After publishing THIS post, I received comments from Michel Patrice citing that Quebec’s immigrants would be better served by being directed to Quebec City rather than seeking out the company of their own communities in Montreal.
Two of Michel’s principal arguments for Quebec City being a better choice for immigrants were;
A) There’s a lower rate of unemployment
B) Housing is more affordable
After reading the comments Troy had left, I dug a little deeper to take a look at why Quebec City is not the best idea for immigrants (or even native Quebeckers/Canadians for that matter).
First, the employment issue (or lack of it, as Troy pointed out):
Let me give you my two cents based on my life experience.
I, along with my wife and son, do not care if the place we live in does not have people from the our home country’s community. That was why we were comfortable with Montreal. Otherwise, we would have no other choice in the first place than Toronto or Vancouver.
With my preference like that, I can say categorically that Quebec City region is not a good place for me to find a job. Even if I mastered French 100%. The jobs are simply not there. If one is looking for a white-collar, knowledge-based, good-pay, private-sector jobs, in Quebec those jobs are concentrated in Montreal and nowhere else.
While Quebec City’s unemployment rate is lower than Montreal’s at surface level, we of course need to take into account that Montreal has a population of 1.621M people while Quebec City has 765,706 chicks in its nest. With Montreal having more than double the population, the higher unemployment rate is more than acceptable.
Furthermore, Troy really isn’t kidding about the lack of private-sector jobs.
To draw contrast, I decided to use Indeed.ca, one of Canada’s most popular job-search engines to demonstrate the disparity between the two cities.
Job Title: mécanicien Location: Ville de Quebec & Montreal
Results: 109 positions (Quebec) / 446 positions (Montreal)
Job Title: Ruby (development language) Location: Ville de Quebec & Montreal
Results: 12 positions (Quebec) / 111 positions (Montreal)
Job Title: Analyste d’affaires Location: Ville de Quebec & Montreal
Results: 32 positions (Quebec) / 246 positions (Montreal)
Job Title: Marketing Location: Ville de Quebec & Montreal
Results: 412 positions (Quebec) / 3,491 positions (Montreal)
The numbers speak for themselves – the private sector clearly belongs to Montreal.
Just thought I’d also point out that three of those skilled jobs (Ruby on Rails developer, Business Analyst and Marketing) all require English…or at least they do if you want a customer base larger than fishing village in Greenland.
Regarding the home prices, I checked out the CREA website and was remarkably surprised to discover something rather disturbing: while Quebec City was indeed a lot cheaper than Montreal (you can save up to $100K on a home), the year-over-year appreciation is in the negative.
According to the CREA website, if you bought a home in Quebec’s capital in 2014 for $262,963, today your home would be worth $255,698.
Part of the point of buying one’s own home is not to simply be owner of your own abode.
It’s an investment.
Just look at how baby boomers are cashing in the homes they bought for $150K for over half a million bucks and up and using that money to live comfortably in a condo.
This negative ROI also has a trickle-down effect to the rental market.
Take a look at Toronto for instance. Housing has gotten so expensive there that most new home owners will convert part of their new home into a separate apartment to help pay off the mortgage.
Let’s say you want to do the same in Quebec City – that separate apartment will barely make a dent.
In effect, what we see here is that separatists truly do not have the immigrant community’s best interests at heart.
While I do agree with Michel that governments should promote as many different regions in their territory to new arrivals for the sake of total development of resources and the maximization of asset value, at the end of the day the separatist agenda is preoccupied with sticking it to Canada by trying to break up the spirit of multiculturalism.
They merely want immigrants to spread out to spite the made-in-Canada model…nothing more.
In doing so, they are proposing to send immigrants to city with an inferior job market that almost guarantees a sub-standard of opportunity and success, a negative ROI on real estate investment all at the additional cost of distancing themselves from the only sense of familiarity they have in their new country.