Minister Josée Verner Receives Ordre de la Pléiade

(No. 114 - March 21, 2011 - 6:30 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, received the Ordre de la Pléiade [Order of the Pléiade] from the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie at a ceremony held today in the Parliament of Canada in Ottawa. The Minister was awarded the title of Commander in recognition of her contribution to La Francophonie.

Minister Verner said she was touched by this honour. In a speech marking the occasion, she highlighted the 41st International Day of La Francophonie, celebrated on Sunday, March 20, 2011, as well as the considerable work done by parliamentarians from all member countries of La Francophonie. “One of the highlights of the past year for me was the publication of the report titled La langue française dans le monde 2010 [The French Language in the World, 2010], released at the 13th Summit of La Francophonie, in Montreux, Switzerland, last October. The report’s message is encouraging: the French language is doing well and continues to grow internationally,” said Minister Verner.

Also among this year’s 15 recipients were the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada, and Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages.

Created in 1976 by the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie, the Ordre de la Pléiade is awarded to key figures within La Francophonie who have particularly distinguished themselves in furthering the Assembly’s ideals. The principal aim of the Assembly is to promote and defend democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, the international influence of the French language and cultural diversity.

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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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