Québec Premier Jean Charest took the floor during the Climate Leaders Summit convened by The Climate Group on December 15 in Copenhagen. The Summit was the largest meeting of heads of federated states and regions ever held during a Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP). The participants, who also included industry leaders, all agreed on the need to implement a global agreement on climate change.
Over 150 people, mostly university students, participated in the La Francophonie Day of Discovery at Waseda University in Tokyo on December 13. This was the first event organized by the Council for the promotion of the Francophonie in Japan, an initiative encouraged by the Québec Government Office in Tokyo earlier this year.
The Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, was delighted with the outcome of the work accomplished at the 25th Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie (CMF), which ended on December 16 in Paris.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER) and Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (LOJIC) have signed an agreement that marks the start of a new era for occupational stays for young adults from Québec and Europe.
The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and the Ministry of Higher Education of the Arab Republic of Egypt have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to intensify university cooperation between Québec and this Francophonie partner in the Middle East.
Approximately 500 people attended the 20th biennial conference of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS), which was held in San Diego at the end of November. The conference is the main North American forum for US academics and researchers specializing in Canadian and Québec studies.
Spain welcomed several well-known Québec authors in November. The writers were in the country to take part in activities supported by the Québec Government office in Barcelona. An initial lecture tour organized by the International Association of Québec Studies (AIEQ) was devoted to authors Neil Bissoondath and Pierre Szalowski. Another event, flowing from an exchange between the Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD) and the Sala Beckett (Beckett theatre) in Barcelona, focused on playwrights Evelyne de la Chenelière, Catherine Léger and Larry Tremblay.
An agreement was signed between the Québec International Youth Offices (LOJIQ) and the Assembly of European Regions (AER) on November 26. “Québec is now in direct contact with more than 270 European regions with a view to developing professional internship opportunities and enhancing the international mobility of young people from Québec and various regions of Europe,” said LOJIQ’s secretary general Alfred Pilon at the signing ceremony for the agreement.
Premier Jean Charest began a mission to France on November 27 by attending the signing in Paris of four new mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) in the health sector. The arrangements cover physicians, pharmacists, dentists and midwives. They were signed by the heads of the Québec and French professional orders in these areas. In addition to Premier Charest, the signing was attended by France’s Minister of Health and Sports, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin.
Pascal Couchepin, the Grand Témoin de la Francophonie for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games and former President of the Swiss Confederation was in Québec City on November 24. The Grand Témoin has been tasked by the Secretary General of la Francophonie, Abdou Diouf, to observe the role and use of the French language during the Olympic Games in accordance with Article 24 of the Olympic Charter which gives French official language status.
Québec puppeteers will be front and centre at this year’s Titirijai Festival (International Puppet Festival) in Tolosa, Spain, to be held from November 28 to December 6. The 27th edition of the festival will be the inaugural event for Tolosa’s brand-new TO.PIC complex, one of the world’s largest puppet arts centres. Québec’s high-profile participation in the festival will wrap up a series of activities held to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Québec government office in Barcelona.
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.
The area north of the 49th parallel has tremendous energy, mining, forestry and tourism potential. With Plan Nord, the Québec government intends to develop a new sustainable economic space in partnership with aboriginal communities. A new Web site is dedicated to this societal project: www.plannord.gouv.qc.ca/english/index.asp.
Mireille Mathieu, Vice-Rector for International Relations at Université de Montréal (UdeM), and several of her UdeM colleagues were in Brussels recently to take part in the activities of the International Forum of Public Universities. Christos Sirros, Québec’s Delegate General in Brussels, profited from their presence to welcome graduates of UdeM, HEC Montréal and Polytechnique and UdeM students currently enrolled in programs in Belgium at his residence on November 17.