Quebec lost 600,000 residents to other provinces since 1971
The flag of Quebec flies in this undated file photo. (Tom Hanson/The Canadian Press)
Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, June 28, 2016 3:21PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 28, 2016 3:39PM EDT
MONTREAL -- The number of Quebecers who left for other provinces between 1971 and 2015 was almost 600,000 higher than the number of Canadians who came to Quebec during that period, according to a Fraser Institute report.
The right-of-centre think-tank says that constitutes the highest out-migration total in the country.
Yanick Labrie, a senior fellow who co-authored the report on interprovincial migration, says Quebec's economic strategy has not been a success.
"The so-called Quebec model might be a failure based on the statistics we've gathered," said Labrie, who also works as a public policy consultant in Montreal.
"(Canadians) just don't want to come to Quebec and the province's model is not being replicated in other jurisdictions. It's definitely not a success story."
Labrie says a high tax burden and public debt as well as plenty of red tape for entrepreneurs make Quebec a less attractive place to start a business or a career compared to other provinces.
The Fraser Institute studied interprovincial migration between 1971 and 2015 and concluded Quebec is the only province in Canada to have suffered a net loss every year in that period.
On average, roughly 13,000 more people left Quebec for other provinces each year than migrated to it.
More than two-thirds of residents who left the province over the period were between the ages of 20 and 44.
Labrie says Quebec pays entirely for or highly subsidizes the education and health care of its residents only to see many of them leave for other provinces, mostly Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
Since 2003, however, Ontario has had a total of more than 40,000 additional people leave the province when compared with the number of people who left Quebec.
Most of them have gone to Alberta and British Columbia.
Labrie credits Ontario's recent losses to its economy, which has suffered compared to those of the western provinces.
And while Quebec has more total people leaving the province than other jurisdictions in Canada, it has maintained a stable population, according to the report.
"Put simply, Quebec loses relatively few residents each year but it attracts only minimal migration from other provinces," it concluded.