In conjunction with International Francophone Day (March 20), Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, paid tribute to singer, songwriter and performer Jean-Pierre Ferland for his outstanding contributions to the French language and Québec culture on the international stage.
Eight Québec productions will be shown at the inaugural Québec Film Festival in Haiti, which will be held in Port-au-Prince from March 19-22 in conjunction with the Quinzaine de la Francophonie. The festival receives support from the Government of Québec.
On Thursday, March 12, about forty Université de Montréal alumni met for the first time at the home of Québec Delegate General in Brussels, Christos Sirros, in response to an invitation from the university’s Rector, Luc Vinet.
The Office Québec-Monde pour la jeunesse will soon see the light of day. Its mission will be to develop relations between young people in Québec and those in jurisdictions and countries that are not covered by the Office franco-québécois pour la jeunesse (OFQJ), the Office Québec/Wallonie-Bruxelles pour la jeunesse (OQWBJ) and the Office Québec-Amériques pour la jeunesse (OQAJ).
In the presence of Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, the J. Armand Bombardier Foundation announced on March 9 that it was donating $100,000 to the Fondation des Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (“Fondation LOJIQ”), to support tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. The donation provides direct assistance for young entrepreneurs who deploy a formative business project in France.
The new Québec government elected in December 2008 has a mandate to "weather the storm currently sweeping the planet", said Premier Jean Charest in his speech to the National Assembly opening the new legislative session on March 10. Gauging the full impact of the crisis, which he called "unprecedented", he said that the economic action plan introduced in December would enable Québec to withstand the crisis and set it on the road to recovery. The Premier announced three priority action areas that will form the focus of the government's efforts over the next few years.
On March 11, the Government of Québec tabled Bill 3, called “An Act to provide for the implementation of the Entente entre le Québec et la France en matière de reconnaissance mutuelle des qualifications professionnelles and similar agreements,” in the National Assembly. The purpose of Bill 3 is to implement the agreement that Québec Premier Charest and French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed on October 17, 2008. This historic text establishes a procedure for mutual recognition of professional competence, and thus facilitates the issuing of permits to allow individuals to exercise their profession or trade in both France and Québec.
Québec City has been chosen to host the province’s first sustainable tourism event. From March 17 to 19, the International Symposium on Sustainable Tourism Development will be an opportunity for guest speakers from a number of countries and public and private players in the field of tourism development to discuss principles and practices in the field of sustainable tourism.
On Thursday, March 5, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and about 50 environmental leaders took part in a reception held jointly by the Délégation du Québec à Atlanta (Québec Government Office in Atlanta) and the Consulate General of Canada in Atlanta. Among other things, the event was aimed at highlighting the participation of members of the Atlanta community in the Americana environmental trade show, to be held in Montréal from March 17 to 19.
The meetings of the 62nd session of the Commission permanente de coopération franco-québécoise (CPCFQ – France-Québec permanent commission) were held in Paris on March 3 and 4 and co-chaired by Québec’s Deputy Minister of International Relations, Alain Cloutier, and the Director General of Globalization, Development and Partnerships of France’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Christian Masset. The CPCFQ is the main organization that coordinates activities between Québec and French administrations.
The Government of Québec will provide $1.5M in funding to enable Montréal to participate in World EXPO 2010 taking place in Shanghai next year from May 1 to October 31. The EXPO theme is “Better City, Better life.” The Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, and the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade and Minister Responsible for the Montréal Region, Raymond Bachand, made the announcement March 2 in the presence of Mayor Gérald Tremblay.
Managing polluted soil will be the focus of a new cooperation endeavour between the Brussels-Capital Region and Québec. On March 4, Christos Sirros, the Québec Delegate General in Brussels, Guy Vanhengel, the Minister of External Relations, and Evelyne Huytebroeck, Minister of the Environment for the Brussels-Capital Region, signed a cooperation program for the remediation of contaminated soils.
The Government of Québec has launched a second call for proposals for scientific and technological research projects undertaken by Québec and Chinese partners. The priority fields are life sciences, marine sciences and technology, information and communication technology, and air and land transportation. Québec and China will each invest $1.2 million in this initiative over a three-year period.
At a ceremony held yesterday in Brussels, the Wallonia-Brussels Ministry of Culture and Audiovisual Productions presented the French Community of Belgium’s international literary prize (Prix du rayonnement des lettres à l'étranger), together with a €4,000 cash award, to Gilles Pellerin, a professor, author and publisher (Éditions de l'instant même) from the Québec City region
Québec Premier Jean Charest travelled to Boston on February 23 to give a speech as part of the Canada Seminars series organized by Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. The Premier took part in the seminar at the invitation of sociologist Gérard Bouchard, currently a guest professor at the prestigious research centre.
The day after President Obama visited Canada, the Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, was in Washington to promote Québec’s interests among key figures in the U.S. capital’s political, economic and institutional communities.