March 18, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A $1-million memorandum of understanding (MOU) ensuring Canada's participation in La Francophonie and its followup proceedings was signed today in Fredericton by Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sport Hédard Albert, and federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Josée Verner, who is also president of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and minister for La Francophonie.
"The international Francophonie offers a unique opportunity to promote the dynamism and expertise of Acadians in New Brunswick," said Albert. "It therefore gives me great pleasure, as minister responsible for the Francophonie, to renew this memorandum today, which strengthens the excellent collaboration between New Brunswick and the federal government."
With its Acadian and francophone communities, New Brunswick has made a strong contribution to strengthening the influence of the international francophone community since joining the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) in 1977. New Brunswick's participation is consistent with the province's economic and social development goals.
"It is important for Canada to include the provinces and territories in its actions within the international Francophonie, and we are happy with the close collaboration we have always had with New Brunswick," said Verner.
Canada, with its linguistic duality, participates in the promotion and dissemination of French culture throughout the country and on the international scene through such actions as today's Fredericton-Ottawa MOU, which will help the province meet its commitments to the Francophonie. New Brunswick played a major role in the recent Francophonie Summit in Québec, not only as a participant, but also in planning and executing the event. The strong collaboration between the provincial and federal governments allows important progress on OIF issues.
The MOU will continue New Brunswick's collaboration with the OIF according to priorities identified since the Moncton summit, as well as those resulting from the 12th Francophonie Summit held in Quebec in 2008.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Gisèle Regimbal, director of communications, Department of Intergovernmental Affairs, 506-444-4594; Lisa Mitchell, director of communications, Office of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie, 613-943-1838.