Seen, Read, Verified | An exodus of 600,000 English speaking Quebecers over the years, is that possible?

The anger of many Anglophones at this spring’s Bill 101 CAQ reform has brought the issue of the exodus of Anglophones back into the news over the years. The figure of 600,000 between 1971 and 2015 is in circulation. Possible ?

Posted at 9:00 am

Luise Leduc

Luise Leduc
The press

That figure actually refers to a 2016 Fraser Institute report that 600,000 Quebecers left Quebec between 1971 and 2015. However, these are not necessarily Anglophones.

So how high is the exodus of this community exactly? The Brotherhood of Historians has been called in to help answer this much more complicated question than it seems.

in the The Quebec Condition – An Exotic HistoryIn a 2020 book, historian Jocelyn Létourneau writes that between 1966 and 1986 about 300,000 Anglophones – most of them from the Montreal area – left Quebec.

Two in three migrants say they are leaving because of the shock of the Parti Québécois election in 1976 and the passage of Bill 101 a year later.

The historian Jocelyn Létourneau in his book

“Without disputing the word of those affected, it must be recognized that Toronto simultaneously attracted tens of thousands of men and women from across the country and world, drawn by the city’s extraordinary growth as it rises unrivaled to the rank of a Canadian metropolis. »

On the phone he insists and signs. He highlights how Toronto has been a center for people from all backgrounds since the 1950s. “The Anglophones who moved there did so mainly for economic reasons – to improve their financial situation – but in some cases, yes, for cultural reasons. »

Other assumptions

In “The Exodus of the Anglo-Quebec Community: The Need for Accountability” (Text published in book Response to critics of Quebec’s sovereigntyled by Alain-G Gagnon and François Rocher), Josée Legault and Gary Caldwell say that 131,500 Anglophones left Quebec between 1976 and 1981, compared to 94,000 in 1971-1976.

In 1983, the demographer Robert Maheu wrote in his scholarly article “L’émigration des anglophones québécois” between In 1976 and 1981, “the churn rate for Anglophones was 17.5% versus just 1% for Francophones. In the periods 1966 and 1971, 1971-1976 and 1976-1981, the propensity of Anglophones to leave Quebec was 13%, 15% and 17.5% higher than that of Francophones, respectively.

Examination of historical data from Canadian censuses shows that the propensity of Anglophones to leave Quebec has always been higher than that of Francophones.

Demographer Robert Maheu, in his article

“An administrative act, that of family allowances, has made it possible to reconstruct departures from Quebec since 1974. If the number of English speakers and their share of churn were indeed higher than normal between 1977 and 1979, then in the four following years the situation has again become comparable to that observed in the past, even though Bill 101 is still in force ‘ wrote Mr. Maheu.

As Jonathan Livernois, professor of literature and PhD in the history of ideas, notes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attribute the move away from Quebec to a specific cause. “New Quebecers often tend to enter Canada via Quebec and then settle in Toronto. »

The Quebec Institute of Statistics referred us to Statistics Canada, who did not contact us again.

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