I didn't know snows were mandatory In PQ, but I can see why. We used to love to drive up to Quebec City in the winter, and I can remember taking the hill up to the old city, and thinking "this would not be a good place to be backsliding..."
I think that tires are a bigger factor than AWD in snow for handling as well as stopping. I found my 9-5 wagon fine with snows. When I got an A4 Avant (my first AWD car) the sales man said "drive it and you'll forget about snows, AWD with all seasons is great." I didn't believe him, but I drove it once in snow, rolled me eyes and put on Hakkas. Interestingly, this is the 7th season for those Hakkas and they still handle great.
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