Spain welcomed several well-known Québec authors in November. The writers were in the country to take part in activities supported by the Québec Government office in Barcelona. An initial lecture tour organized by the International Association of Québec Studies (AIEQ) was devoted to authors Neil Bissoondath and Pierre Szalowski. Another event, flowing from an exchange between the Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD) and the Sala Beckett (Beckett theatre) in Barcelona, focused on playwrights Evelyne de la Chenelière, Catherine Léger and Larry Tremblay.
An agreement was signed between the Québec International Youth Offices (LOJIQ) and the Assembly of European Regions (AER) on November 26. “Québec is now in direct contact with more than 270 European regions with a view to developing professional internship opportunities and enhancing the international mobility of young people from Québec and various regions of Europe,” said LOJIQ’s secretary general Alfred Pilon at the signing ceremony for the agreement.
Premier Jean Charest began a mission to France on November 27 by attending the signing in Paris of four new mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) in the health sector. The arrangements cover physicians, pharmacists, dentists and midwives. They were signed by the heads of the Québec and French professional orders in these areas. In addition to Premier Charest, the signing was attended by France’s Minister of Health and Sports, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin.
Pascal Couchepin, the Grand Témoin de la Francophonie for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games and former President of the Swiss Confederation was in Québec City on November 24. The Grand Témoin has been tasked by the Secretary General of la Francophonie, Abdou Diouf, to observe the role and use of the French language during the Olympic Games in accordance with Article 24 of the Olympic Charter which gives French official language status.
Québec puppeteers will be front and centre at this year’s Titirijai Festival (International Puppet Festival) in Tolosa, Spain, to be held from November 28 to December 6. The 27th edition of the festival will be the inaugural event for Tolosa’s brand-new TO.PIC complex, one of the world’s largest puppet arts centres. Québec’s high-profile participation in the festival will wrap up a series of activities held to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Québec government office in Barcelona.
On November 23, some thirty heads of diplomatic missions posted in Ottawa attended a presentation on the Plan Nord by the Deputy Premier, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Minister Responsible for the Plan Nord, Nathalie Normandeau, and the Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand. The activity included a tour of the Radisson hydroelectric installations in Baie-James.
The Ministère des Relations internationales (MRI) was singled out for honours in the Public Service category for the signing of the Québec-France agreement on mutual recognition of professional competence, at an awards gala held by the Institut d’administration publique de Québec (IAPQ).
On November 23, Premier Jean Charest and Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Line Beauchamp, unveiled Québec’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by the year 2020. By targeting a 20% reduction below 1990 levels, Québec has set a goal similar to the target established by the European Union thus becoming the leader in the fight against climate change.
Québec, in collaboration with California, South Australia and several groupings of federated states and regions, is continuing to actively campaign to ensure that the role played by federated states and regions in the fight against climate change is included in the text of the regime that will succeed the Kyoto protocol. To that end, Premier Jean Charest and South Australian Premier Mike Rann will co-chair the 3rd States and Regions Climate Leaders Summit, which will take place in December during the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
On mission in Boston November 13 and 14, Québec Premier Jean Charest spoke during the 17th annual U.S.-Canada Energy Trade and Technology Conference of the New England-Canada Business Council (NECBC) to promote Québec as a key partner in providing clean, renewable energies. With less than 25 days remaining before the Copenhagen conference, Premier Charest reaffirmed the fundamental role of subnational states in the fight against climate change.
Premier Jean Charest and New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham unveiled a memorandum of understanding on energy in Fredericton on October 29. Under the agreement, Hydro-Québec would acquire most of NB Power’s assets for $4.75B.
This coming December 7 to 11, Premier Jean Charest will lead an economic and political mission to Russia, accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, and some twenty representatives from Québec companies in the infrastructure, transportation and telecommunications sectors.
Brazil is a priority country under Québec’s International policy. It is one of Québec’s main export markets in South America and trade with that partner has steadily risen over the past several years. By opening the Québec Government Office in São Paulo, which was inaugurated in early November by the Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, Québec hopes to benefit from the Brazilian market’s full potential.
On November 10, Premier Jean Charest met with the Prince of Wales, who was accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, during the couple’s official visit to Canada. Discussions focused primarily on climate change, relations between Québec and the United Kingdom, and the project for a Canada-EU economic partnership agreement.
During the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to Québec several weeks ago, Premier Jean Charest marked the birthday of His Royal Highness (November 14) by presenting him with a selection of 11 Québec films.
The area north of the 49th parallel has tremendous energy, mining, forestry and tourism potential. With Plan Nord, the Québec government intends to develop a new sustainable economic space in partnership with aboriginal communities. A new Web site is dedicated to this societal project: www.plannord.gouv.qc.ca/english/index.asp.
Mireille Mathieu, Vice-Rector for International Relations at Université de Montréal (UdeM), and several of her UdeM colleagues were in Brussels recently to take part in the activities of the International Forum of Public Universities. Christos Sirros, Québec’s Delegate General in Brussels, profited from their presence to welcome graduates of UdeM, HEC Montréal and Polytechnique and UdeM students currently enrolled in programs in Belgium at his residence on November 17.
Rivière-du-Loup, September 17, 2009 - In keeping with its mission of becoming a technological and commercial leader, Premier Tech is pleased to announce the acquisition of Bag Treatment Holland (BTH), whose corporate office is in Eersel in the Netherlands.