Montreal is now home to 4 million people. The latest population estimates from Statistics Canada upgraded the region’s population to 4,027,100 as of July 1, 2014. Greater Toronto’s population increased by a million to 6 million between 2013 and 2014.
Foreign immigrants have been the main driver of growth in cities as was seen in the recent past.
According to a release from the stats bureau, “International migration was responsible for just over two-thirds of the population growth of census metropolitan areas (CMAs) in 2013-2014. All CMAs with over 1 million inhabitants reported growth rates from international migration of 1 per cent or higher, accounting for most of their population growth (71 per cent).”
The metro areas that gained the most people continue to be in the Prairies and Western Canada, with Calgary, Edmonton, and Saskatoon seeing the most growth. Over one year, their populations grew by 3.6, 3.3, and 3.2 per cent, respectively. These metropolitan regions also boast the highest economic growth in the country.
The metro area with the largest loss of people was Saint John, N.B, which saw a decrease of 0.5 per cent. Montreal continues to see people moving to other provinces (interprovincial migration) and other areas of Quebec (intra-provincial migration). Between 2013 and 2014, the metro area had a net loss of 10,000 to other provinces, and 7,000 people to other municipalities within the province.
Losses in other large CMAs such as Toronto and Vancouver were the gains of smaller CMAs like Barrie, Ont. and Kelowna B.C. In Quebec, larger CMAs like Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Trois Rivières also had net gains.
However, Montreal gained 42,800 immigrants or 18 per cent of all immigrants to Canada. This is a decrease from past years which also saw a steady decline. Between 2012 and 2013, Montreal received 46,400 and 44,800 immigrants respectively.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Toronto and Montreal are two of the best places to live in the world. The information was revealed as part of a new report called The Safe Cities Index 2015, which also includes an “index of indexes” that averages out the scores of six Economist rankings, including the new one.
Toronto ranked only 8th and Montreal 14th in the new Safe Cities Index, making them the highest overall when combined with the magazine’s livability rankings, business environment rankings, cost of living index, democracy index and food security index.
Cities that ranked higher than Toronto in The Safe Cities Index include Tokyo, Singapore, Osaka, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Sydney and Zurich.
Here are the top 10 best places to live, according to The Economist:
5. San Francisco
8. Washington, D.C.
Here are the bottom 10 best places to live, according to The Economist:
45. Mexico City
48. Ho Chi Minh City
Faced with a slumping economy and high unemployment rate back home, the number of French citizens in Montreal has soared in recent years, particularly among the 25-40 age demographic.
In recent times, the unmistakable accent of the Old Country echoes through the bars and cafés of the city’s trendy Plateau district. Specialty stores offering made-in-France delicacies and pubs that televise French rugby and soccer matches have also recently popped up.
By 2013, nearly 55,000 French citizens were registered at the French consulate in Montreal, a rise by about 45 per cent from 2005, according to the consulate. However, this number in reality is likely much higher. A consulate spokesman estimates only about half of the French in Canada register, putting the estimated number of French citizens in Montreal at about 110,000. Toronto and Quebec City are the next most popular destinations with each being home to about 10,000 registered French citizens.
The growing French presence in Montreal has even stirred up hints of resentment. A satirical song called ‘Y’a trop de Français sur le Plateau’, which takes jabs at the perceived snobbiness of the French and their love of cigarettes, has been viewed 143,000 times on YouTube. The tune was written by Fred Fresh, a musician who is a Frenchman himself.
Many still view Montreal as a place of opportunity but it’s unclear how many of these new arrivals will stay for the long haul. Over the past decade, 30,000 immigrants from France have gained permanent resident status in Quebec, according to the consulate, far below the total number here on temporary student and work-travel visas. But it’s still among the top immigrant countries of origin in Quebec, alongside Algeria, Morocco, China and Haiti.
Many immigrants feel less restricted by educational background in Canada and if stable employment is available here then the only other factor that could dissuade anyone from making Montreal home is the brutal Canadian winter.
Source: The Globe and Mail
Quebec has a great record when it comes to finding new ways of doing things. However, one sector that continues to search for a solution is Quebec’s higher education system – the prime question for many people in the previous election, some 19 months back. This time though, it has been conspicuous by its absence.
Despite that, the question remains unanswered – How does an individual pay for a university system that offers both access and quality? Although this debate is not a new subject for Quebec or for the rest of the world, Quebec must emerge with the answer.
Committed citizens speak of a renaissance for Montreal, which happens to be Canada’s second largest city. However, despite having over 225,000 students at the universities and Cégeps, Montreal still hires less university graduates annually than any other major city in Canada.
It would be impossible to think of a similar renaissance for Quebec without finding some noteworthy funding solutions first. Until then, Quebec needs to find ways to keep its university system and economic future strong. In addition, Quebec also needs to find ways of retaining the talented students it attracts, once these students graduate. According to the president of Concordia University in Montreal, Alan Shepard, Quebec could achieve this in three possible ways.
The first method involves facilitating student immigration and seeking help from universities for this. This means that the authorities must simplify the bureaucratic processes. By connecting these students to the commercial and civic realms of Quebec and teaching them French, the universities could retain these students.
The second proposal entails providing additional physical spaces, linked together by networks, which would enable students to take control of their creativity and innovations. For example, Concordia launched District 3 in 2012. This multi-disciplinary incubator enabled Concordia’s students and alumni to work side-by-side for coming up with solutions or ways to build their own businesses.
The third method entails providing tax incentives for promoting a culture of innovation even further. Last summer, for example, Governor Andrew Cuomo commenced New York’s incubator networks with Start-Up New York, which offered tax credits to businesses that got established on or near a university campus and also supported the university’s mission.
Currently, universities favour merit and access along with the highest ideals of learning. If Quebec could harness these and make them drivers of civic and economic equality, their contribution to Quebec’s future could be invaluable.
Source: The Globe and Mail and Alan Shepard
The Province of Quebec administers its own immigration programs with selection criteria that are distinct and more predictable from those of federal and other provincial immigration programs.
Foreign nationals wishing to settle permanently in Quebec must undergo a two-step immigration process.
- They must be selected by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), Quebec’s immigration authority. Selected applicants will receive a Quebec Certificat de Sélection (CSQ).
- An approved CSQ holder must file an application with Canadian federal immigration authorities. The federal government’s role in evaluating a Quebec application for permanent residence is mainly limited to issues of health and criminality.