province of Canada

Quebec (/kəˈbɛk/ or /kwɪˈbɛk/; French: Québec [kebɛk] (audio speaker iconlisten))[8] is a province in the eastern part of Canada located between the Hudson Bay and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. It is the largest of Canada's ten provinces by size. It also has the second largest number of people, after Ontario. Most of Quebec's inhabitants live along or close to the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. Not many people live in the north part of the province.

Québec (French)
Je me souviens
(French: "I remember")
Anthem: "Gens du Pays"
People of my Country"
Coordinates: 52°N 72°W / 52°N 72°W / 52; -72
ConfederationJuly 1, 1867 (1st, with New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario)
CapitalQuebec City
Largest cityMontreal
Largest metroGreater Montreal
 • TypeConstitutional monarchy
 • BodyGovernment of Quebec
 • Lieutenant GovernorJ. Michel Doyon
 • PremierFrançois Legault (CAQ)
LegislatureNational Assembly of Quebec
Federal representationParliament of Canada
House seats78 of 338 (23.1%)
Senate seats24 of 105 (22.9%)
 • Total1,542,056 km2 (595,391 sq mi)
 • Land1,365,128 km2 (527,079 sq mi)
 • Water176,928 km2 (68,312 sq mi)  11.5%
 • RankRanked 2nd
 15.4% of Canada
 • Total8,164,361 [1]
 • Estimate 
(Q4 2021)
8,631,147 [2]
 • RankRanked 2nd
 • Density5.98/km2 (15.5/sq mi)
Demonym(s)in French: Quebecer or Quebecker,
in French: Québécois (m),[3] Québécoise (f)[3]
Official languagesFrench[4]
 • Rank2nd
 • Total (2015)C$380.972 billion[5]
 • Per capitaC$46,126 (10th)
 • HDI (2019)0.916[6]Very high ([[List of Canadian provinces and territories by Human Development Index|9th]])
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern Time Zone for most of the province[7])
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00
Rankings include all provinces and territories

Unlike the other provinces, most people in Quebec speak French (Canadian French) and French is the only official language. There is a strong French-language culture, which includes French-language newspapers, magazines, movies, television and radio shows. Their culture and language, though, is quite different from that of France, mainly because of Quebec's isolation from France since the 17th century, and the separate evolutions of the French language in Quebec and in France. Their culture was also influenced by English-speaking Canada.

The government of Quebec has its offices in the capital, Quebec City, which is one of the oldest cities in North America. The city with the most people in the province is Montreal, which is also the second-largest city in Canada.

Quebec has many natural resources that are used to create jobs. Quebec also has many companies that create products for information and communication technologies, aerospace, biotechnology, and health industries. It has also developed close relations with the Northeastern United States.

Leaving Canada


Quebec was part of New France until 1760, then under British control. Quebec became a province in the Canadian Confederation in 1867. Since then, some people in Quebec have wanted to leave Canada. Since Quebec is a mainly French-speaking province, most of the people there feel that it is very different from the rest of Canada, and want to keep it that way. Some feel that for this to happen, Quebec must leave Canada and become its own country. However, the people of Quebec are still divided as to its place in Canada.

Quebec held democratic votes in 1980 and 1995 to decide whether to leave Canada. In 1995, the people of Quebec chose to stay in Canada by a 1% margin.

History of Quebec


Aboriginal people and Inuit groups were the first peoples who lived in what is now Québec. These Aboriginal people lived by hunting, gathering, and fishing. Some of the Aboriginal people, called Iroquoians, planted squash and maize. The Inuit fished and hunted whales and seals for fur and food. Sometimes they warred with each other.

Vikings came in longboats from Scandinavia in 1000 AD. Basque whalers and fishermen traded furs with Aboriginal people throughout the 1500s.

The first French explorer to reach Quebec was Jacques Cartier. He sailed into the St. Lawrence River in 1534 and established a colony near present-day Quebec City.

Samuel de Champlain came from France and traveled into the St. Lawrence River. In 1608, he founded Quebec City as a permanent fur trading outpost. Champlain signed trading and military agreements with the Aboriginal people. Voyageurs, coureurs des bois, and Catholic missionaries used river canoes to explore the interior of the North American continent.

After 1627, King Louis XIII of France made a rule that only Roman Catholics could go to live in New France. Jesuit clerics tried to convert New France's Aboriginal people to Catholicism. New France became a Royal Province of France in 1663. 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.

In 1753 France began building a series of forts in the British Ohio Country. Britain asked the French to remove the forts, and the French refused. By 1756, France and Britain were at war. In 1758, the British attacked New France by sea and captured the French fort at Louisbourg.

In 1759, British General James Wolfe defeated General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm outside Quebec City. France gave its North American land to Great Britain in 1763. In 1764, New France was renamed the Province of Quebec.

In 1774, the British Parliament passed the Quebec Act, giving recognition to French law, Catholic religion, and French language in the colony. The Quebec Act gave the Quebec people their first Charter of rights. The Quebec Act made American colonists angry, so they launched the American Revolution. A 1775 invasion by the American Continental Army was stopped at Quebec City. In 1783, Quebec gave the territory south of the Great Lakes to the new United States of America. In 1867 the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the British North America Act, which brought most of the provinces together.

Quiet Revolution


The conservative government of Maurice Duplessis dominated Quebec politics from 1944 to 1960 with the support of the Catholic Church. The Quiet Revolution was a period of social and political change. During the Quiet Revolution, French Canadians lost their control over the Quebec economy, the Roman Catholic Church became less important, and the Quebec government took over the hydro-electric companies.

In 1963, a terrorist group that became known as the Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ) began doing bombings, robberies and attacks on government offices. In 1970 the FLQ kidnapped James Cross, the British trade commissioner to Canada. The FLQ also kidnapped and assassinated Pierre Laporte, Minister of Labour and Deputy Premier of Québec. Laporte's body was found in the trunk of Paul Rose's car, on the South Shore of Montreal on October 17 1970. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act, and 497 people were arrested.

The Quiet Revolution was so named because it was not marked by protests or violence.

In 1977, the newly elected Parti Québécois government of René Lévesque introduced the Charter of the French Language. Often known as Bill 101, it defined French as the only official language of Quebec.



The government is based in the provincial capital, Quebec City. The government is led by a lieutenant-governor (pronounced "lef-") who represents the Crown. As of 2019, he is Michel Doyon. The political leader of the province is the premier. He is François Legault of the Coalition Avenir de Quebec (CAQ), elected in 2018.


  1. "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, 2016 and 2011 censuses". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Archived from the original on February 13, 2017.
  2. "Population estimates, quarterly". Statistics Canada. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fee, Margery; McAlpine, Janice (2001). Oxford Guide to Canadian French Usage. Oxford University Press. p. 335. ISBN 0-19-541619-8.
  4. "Status of the French language". Government of Quebec. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  5. "Gross domestic product, expenditure-based, by province and territory (2015)". Statistics Canada. November 9, 2016. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012.
  6. "Sub-national HDI - Subnational HDI - Global Data Lab".
  7. See Time in Canada
  8. According to the Canadian government, Québec (with the acute accent) is the official name in French and Quebec (without the accent) is the province's official name in French; the name is one of 81 places of pan-Canadian significance with official forms in both languages. In this system, the official name of the capital is Québec in both official languages. The Quebec government renders both names as Québec in both languages.

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