Premier Jean Charest, accompanied by Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade Raymond Bachand, began a three-day mission to Davos, Switzerland, on January 29. The purpose of the trip is to promote investments in Québec and work toward the creation of an economic partnership between Canada and European Union. Premier Charest and Minister Bachand are also taking part in the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, attended by economic and political leaders from around the world.
The Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Line Beauchamp, is pleased by U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to set new federal standards for passenger vehicle fuel consumption. On January 26, President Obama also announced his intention to grant a request by California and other states to adopt and impose greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger vehicles that exceed U.S. federal requirements.
The Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, met the new Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Montréal, Alexey V. Isakov. The meeting focused on Québec-Russia relations and the possibilities for developing them further, especially in the cultural and educational arenas.
Showcase Scotland, an annual high-profile venue for traditional Scottish music, has selected Québec as this year’s guest of honour. The event will take place at the end of the month in Glasgow in conjunction with Celtic Connections, Scotland’s biggest traditional music festival. Six groups will be performing for a Scottish audience and some 200 delegates, broadcasters, theatrical agents and distributers during an event dubbed Spotlight Québec.
The Haitian governance enhancement project known as PARGEP recently launched a Web site. The site is dedicated to the support project in Haiti implemented by ENAP, Québec’s national school of public administration, on which the Québec, Canadian and Haitian governments are collaborating.
The Centre de la francophonie des Amériques (CFA) is holding its first activity in the United States. Under a partnership with a Québec organization called ASTER and the City of Lafayette, activities will be held in over a dozen Louisiana schools from January 20 to February 10. About 1,500 students will take part in French-language workshops on astronomy and introduction to science. The workshops are being held as part of UNESCO’s International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009).
The London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 represents a huge opportunity for businesses around the world. From catering, to construction; business services to transport infrastructure, companies across all sectors should now start to think about how they can invest in London.
Two Quebecers, Émilie Grégoire and Sarah Pinchvinsky, flew to Tokyo on January 13 to take part in a 50-day voyage aboard the Nippon Maru as part of the 21st edition of the Japanese government’s Ship for World Youth program. In addition to promoting international cooperation and intercultural dialogue, the program offers a unique and rewarding experience for 250 young leaders from around the world.
Christine St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, took part in a cultural mission to New York from January 8 to 10. She was very pleased with the success of her mission and returned with a renewed belief that assistance programs in support of performing art exports are essential.
How would you encourage young people around you to use French? This is the question that the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques (CFA) is asking young people in the Americas, via its “Jeunesse francophone en action” contest. To answer the question, participants have to make a clip-length video describing a stimulating project for their community, educational institution or cultural milieu.
On December 7, Québec Government Office in Mumbai, in association with Alliance Française, marked the publication of French-language translations of three short story collections and the classic novel Godan: Le don d’une vache [Godan: The Gift of a Cow] by Munshi Premchand (1880-1936), a giant of contemporary Indian literature. The works were translated from the Hindi by University of Sherbrooke Professor Fernand Ouellet.
In collaboration with the National Assembly of Québec, the International Association of Québec Studies (IAQS) is once again this year offering a student from outside Québec the opportunity to complete an internship in that institution. The goal of this internship is to allow a foreign student to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in his or her studies and improve his or her knowledge of Québec, its parliamentary institutions and its democratic practices.