Québec’s Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, underlined in the National Assembly the first anniversary of the Québec-France agreement on mutual recognition of professional competence, signed in Québec City on October 17, 2008, by Premier Jean Charest and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The Washington Center for Internships and Seminars and the Ministère des Relations internationales (MRI) celebrated the 10th anniversary of their partnership on October 3 at an event at HEC Montréal. Specializing in organizing internships in the US capital, the Washington Center has welcomed nearly 100 students from Québec under the auspices of a program launched with the MRI in 1999.
Pierre Arcand, Québec’s Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, travelled to Plattsburgh on October 19 to address the Plattsburgh North County Chamber of Commerce and to discuss the proposed Montréal-New York high-speed rail line, a top-priority project for both the governments of Québec and New York State.
Nine of the best and most innovative companies from Québec’s green economy sector participated in the 2nd Atlanta International Environmental Trade Mission from October 5-9, co-hosted by the Atlanta Development Authority and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Québec Government Office in Atlanta and the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation.
A major delegation of Québec horticulturists took part in the Amsterdam Horti Fair held from October 13 to 16, 2009. The tenth edition of the international horticulture trade fair drew 47,000 visitors from around the world.
Québec’s Minister responsible for Seniors, Marguerite Blais, carried out a mission to Belgium on October 13 and 14. The greying of the population is a major social policy issue in both Wallonia and Québec. Indeed, people aged 65 and over account for 16% of the population in Québec, and the figure is similar for Wallonia. Minister Blais’s visit was an opportunity for the Government of Québec to tap into the expertise and experience of its Walloon partner, with a view to boosting its effectiveness in creating favourable conditions for seniors’ self-fulfilment.
At the end of the recent mission that he led to China, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie Pierre Arcand announced the signing of a higher education agreement and took stock of the agreements signed by the representatives of various companies who accompanied him on the trip. Among other things, the mission was aimed at raising awareness of Québec’s environmental products and services in the strategic Chinese market.
Premier Jean Charest recently took part in two major events in New York and Los Angeles aimed at fostering discussions on establishing a new climate change protocol, which will be the central focus of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December. At both events, Mr. Charest emphasized the key role played by federated states and regional governments in implementing solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Under a bilateral partnership agreement, the Algerian region of Tizi Ouzou will benefit from Québec’s expertise and technological know-how in the development of a climate change strategy. Established under the UN Development Program’s Territorial Approach to Climate Change, the partnership was confirmed by Québec Premier Jean Charest and Cherif Rahmani, Algeria’s Minister of Land Use Planning, Environmental Protection and Tourism, in early October at the second Governors’ Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles.
The Climate Project Canada (TCP Canada), the Canadian branch of the organization founded by former US Vice President Al Gore, will establish its headquarters in Montréal. Premier Jean Charest recently announced that the Québec government would assist TCP Canada with launching its activities and would provide operating support.
Pierre Arcand, Québec’s Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, is undertaking an official visit to China from October 9-17. He is accompanied by a large delegation of approximately 50 people representing Québec companies and institutions, together with environmental and IT researchers and representatives of the tourism sector and the Centre for the International Promotion of Québec Public Expertise (CIPQPE).
On mission to Japan, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie Pierre Arcand met with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Koichi Takemasa. This marks Mr. Takemasa’s first meeting with a foreign diplomat since the election of the new Hatoyama government on August 30, 2009.
At their meeting in Paris on September 15, Yolande James, Québec’s Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, and Laurent Wauquiez, Secretary of State for Employment with France’s Department of the Economy, Industry and Employment, agreed to take steps to conclude a partnership agreement between Québec and Pôle Emploi International (PEI), a specialized international employment network. Once implemented, the agreement will allow Québec companies to offer job opportunities to French nationals, EU citizens and foreign nationals authorized to work in France.
The Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, salutes the appointment of Mr. John Parisella as the new Québec Delegate General in New York, beginning November 16, 2009.
The new Québec Biopharmaceutical Strategy will enable Québec to consolidate its position as a Canadian leader in the life sciences sector and as an internationally recognized hub in this field. With this strategy Québec will ensure that it contends with international competition by offering companies one of North America’s most favourable business environments as regards to their future development. The Québec government will earmark $122.77 million over the next three years for the Québec biopharmaceutical industry.
In early October, Line Beauchamp, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and Parks paid official visits to Paris and Brussels in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in December. This initiative was aimed at promoting Québec’s positions on climate change and spotlighting the role of federated states and regions in implementing the decisions made in Copenhagen. Subnational governments can help meet greenhouse gas reduction targets by exercising legislative and regulatory powers within their areas of jurisdiction.
A Québec cheese called “Le Cendrillon” was voted world champion at the 2009 World Cheese Awards, held in Spain’s Canary Islands. Le Cendrillon was singled out from 2,440 cheeses from 34 countries.
Québec filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s I Killed My Mother (J’ai tué ma mère) was singled out for the “Bayard d’Or” award for best film at this year’s Festival international du film francophone de Namur (FIFF), and Anne Dorval, one of the stars of the movie, was awarded the prize for best actress. To complete the hat trick, I Killed My Mother was picked by FIFF’s Emile Cantillon Jury as best first film.
Québec’s Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, Michelle Courchesne, voiced Québec’s views during the Ministerial Round Table on Education held in Paris on October 9 and 10 as part of the 35th Session of the UNESCO General Conference. This is the first time that a Québec cabinet minister has taken the floor during a Ministerial Round Table held within the framework of a program of the General Conference, UNESCO’s main policy-setting body.