Gatineau, Canada - Intercultural City
Gatineau is a Canadian city located in the province of Quebec. It is the fourth largest city in the province with a population of 287,868 in 2019 (Institut de la statistique du Québec). Located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, it faces the city of Ottawa, Ontario, the capital of Canada. These two cities make up the National Capital Region and together form the fourth largest urban area in Canada with a population of 1,323,783 inhabitants. This interprovincial region offers many economic opportunities for the settlement and integration of newcomers.
Along with the urban agglomerations of Montréal and Québec City, Gatineau is considered one of the main immigration gateways in Québec. In fact, according to 2016 statistics, the rate of the immigrant population (12.5%) has continued to grow in recent years. It jumped 34% between 2001 and 2006, followed by a 37% increase between 2006 and 2016.
Gatineau's ethnocultural diversity is also characterised by the fact that 13.5% of its population is composed of visible minorities. There are more than 88 ethnocultural communities and a significant percentage of the English-speaking (11.5%) and Aboriginal (3.8%) populations in urban areas (Statistics Canada). Diversity is part of Gatineau's DNA.
Among Quebec municipalities, Gatineau stands out as a model of inclusion through its cultural diversity measures, its welcoming services, its intercultural events and its partnerships. In 2008, Gatineau adopted a cultural diversity policy entitled Ensemble! (Together!). This policy has enabled the city to acquire the means, resources and a reference framework for the integration of cultural diversity within its territory.
Gatineau is the first city in Quebec to have organised a Sommet du vivre-ensemble. This summit, held in April 2018, consolidated the city's leadership in terms of inclusion and diversity. Following that event, Gatineau set up the « Table de concertation sur le vivre-ensemble et l'immigration » (coordination table on living together and immigration). The Table's mandate is to promote a healthy and welcoming living environment, with a view to promote social inclusion.
Gatineau is also an active member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. It participated in the creation of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination and was one of the first Canadian cities to join it in 2006.
Joining the Council of Europe's Intercultural Cities programme is an opportunity for Gatineau to assume leadership in intercultural relations and to contribute to the recognition of Quebec's expertise in this field.