Air Canada announced this 20th August that it will introduce year-round non-stop service between Montreal and Brussels, with same-plane service continuing on to/from Toronto. Flights will begin daily, subject to government approval, in time for summer peak travel on June 12, 2010. Flights on the new Brussels route are timed to offer travellers convenient connections to Air Canada's extensive North America network via the carrier's Montreal hub to and from: Toronto (same plane), Ottawa, Quebec City, Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington and New York. In Brussels, connecting flights will be available with future Star Alliance partner Brussels Airlines to/from several European and African destinations including Toulouse, Lyon and Marseilles, France; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Dakar, Senegal; Douala, Cameroun; Bologna and Milan, Italy; and Porto, Portugal.
A Japanese delegation visited Québec City on August 19 to study Québec’s carbon tax system implemented in 2007. The first initiative of its kind in North America, the carbon tax system assigns a role to energy distribution companies as part of the provincial government’s climate change efforts.
For the fourth consecutive time, HEC Montréal’s intensive MBA program has ranked among the top 10 non-US institutions in the biennial listing produced by Forbes, the highly regarded New York-based business publication. Taking 10th place, HEC was the only Canadian institution in the non-US listing; the others were from Europe.
At the 62nd Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland, Quebecer Bernard Émond walked away with three awards. The filmmaker won the Don Quichotte Prize, the Quality and Environment Prize and the Youth Jury Prize for La donation, the final film of a trilogy.
The UK and New England will soon be reaping the benefits of BIXI, the City of Montréal’s bicycle sharing service. Two contracts covering the manufacture of more than 8,000 bikes have been signed to implement the system next year in London and Boston.
Clément Gignac, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, recently announced that $1,683,000 would be provided over a three-year period to support the completion of 12 new international research projects. The projects will be carried out in the areas of healthcare, nanotechnology, high-tech materials, aeronautics/aerospace, optics/photonics, marine sciences, the humanities and the social sciences.
More than 130 university students from Québec, other Canadian provinces and several European countries took part in the 12th European Parliamentary Simulation/Canada-Québec-Europe (SPECQUE). For the first time, the sessions were held in the German cities of Berlin (August 10-12) and Dresden, the capital of Saxony (August 12-14).
Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, took part in workshops on energy and climate change held during the 25th TransAmerica Conference on Canadian-American relations, organized by the Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange. Held in Ottawa, the conference was attended by Canadian parliamentarians and government ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, academics and members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Taking advantage of an official trip to Spain, Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, will underline the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Québec government office in Barcelona.
From August 2-5, three members of Québec’s National Assembly, Stéphane Billette (representing the riding of Huntingdon), François Ouimet (Marquette) and François Rebello (La Prairie) played an active role in the annual meeting of the Eastern Regional Conference of the Council of State Governments (ERC-CSG), which was held this year in Burlington, Vermont.
The International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) recently unveiled the names of the 10 finalists for the eighth edition of its Prix des cinq continents [Prize of the Five Continents]. The finalists include two Québec authors: Jean Barbe, nominated for Le Travail de l'huître [The Work of the Oyster], and Catherine Mavrikakis, nominated for Le Ciel de Bay City [The Sky of Bay City]. A total of 93 works were eligible.
The Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, met with the Consul General of Mexico in Montréal, Edgardo Flores Rivas, on July 28 to reaffirm the importance and extent of relations between Québec and Mexico.
On July 26, 27 and 28, the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Clément Gignac, will travel to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, in order to participate in the third meeting of the Southeastern United States–Canadian Provinces Alliance (SEUS-CP). He will be accompanied by business professionals and representatives from the research industry in Québec.
On July 21, singer/songwriter Ariane Moffatt was awarded the 2009 Rapsat-Lelièvre Prize during the Francofolies music festival held in Spa, Belgium. The award is designed to promote use of the French language and to encourage the production and distribution of recordings in French. It also seeks to foster artistic creativity by strengthening exchanges between singers/songwriters in Québec and Wallonia/Brussels.
The mineral sector is a driving force for the economic growth of Québec and its regions. Québec’s very first mineral strategy, recently unveiled by the Minister for Natural Resources and Wildlife, Serge Simard, is primarily intended to ensure Quebecers their fair share of benefits from mineral mining.
Québec and Manitoba will be the first two North American subnational governments to join the Territorial Approach to Climate Change, a new initiative promoted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The announcement was made in Brussels on June 26 by Québec Premier Jean Charest during his official visit to Europe.