Canada: The best-performing G8 country

Population: 33.6 million
GDP: $1.5 trillion CAD
Area: 9,984,670 km2
10 provinces and 3 territories

Map of Canada
Map of Canada

Canada was the only member of the G8 to record a surplus in 2007.  Despite an overall deficit between 2008 and 2011, Canada finds itself in a much better position than most G8 countries. Moreover, during the last decade, Canada has had the fastest population growth rate of the G8 countries.

Canada offers the most competitive corporate tax rate in the world – 18% in 2010 and down to 15% in 2012.

Canada and the United States are the largest trading partners worldwide. In 2011, bilateral trade reached almost $600 billion CAD, representing $1.7 billion CAD per day. In general, Canada has a positive trade balance with its Southern neighbor. The U.S. trades more with Canada than with any other country, more than all the EU countries combined!

Since the adoption of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, Canada provides guaranteed solid access to the North American market.

In addition to eliminating tariffs, NAFTA contains provisions on the following aspects:

  • Special agreement on timber for an exemption on customs duties
  • Border facilitation
  • Free movement of personnel
  • Investments and intellectual property protection
  • Product certification

The signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has integrated the Canadian, American and Mexican economies in almost all business areas. As a result, Canadian businesses have access to a market of 450 million consumers, representing a GDP totalling (purchasing power parity) almost $17.5 trillion CAD.

Canada also has free-trade agreements with the following countries: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Israel, Jordan and Peru. A free-trade agreement is currently being negotiated between the Canadian and European Community authorities.

Québec: Performs better than the Canadian average during the recession

Largest province in Canada in surface area (1,542,058 km2)
Second largest in population size with 7.8 million inhabitants
Real GDP: $246 billion CAD

Map of the Quebec regions
Map of the Quebec regions

Half of its surface area is covered by forests
Quebec has 17 administrative regions and six metropolitan areas, including Montreal, its economic capital.

The capital of Quebec (seat of the provincial government) is Quebec City.

The official language of the province is French, but most residents of large cities are bilingual.

Quebec has a highly diversified economy. The province has several leaders in the following sectors: aerospace, agrifood, automotive / ground transportation, light metals, microelectronics, multimedia, optics-photonics, life sciences, software and computer services, software and telecommunications.

Quebec also has an abundance of natural resources, a wealth of underground mineral resources and more than a million lakes and rivers.

Quebec has weathered the 2008 recession better than any other Canadian province, particularly Ontario. Indeed, in 2010, its unemployment rate is below that of Ontario (8.0% for Quebec compared to 8.7% for Ontario according to data from the RBC Provincial Outlook December 2011). Québec also enjoys a lower unemployment rate since 2008, close to 7.8% for 2014 (RBC Provincial Outlook 2015).

The Estrie Region

Estrie is one of Québec’s administrative regions and is located along the U.S. border, east of the Montérégie region, and south of the Centre-du-Québec region. The main cities are Sherbrooke, Magog, Coaticook, Lac-Mégantic and Windsor. The region comprises seven counties (MRC – Municipalité regionale de comté) and 89 municipalities.

Carte Estrie
Map of the Estrie region

Population : 309,975 (2010)
Area: 10,195 km²
Population density : 29.2 p/km²
Birth rate: 10.3‰ (2006)
Mortality rate: 7.6‰ (2006)

The richness of its soil, the splendor of its hills and mountains, and the wild beauty of its hundreds of lakes renderthis region one of the most magnificent in Québec. This region is always appreciated by tourists and vacationers.

The presence of innovative companies supports the region in its transition to a knowledge-based economy. The diversification is already apparent in a number of areas: transport (Bombardier), entertainment (Corporation Image Entertainment), cleantech (Enerkem), and research (Sherbrooke Innopole) to name a few. Moreover, we are witnessing a clear trend toward more specialization in the manufacturing activities, including forestry (Source: Desjardins).

Sherbrooke is the main economic, cultural and institutional center of the Estrie region – inspiring its nickname “The Queen of the Eastern Townships”. The city is home to a Catholic Archbishop. Its population is estimated to be 154,601 in 2011 and ranks 6th most important city of Québec. The census metro area (RMR) has a population of 201,890 is the 4th largest RMR of Québec and 20th for Canada.

Sherbrooke is an important University center with eight institutions and 40,000 students per year. The proportion of students is 10.32 per 100 inhabitants, which makes it the highest concentration of students for Québec.

Service Canada sectoral perspectives

For 2015, we anticipate an average annual growth rate of 0.8% for the Estrie region, a rate just below the one for the Québec province (0.9%). Most of the industrial sectors will contribute to a positive effect on employment, but some, more traditional, will continue to face competition from developing countries.

The MRC du Granit – Municipalité régionale du Granit (MRC)

Total area (2013) 2,731 km²
Population density (2013) 8.2 p/km²
Total population (2013) 22,294 inhabitants
0-14 yrs. 3,389
15-24 yrs. 2,220
25-44 yrs. 4,654
45-64 yrs. 7,416
65 yrs. and over 4,615
Inter-regional net migration (2012-2013) -55
Population estimates (population change 2006/2011) – 0.9%
Workers 25-64 yrs. (2012) 8,457
Employment rate – workers 25-64 yrs. (2012) 73.1%
Median employment income – workers 25-64 yrs. (2012) $32,161
Household disposable income per capita (2012) $21,992
Building permits total value (2013) $22,506 k
Average real estate value single-unit homes (2014) $131,773

Map of MRC du Granit
Map of MRC du Granit

Backed by the Appalachian Mountains, the MRC  du Granit (Mégantic region)  is located on the southeastern corner of the Estrie region, near the Beauce region and Maine (USA). The MRC is only two hours from Montreal or Quebec City, and less than one hour from the U.S. border (Maine). The topography of the area consists of gentle slopes and rougher terrain, with an average elevation between 365 and 550 meters. The territory consists of two distinct topographical zones: the mountainous border zone in the southern part, and the high Appalachian plateau of the northern portion.

The mountains straddle the Canada-U.S. border. They are the north western extension of New England’s White Mountains. The southern part of the region is characterized by steep slopes and high peaks such as Scotch Hill, Saddle Hill and the Montagne de Marbre. Mount Gosford (1,189 meters) and Mont Mégantic (1,104 meters) are the highest summits of the region. The northern part of the area is dominated by two large hills, Mont Sainte-Cécile (890 meters) and Morne de Saint-Sébastien (824 meters).

The MRC du Granit covers 2,821 square kilometers and accounts for 26.8% of the Estrie region. The city of Lac-Mégantic is its urban center (population 5,970) and covers 21.77 square kilometers. MRC du Granit is composed of the following 20 municipalities:

  • Audet
  • Courcelles
  • Frontenac
  • Lac-Drolet
  • Lac-Mégantic
  • Lambton
  • Milan
  • Nantes
  • Notre-Dame-des-Bois
  • Piopolis
  • Saint-Augustin de Woburn
  • Saint-Ludger
  • Saint-Robert Bellarmin
  • Saint-Romain
  • Saint-Sébastien
  • Sainte-Cécile-de-Whitton
  • Stornoway
  • Stratford
  • Val-Racine
  • Township of Marston

MRC: from the French – “Municipalité Régionale de Comté” (Regional County Municipality) of the Mégantic region.

City of Lac-Mégantic

Distance from major urban centers

Saint-Georges75 km (46 mi)
Sherbrooke105 km (65 mi)
Québec179 km (111 mi)
Montréal258 km (160 mi)
Portland ME USA270 km (167 mi)
Boston MA USA643 km (337 mi)
New York NY USA786 km (488 mi)
USA Border30 km (18 mi)