Moving to Quebec – A Newcomers Guide

Moving to Quebec – A Newcomers Guide

Moving_to_Quebec_CityHot on the heels of Frank Verpaelst’s excellent Can the PQ’s Charter of Values get any sillier article, Jason Enlow offers this handy guide to anyone thinking of moving to Quebec.

It has clearly been written by someone who has lived here a while.

Take heed people, take heed:

Moving to Québec – A Newcomers Guide,

By Jason Enlow

You’ve decided to move to Québec, La belle province, how delightful!

Québec may be the drama queen of all the provinces (and territories), but it can also be a fun place to live.

Take the time to prepare yourself mentally so you won’t be surprised when you get here:

1.    Pick Sides – Choose a political party to root for; you can always change your mind later. If politicians can leap from the one ideology to another then so can you! Be sure to pick a wacky party with plenty of amusing characters and bizarre ideas.

2.    Cast Yourself Adrift in Provincial Memory Bliss – You won’t be hearing much about the rest of Canada. These aren’t the headlines you’re looking for…move along! Only pay attention to news from your new adopted province.

3.    Pass the Poutine and not Vladimir – Get ready to laugh your head off every time you hear a reference to how much Quebecers love poutine; it never gets old! If you don’t know what poutine is, don’t worry, you will. Buy some antacids.

4.    Ho, Ho, Hold the Symbols – Hide any religious symbols you might be bringing with you. This includes any likeness of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and all that Halloween crap from the Dollar Store; they’re probably all symbols of pagan origin and Québec doesn’t want people to know that you’re a druid or a wood nymph.

5.    The Charbonneau Commission (AKA the Commission of Inquiry on the Awarding and Management of Public Contracts in the Construction Industry) – Whatever you call it, be prepared to testify; everybody else has. It makes for some riveting television.

6.    Get Some Glasses – You’re going to need them to read the smaller English texts on signs.

7.    Driver’s Ed – Get a 9-year-old to show how to play any video game console driving game. You’re going to need to brush up on your evasive skills to avoid jaywalkers, potholes, crumbling bridges, etc.

8.    Be Prepared – Buy a shovel and a toque (winter hat). Consider yourself warned (Not warmed).

9.    Walk and Dash – Nobody in Québec knows what a crosswalk is. The painted lines indicate a potential pedestrian target zone. Buy life insurance.

10.    Saints Preserve Us! – Almost every city, town, village, and hamlet is named for a saint, for example Saint-Louis-du-Ha-Ha! Get over it, but don’t get used to it because it’s likely to change (see #4).

11.    Va à l’école – Learn French, and not that fancy Parisian French they teach in Ontario.

12.    Look Who’s Talking – (Does not apply to Montreal) People will whip their heads around faster than Regan McNeil to see who isn’t speaking French. Be polite, they’re just curious (or happy to hear that they’re not alone).

13.    Quebecers, They Want to Have Fun – Don’t cower in the corner of your comfort zone. Have fun.


Categories: Opinion

About Author

Jason Enlow

Jason Enlow is a Special Education Technician at an English elementary school. He was born in Montreal, Quebec and grew up in Burlington, Ontario. Jason studied Radio and Television at Ryerson University in Toronto. His previous employers include CityTV, CBC, The Weather Network, and Global Television. He’s worked as a DJ, camera operator, musician, teacher, translator and video game content designer. Jason moved to Quebec City in 1997 where he still lives today with his wife and three sons.

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