The Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region at a glanceTerritory and main cities
Economy and employment
Education and research
Portrait of immigration
Support services for settling and integrating in the region
Services to immigrants offered by the Ministère
Resources and interesting links
Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine are situated in a maritime region situated in the easternmost part of Québec, renowned for its beautiful landscapes, the hospitality of its inhabitants and its rural character.
The population has forged a strong identity, influenced not only by its environment and distance from major centres, but also by its diverse ethnic origins. The region was first inhabited by Micmacs, then by Acadians, Loyalists, Jerseyans, as well as English, Irish and Scottish settlers. In 2009, the population was 85% francophone, 10% anglophone and 5% Micmac, for a total population of 94,067 inhabitants, ranking it 16th in Québec.
Gaspésie is a peninsula that covers an area of 20,272 km2 bordering the Gulf of St. Lawrence, while Îles-de-la-Madeleine is located in the heart of the Gulf, 215 kilometres from the Gaspé Peninsula. The Madelinots live in the Atlantic time zone, which is one hour later than the rest of Québec.
The Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region consists of 42 municipalities, 7 unorganized territories, two Aboriginal reserves and one Micmac community. It includes 5 regional county municipalities (MRCs) and one municipality outside the MRC (Îles-de-la-Madeleine). Most of the localities have less than 5000 inhabitants.
The main municipalities in Gaspésie are Gaspé (15 028 inhabitants), Chandler (7730 habitants), Sainte-Anne-des-Monts (6694 habitants), Carleton-sur-Mer, New Richmond and Paspébiac (these last three cities are located in Baie-des-Chaleurs and are home to close to 4000 inhabitants each). The Archipelago of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, including its main centre, Cap-aux-Meules, has a population of 13 612.
Information on the Territory and its subregions
The regional economy is traditionally based on fishing, forestry and tourism. These three seasonal activities and the processing activities related to the first two, account for 25% of the region’s economic activity. Mining and agriculture, although modest, also contribute to the regional economy. The service sector accounts for 70% of jobs.
Three niches of excellence (ACCORD) have been recognized in the region: marine biotechnology, health and nature tourism and wind energy. The region enjoys specific tax measures for businesses that create jobs in marine aquaculture, marine products processing, marine biotechnologies and wind turbine manufacturing.
A total of 9200 jobs will have to be filled in Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine by 2014, due primarily to retirement. In addition, more than 79% of entrepreneurs in the region will be taking their retirement in the next few years, with very few new entrepreneurs to fill the gap.
To find out about employment opportunities in the region, consult the Emploi-Québec website.
The region also offers special measures to attract young professionals. Consult the Portail jeunesse.
Information on the economy, employment, services and cultural life
Business start-up support
The education network of the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region is composed of four school boards, the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles and the Groupe Collégia, a consortium of ongoing training services at the Cegep. The Cegep consists of three general education campuses, in Gaspé, Carleton-sur-Mer and Îles-de-la-Madeleine, as well as the École des pêches et de l’aquaculture du Québec (fisheries and aquaculture school) and its Centre de recherche Halieutec (commercial fishing research centre) in Grande-Rivière.
Three research centres are affiliated with Québec universities: the Consortium en foresterie (forestry consortium), the Centre de recherche en énergie éolienne Corus (wind energy research centre) and the Centre de recherche sur les milieux insulaires et maritimes (research centre on island and maritime environments). Various research projects are also conducted by Université de Laval’s Multifaculty Chair in Research and Development for Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
Information on education and research
Several cultural communities are present in the region. Since 1997, immigrants have hailed primarily from the United States, France, China and Belgium and, in smaller numbers, from several other countries. Immigrants who settle in the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region are mostly sponsored immigrants, skilled workers and businesspeople.