Minister Verner Pays Tribute to Jean-Marc Léger, a Founding Father of La Francophonie

(No. 67 - February 16, 2011 - 12:40 p.m. ET) The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie, today offered her most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jean-Marc Léger, who passed away February 13, 2011, in Montreal.

“The vitality of La Francophonie and its increasing influence throughout the world is the fruit of a half century’s labours,” said Minister Verner. “Jean-Marc Léger’s contribution to this success is outstanding. He left his mark on the history La Francophonie with his tireless resolve and devotion.”

Jean-Marc Léger was among those who laid the cornerstones of La Francophonie. In 1961, he founded and became the first secretary general of the Association des universités partiellement ou entièrement de langue française [Association of Partially or Wholly French-language Universities], now called Agence universitaire de La Francophonie [University Agency of La Francophonie].

In addition, Mr. Léger was the first secretary general of the Agence de coopération culturelle et technique [Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation], today’s International Organisation of La Francophonie. A passionate defender of the French language throughout his long and successful career, he stood out because of his humanity, his determination and his optimism.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie
613-943-2044

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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