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.
A new online guide is available for Quebecers wishing to travel abroad or already living outside Canada. The guide is produced by Services Québec and is geared towards travellers and individuals planning to remain abroad for an extended period.
At the invitation of Montréal’s twin city Shanghai, a group of Quebecers will be attending the 2009 Shanghai International Sister Cities Youth Camp from July 19 to August 1. The event will provide a unique opportunity to gain familiarity with Chinese culture and to educate young people from around the world about Québec.
On May 27, the Québec Health Research Fund (FRSQ) announced that it would be entering into a partnership (effective June 1, 2009) with one of the European research networks (ERA-Net) as part of the European Union’s seventh Framework Program.
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.