It's great that you have a plan so early on. Most people your age don't have the slightest idea what they want to do in life. Your questions are very hard to answer, because there is no good answer. As far as a better opportunity goes, they are both equal and mostly depend on you. Yes, the US has more airlines, etc, but they also have more pilots than Canada. I'm not quite sure what the ratio is so I won't be able to answer that.
A few things matter in this industry:
- be prepared to study your butt off
- be prepared to make a lot of sacrifices (financial, social, etc)
- be of good character (make sure people like you)
- get to know someone in the industry
- never give up
Also, I see that you're concerned with pay-scales. The sad reality is that aviation does not pay very well (at least in the beginning). If you're in it to make money, you might as well not even start, because this is not the industry that'll get you rich. Yes, once you get to fly for the majors you'll do better, but to get there you have to swim against the current, so to speak. (On a side note, Engineering pays really well, especially in the Oil and Gas industry).
As far as having to speak French, I can tell you that it's not so. Maybe Air Canada would like it, but considering the current situation, I doubt they are really picky (then again, it is Air Canada). I know for a fact that Westjet does NOT require it, but knowing it surely gives you extra "marketability".
You're still very young, so for now I have one advice for you. Study hard and make sure you do well in school. You don't want to close any "doors". A good education will always be important no matter what you choose to do in life.
P.S. Go to the pilot supply shop or any major book store and buy "From the Ground Up". Read it on your free time and see if you like it. As fun as flying is, there are a lot of things you have to learn that don't seem too glamorous.
[Edited 2006-07-31 20:51:53]
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.