In early July, Dr. Rhonda Medows, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health, visited Montréal and Québec City to familiarize herself with the provincial healthcare system. At a meeting with Yves Bolduc, Minister of Health and Social Services, discussions focused on the similarities and differences between Québec’s and Georgia’s systems and on bilateral public health challenges.
Three new measures to facilitate the process for foreign students and specialized temporary workers wishing to settle in Québec were made public on June 16 by the Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, Yolande James. The government expects the measures to accelerate the immigration procedure for candidates with qualifications matching jobs that are in high demand in Québec.
The Académie française announced the recipients of its 70 honours and distinctions for 2009 at its June 25 session. In the major awards category, the “Grand Prix du Théâtre” went to Wajdi Mouawad for his accomplishments as a playwright. The Québec author and director will be presented the award in Paris beneath the dome of the Institute of France when the Academy officially reassembles on December 3.
Young people interested in taking part in international solidarity initiatives are encouraged to apply for one of about 400 internships available under the 2009-2010 Québec Without Borders program.
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) is celebrating ten years of cooperation with the Belgian police this year. In 1999, SQ representatives met Belgian police representatives during an international forum on security and democracy held in Naples. In 2000, as part of its preparations for the Summit of the Americas, held in Québec City, the SQ decided to call on international expertise in law enforcement. Among other experts, it contacted the Belgian police officers met the previous year.
For the 400th anniversary of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont, the Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, unveiled the sculpture given by the Québec government on July 10 to the Governor of the State of Vermont, James H. Douglas, and the Mayor of Burlington, Bob Kiss.
Earlier this week, the City of Montréal welcomed the Mayor of Phoenix, Phil Gordon. The Mayor’s entourage included representatives of the Canada Arizona Business Council and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the organizations behind the mission to Montréal.
Québec’s very own Ariane Moffatt has been awarded the 2009 Rapsat-Lelièvre prize for her third album, Tous les sens, featuring a skilful and wide-ranging blend of musical styles and sounds. The singer/songwriter will officially receive her prize in July during the Spa Francofolies in eastern Belgium, at which she will also perform. The ceremony will mark the 25th anniversary of the Rapsat-Lelièvre prize, which honours francophone songwriters in Wallonia-Brussels and Québec.
On June 30, a group of Québec researchers presented the preliminary results of a groundbreaking study on the psychological impact of the Dawson College shooting, in conjunction with the 31st Congress of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health held from June 28 to July 4 at New York University.
The President of Québec’s National Assembly, Yvon Vallières, was elected President of the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly (Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie or APF in French) at the 35th session of the organization held in Paris on July 6.
On July 2, Québec Premier Jean Charest presented Jean-Pierre Kelche, grand chancellor of the Légion d’honneur, with the insignia of the grand officer of the Ordre national du Québec. Chantal Moreno, advisor to the secretary general of the International Francophone Organization (OIF), His Excellency Abdou Diouf, was presented with the insignia of the knight of the Ordre. The ceremony was held at Québec Government Office in Paris.
During their official visit to Brussels (June 26-29), Québec Premier Jean Charest and Manitoba Premier Gary Doer demonstrated their commitment to fighting climate change and reiterated their desire to sign an expanded Canada-EU economic partnership agreement in the next two years.
Québec welcomed a delegation from the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (Central Party School) on June 26. The visit was organized under an agreement signed in March 2006 by the Canadian organization Rights & Democracy and the Central Party School. The partnership between the two organizations is aimed at opening channels for dialogue on human rights and democratic development.