March 18, 2009 (4:10 p.m. EDT)
No. 72

Signing of an Ottawa-Fredericton Memorandum of Understanding on New Brunswick's Participation in International Francophonie

The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie, and her counterpart in New Brunswick, Hédard Albert, Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sport and Minister responsible for the Francophonie, today signed a $1-million memorandum of understanding ensuring Canada's contribution to New Brunswick's participation in La Francophonie, and its follow-up on the organization's proceedings.

"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 Minister Verner.

"The international Francophonie offers a unique opportunity to promote the dynamism and expertise of Acadians in New Brunswick," said Minister 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 in terms of La Francophonie."

With its Acadian and francophone communities, New Brunswick has made a concrete contribution to strengthening the influence of the international francophone community since joining the international Francophonie in 1977. New Brunswick's participation in the international Francophonie is consistent with the province's economic and social development goals.

Canada is proud of its linguistic duality and participates actively in the promotion and dissemination of the French fact throughout its territory and on the international scene through concrete action, like the Ottawa-Fredericton memorandum of understanding, which will help it meet its Francophonie commitments. New Brunswick played a major role in the recent Francophonie Summit in the city of Québec, not only as a participant, but also in planning and executing the event. The strong collaboration between the governments of Canada and New Brunswick allows important International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) issues to progress significantly.

The memorandum of understanding signed today will enable New Brunswick to actively continue its collaboration with the OIF according to the priorities identified since the Moncton summit, as well as to those resulting from the 12th Francophonie Summit held in Québec in 2008.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

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

Gisèle Regimbal
Director of Communications
Department of Intergovernmental Affairs

Government of New Brunswick
506-444-4594