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12 Aug 2010

New Minister of International Relations appointed

Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie

As part of the recent cabinet shuffle unveiled today in the National Assembly, Québec Premier Jean Charest appointed Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, MNA for Saint-François, as Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie. Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay will also retain her duties as Minister Responsible for the Eastern Townships region.

Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay’s appointment marks a return to the portfolio she held for over five years (April 29, 2003 to December 18, 2008). Meanwhile, Pierre Arcand was appointed Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks.

Monique Gagnon-Tremblay

Monique Gagnon-Tremblay’s professional career has been dedicated to public service. Her record includes a number of key accomplishments:

    • She was the first woman to serve as Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board.

    • On May 5, 2006, she signed a second historic agreement with the Government of Canada; the first was concluded when she was Minister of Cultural Communities and Immigration (McDougall–Gagnon-Tremblay Agreement). The second agreement, which concerned Québec’s role within UNESCO, tied in with Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay’s sustained efforts to adopt and implement UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

    • In the weeks following the signing of the 2006 agreement, Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay unveiled Québec’s current International Policy: Working In Concert, which will continue to serve as the cornerstone of her initiatives in the coming years.

    • On October 17, 2008, she signed an unprecedented agreement covering mutual recognition of professional qualifications by Québec and France. This agreement was concluded during the 12th Francophone Summit, held in Québec City.

    • Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay’s last term as President of the Treasury Board was marked by the signing of a historic agreement with the Front Commun in connection with negotiations to renew public sector employees’ collective agreements.

Pierre Arcand

Mr. Arcand’s priority initiatives included:

    • The unveiling on January 14, 2010 of the Québec government’s US Strategy, which marked a milestone in the advancement of Québec’s international initiatives.

    • Several important missions aimed at promoting Québec’s international standing and forging links around the world. Mr. Arcand took part in new cooperation initiatives with Russia (June 2009), China (October 2009/May 2010), Brazil (November 2009), India (February 2010) and Sweden and Norway (April 2010), leading to the assignment of an Investissement Québec official to Stockholm.

    • A series of initiatives in support of Haiti’s reconstruction.

    • The adoption on May 21, 2009 in the National Assembly of legislation creating the Québec-World Youth Office (OQMJ).

Future initiatives

According to Premier Charest, following Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay’s appointment, the new Minister of International Relations will be responsible for a wide range of initiatives, including preparing for the upcoming Francophone Summit, finalizing details concerning the opening up of labour mobility – particularly in connection with regular meetings involving the French prime minister and the Québec premier – and promoting the proposed economic partnership between Canada and the European Union.

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