Quebec, The Province, The People, The History
Quebec is a province in eastern Canada, bordered on the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; on the east by Labrador (Which is a part of Newfoundland), the Strait of Belle Isle, and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence; on the south by New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, and Ontario; and on the west by Ontario, James Bay, and Hudson Bay.
The name Quebec is derived from an Algonquian term for "place where the river narrows," referring to the Saint Lawrence River near the site of present-day Quebec City, the capital of the province.
Quebec is sometimes called "the Storied Province," Quebec became part of the Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, as one of the four original provinces.
The province of Quebec was first colonized by France and was formally acquired by Great Britain in the Treaty of Paris of 1763. The mass majority of Quebec's population today use French as their first language. Beginning in the 1960s the Quebecois (French-speaking residents of Quebec) made strong efforts to preserve their French heritage as well as to gain additional powers for the province, which led to conflicts with the national government that have yet to be fully resolved. This is apparent in the recent "Referendum" where theQuebecois tried to get Quebec special provincial concederations based on the fact the mass majority of Quebec residents speak French.
Quebec is the largest of all the Canadian provinces. Its large area of 1,540,680 sq km (594,858 sq MI) accounts for 15.5 percent of Canada's total area and includes 183,890 sq km (71,000 sq MI) of inland freshwater surface. This is a major draw for Industry in Quebec. Elevations in Quebec range from sea level to 1622 m (5322 ft), atop Mont D'Iberville in the Torngat Mountains in the northeast. Anticosti Island and the Magdalen Islands, (which are both in the Gulf of St. Lawrence), are part of Quebec, which has a tidal shoreline of some 13,775 km (some 8560 MI).
Montreal is the leading industrial and commercial center and largest city in the province of Quebec.
The climate of Quebec varies drastically. Quebec's climate is effected by regional variations in altitude and by the pce's northern location, and its exposed position between the cold waters of Hudson Bay and the cold ocean currents along the Labrador coast. Montreal has an average January temperature of about -9° C (about 16° F) and an average July temperature of about 22° C (about 72° F). The recorded temperatures in the province have ranged from -54.4° C (-65.9° F), in 1923 at Doucet in the south, to 40° C (104° F), in 1921 at Ville Marie in the southwest.
According to the 1991 census, Quebec had a population of 6,895,963 people, an increase of 5.6 percent over 1986. The population density in 1991 was about 4 persons per sq km (12 per sq MI); the distribution of population, however, was uneven, with the majority concentrated in the extreme southeast of Quebec, mainly due to extreme temperature in the north. French was the main native language of about 81% of the people; about 9% had English as their only native language. Most of the English-speaking people live in Montreal and the Eastern Townships, because English is very common here. Quebec's largest cities are: Montreal, the largest city in Canada; Laval; Quebec City, the provincial capital; Longueuil; Gatineau; and Montreal-Nord.