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.
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.
While in Rio de Janeiro during his mission to Brazil, the Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, met with city officials and the state governor. Following the discussions, Minister Arcand confirmed that city officials are open to working with Québec companies and agencies interested in contributing to Rio’s development in anticipation of the major events scheduled to take place there: the 2011 Military World Games, the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The Québec film industry’s discovery of the year, J’ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother), by Xavier Dolan, screened in Hollywood on November 3 as part of the AFI FEST 2009 official competition. The film’s American premiere was held in the mythical Chinese Theatre in the presence of actors François Arnaud and Patricia Tulasne.
Québec conductor Jacques Lacombe has been named the new music director for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Lacombe, who succeeds Neeme Järvi, will balance his new duties in New Jersey with his responsibilities as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières, as well as regular international appearances in European opera houses.
In a video interview for L'Express.fr, Québec’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Line Beauchamp, described the concerted effort of federated states, including Québec, to have their essential role recognized in the text of the next United Nations agreement on climate change.
The Washington Center for Internships and Seminars and the Ministère des Relations internationales (MRI) celebrated the 10th anniversary of their partnership on October 3 at an event at HEC Montréal. Specializing in organizing internships in the US capital, the Washington Center has welcomed nearly 100 students from Québec under the auspices of a program launched with the MRI in 1999.
The Government of Québec has appointed John Parisella as Delegate General in New York, the province's top ranking position in the U.S., responsible for relations with eight states including the Mid-Atlantic and Washington, D.C. On November 16, he will officially succeed Robert Keating who will become Assistant Deputy Minister of International Relations.
Pierre Arcand, Québec’s Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, travelled to Plattsburgh on October 19 to address the Plattsburgh North County Chamber of Commerce and to discuss the proposed Montréal-New York high-speed rail line, a top-priority project for both the governments of Québec and New York State.
At the end of the recent mission that he led to China, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie Pierre Arcand announced the signing of a higher education agreement and took stock of the agreements signed by the representatives of various companies who accompanied him on the trip. Among other things, the mission was aimed at raising awareness of Québec’s environmental products and services in the strategic Chinese market.
Québec’s Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, Michelle Courchesne, voiced Québec’s views during the Ministerial Round Table on Education held in Paris on October 9 and 10 as part of the 35th Session of the UNESCO General Conference. This is the first time that a Québec cabinet minister has taken the floor during a Ministerial Round Table held within the framework of a program of the General Conference, UNESCO’s main policy-setting body.
A number of international experts are in Québec City from October 13 to 15 to discuss rural development issues and their impact on prosperity during the OECD Annual Rural Development Conference. The event was launched in the presence of Aart de Geus, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Nathalie Normandeau, Deputy Premier, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Minister responsible for the Northern Plan, and Laurent Lessard, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy.
The Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Mr. Pierre Arcand, salutes the appointment of Mr. John Parisella as the new Québec Delegate General in New York and that of Mr. Robert Keating as Assistant Deputy Minister of International Relations beginning November 16, 2009.
On mission to Japan, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie Pierre Arcand met with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Koichi Takemasa. This marks Mr. Takemasa’s first meeting with a foreign diplomat since the election of the new Hatoyama government on August 30, 2009.
Québec playwright Robert Lepage returns to BAM Next Wave Festival with the U.S. premiere of Lipsynch, an 8 1/2-hour performance that explores the voice as a compelling metaphor for human expression and interaction. Pushing the boundaries of stage narrative, Lepage takes audiences on a riveting theatrical journey with nine individual tales woven into a spellbinding marathon experience that spans 70 years and traverses the world from war-torn Vienna and pre-revolutionary Nicaragua to contemporary London.
Currently on mission to Japan, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie Pierre Arcand stressed the “importance for Québec’s academic institutions and scientific research community to act on existing collaborative R&D opportunities in Japan. Québec has expertise in certain scientific sectors that should be promoted in Japan and also stands to benefit from technological transfers in a number of complementary research sectors.”
A green energy technology development assistance program, with a budget of CAD$8M over two years, was recently established by the Québec government. The program is intended to stimulate research and innovation, foster an increase in the number of demonstrated new green energy technologies, and contribute to company growth and job creation.
During the opening ceremony of Climate Week NYC on September 21, Premier Jean Charest spoke on behalf of States, provinces and regions in order to emphasize their concrete and crucial contribution in reducing greenhouse gases emissions. The ceremony was presided over by former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair and attended by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as well as government and business representatives.