QUEBEC HISTORY IN BRIEF:
The first inhabitants of Québec were Indians and Inuit who migrated
from Asia thousands of years ago.
The first Europeans who visted the coasts of Québec's rich St. Lawrence
Gulf were Norse, Basque whalers and cod fishermen.
Commissioned by François I, the King of France, Jacques Cartier landed
in the Gaspé in 1534. After Cartier claimed control of this vast
territory for France, the European presence in New France began to grow.
In the year 1608, Samuel de Champlain settled on the north shore of the
St. Lawrence in a place the Indians called Kébec. He founded a trading
post on the Place Royale, in what was to become Québec City. Soon
after, French coureurs de bois arrived, excited to trade in precious
In 1642 Paul Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve, landed with a group of
French colonists at what is now Pointe-à-Callière in Old Montréal.
founded a small Catholic mission named Ville Marie. From 1660 to 1713
the settlement of New France accelerated as France established colonies
in Acadia, and along the shores of the St. Lawrence. By the late 18th
century, Ville Marie had grown from a trading post into the booming
port of Montréal.
French and English War, the armies of British Major General James Wolfe
attacked Québec City on September 13, 1759 and defeated the French
troops of Commander Louis Joseph de Montcalm.
This Battle of the Plains of Abraham, in which both generals lost their
lives, changes the destiny of New France. Four years later, under the
Treaty of Paris, the King of France granted to "His Royal Majesty, the
sole ownership of Canada and all its dependencies." This transfer of
power and territory from France to England sparked a flood of new
colonists from England, Ireland and Scotland.
Canadian Constitution Act of 1791 established two provinces: Upper
Canada (primarily English-speaking Ontario), and Lower Canada
(primarily French-speaking Québec) with Québec City as its capital. The
British army crushed the Québec Patriot Rebellion of 1837-1838 and in
1841, the Act of Union united Upper and Lower Canada. In 1867, the
signing of the British North America Act established the Confederation
of Canadian Provinces including Québec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova
first commerce was based on fur trading. Until the early 20th century,
the economic life of Quebecers centered on agriculture and forestry. As
the industrial revolution sparked the rise of manufacturing in the
cities, rural Quebecers left the farms to work in the cities, and the
process of urbanization accelerated. By 1830, Montréal - the "Paris of
the North"- had become Canada's major industrial center, welcoming
waves of European immigrants fleeing war and misery in their homelands.
In 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened Montréal up to the world, and
in 1967, the world came to Montréal.
The Expo 67 World's Fair highlighted the culmination of Québec's "Quiet
Revolution," a period marked by a resurgence of pride in Québec's
French cultural heritage, a lessening of the influence of the Catholic
Church and a determination to assert Québec's place among modern
nations of the world.
1970's, debates over the domination of the French language covered the
province. In 1976, the Parti Québécois was voted into power, led by
charismatic René Lévesque. In 1980, in a popular referendum, Québec
voters rejected the proposition of sovereignty-association with the
federal government of Canada.
October, 1995 a second referendum on Québec independence was also
defeated by a slight margin.
plentiful natural resources and energy sources, Québec enjoys a high
standard of living. Québec excels in the fields of engineering,
transportation, telecommunications, aeronautics and aerospace
technology, medical research, computer science and biotechnology.
Québec exports 40% of its production, mainly to the US. Affirming its
prominence as a modern state, Québec is enthusiastically leaping into
the 21st century.
has a dynamic economy and is a gateway to North America
Because it is enjoying a
strategic location in the Northeast of North America, Québec is a
full-fledged member of the major trade and economic networks that make
up the continent's economy. Québec offers direct access to over 130
million consumers within a radius of 600 miles.
Québec sends 85% of its
exports to the United States.
Some 37% of Québec exports are added-value exports, i.e. aircraft and
aircraft engines, transportation equipment, office equipment and
A logical choice
for foreign investors
Between 2000 and 2004
(April), more than $10 billion of foreign direct investments have been
invested in Québec
Foreign investors can
operate a business in Québec under the same conditions as a Québec
entrepreneur, as sole owner, a partner in a general partnership or a
shareholder in a limited liability company.
They can also directly
operate a company in Québec by simply establishing a branch there.
The Canadian and Québec taxation systems include credits for foreign
taxes paid, to avoid double taxation.
Just choose the industry
that interests you.
A highly positive
also has modern transportation networks organized to efficiently serve
the North American and international markets.