A bright future for you in Québec A bright future for you in Québec

For Societal Values

Québec is a French-speaking democratic society enriched by its diversity and based on the rule of law.

It welcomes immigrants from around the world with their know-how, skills, language, culture and religion. Québec offers services to newcomers to help them integrate and become active participants in Québec society. Integrating into Québec society means being willing to understand and respect its common values.

In Québec: speaking French is a necessity

Québec society is governed by the Charter of the French Language which makes French the official language of Québec. French is the language of public institutions and the normal and usual language of work, instruction, communications, trade and business. Québec cares about preserving and promoting its official language. French is not only an essential instrument of communication, but also a common symbol of belonging to Québec society.

To integrate into their new living environment, immigrants who are not fluent in French must make an effort to learn it. To help them do so, the Québec government provides French courses. The children of immigrants who settle permanently in Québec normally attend French school. Candidates wishing to practise a profession regulated by a professional order must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the French language to obtain a regular licence to practise.

Québec: a free and democratic society

Québec’s political system is based on freedom of speech and the right to equality of individuals, as well as the participation of citizens in associations, political parties and administrative bodies such as boards of directors.

Citizens can run as candidates in elections and have the right to vote. They elect their representatives at all levels of government. When the government plans to pass legislation, consultations are organized to permit the expression of different points of view on matters of public interest.

Hateful behaviour, whether motivated by political, religious or ethnic reasons, is not tolerated. Québec society favours the resolution of conflicts by negotiation.

In Québec: political and religious powers are separate

The Québec state and its institutions are secular. Their decisions and actions are independent of religious powers.

Québec has de-confessionalized its school system. Religious confessional instruction is not part of the public school system.

Québec: a society enriched by its diversity

Québec is becoming more diverse. The francophone majority, anglophones and Indigenous peoples live together with people of diverse cultures and origins from all over the world.

Québec encourages exchanges between cultures and closer relations between communities. It recognizes the richness and value of diversity. Moreover, everyone is free to choose their lifestyle, opinions and religion, while respecting the rights of others. Relationships between people are established with respect and tolerance in a climate of harmony.

Québec: a society based on the rule of law

Québec is a democratic society based on the rule of law. All persons are equal in value and in dignity and have the right to equal protection under the law. They must obey all laws regardless of their beliefs.

It is prohibited to discriminate against individuals on the basis of reasons set forth in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, specifically:

  • race
  • colour
  • sex
  • pregnancy
  • sexual orientation
  • civil status
  • age except as provided by the law
  • religion
  • political beliefs
  • language
  • ethnic or national origin
  • social condition
  • disability or use of a means to mitigate this disability

For example, a person cannot be refused housing due to ethnic origin, social condition or disability. Discrimination is prohibited in the workplace, specifically in job offers, the hiring process and working conditions. The law also prohibits harassment in all its forms. In this same spirit, homosexuals are recognized as having the same rights and responsibilities as all other citizens of Québec.

In Québec: men and women have the same rights

Women and men are equal. They have the same rights and the same obligations. Women can practise the trade or profession of their choice. They are present in decision-making positions such as members of a legislature, mayors, councilors, directors and managers of large companies. They can practise trades and professions traditionally reserved for men. Female workers must receive the same salary as male workers when their jobs, although different, have the same or equivalent value in the company.

This value of equality also permeates the types of unions recognized in Québec. Whether they are de facto spouses, married or joined in a civil union, spouses—be they of the same or opposite sex—are equal before the law. Parental responsibilities towards their children are the same. In the event of divorce or dissolution of a civil union, assets acquired during the union and constituting the family patrimony are shared equally between the spouses.

The law requires parents or guardians to give children the security and attention they need for their development.

In Québec: The exercise of human rights and freedoms must respect the rights and freedoms of others and the general well-being

Fundamental rights and freedoms are exercised while respecting the rights and freedoms of others, public order, the general wellbeing of citizens and the democratic values of Québec. The use of violence is prohibited.

In summary, Quebecers attach a great deal of importance on maintaining a climate that fosters freedom of speech, the right to equality between individuals and respect for differences. These values and the laws of Québec society enjoy a consensus and ensure everyone the right to free speech and the free choice of lifestyle, opinions and religion, among other things.

Want to learn more?
Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion Québec Site Map
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Declaration of Services to the Public
© Gouvernement du Québec, 2019