The France-Québec and Québec-France associations held their 18th joint congress from July 12 to 14 in Montréal. The theme of the congress, which attracted over 300 participants, was “Our Network: Building a New Future.” The Québec Minister of Tourism, Pascal Bérubé attended the event.
A meeting of twinned cities: The President of France-Québec, Marc Martin; the President of Québec-France, André Poulin; the Québec Minister for Regions, Gaétan Lelièvre; the Mayor of Drummondville, Francine Ruest-Jutras; the Mayor of La Roche-sur-Yon, Pierre Régnault; the Recording Secretary and municipal councillor of Laval (France), Georges Poirier; the moderator and municipal councillor of Saint-Thomas (Québec), Agnès Derouin (photo ©Georges Poirier).
Before the congress opened, nearly 80 people participated in a meeting of twinned cities chaired by the Québec Minister for Regions, Gaétan Lelièvre. Some twenty cities were represented from both Québec (Drummondville, Joliette, Repentigny, Saint-Jérôme, etc.) and France (Annecy, Lagny, La Roche-sur-Yon, Laval, etc.). The presentations by the mayors of Drummondville and La Roche-sur-Yon, which are celebrating their thirty years of twinning, was eloquent testimony of the interest in these municipal and community partnerships.
The respective presidents of France-Québec and Québec-France, Marc Martin and André Poulin, then officially opened the congress in the presence of Québec’s Delegate General in Paris, Michel Robitaille, the representative of the City of Montréal, Michel Bissonnet, and the Consul General of France in Montréal, Bruno Clerc. The keynote address by the Paris correspondent of the daily Le Devoir, Christian Rioux, focussed on the state of relations between France and Québec.
New areas of action
The summary of the work accomplished at the congress helped to formulate a number of priority areas of action in the coming years. The participants agreed on the importance of “promoting” the network set up by the two associations. To achieve this, they plan on: