On May 27 and 28, Université Libre de Bruxelles hosted a symposium on the theme of “Federalism, the Environment and Regional Integration – A Comparative Look at Belgium and Canada.” Organized by the Centre de droit public (CDPub), the symposium featured talks by experts in environmental law.
Created under the Québec Government’s U.S. Strategy, the Québec–United States Young Leaders Program was officially launched on June 11. To mark the occasion, Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, welcomed four young members of the upcoming generation of American leaders.
During an address before the Société des relations internationales de Québec (SORIQ), Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, presented the 2010 Raoul Dandurand scholarship to a student enrolled in the Institut québécois des hautes études internationales (HEI) at Université Laval.
The Government of Québec is pleased by Vermont’s adoption of the Act Relating to Renewable Energy, by virtue of which the New England state now recognizes all types of hydroelectricity as clean, renewable energy. The new law reinforces the memorandum of understanding signed by Hydro-Québec and two major Vermont power distributors, which paves the way to a renewed supply contract for the period from 2012 to 2038, worth an estimated $1.5 billion.
Québec’s new world youth agency, Office Québec-Monde pour la Jeunesse (OQMJ), which completes the government’s offering in terms of foreign stays for young people, will receive $1.5 million per year in financial support. The investment will provide young Quebecers with support through access to a wide variety of personal and occupational experience abroad.
Participants at the sixth meeting of the joint Québec-Catalonia committee, held by videoconference on June 4, ratified a dozen cooperation projects that will be undertaken over the next two years. The relevant areas include culture, education and economics, together with new sectors such as youth initiatives, electoral processes and biotechnology.
Québec and South Korea recently signed a social security agreement that will facilitate worker mobility when it comes into effect. The agreement is in keeping with the Government of Québec’s desire to build closer ties with the East Asian country.
On June 3, Premier Jean Charest and Hélène Le Gal, Consul General of France in Québec City, announced the signing of 26 new mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) by the regulatory authorities for trades and professions in France and Québec. The ceremony was attended by Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, and Sam Hamad, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister of Labour.
Québec is the first North American jurisdiction to join the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4SD), which is made up of subnational and regional governments from around the world. The announcement was made on June 1 by Line Beauchamp, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks.
Montréal provided the setting for Premier Jean Charest’s first official meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon on May 28 during Mr. Calderon’s two-day visit to Canada. They were joined by Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Patricia Espinosa, as well as by the Ministers of the Economy, Transport, Communications and Tourism. Pierre Arcand, Quebec’s Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, also attended.
Last year, some 4,300 people took part in international youth mobility projects organized by Québec’s International Youth Offices (Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec/LOJIQ). The organization paid tribute to the excellence of 12 such projects at the second edition of the LOJIQ awards ceremony, which was held at the National Assembly on May 25.
In conjunction with the visit of Bernard Cerquiglini, rector of the Academic Agency of La Francophonie (AUF), the Government of Québec recently signed an agreement aimed at fostering and promoting academic cooperation with the AUF in various priority areas, including the rule of law, democracy, the environment and sustainable development. The agreement will make it easier for francophones from around the world to study in Québec.
Last Train Home, by Montréal filmmaker Lixin Fan, won the prestigious Golden Gate Award in the documentary feature category at the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF), one of the most respected filmfests in the United States and the oldest in North America.
Thanks to this new tool, the Ministère des Relations internationales plans to enhance awareness within major international bodies such as the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) of Québec civil society’s expertise in the priority areas of peace, democracy, governance and human rights.
Québec must bolster its presence in East Asia, according to Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, who recently returned from an economic mission to South Korean and China (May 9-14). With both countries recording sustained growth and showing increasing openness to international markets, Québec companies and institutions will have to position themselves accordingly.