Press Release – New census data for Côte-Nord shows no improvement in the economic vitality of English speakers since 2016.

2024 - 06 - 20 Outreach

New census data for Côte-Nord shows no improvement in the economic vitality of English speakers since 2016.
Income gaps continue to grow leaving English speakers further behind Francophones in key vitality indicators.

Montreal, June 20, 2024 – The Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT) has released an updated employment profile of English speakers in the Côte-Nord region. This new analysis, based on 2021 census data, focus groups, and interviews with stakeholders in the region, builds upon their initial study using 2016 census data. 

PERT’s updated report shows that English speakers in Côte-Nord still lag behind their francophone counterparts in several key economic indicators. The report highlights that despite high levels of bilingualism, the English-speaking community’s unemployment rate is 11.1 percentage points higher than that of French speakers (17.9% vs. 6.8%). English speakers in the region also earn $11,200 less in median employment income, with a higher proportion of the population living below the low-income cut-off compared to French speakers.

“Since our initial analysis of the 2016 data, we’ve observed no improvement in the economic vitality of English speakers in the region. We feel it is imperative that the provincial government come up with a plan that is targeted to the particular employment needs of the English-speaking community in Cote Nord,” said Nicholas Salter, Executive Director of PERT.

PERT’s report emphasises the importance of increased collaboration and coordination between government and stakeholders in the English-speaking community, in developing programs to address the economic disparities outlined in the report.

“The findings in PERT’s report highlight the pressing need for targeted action to support English speakers in Côte-Nord. English speakers in Côte-Nord deserve improved access to employment and training opportunities. As such we are calling on the government to strengthen partnerships with local organizations serving English-speaking communities and increase support programs which allow for English speakers to improve their skill sets for workforce integration,” continued Jody Lessard, Executive Director of North Shore Community Association (NSCA).

The report highlights significant retention and recruitment challenges facing English speakers in the region. It identifies a lack of vocational and professional training opportunities in the region as driving many young individuals to seek training and career opportunities elsewhere. English speakers who stay in the region to pursue vocational and professional training face several barriers, including high costs, long travel distances, and the necessity of passing a French-language test for certification.

“Increasing opportunities for skills development and employment supports not only fosters economic growth but is also crucial for the vitality of the region. Empowering English-speaking communities enhances their contributions to the vibrant cultural and economic fabric of the Lower North Shore, the Côte-Nord and ultimately, the province,” concludes Coasters Association’s Director of regional capacity building, Shelley Fequet.

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About PERT 

The Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT) is a non-profit multi-stakeholder

initiative focused on addressing the employment and employability challenges facing

Québec’s English-speaking community. For more information about the Provincial

Employment Roundtable: 


For more information contact:

Chad Walcott

Director of Engagement & Communications

Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT)

1-855-773-7885 ext. 737