The Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, is carrying out a mission to Rome and L’Aquila, Italy on June 25 and 26.
Mr. Arcand’s activities will include commemorating Québec’s National Holiday during the annual reception hosted by the Québec Government Office in Rome. He will also meet with the Canadian Ambassador to the Holy See, Anne Leahy, and Giampaolo Bettamio, Senator and member of the Italian Senate’s Foreign Affairs Commission.
Minister Arcand will then travel to L’Aquila, in the Abruzzo region. A massive earthquake struck the area last April. Sadly, further tremors of smaller magnitude were felt last Monday. The Québec government contributed $50,000 to the Red Cross to provide assistance to quake victims.
L’Aquila is a medieval heritage city as well as an important university centre with 27,000 students. The university was severely damaged in the earthquake that occurred last April. During his visit to L’Aquila, Minister Arcand will meet with Giannino di Tomasso, the Dean of the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy. The Faculty’s Department of Comparative Cultures is a member of the Italian Interuniversity Centre for Québec Studies. The Minister intends to assure the Dean of his commitment to see that, once the university has been rebuilt, Québec literary works and books on Québec will again be among the reference sources available to the thousands of students who attend the university.
“It goes without saying that, in its own way, the Québec government wishes to support the University of L’Aquila in its reconstruction process. This commitment is an expression of our solidarity but, above all, it is a concrete measure to help learning conditions return to normal for the students of L’Aquila,” said Minister Arcand.
After Rome and L’Aquila, Minister Arcand will continue his mission in Paris, where he will accompany Premier Jean Charest.
Québec Government Office in Rome