To find out what events and activities are happening in the city visit the Quebec City tourism website.
To find restaurants or shopping visit Québec Scope (information on this website is available in French only).
For sports and other activities provided in your area, visit Programmation des loisirs – Ville de Québec (information on this website is available in French only).
To help with the integration process for new arrivals there are newcomer sessions offered at VEQ. For more information about these activities visit Events or call us at 418-683-2366.
On the homepage is a list of upcoming events and activities. You can also visit Chronicle Telegraph Québec and click on events to view a community calendar.
For a listing of English-speaking community groups please see the community directory section.

211 Quebec

211 is an information and telephone referral service that connects callers to a full range of community, social and government services in the Greater Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches regions. Just dial 211.  It is free!

The Québec educational system oversees public schooling from kindergarten to university. Elementary and secondary (high school) education is available free of charge. Post secondary education in Québec is subsidized for Québec residents, making college or CÉGEP, university, and vocational training more affordable.

Elementary schools offer kindergarten to grade 6. Secondary education starts with Secondary 1 (equivalent to grade 7 in other parts of North America) and continues to Secondary 5 (Grade 11). School attendance is mandatory for all children between the ages of 6 and 16. The school year begins in late August or early September and usually finishes by late June.

The Québec public school system is language-based (English or French). The English-language school board in Quebec City is the Central Québec School Board (418-688-8730 www.cqsb.qc.ca). For a complete listing of English Schools, please visit the Community directory.

Bill 101

In 1977, Québec’s National Assembly adopted the French Language Charter (Bill 101), which states that all children must be educated in French until the end of their secondary studies, whether in a public school or a subsidized private school. It should be noted that this ruling does not apply to Québec’s colleges and universities or non-subsidized private institutions. The French Language Charter allows for certain special cases in which children are able to pursue their studies in English at public or subsidized private schools.

Enrolling your child(ren)

Anyone wishing to enrol their children in an English school (elementary or secondary) must first apply for an eligibility certificate for that child. A certificate of eligibility is usually given to children who fall into the following categories:

  • Those who did most of their elementary or secondary studies in English in Canada
  • Whose brother or sister did most of their elementary studies in English in Canada
  • Whose father or mother did most of their elementary studies in English in Canada
  • Whose father or mother attended school in Québec after August 26, 1977 and could have been declared eligible for instruction in English at that time

Youth in the following three categories may be enrolled in English-language schools:

  • Youth who are permanent residents of Québec and who qualify for a certificate of eligibility for instruction in English
  • Youth who are permanent residents of Québec and who are entitled to receive instruction in English under a special authorization
  • Youth who are living in Québec temporarily and who qualify for a temporary authorization to receive instruction in English

Other cases may also be considered, but this is a very complex process. For additional information or assistance, contact the Central Québec School Board at 418-688-8730.
You can also contact the Ministère de l’Éducation du Loisir et du Sport at 1-866-747-6626 or Ministère de l’Éducation du Loisir et du Sport

Language Training

Throughout the year, various French language training options are available. These include francisation courses subsidized by the government, private courses and public institution offerings. For more information contact us at 418-683-2366.

In order to vote in a federal or provincial election, YOU MUST:

  • Be on the voters’ list (applies only to provincial elections)
  • Be 18 years of age or older on election day
  • Be a Canadian citizen
  • Have been living in Québec for at least 6 months (does not apply to federal elections)
  • Not be under public curatorship
  • Not have been deprived of (lost) your electoral rights

For more information about federal elections, call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 or visit www.elections.ca.
For more information on provincial elections and municipal elections and how to register to vote, call the Chief Electoral Officer of Québec at 418-528-0422, or go to
www.monvote.qc.ca/partielles/en.

Depending on the type of job you want, finding work in the Greater Quebec City area can be challenging if you do not speak French.

Job search services

The VEQ website has a Job Bank section with English-speaking or bilingual jobs.
Also sign up for the job notifier to receive notice whenever a new position is posted.
Emploi-Québec’s website also provides information about the job market, jobs currently advertised, a resume bank service and other useful tools. Visit their website at www.emploiquebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/home.
The FORT Employability Program is mandated by Emploi-Québec to offer vocational and employment counselling to all English-speaking residents of the Greater Quebec City area, and is an active partner in the promotion of its English-speaking community. For more information on the services provided visit
http://www.familyforce.ca/sites/Valcartier/EN/Pages/default.aspx or call 418-649-6505.

Unemployment

If you have lost your job and have worked for a certain number of weeks, you may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. For more information, please contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218 or visit
www.servicecanada.gc.ca.

Social insurance number (SIN)

If you want to work in Canada, you need a social insurance number. You can get an application form at any Service Canada Centre or online at www.servicecanada.gc.ca.

The Child Assistance Payment is a benefit paid by the Régie des rentes du Québec to all families with dependent children under 18 years of age. The amount paid depends on the number of children, family income, and family situation. There is also an allowance for children with disabilities. For more details, call the Régie at 418-643-3381 or visit www.rrq.gouv.qc.ca/en.

The federal government also provides various benefits to some families; such as the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), the Child Disability Benefit (CDB), and the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB).

To apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit and Québec Child Assistance Payment, you are only required to complete one application form. For more details or to request a form, please contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-387-1193 or visit www.cra-arc.gc.ca.
Québec has a network of subsidized childcare centres, either in a school, day care, or home setting for children under the age of five. For more details, call the Ministère de la Famille et des Aînés at 1-877-216-6202 or visit the ministry’s French website at www.mfa.gouv.qc.ca

Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP)

QPIP is an effective means for workers to better reconcile work and family responsibilities. It is designed to support new parents, encourage them in their desire to have children and support them as they devote more time to their children in their first months.

The QPIP is set up to pay benefits to all eligible workers-salaried and/or self-employed, taking maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave or adoption leave.
It replaces the maternity, parental or adoption benefits previously provided to Québec parents under the federal employment insurance plan.
The QPIP is an income replacement plan: to be eligible, you must have received work income.

For more information, please visit www.rqap.gouv.qc.ca.

For information on federal government services, including names of the Members of Parliament, call 1-800-OCanada (1-800-622-6232), or visit their website at www.canada.gc.ca.
Information on all federal government services and many provincial government services is available in English upon request. All government phone numbers and website addresses can be found in the yellow pages of the phone book.
Most government offices and many businesses require that all women use their maiden names. The Civil code of Québec, passed in 1981, states that: “In marriage, both spouses retain their respective names, and exercise their respective civil rights under those names.” Therefore, only women wed before 1981 can use their married name, regardless of whether or not you were married in the province of Québec.
For information on provincial government services, including the names of members of the National Assembly, call Services Québec at 418-644-4545 or visit the Québec Portal online.

  • If you are unsatisfied with the service from a provincial government department, call the Québec ombudsman, the Protecteur du citoyen, at 418-643-2688 or visit www.protecteurducitoyen.qc.ca.
  • If you need a lawyer and are on social assistance or have a low income, you may be entitled to the services of a legal aid lawyer. To find the address of your nearest legal aid office, call 418-643-4167 or check online at www.csj.qc.ca.
  • There are some foreign government offices in Quebec City, including the United States. For more information please visit travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies for a full list of consulates in Canada, showing where each one is located and giving their contact information.
Québec residents benefit from insured healthcare services and products under the Health Insurance Plan, as well as prescription drugs if they have registered for the Basic Prescription Drug Insurance Plan.

Health Card – Carte Soleil

To get your health card or for more information about the Québec Health Plan, contact the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) at 418-646-4636 (press 2 for English) or go to http://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/en/Pages/home.aspx.

  • To qualify for a health card, you must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident who lives in this province for 183 days of the year. You cannot get a card if you are a visitor, tourist, or student from another province.
  • If you have just moved here from another province or country, you should apply for your card right away. You will not immediately qualify for Québec health insurance; however, you will be eligible for coverage after a three-month waiting period. Until then, your previous province will cover your medical services. You may have to pay for services up front then request to be reimbursed by your former province. If you are from another country, it is highly recommended that you have private health insurance coverage during the waiting period, as you will not be reimbursed by the RAMQ for any expenses incurred.

Prescription Drug Plan

Everyone must be covered by prescription drug insurance. Two types of insurance plans offer this coverage: private plans (group insurance or employee benefit plans) and the public plan, (administered by the Régie de l’assurance-maladie du Québec). If you have access to a private plan, you must choose that plan. Otherwise, membership in the public plan is required.

In order to receive services covered by the Health Insurance Plan and Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan, you must present your valid health care card. Failure to present your valid card may result in you having to pay for the services you receive. You must then apply to the RAMQ for reimbursement using a special form for this purpose.

Service in English

Québec has an access program which entitles “English-speaking persons to receive health and social services in the English language.” This means that some institutions have been specially chosen to provide services in English. NOT all of these places can, or are obligated to give services in English at ALL times. It depends on time and type of services you need. However, if you ask for service in English, you can expect that an effort will be made to refer you to a staff person who is able to assist you.

For further information about health and social services in English, you can call Jeffery Hale’s Community Services in English at 418-684-5333 or visit www.jhsb.ca/en.
For more information about the Ministry of Health and Social Services visit www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/en.

811 – Info-Santé

Info-Santé is a telephone information and advice service that has nurses responding to health and well-being concerns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A Simple 3-digit number (811) is used for the entire province of Québec.

911 – Emergency Services

911 will connect you with emergency services (police/fire/ambulance). You may have to ask for English services because there is no dial option to choose French or English.

VEQ’s Health Passport

Explaining your medical history, pain and/or symptoms can be a daunting task in a second language.

Voice of English-speaking Québec understands, and is here to help. In partnership with Jeffery Hale Community Services, VEQ designed a Health Passport to help you prepare for your visits to a health professional. The passport focuses on common health issues that lead to a visit to an emergency room or walk-in clinic.

To receive your FREE copy of the Health Passport, call VEQ at 418-683-2366.

Before signing a lease, you should clearly set the terms with the landlord, such as the monthly rent, furnishings and appliances, and who pays what utility (electricity, hot water, etc.). You can ask to see the previous tenant’s lease. The lease is written in French unless both parties agree to the use of another language. English leases are available at the Régie du logement (RDL). In Québec, one-year leases are the norm, from July 1 to June 30. July 1 is considered moving day for most Quebecers, so if you need to rent a truck on this day, book it as soon as you can. If you want a shorter lease term, you can work with your landlord, but make sure it is written on the lease agreement. You must give your landlord three months’ notice before the end of your lease, in writing, if you want to move out.

Similarly, the landlord must tell you of any changes to your lease, such as a rent increase, three to six months before it ends. You then have one month to reply. If you do not, your lease will automatically be renewed for another year, with the increases applied. You can either accept the changes and the lease is valid for another year, or you can refuse the changes and try to renegotiate. The Régie du logement (RDL) can help decide what is fair when you renegotiate if you and your landlord cannot agree.

In Québec, the size of most apartments includes a “1/2”, which refers to the bathroom. A “4 and 1/2” most often has two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom (see the vocabulary section for some helpful translations). Large appliances are not always included in the rent.
For all questions about tenant/landlord relations, call the Régie du logement at 1-800-683-2245 or visit Régie du logement website.

When you buy a house in this province, you will need a notary to prepare the legal papers. He or she will arrange the legal aspects of your mortgage with the bank of your choice. Upon buying a home, whether or not it is newly built, you will have to pay a one-time “welcome tax” to your municipality. This is a provincial law and is applicable to all municipalities.

For a list of realtors who offer services in English, see the Business directory.

For more information about what services are available to you if you are an immigrant/non-Canadian resident, please visit www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/index.html.
Québec residents must file both federal and provincial income tax forms by April 30 of every year. Forms may be done in either English or French and must be filed with each respective agency. Your employer(s) must provide you with a receipt (i.e. T4, RL-1) stating your earnings and any deductions by March of the year after you earned the money.

You can get federal tax forms in English by visiting the Canada Revenue Agency at 165 de la Pointe-aux-Lièvres, in downtown Québec. You may also call 1-800-959-8281 or visit their website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca.

You can get provincial income tax forms in English through Revenue Québec at

3800 rue de Marly

or by calling 418-659-6299 (9 for English) or visiting their website.

Jeffery Hale’s Community Services in English offers help filing basic tax forms for low-income individuals and families. To find out more, call 418-684-5333.

Licence

If you are new to this province and have a valid driver’s licence from another province or country, you have up to 90 days following your arrival to make the transfer to a Québec driver’s licence. If you are here as a student or on a work exchange, other rules may apply. For questions about the validity of licences, contact the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) at 418-643-7620 (push 9 for English) or visit http://www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/index.php.
To exchange your driver’s licence:

  1. Call to make an appointment at 1-800-361-7620 (Canadian citizens) or 1-888-356-6616 (non-Canadian citizens)
    When you call, please verify which documents you will need to provide at your appointment.
  2. Pay two separate fees
    • Change-over fee
    • Licence fee

    Please note that fees and procedures will vary according to each situation.

Registration

If you bring a car from another province or country, you have 90 days to change its registration and obtain Québec plates from the SAAQ. Your car must first pass an inspection by an SAAQ-approved garage. To find a garage near you, visit: http://www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/search/rv_insp_agent.php

**It is recommended that you contact the SAAQ at 418-643-7620 before going to a service outlet in order to verify which documents are required.

Insurance

The province of Québec has a “no-fault” insurance, covering all residents for bodily injury resulting from road accidents. This does not mean that dangerous or negligent drivers will not be prosecuted under the law. It means that people involved in car accidents have no legal right to sue for damages regardless of who is at fault.

All vehicle owners must carry a minimum of $50, 000 in private coverage as liability for property damages. Private insurance companies offer this and an insurance broker can help you find suitable coverage. Insurance premiums may decrease if you have previous years of driving experience transferred to your Québec driving record; to do so, you have to provide proof to the SAAQ when exchanging your licence.

Public Transit

    • The Réseau de Transport de la Capitale (RTC) serves many parts of the city. For more information, call 418-627-2511 or go to www.rtcquebec.ca
    • Service de transport adapté de la Capitale (STAC) offers para-transit service for people with restricted mobility. Call 418-687-2641 and press 0 for more information.
    • La Société de transport de Lévis (STL) offers bus service on the east side of the south shore (Charny, St-Romuald, St-Jean-Chrysostôme, Lévis, and Lauzon). Call 418-837-2401 or go to www.stlevis.ca
    • Autocars des Chutes (private bus service) serves municipalities on the west side of the south shore (St-Étienne-de-Lauzon, St-Rédempteur, St-Nicolas, Breakyville, and St-Lambert). Call 418-831-2171 or go to www.autocarsdeschutes.com
    • La Société des traversiers du Québec is a ferry service that allows people to easily commute between Lévis and downtown Quebec City.

Call 1-877-787-7483 or go to
www.traversiers.com/en/index.php

    • Communauto is a service allowing clients to rent a car by the hour without the responsibilities that come with owning and maintaining a car. Go to www.communauto.com/index_eng.html or call 418-523-1788 to learn more about this environmentally friendly local service.
Hydro-Québec is the electricity provider in Quebec City. To open an account or for more information call 1-888-385-7252 (9 for English) or visit their website at www.hydroquebec.com/en.

Please note that not all companies serve all parts of Québec. Please verify with your municipal office to see which providers service your area for telephone, cable, internet, and natural gas.

Various community groups look for volunteers at different times of the year. It is recommended you contact groups (listed in the directory) that you are interested in volunteering with to inquire about their needs or visit our Volunteer section to review available volunteering opportunities.

To volunteer in French please contact Centre d’action bénévole de Québec, 418-681-3501 or visit Centre d’action bénévole de Québec website.

For more information about any of the above topics or to discuss any other questions you may have, please contact Voice of English-speaking Quebec:
By mail:

1270, chemin Sainte-Foy, suite 2141
Jeffery Hale Pavillion (to the right of the Jeffery Hale Hospital)
Québec (Québec)
G1S 2M4

By phone: 418-683-2366
By fax: 418-688-3273
By e-mail: info@veq.ca

Government
city hall  *  hôtel de ville
city councillor  *  conseiller municipal / échevin
mayor  *  maire / mairesse
Prime Minister  *  Premier Ministre du Canada
Premier  *  Premier Ministre du Québec
riding  *  circonscription

Health
appointment  *  rendez-vous
blood tests  * prélèvements sanguins / de sang
doctor  *  médecin
doctor’s office  *  bureau de médecin
emergency  *  urgence
examining room  *  salle d’examen
general practitioner  *  médecin de famille
gynecology  *  gynécologie
health card  *  carte d’assurance maladie (carte soleil)
hospital  *  hôpital
laboratory  *  laboratoire
obstetrics  *  obstétrique
pediatrics  *  pédiatrie
surgery  *  chirurgie
waiting room  *  salle d’attente
x-rays  *  radiographie

Driving
back up  *  reculer
brakes  *  freins
car lights  *  phares
car registration  *  immatriculation du véhicule
driver’s licence  *  permis de conduire
hood  *  capot
motor  *  moteur
oil change  *  changement d’huile
one way  *  sens unique
flashing light  *  clignotant
slow down  *  ralentir
standard  *  manuel
steering wheel  *  volant
straight ahead  *  tout droit
tires  *  pneus
traffic lights  *  feu de circulation
trunk  *  coffre
tune-up  *  mise au point
u-turn  *  demi-tour
windshield  *  pare-brise
windshield washer  *  liquide lave-glace
windshield wiper  *  essuie-glace

Services
ambulance  *  ambulance
firefighters *  pompiers
fire station  *  poste de pompier
police  *  police
police station  *  poste de police
public transportation  *  transport en commun

House Hunting
accommodations  *  logement
apartment  *  appartement
appliances  *  appareils ménagers
basement  *  sous-sol
bathroom  *  salle de bain (toilettes)
bedroom  *  chambre
dining room  *  salle à manger
dishwasher  *  lave-vaisselle
dryer  *  sécheuse
electricity  *  électricité (Hydro)
elevator  *  ascenseur
everything included  *  tout compris
fireplace  *  foyer
furnished  *  meublé
heated  *  chauffé
hot water  *  eau chaude
house  *  maison
janitor  *  concierge
landlord  *  propriétaire
laundry room  *  buanderie
lease  *  bail
living room  *  salon
mortgage  *  hypothèque
parking  *  stationnement
partially-furnished  *  semi-meublé
property (land) *  terrain
quiet  *  tranquille
refrigerator  *  réfrigérateur
renovated  *  rénové
roommate  *  colocataire
storage  *  rangement
stove  *  cuisinière
tenant  *  locataire
washer  *  laveuse

Banking
automatic teller  *  guichet automatique
debit card  *  carte de débit
deposit  *  dépôt
direct payment  *  paiement direct
loan  *  prêt
money  *  argent
paycheque  *  chèque de paie
withdrawal  *  retrait
safety deposit box  *  coffret de sûreté

Shopping
clothing store  *  boutique de linge/vêtements
corner/convenience store  *  dépanneur
drug store  *  pharmacie
grocery store  *  épicerie (supermarché)
hardware store  *  quincaillerie
shopping mall  *  centre d’achats/ centre commercial
store  *  magasin

Directions
Où se trouve… / Où est…?  *  Where is…?
la salle de bain  *  bathroom
l’hôtel (m)  *  hotel
le restaurant  *  restaurant
le musée  *  museum
la banque  *  bank
le bureau de change  *  money exchange
l’église (f)  *  church
le cinéma  *  movie theater
le théâtre  *  theater
l’école (f)  *  school
la poste  *  post office
le parc  *  park
l’hôpital (m)  *  hospital
le commissariat  *  police station