This television serial of Claude Jasmin told the life of a district of Montreal formed by the quadrilateral of the streets Saint-Denis, Beaubien, St-Hubert and Bélanger the shortly after...

, Entre chien et loup, Les Filles de Caleb
Les Filles de Caleb
Les Filles de Caleb is a Quebec TV series of 20 one-hour episodes, created by Jean Beaudin, based on the eponymous novel of Arlette Cousture, broadcast in 1990 on Radio-Canada and repeated in 2006 on Prise 2.-Plot:...

, Blanche, Au nom du père et du fils, Marguerite Volant, Nos Étés or Musée Éden, among others.

Gastronomy




The historical context of 'traditional' Quebec cuisine is from the fur trade period and many dishes have a high fat or lard content. From the early 17th century, French settlers populating North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 were interested in a new cuisine to confront the climate and the needs arising from work of colonization. Mindful of the same nutritional needs as settlers from Acadia
Acadia
Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...

, it has many similarities with the Acadian cuisine. Quebec's cuisine has a strong French and Irish influence, although many aspects of Canadian aboriginal cuisine have also had a significant impact on Quebec cuisine. Quebec is most famous for its Tourtière
Tourtière
A tourtière is a meat pie originating from Quebec, usually made with minced pork and/or veal, or beef. It is a traditional part of the Christmas and/or Christmas Eve réveillon and New Year's Eve meal in Quebec, but is also enjoyed and sold in grocery stores all year long...

, Pâté Chinois
Pâté chinois
Pâté chinois is a French Canadian dish similar to English cottage pie, shepherd's pie or French hachis Parmentier. It is made from layered ground beef on the bottom layer, canned corn for the middle layer, and mashed potatoes on top...

 and Poutine
Poutine
Poutine is a Canadian dish of French fries and fresh cheese curds, covered with brown gravy or sauce. Sometimes additional ingredients are added.Poutine is a fast food dish that originated in Quebec and can now be found across Canada...

. The temps des sucres (sugar season) is one of the oldest of Quebec culinary traditions. During springtime, many Quebeckers go to the cabane à sucre
Sugar house
A sugar house, also known as sap house, sugar shack, sugar shanty or sugar cabin is a semi-commercial establishment, prominent mainly in Eastern Canada...

 (sugar house) for a traditional meal. The Jewish community of Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 has contributed Montreal-style bagel
Montreal-style bagel
The Montreal bagel, , is a distinctive variety of hand-made and wood-fired baked bagel. In contrast to the New York-style bagel, the Montreal bagel is smaller, sweeter and denser, with a larger hole, and is always baked in a wood-fired oven...

s and smoked meat
Smoked meat
Smoked meat is a method of preparing red meat which originates in prehistory. Its purpose is to preserve these protein-rich foods, which would otherwise spoil quickly, for long periods. There are two mechanisms for this preservation: dehydration and the antibacterial properties of absorbed smoke...

 which is similar to pastrami
Pastrami
Pastrami , is a popular delicatessen meat usually made from beef and, traditionally in Romania, also from pork and mutton. In Israel, "Pastrama" is the term used for sliced chicken and turkey. Like corned beef, pastrami was originally created as a way to preserve meat before modern refrigeration...

.

Sports



Sports in Quebec constitutes an essential dimension of Quebec culture. The practice of sports and outdoor activities in Quebec was largely influenced by its geography and climate. The ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 remains the national sport. This sport, which was played for the first time on March 3, 1875 at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal and promoted over the years by numerous achievements of the centenary of the Canadiens de Montréal
Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens are a professional ice hockey team based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . The club is officially known as ...

, still raises passions. During its history, Quebec has hosted several major sporting events including the 1976 Summer Olympics
1976 Summer Olympics
The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event celebrated in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1976. Montreal was awarded the rights to the 1976 Games on May 12, 1970, at the 69th IOC Session in Amsterdam, over the bids of Moscow and...

, the Fencing World Championships in 1967, track cycling in 1974, in addition to hosting the Grand Prix du Canada
Canadian Grand Prix
The Canadian Grand Prix , abbreviated as gpc, is an annual auto race held in Canada starting in 1961. It has been part of the Formula One World Championship since 1967...

 Formula 1 championships.

National symbols




In 1939, the government of Quebec
Government of Quebec
The Government of Quebec refers to the provincial government of the province of Quebec. Its powers and structure are set out in the Constitution Act, 1867....

 unilaterally ratified its coat of arms
Coat of arms of Quebec
The coat of arms of Quebec was adopted by order-in-council of the Quebec government on 9 December 1939, replacing the arms assigned by royal warrant of Queen Victoria on 26 May 1868.The shield is divided into three horizontal fields:...

 to reflect Quebec's political history
History of Quebec
Quebec has played a special role in Canadian history; it is the site where French settlers founded the colony of Canada in the 17th and 18th centuries.-Paleoindian Era :...

: French rule (gold lily on blue background), British rule (lion on red background) and Canadian rule (maple leaves) and with Quebec's motto below "Je me souviens". Je me souviens
Je me souviens
Je me souviens is the official motto of Quebec, a province of Canada. The motto means "I remember".- Origins :In 1883, Eugène-Étienne Taché, Assistant Commissioner for Crown lands in Quebec and architect of the provincial Parliament building had the motto carved in stone below the coat of arms of...

 ("I remember") was first carved under the coat of arms of Quebec's Parliament Building
Parliament Building (Quebec)
The Parliament Building is an eight-floor building and home to the Parliament of Quebec in Quebec City. The building was designed by architect Eugène-Étienne Taché and was built from 1877 to 1886. With the frontal tower, the building stands at 52 metres or 171 feet in height...

 façade in 1883. It is an official part of the coat of arms and has been the official license plate motto since 1978, replacing "La belle province" (the beautiful province). The expression La belle province is still used mostly in tourism as a nickname for the province.

The fleur-de-lis, the ancient symbol of the French monarchy, first arrived on the shores of the Gaspésie in 1534 with Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier was a French explorer of Breton origin who claimed what is now Canada for France. He was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big...

 on his first voyage. In 1900, Quebec finally sought to have its own uniquely designed flag. By 1903, the parent of today's flag had taken shape, known as the "Fleurdelisé". The flag in its present form with its 4 white "fleur-de-lis
Fleur-de-lis
The fleur-de-lis or fleur-de-lys is a stylized lily or iris that is used as a decorative design or symbol. It may be "at one and the same time, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic", especially in heraldry...

" lilies on a blue background with a white cross replaced the Union Jack on Quebec's Parliament Building
Parliament Building (Quebec)
The Parliament Building is an eight-floor building and home to the Parliament of Quebec in Quebec City. The building was designed by architect Eugène-Étienne Taché and was built from 1877 to 1886. With the frontal tower, the building stands at 52 metres or 171 feet in height...

 on January 21, 1948.

Other official symbols


  • The floral emblem of Quebec is the Iris versicolor
    Iris versicolor
    Iris versicolor, also commonly known as the Harlequin Blueflag, Larger Blue Flag, Northern Blue Flag, and other variations of those names, is a species of Iris native to North America where it is common in sedge meadows, marshes, and along streambanks and shores.-Growth:I. versicolor is a perennial...

    .
  • Since 1987 the avian emblem of Quebec has been the snowy owl
    Snowy Owl
    The Snowy Owl is a large owl of the typical owl family Strigidae. The Snowy Owl was first classified in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, the Swedish naturalist who developed binomial nomenclature to classify and organize plants and animals. The bird is also known in North America as the Arctic Owl, Great...

    .
  • An official tree, the yellow birch
    Yellow Birch
    Betula alleghaniensis , is a species of birch native to eastern North America, from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, southern Quebec and Ontario, and the southeast corner of Manitoba in Canada, west to Minnesota, and south in the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia.It is a...

     (bouleau jaune, merisier), symbolises the importance Quebeckers give to the forests. The tree is known for the variety of its uses and commercial value, as well as its autumn colours.


In 1998 the Montreal Insectarium
Montreal Insectarium
The Montreal Insectarium is a museum located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, featuring a large quantity of insects from all around the world. It is the largest Canadian insectarium and among the largest insectariums worldwide. It was founded by Georges Brossard and opened on February 7, 1990. Its...

 sponsored a poll to choose an official insect. The White Admiral butterfly (Limenitis arthemis) won with 32 % of the 230 660 votes against the Spotted lady beetle
Coccinellidae
Coccinellidae is a family of beetles, known variously as ladybirds , or ladybugs . Scientists increasingly prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not true bugs...

 (Coleomegilla maculata lengi), the Ebony Jewelwing
Ebony Jewelwing
The Ebony Jewelwing is a species of broad-winged damselflies. It is one out of the 170 species of the Odonata found in New England, the Mid-Atlantic states, and southeastern Canada.-Identification:...

 damselfly
Damselfly
Damselflies are insects in the order Odonata. Damselflies are similar to dragonflies, but the adults can be distinguished by the fact that the wings of most damselflies are held along, and parallel to, the body when at rest...

 (Calopteryx maculata), a species of bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) and the six-spotted tiger beetle
Tiger beetle
The tiger beetles are a large group of beetles known for their aggressive predatory habits and running speed. The fastest species of tiger beetle can run at a speed of 9 km/h , which, relative to its body length, is about 22 times the speed of former Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson, the...

 (Cicindela sexguttata sexguttata).

Fête nationale (National Holiday)



In 1977, the Quebec Parliament declared June 24 to be Quebec's National Holiday. Historically June 24 was a holiday honouring French Canada's patron saint, St. John the Baptist, which is why it is commonly known as La Saint-Jean-Baptiste (often shortened to La St-Jean). On this day, the song "Gens du pays
Gens du pays
"Gens du pays" has been called the unofficial national anthem of Quebec. Written by poet, songwriter, and avowed Quebec nationalist Gilles Vigneault , it was first performed by Vigneault on June 24, 1975 during a concert on Montreal's Mount Royal at that year's Fête nationale du Québec ceremony...

" by Gilles Vigneault
Gilles Vigneault
Gilles Vigneault, is a Canadian poet, publisher and singer-songwriter, and well-known Quebec nationalist and sovereigntist.A poet deeply rooted in his native Quebec, Vigneault has become an icon at home and Quebec ambassador abroad...

 is often heard and commonly regarded as Quebec's unofficial anthem. The festivities occur on June 23 and June 24 and are celebrated all over Quebec. In cities like Québec
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

 and Montréal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, great shows are organized in the main public places (such as the Abraham plains, Québec
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

, or Maisonneuve Park, Montréal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

) where several of the most popular Quebec artists relay each others till late at night.

See also


Further reading


English
French

External links




History