Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, delivered a positive report on his official visit to Spain (September 7-11), which included meetings with some 15 high-level political figures and visits to a variety of industrial and cultural centres. He also announced four new cooperation projects during his trip.
Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, celebrated the 10th anniversary of Québec’s Government Office in Barcelona at a reception held during his official visit to Spain. The event was attended by a number of political figures from Catalonia and Québec, including Yvon Vallières, Speaker of the National Assembly, who headed a delegation of Québec lawmakers.
Mediators and ombudsmen from 25 francophone countries converged on Québec City from September 7 to 9. Some 75 officials took part in the sixth convention of the Association des ombudsman et médiateurs de la Francophonie (AOMF), held around the theme “Mediators, politics and justice: Toward equitable access to rights.”
On September 8, political figures, historians and observers of France-Québec relations took part in the Symposium on the 150th anniversary of the Consulate General of France in Québec City. The event made it possible to mark the milestones of France-Québec relations since the institution of the French diplomatic post in Québec City in 1859 and determine new prospects for this fruitful collaboration.
This year, the Québec Government Office in Berlin is celebrating its 10th anniversary. In fact, it was a Cultural Agency that the Québec government first opened in the German capital in 1999. This Agency later became an Office reporting to the Québec Government Office in Munich. Since then, Québec’s representation in Berlin has continued to promote Québec in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
André Bazergui has won the 2009 Grand Prize for Excellence, the highest distinction granted by the Québec Order of Engineers (OIQ). Awarded annually since 1991, the prize honours exemplary professional achievement by a Québec engineer. Dr. Bazergui is known and recognized for his teaching, as well as for his research activities and involvement with professional associations.
Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), has reappointed Clément Duhaime to a second four-year term as OIF Administrator. Mr. Duhaime’s original appointment began on January 1, 2006 and will expire on December 31, 2009.
“Ever since taking up his duties in January 2006, Mr. Duhaime has demonstrated a courageous, energetic, innovative and whole-hearted approach to the initiatives we have set out to achieve, not only in terms of cooperation but also in the areas of administration and finance. I am particularly pleased with the valued relationship and with the close, dynamic and effective cooperation we have established in a spirit of transparency. I have therefore decided to renew my confidence in him,” said Mr. Diouf.
The Québec delegation that will participate in the 6th edition of the Jeux de la Francophonie (Francophone Games) from September 27 to October 6 in Lebanon was introduced recently by the Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, and Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, Christine St-Pierre. This delegation is made up of some 70 athletes and artists who will represent Québec at the only international games where Québec is represented by its own team.
During a mission to Madrid, Barcelona and Tàrrega starting on September 7, the Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, will meet with no less than 15 high-profile political figures and participate in industrial and cultural tours. This mission was specifically planned as part of the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Québec Government Office in Barcelona.
The Québec government recently announced the establishment of a green energy technology development assistance program funded by an $8M budget. The two-year 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.
The Montreal World Film Festival, Le Mois de la photo à Montréal and the Festival international de la littérature are some of the international events that will kick off an exciting new season in Montreal.
The details of Québec’s presence at the 37th Festival internacional Cervantino, where it will be the guest of honour in October, were revealed on August 26 by the Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, Christine St-Pierre. This announcement was made in Montréal before the Consul General of Mexico, Edgardo Flores Rivas.
The 30th edition of the Québec Language, Culture and Society Internship was a resounding success. Over the years, this three-week program, established and funded by the Ministère des Relations internationales (MRI), has been attended by scores of French teachers from around the world. This summer, 73 people took language and teacher training courses aimed at expanding their knowledge of Québec language, culture and society.
Air Canada announced this 20th August that it will introduce year-round non-stop service between Montreal and Brussels, with same-plane service continuing on to/from Toronto. Flights will begin daily, subject to government approval, in time for summer peak travel on June 12, 2010. Flights on the new Brussels route are timed to offer travellers convenient connections to Air Canada's extensive North America network via the carrier's Montreal hub to and from: Toronto (same plane), Ottawa, Quebec City, Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington and New York. In Brussels, connecting flights will be available with future Star Alliance partner Brussels Airlines to/from several European and African destinations including Toulouse, Lyon and Marseilles, France; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Dakar, Senegal; Douala, Cameroun; Bologna and Milan, Italy; and Porto, Portugal.
A Japanese delegation visited Québec City on August 19 to study Québec’s carbon tax system implemented in 2007. The first initiative of its kind in North America, the carbon tax system assigns a role to energy distribution companies as part of the provincial government’s climate change efforts.
More than 130 university students from Québec, other Canadian provinces and several European countries took part in the 12th European Parliamentary Simulation/Canada-Québec-Europe (SPECQUE). For the first time, the sessions were held in the German cities of Berlin (August 10-12) and Dresden, the capital of Saxony (August 12-14).
Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, took part in workshops on energy and climate change held during the 25th TransAmerica Conference on Canadian-American relations, organized by the Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange. Held in Ottawa, the conference was attended by Canadian parliamentarians and government ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, academics and members of the U.S. House of Representatives.