Marking the conclusion of her mission to the UK, including stops in Glasgow (Scotland) and London, Christine St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, provided an upbeat assessment of the meetings she attended and reiterated her firm conviction that maintaining and strengthening Québec’s cultural links with the UK is of the utmost importance. Accompanied by Québec’s Agent-General in London, Pierre Boulanger, and by various cultural attachés from Québec’s Government Office in London, the Minister met with a number of senior officials with a view to promoting Québec’s cultural interests.
Close to 100 people, including a number of representatives of Québec companies and research centres, attended the official signing of a cooperation agreement between NanoQuébec and Nagano Techno Foundation, in Nagano on February 16. The agreement is aimed at promoting nanotechnology development. The Délégation générale du Québec à Tokyo (Québec government office in Tokyo) was also represented at the signing ceremony, held during Nanotechnology Week in Japan.
The Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, will be in New York City and Washington D.C. this week to establish initial contacts with U.S. political, economic and institutional communities. The visit comes barely a month after the inauguration of the new American administration, as Québec and the U.S. endeavour to deal with the effects of the global economic crisis.
Premier Jean Charest was in Brussels on February 4 and 5 to meet with high-profile Belgian and European Union leaders. The Premier spoke about an idea that he has promoted enthusiastically for the past two years, that of an economic partnership between Canada and the European Union. He also focused on Québec’s determination to perpetuate and intensify the flourishing relations that have united Québec and Belgium for more than 35 years.
Created in 1999, the Hector Fabre award provides recognition for a regional organization that has deployed a project with an international impact for its region. This year, to underline the tenth anniversary of the Hector Fabre award, the Ministère des Relations internationales will also present the Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins award to an individual whose achievements are recognized beyond Québec’s borders. The application deadline for both awards is April 13.
Some 90 guest speakers and 500 participants from a dozen countries will be converging on Sherbrooke in June for the International Forum on Integrated Water Management. The Ministère des Relations internationales is associated with the event, which will be an opportunity for experts, economic stakeholders and political decision-makers to discuss water management issues in a setting conducive to the development of international partnerships.
In order to promote a better understanding of Québec in the United States, the Ministère des Relations internationales du Québec (MRI) has established a financial assistance program in Québec studies intended for professors/ researchers/students at American institutions of higher education.
The Centre d’études collégiales Baie-des-Chaleurs recently received a UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre Award. The Ministère des Relations internationales takes pride in the announcement of this distinction recognizing the contributions that have been made by an institution in Québec to further UNESCO’s educational development and technical and vocational training goals.
Heads of the Francophonie center of the Americas (CFA) and Reporters Without Borders (RWB), accompanied by a representative from the Ministère des Relations internationales, took part in a fact-finding mission in Haiti from January 27 to February 3 to assess the feasibility of projects there. The Québec delegation visited the Gonaives region and the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, has said that he is very pleased with his discussions in Paris during the first leg of his mission to Europe.
Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, addressed approximately 150 guests at the launch of the Québec university branding campaign on February 3 at Québec’s Government Office in Paris.
Premier Jean Charest, accompanied by Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade Raymond Bachand, began a three-day mission to Davos, Switzerland, on January 29. The purpose of the trip is to promote investments in Québec and work toward the creation of an economic partnership between Canada and European Union. Premier Charest and Minister Bachand are also taking part in the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, attended by economic and political leaders from around the world.
The Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Line Beauchamp, is pleased by U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to set new federal standards for passenger vehicle fuel consumption. On January 26, President Obama also announced his intention to grant a request by California and other states to adopt and impose greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger vehicles that exceed U.S. federal requirements.
Showcase Scotland, an annual high-profile venue for traditional Scottish music, has selected Québec as this year’s guest of honour. The event will take place at the end of the month in Glasgow in conjunction with Celtic Connections, Scotland’s biggest traditional music festival. Six groups will be performing for a Scottish audience and some 200 delegates, broadcasters, theatrical agents and distributers during an event dubbed Spotlight Québec.
On December 12, Line Beauchamp, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and Parks, addressed the national delegates and members of international organizations gathered in Poznań, Poland for the 14th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
In collaboration with the National Assembly of Québec, the International Association of Québec Studies (IAQS) is once again this year offering a student from outside Québec the opportunity to complete an internship in that institution. The goal of this internship is to allow a foreign student to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in his or her studies and improve his or her knowledge of Québec, its parliamentary institutions and its democratic practices.
According to the Fraser Institute, an independent research and educational organization, Québec was the top investment location for mining companies in 2007-2008. This finding emerged from a survey of 372 mining companies around the world.
Christine St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, took part in a cultural mission to New York from January 8 to 10. She was very pleased with the success of her mission and returned with a renewed belief that assistance programs in support of performing art exports are essential.