Thursday, March 20, 2008

This article is about the Canadian province. For the similar historical entity, see Province of Quebec (1763-1791). For the city, see Quebec City. For other uses, see Quebec (disambiguation) and Québécois (disambiguation).
Coordinates: 53°45′N, 71°59′W
Quebec (pronounced [kʰwəˈbɛk] or [kʰəˈbɛk]) or, in French, Québec (pronounced [kebɛk]), is a province in Canada.
Affectionately known as la belle province ("the beautiful province"), Quebec is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario, James Bay and Hudson Bay. To the north are the Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay, to the east the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the provinces of New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, and to the south the United States (the states of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine). It also shares maritime borders with the Territory of Nunavut and the provinces of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is the second most populated province, and most of its inhabitants live along or close to the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. The central and north portion of the province is sparsely populated and inhabited by the aboriginal peoples of Canada. Quebec operates North America's largest and most extensive civil service.
The official language of Quebec is French; it is the sole Canadian province whose population is mainly French Canadian, and where English is not an official language at the provincial level.
Quebec, then called Canada, formed part of the colonial empire of New France until the Seven Years' War, when it was conquered by Great Britain; the 1763 Treaty of Paris formally transferred the colony to British possession. After the Constitutional Act of 1791, it became known as Lower Canada (with Ontario being Upper Canada, the names derived from elevation, not latitude). In 1840, Quebec became Eastern Canada after the British Parliament unified Upper and Lower Canada on the recommendation of Lord Durham. Quebec was one of the first 4 provinces to join the Canadian Confederation in 1867.
While the province's substantial natural resources have long been the mainstay of its economy, Quebec has renewed itself to function effectively in the knowledge economy: information and communication technologies, aerospace, biotechnology, and health industries.

In 1870, Canada purchased Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company and over the next few decades the Parliament of Canada transferred portions of this territory to Quebec that would more than triple the size of the province. In 1898, the Canadian Parliament passed the first Quebec Boundary Extension Act that expanded the provincial boundaries northward to include the lands of the aboriginal Cree. This was followed by the addition of the District of Ungava through the Quebec Boundaries Extension Act of 1912 that added the northernmost lands of the aboriginal Inuit to create the modern Province of Quebec.

Provincial boundary expansions
As a result of the boundary expansions, the province currently occupies a vast territory (nearly three times the size of France), most of which is very sparsely populated. More than 90 percent of Quebec's area lies within the Canadian Shield and includes the greater part of the Labrador Peninsula. The most populated region is the St. Lawrence River valley in the south, where the capital, Quebec City, and the largest city, Montreal, are situated. North of Montreal are the Laurentians, a mountain range, and to the east are the Appalachian Mountains which extend into the Eastern Townships and Gaspésie regions. Quebec's highest mountain is Mont D'Iberville, which is located on the border with Newfoundland and Labrador in the northeastern part of the province. The Gaspé Peninsula juts into the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the east.
The northern region of Nunavik is subarctic or arctic and is mostly inhabited by Inuit. A major hydro-electric project is found on the La Grande and Eastmain rivers in the James Bay region (the La Grande Complex) and on the Manicouagan River, north of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Current territory
Quebec has three main climate regions. Southern and western Quebec, including most of the major population centres, have a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfb) with warm, humid summers and long, cold winters. The main climatic influences are from western and northern Canada which move eastward and from the southern and central United States that move northward. Due to 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 1,000 mm (40 inches) of precipitation, including over 300 cm (120 inches) of snow in many areas. Severe summer weather (such as tornadoes and severe thunderstorms) are far less common than in southern Ontario, although they occasionally occur.
Most of central Quebec has a subarctic climate (Koppen Dfc). Winters here are long 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 (Koppen ET), with very cold winters and short, much cooler summers. The primary influences here are the Arctic Ocean currents (such as the Labrador Current) and continental air masses from the High Arctic.


Main article: History of Quebec History
At the time of first European contact and later colonization, Algonquian, Iroquoian and Inuit groups were the peoples of what is now Québec. Their lifestyles and cultures reflected the land on which they lived. Seven Algonquian groups lived nomadic lives based on hunting, gathering, and fishing in the rugged terrain of the Canadian Shield: (James Bay Cree, Innu, Algonquins) and Appalachian Mountains (Mi'kmaq, Abenaki). St. Lawrence Iroquoians lived more settled lives, planting squash and maize in the fertile soils of St. Lawrence Valley. The Inuit continue to fish, whale, and seal in the harsh Arctic climate along the coasts of Hudson and Ungava Bay. These peoples traded fur and food, and sometimes warred with each other.
The name "Quebec", which comes from a Míkmaq word meaning "strait, narrows", originally meant the narrowing of the St. Lawrence River off what is currently Quebec City. There have been variations in spelling of the name:

Québecq — Levasseur, 1601
Kébec — Lescarbot, 1609
Québec — Champlain, 1613 First Nations: before 1500
Basque whalers and fishermen traded furs with Saguenay natives throughout the 1500s. [2]
The first French explorer to reach Quebec was Jacques Cartier, who planted a cross either in Gaspé in 1534 or at 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, an Iroquoian village.

Early European exploration: 1500

Main article: New France New France
In 1753 France began building a series of forts in the British Ohio Country. They refused to leave after being notified by the British Governor and, in 1754, George Washington launched an attack on the French Fort Duquesne (now Pittsburgh) in the Ohio Valley in an attempt to enforce the British claim to take territory. This frontier battle set the stage for the French and Indian War in North America. By 1756, France and Britain were battling the Seven Years' War worldwide. In 1758, the British mounted an attack on New France by sea and took the French fort at Louisbourg.
On 13 September 1759, General James Wolfe defeated General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec City. France ceded its North American possessions to Great Britain through the Treaty of Paris (1763). By the British Royal Proclamation of 1763, Canada (part of New France) was renamed the Province of Quebec.
In 1774, fearful that the French-speaking population of Quebec (as the colony was now called) would side with the rebels of the Thirteen Colonies to the south, the British Parliament passed the Quebec Act giving recognition to French law, Catholic religion and French language in the colony; before that Catholics had been excluded from public office and recruitment of priests and brothers forbidden, effectively shutting down Quebec's schools and colleges. The first British policy of assimilation (1763-1774) was deemed a failure. Both the petitions and demands of the Canadiens' élites, and Governor Guy Carleton, played an important part in convincing London of dropping the assimilation scheme, but the looming American revolt was certainly a factor. By the Quebec Act, the Quebec people obtained their first Charter of rights. That paved the way to later official recognition of the French language and French culture. The Act allowed Canadiens to maintain French civil law and sanctioned the freedom of religious choice, allowing the Roman Catholic Church to remain. It also restored the Ohio Valley to Quebec, reserving the territory for the fur trade.
The act, designed to placate one North American colony, had the opposite effect among its neighbors to the south. The Quebec Act was among the Intolerable Acts that infuriated American colonists, who launched the American Revolution. A 1775 invasion by the American Continental Army met with early success, but was later repelled at Quebec City.

Conquest of New France
When the American army came to Quebec they found many sympathetic supporters. According to Baby, Tachereau and Williams, as many as 747 peoples in Quebec took up active service with the Americans. Most notably Clément Gosselin of the 2nd Canadian Regiment. At sea, Louis-Philippe de Vaudreuil beat the British Navy at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. John Graves Simcoe, the founder of Ontario, was soundly defeated by the French Cavalry of the Duke of Lauzun, who was brought to America by Louis-Philippe.
William Howe who led the attack on the Plains of Abraham before Wolfe, was met by the 2nd Canadian Regiment at the Battle of Brandywine in 1777. This was a diversion battle while other Quebecers in the 1st Canadian Regiment of James Livingston defeated John Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777.
At the end of the war, 50,000 Loyalists came to Canada and settled amongst a population of 90,000 French people. English Canada was built by the British who were defeated by the Americans, French and Quebecers at the Battle of Yorktown.
The American Revolutionary War was ultimately successful in winning the independence of the Thirteen Colonies. With the Treaty of Paris (1783), the British would cede its territory south of the Great Lakes to the new United States of America.

The English defeat at Yorktown 1781

Main article: Lower Canada Rebellion The Patriotes' Rebellion in Lower and Upper Canada
After the rebellions, Lord Durham was asked to undertake a study and prepare a report on the matter and to offer a solution for the British Parliament to assess.
The final report recommended that the population of Lower Canada be assimilated. Following Durham's Report, the British government merged the two colonial provinces into one Province of Canada in 1840 with the Act of Union.
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, obtained the grant (from Lord Elgin) for responsible government and returned the French language to legal status in the Legislature.

Act of Union
In the 1860s, the delegates from the colonies of British North America (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 took place in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island followed by the Quebec Conference in Quebec City which led to a delegation going to London, England to put forth the proposal for the national union.
As a result of those deliberations, in 1867 the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the British North America Act, providing for the Confederation of most of these provinces.
The former Province of Canada was divided into its two previous parts as the provinces of Ontario (Upper Canada) and Quebec (Lower Canada).

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia joined Ontario and Quebec in the new Dominion of Canada.
Prince Edward Island joined in 1873 and the Dominion of Newfoundland entered Confederation in 1949. Canadian Confederation

Main article: Quiet Revolution The "Quiet Revolution"
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% to 30% — and Lévesque himself was defeated both times in the riding 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. During the campaign, Pierre Trudeau promised that a vote for the NO side was a vote for reforming Canada. Trudeau advocated the patriation 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 Quebecers voted against, and that French Quebecers 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 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 or the "Night of the Long Knives"'), Federal Justice Minister Jean Chretien met all the provincial premiers except René Lévesque to sign the document that would eventually become the new Canadian constitution. The next morning, they put Lévesque in front of the "fait accompli." 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.
In subsequent years, two attempts were made to gain Quebec's approval of the constitution. The first was the Meech Lake Accord of 1987, which was finally abandoned in 1990 when the provinces of Manitoba and Newfoundland refused to support it. This led to the formation of the sovereignist Bloc Québécois party in Ottawa under the leadership of Lucien Bouchard, who had resigned from the federal cabinet. The second attempt, the Charlottetown Accord of 1992, was rejected by 56.7% of all Canadians and 57% of Quebecers. This result caused a split in the Quebec Liberal Party that led to the formation of the new Action Démocratique (Democratic Action) party led by Mario Dumont and Jean Allaire.
On October 30, 1995, with the Parti Québécois back in power since 1994, a second referendum on sovereignty took place. This time, it was rejected by a slim majority (50.6% NO to 49.4% YES); a clear majority of French-speaking Quebecers voted in favour of sovereignty.
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 (11.7 % or 5,500 of its ballots were spoiled, compared to 750 or 1.7% in the general election of 1994) although Quebec's chief electoral officer found no evidence of outright fraud. The Government of Canada was accused of not respecting provincial laws with regard to spending during referendums (leading to a corruption scandal that would become public a decade later, greatly damaging the Liberal Party's standing), and to having accelerated the naturalization of immigrant people living in the province of Quebec (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, then premier and leader of the "Yes" side, declared that the loss was due to "money and the ethnic vote". Parizeau resigned over public outrage and as per his commitment to do so in case of a loss. Lucien Bouchard 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, Bouchard retired from politics in 2001. Bernard Landry was then appointed leader of the Parti Québécois and premier of Quebec. In 2003, Landry lost the election to the Quebec Liberal Party and Jean Charest. Landry stepped down as PQ leader in 2005, and in a crowded race for the party leadership, André Boisclair was elected to succeed him. The PQ has promised to hold another referendum should it return to government.
Given the province's heritage and the preponderance of French (unique among the Canadian provinces), there is an ongoing debate in Canada regarding the status of Quebec and/or its people (wholly or partially). Prior attempts to amend the Canadian constitution to acknowledge Quebec as a 'distinct society' – referring to the province's uniqueness within Canada regarding law, language, and culture – have been unsuccessful; however, the federal government under prime minister Jean Chrétien would later endorse recognition of Quebec as a distinct society. On October 30, 2003, the National Assembly voted unanimously to affirm "that the Quebecers form a nation". As only a motion of the House, it is not legally binding.

The Parti Québécois and constitutional crisis

Main articles: Politics of Quebec and Monarchy in Quebec Administrative subdivisions
The data are from the 2006 census of Canada. [5]

Population centres
¹These figures are adjusted to reflect boundary changes for the 2006 census.
²Where a metropolitan area straddles more than one administrative region, the region of the central municipality is given.
³These figures pertain to the part of the Ottawa-Gatineau census metropolitan area that is in Quebec. The total figures for the CMA, including the part in Ontario, are 1,130,761 (2006), 1,067,800 (2001).

Census metropolitan areas by population
The municipalities of the Montreal, Quebec, and Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan areas exceeding 50,000 in population in 2006 are given below with their administrative regions in parentheses.
Montreal CMA:
The population of the Island of Montreal was 1,854,442.
Quebec CMA:
Ottawa-Gatineau CMA:
The population of Ottawa, Ontario is 812,129.

Montreal (Montréal), 1,620,693;
Laval (Laval), 368,709;
Longueuil (Montérégie), 229,330;
Terrebonne (Lanaudière), 94,703;
Repentigny (Lanaudière) 76,237;
Brossard (Montérégie), 71,154;
Saint-Jérôme (Laurentides), 63,729.
Quebec City (Capitale-Nationale), 491,142;
Lévis (Chaudière-Appalaches), 130,006.
Gatineau (Outaouais), 242,124. Major municipalities
¹These figures are adjusted to reflect boundary changes for the 2006 census.
²Where a census agglomeration straddles more than one administrative region, the region of the central municipality is given.
The municipalities of Quebec which are not part of a CMA or CA but which had populations exceeding 10,000 in 2006, with administrative regions in parentheses, are: Gaspé (Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine), 14,819; Saint-Lin-Laurentides (Lanaudière), 14,159; Mont-Laurier (Laurentides), 13,405; Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine (Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine), 12,560; Sainte-Marie (Chaudière-Appalaches), 11,584; Montmagny (Chaudière-Appalaches), 11,353; Sainte-Adèle (Laurentides), 10,634; Roberval (Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean), 10,544; Saint-Félicien (Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean), 10,477; Sainte-Sophie (Laurentides), 10,355; Prévost (Laurentides), 10,132; Rawdon (Lanaudière), 10,058.

Quebec Other census agglomerations

Main article: Economy of Quebec Economy

Main article: Culture of Quebec Culture

Main article: Demographics of Quebec Demographics
Source: Statistics Canada [9][10]

Population of Quebec since 1851
The information regarding ethnicities at the right is from the 2001 Canadian Census. The percentages add to more than 100% because of dual responses (e.g., "French-Canadian" generates an entry in both the category "French" and the category "Canadian".) Groups with greater than 70,000 responses are included.

Ethnic origins
Quebec is unique among the provinces in its overwhelmingly Roman Catholic population. This is a legacy of colonial times; only Catholics were permitted to settle in the New France colony.

90.2% Christian

  • 83.3% Roman Catholic
    4.7% Protestant
    1.4% Eastern Orthodox
    0.8% other Christian
    7.1% non-religious
    1.5% Muslim
    1.2% Jewish Religious groups

    Main article: Demolinguistics of Quebec Language
    The motto of Quebec is Je me souviens ("I remember"), which is carved into the Parliament Building façade in Quebec City and is seen on the coat of arms and licence plates.
    The graphic emblem of Quebec is the fleur-de-lis, usually white on a blue background, as on the flag of Quebec, the Fleurdelisé. As indicated on the government of Quebec's Web site, the flag recalls the French Royal banner said to have accompanied the army of General Montcalm, Marquis de Saint-Véran during the victorious battle of Carillon in 1758. While the fleur-de-lis, a symbol of France's Ancien Régime, may be thought of as "counter-revolutionary" in France today, it is a modern symbol in Quebec (which was never ruled by the French Republic) and is prominent in its coat of arms.
    The floral emblem of Quebec is the Iris versicolor. It was formerly the Madonna lily, to recall the fleur-de-lis, but has been changed to the iris, which is native to Quebec.
    The avian emblem of Quebec is the snowy owl.
    In addition to the other emblems, an insect emblem has been chosen by popular vote in October 1998 during a poll sponsored by the Montreal Insectarium: The White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis) [12] won with 32 % of the 230 660 votes. The butterfly was in competition with four other candidates: the Spotted lady beetle (Coleomegilla maculata lengi), the Ebony Jewelwing damselfly (Calopteryx maculata), a species of bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) and the six-spotted tiger beetle (Cicindela sexguttata sexguttata). The Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs supports and finances actions to officially recognize the White Admiral as the insect emblem.
    The patron saints of French Canada are Saint Anne and John the Baptist. La Saint-Jean, June 24, is Quebec's national day and has been officially called the Fête nationale du Québec since 1977. The song "Gens du pays" by Gilles Vigneault is sometimes regarded as Quebec's unofficial anthem.

    Symbols and emblems

    National Hockey League

    • Montreal Canadiens
      Canadian Football League

      • Montreal Alouettes
        Can-Am League

        • Quebec Capitales
          National Women's Hockey League

          • Montreal Axion
            Quebec Avalanche
            United Soccer Leagues

            • Montreal Impact Former sports teams
              Cathedrals · Communities · County seats · Lieutenant Governors · Actors · Authors · Counties (historic) · County regional municipalities (current) · Premiers · Provincial highways · Regions · Universities · Quebecers · Airports · Quebec-related topics

              Alliance Quebec
              Autoroute (Quebec) (Quebec's Autoroute system)
              Charter of the French Language
              Cinema of Quebec
              Civil Code of Quebec
              Civil unions in Quebec
              Distinct society
              Education in Quebec
              État québécois
              French in Canada
              A few acres of snow
              Irish Quebecer
              Jews in Canada
              List of Canadian provincial and territorial symbols
              List of cities in Canada
              Quebec lists:

              Cathedrals · Communities · County seats · Lieutenant Governors · Actors · Authors · Counties (historic) · County regional municipalities (current) · Premiers · Provincial highways · Regions · Universities · Quebecers · Airports · Quebec-related topics

              Musicians of Quebec
              National Assembly of Quebec
              National Order of Quebec
              New France
              Office québécois de la langue française
              Politics of Canada
              Quebec French
              Quebec general elections
              Quebec sovereignty movement
              Same-sex marriage in Quebec
              Scouting in Québec
              Timeline of Quebec history

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