The memorandum of agreement creating La Francophonie’s Demographic and Statistical Observatory was ratified on March 25 in Montréal in the presence of Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the International Francophone Organization (OIF). The Observatory’s creation stems from a pledge made by Premier Jean Charest at the 12th Francophone Summit, which was held in Québec City in October 2008.
In 2008, when the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City was celebrated, residents of Mons came to Quebec City with their giants to participate in the New France Festival that takes place every summer.
Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, celebrated the Moscow-Québec Centre’s 10th anniversary together with Alexey V. Isakov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Montréal, on March 19. The Centre is the result of a cooperation agreement between Laval University and Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow.
The National, a United Arab Emirates-based daily newspaper, won 22 awards of excellence, including three silver medals, at the 30th annual Best of Newspaper Design competition. Montréal designer Lucie Lacava and her team designed the layout of the paper, which was launched last year in Abu Dhabi.
In conjunction with International Francophone Day (March 20), Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, paid tribute to singer, songwriter and performer Jean-Pierre Ferland for his outstanding contributions to the French language and Québec culture on the international stage.
Eight Québec productions will be shown at the inaugural Québec Film Festival in Haiti, which will be held in Port-au-Prince from March 19-22 in conjunction with the Quinzaine de la Francophonie. The festival receives support from the Government of Québec.
On Thursday, March 12, about forty Université de Montréal alumni met for the first time at the home of Québec Delegate General in Brussels, Christos Sirros, in response to an invitation from the university’s Rector, Luc Vinet.
In the presence of Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, the J. Armand Bombardier Foundation announced on March 9 that it was donating $100,000 to the Fondation des Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (“Fondation LOJIQ”), to support tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. The donation provides direct assistance for young entrepreneurs who deploy a formative business project in France.
On March 11, the Government of Québec tabled Bill 3, called “An Act to provide for the implementation of the Entente entre le Québec et la France en matière de reconnaissance mutuelle des qualifications professionnelles and similar agreements,” in the National Assembly. The purpose of Bill 3 is to implement the agreement that Québec Premier Charest and French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed on October 17, 2008. This historic text establishes a procedure for mutual recognition of professional competence, and thus facilitates the issuing of permits to allow individuals to exercise their profession or trade in both France and Québec.
Québec City has been chosen to host the province’s first sustainable tourism event. From March 17 to 19, the International Symposium on Sustainable Tourism Development will be an opportunity for guest speakers from a number of countries and public and private players in the field of tourism development to discuss principles and practices in the field of sustainable tourism.
On Thursday, March 5, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and about 50 environmental leaders took part in a reception held jointly by the Délégation du Québec à Atlanta (Québec Government Office in Atlanta) and the Consulate General of Canada in Atlanta. Among other things, the event was aimed at highlighting the participation of members of the Atlanta community in the Americana environmental trade show, to be held in Montréal from March 17 to 19.
The meetings of the 62nd session of the Commission permanente de coopération franco-québécoise (CPCFQ – France-Québec permanent commission) were held in Paris on March 3 and 4 and co-chaired by Québec’s Deputy Minister of International Relations, Alain Cloutier, and the Director General of Globalization, Development and Partnerships of France’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Christian Masset. The CPCFQ is the main organization that coordinates activities between Québec and French administrations.
The Government of Québec will provide $1.5M in funding to enable Montréal to participate in World EXPO 2010 taking place in Shanghai next year from May 1 to October 31. The EXPO theme is “Better City, Better life.” The Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, and the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade and Minister Responsible for the Montréal Region, Raymond Bachand, made the announcement March 2 in the presence of Mayor Gérald Tremblay.