Number of Quebecers leaving province is on the rise

January 9th 2014, The Gazette publishes a paper reporting that the number of quebeckers leaving the province is on the rise.

According to Jack Jedwab, Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration executive vice-president,  this rise in out-migration is not related to the divisive debate over the PQ government’s proposed charter of values since the departures occurred before the charter was unveiled. But Mr Jedwab can’t help suggesting that there might nevertheless be something to it. He says that, if the trend continues, the hypothesis that political factors are spurring departures would deserve a second look.

Former Statistics Canada demograph, Alain Bélanger wrote to Le Devoir to share some interesting observations about the report methodology.

I stumbled on a short paper reporting interprovincial migration for 2012-2013. (Jobboom, feb. 2014, vol. 15 no 1, reported source StanCan)

The reported statistics :

Alberta                    +50,000
Saskatchewan          +1,800
British-Columbia      -7,850
Québec                        -9,800
Atlantic Provinces  -11,000
Ontario                     -21,300

As usual, the comparison of absolute numbers are of little use due to large differences in population. So I made this graph presenting the gains and losses in relation with the population of each province.

Solde Migratoire

Interestingly, the careful reader will notice that Québec lost a smaller part of its population that Ontario did.

So far, it is hard to say that Québec loses population because of the Charter or because of our bankrupted economy. Don’t worry, one could tell that stupid quebeckers, closed on the outside world and unable to leave Québec because of their debilitating linguistic handicap, are missing on the economic opportunities that are rising in the west that everyone but them take advantage of. There is always a way to spin it.

Update (february 2015) :

Yes, there is always a way to spin it. Mr Rahul Majumdar provided an interesting instance of this spin :  » […] indeed, Ontario has lost people to interprovincial migration for over a decade. That being said, Ontario […] shares the majority official language (English) with Alberta, so they are more mobile than say, the average francophone Quebecer.« 

Ontarians are more mobileSo, if Québec would loose a greater proportion of its population to interprovincial migration, it would be, of course, because of the weakness of its economy, or because of its tyranic language legislation, or whatever. If Québec would loose a smaller proportion of its population to interprovincial migration, it would be because linguistically handicaped francophones are less mobile. Simple. And there is no prejudices into this…

Mr Majumdar is nevertheless, in my view, an articulate and intelligent man, which makes his comment even more interesting.


Une réflexion au sujet de « Number of Quebecers leaving province is on the rise »

  1. Ben

    I don’t really see what there is to be upset about – the quotes come from two different people who probably have different perspectives on the topic. And the negative interpretation seems to have been presented as a hypothetical – not an absolute.

    Does it not make sense though that linguistic abilities do naturally influence labour force movement? That argument seems quite logical to me, as well as the strength of the local economy – many people will only move if they cannot find adequate opportunities where they already live. That also applies to English Canadians moving to Quebec.


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