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.
“Relations with the United States are very important for Québec. We have worked for decades to enhance our impact and want to strengthen the political, institutional and economic ties that unite us. This new program is an excellent opportunity for us to project a modern, positive image of Québec. We want to build privileged relations with these young people, who will be filling key positions in tomorrow’s U.S. society,” said Minister Arcand.
The members of the initial group of young leaders were chosen by the Québec government offices in the United States (in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington) on the basis of their social, community or academic involvement within recognized, influential organizations such as New York University, Harvard University and the Council of State Governments. They are high-potential candidates for important decision-making positions in the coming years.
Minister Arcand went on to say, “The young leaders we are about to meet show a keen interest in topics like politics, international relations, the economy and the French language. I would like to discuss international issues and Québec’s foreign positioning with them. I also want to look at youth involvement in politics, as they already have pertinent experience in this area.”
During their stay in Québec, from June 7 to 11, the upcoming leaders had a chance to speak with Premier Jean Charest, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women Christine St-Pierre, members of the National Assembly and representatives of the Québec government, government corporations, youth associations and companies involves in the fields of new technology, the environment and culture.
The Québec–United States Young Leaders Program is a joint initiative with the Office Québec-Amériques pour la jeunesse (OQAJ). It corresponds to measure No. 38 set forth in the 2010-2013 Action Plan accompanying the Québec Government’s U.S. Strategy, launched in January 2010. The program is aimed at building dialogue with young Americans under age 35 and enhancing understanding of the Québec context.