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 part of a maritime region in the easternmost part of Québec, renowned for its beautiful landscapes and rural character as well as the warm hospitality of its inhabitants.
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 2012, the population was 85% francophone, 10% anglophone and 5% Micmac, for a total population of 92,536 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, 2 Aboriginal reserves and 1 Micmac community. It includes 5 regional county municipalities (MRCs) and one municipality outside the MRC (Îles-de-la-Madeleine). All of the MRCs have less than 20,000 inhabitants and most of the localities, less than 5000 inhabitants.
The main municipalities in Gaspésie are Gaspé (15,269 inhabitants), Chandler (7706 inhabitants), Sainte-Anne-des-Monts (6990 inhabitants), Carleton-sur-Mer, New Richmond and Paspébiac (these last three cities are located in Baie-des-Chaleurs and are each home to close to 4000 inhabitants). The Archipelago of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, including its main centre, Cap-aux-Meules, has a population of 12,824.
Information on the Territory and its subregions
The regional economy of Gaspésie–Îles-de-la Madeleine is based on fishing, forestry and tourism. Processing activities have also been added to these seasonal industries. Agriculture, although more modest, also contribute to the regional economy. The service sector accounts for 79% of jobs.
The region is recognized for three niches of excellence: marine biotechnology, recreational 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.
By 2016, some 9700 jobs will have to be filled in the region, due primarily to retirement. In addition, more than 80% 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 long-term settlement services for people of all ages and origins who wish to work or start a business in the region. For more information, consult the sections Travailler and Entreprendre of the portal of Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
Information on the economy, employment, services and cultural life
Business start-up support
The region offers various business start-up support services. To find out more, visit the section Entreprendre of the portal of Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
The education network of the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region is composed of four school boards, Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles and Groupe Collégia, a consortium of ongoing training services at the Cegep. In addition to 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, the Cegep consists of three general education campuses, in Gaspé, Carleton-sur-Mer and Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
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. Currently, immigrants living in the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region hail primarily from the United States, France, China and Belgium. Immigrants who settle in the region are mostly sponsored immigrants, skilled workers and businesspeople.