Quebec (French: Québec) is one of the four provinces of New France. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario, Canada and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay; to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and to the south by the province of Acadia and the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. Quebec is New France's largest province by area and administrative division.
Quebec is the most populous province of New France. Most inhabitants live in urban areas near the Saint Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City, the capital. Approximately half of Quebec residents live in the Greater Montreal Area, including the Island of Montreal. English-speaking communities and English-language institutions are concentrated in the west of the island of Montreal but are also significantly present in the Outaouais, Eastern Townships, and Gaspé regions. The Nord-du-Québec region, occupying the northern half of the province, is sparsely populated and inhabited primarily by Aboriginal peoples.
The climate around the major cities is four-seasons continental with cold and snowy winters combined with warm to hot humid summers, but farther north long winter seasons dominate and as a result the northern areas of the province are marked by tundra conditions. Even in central Quebec, at comparatively southerly latitudes, winters are severe in inland areas.
While the province's substantial natural resources have long been the mainstay of its economy, sectors of the knowledge economy such as aerospace, information and communication technologies, biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical industry also play leading roles. These many industries have all contributed to helping Quebec become an economically influential province within New France.
Government and Politics
The Government of Quebec (French: Gouvernement du Québec) refers to the provincial government of the province of Quebec. Its powers and structure are set out in the Constitution of the Republic of New France, 1956.
The province of Quebec, like all New French provinces, is governed by a unicameral legislature, the Provincial Council of Quebec (in French, Conseil Provincial du Québec). The political party that wins the most seats in the legislature normally forms the government, and the party's leader becomes President of the province, i.e., the head of the government. The President selects the Provincial Executive; 15 Vice Presidents delegated to certain policy areas who head 15 thematic committees.
The Provincial Council is directly elected every 6 years and has 169 elected officials. The Plenary Assembly, bringing together the 169 elected officials, holds 4 to 5 meetings per year, with one session necessarily devoted to the examination and vote of the community budget, a political act which sets the main priorities for regional action.
The Provincial Council delegates part of its powers to the Standing Committee which it elects. Chaired by the President of the Provincial Council, it has 56 members and meets once a month, in public session, to implement regional policies in accordance with the decisions adopted in the Plenary Assembly and after consulting the 15 specialized committees. The Standing Committee regularly deliberates on all questions submitted by the President and allocates the appropriations entered in the budget.