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Fitzgibbon takes credit for the idea of ​​a Quebec office in Tel Aviv

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press At the end of question period, Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon praised the Quebec office project in Tel Aviv, affirming that he was responsible for it. “I had the idea in 2022. We’re going to do it, that’s for sure. It's a very good idea.”

The Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, credited himself on Thursday with “the very good idea” of opening a Quebec office in Israel. However, the project has been on the cards of the Quebec government since 2017.

At the end of question period, Mr. Fitzgibbon did not want to comment on the timing chosen to open a Quebec representation in Tel Aviv. However, he praised the project, claiming that he was the author of it. “I had the idea in 2022. We’re going to do it, that’s for sure. It's a very good idea,” he said.

The minister said he participated in a mission two years ago to feed the Quebec strategy for research and investment in innovation. “Israel is a very good model of innovation. He’s one of the world champions,” he emphasized.

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  • The Quebec Office in Tel Aviv was under study since 2017
  • Martine Biron wants to open the Quebec Office in Tel Aviv this summer

The Minister of International Relations, Martine Biron, had just reminded Salon Bleu that “even the liberals tried to open an office in Israel.” The project has indeed been under study since 2017 in her ministry, according to access to information documents.

Ms. Biron once again had to defend its decision to open an office in Tel Aviv while conflict rages in the Gaza Strip. The minister wants to make the office fully functional by the summer since, in her opinion, “things have settled down” and “the economy has recovered”, in particular.

“The decision to open an office in Tel Aviv should in no way be interpreted as taking a position in this conflict,” she told Salon Bleu. The minister recalled that the Canadian embassy, ​​with which Quebec will share premises, is “fully operational”.

A gesture “ immoral” and a “problem”

Quebec's decision infuriates the Parti Québécois and Québec solidaire. “35,000 dead in Gaza, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children starving. A Quebec veteran of the 22nd Regiment who became a humanitarian worker died under an Israeli bomb. Quebec politics cannot be “business as usual”. Strengthening our commercial ties in such a context is immoral,” protested solidarity MP Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. “Will the Prime Minister give up his office?,” he asked during question period.

In response, François Legault argued the importance of establishing a Quebec representation in Israel for economic reasons. “Quebec has delegations in many countries. We are not here to judge governments. We are there for the people and we are there to do business,” he said. “Now what’s happening in Gaza, we’re all affected. “It’s terrible what we see there,” he continued, before highlighting the demands of the Israeli people and the civilians of Gaza.

Pascal Paradis, of the PQ, urged the government to exercise caution. “When the minister tells us that to continue opening this office as if nothing had happened, that does not send a signal and it is normal, there is a problem,” he said. he assures. “In diplomacy, in international relations, every gesture we make, every word we use is important. Continuing as if nothing had happened when there is an armed conflict which, according to UN figures, is causing tens of thousands of civilian victims, there is a problem. »

The opening of the Quebec office in Tel Aviv was announced on the website of the Canadian Jewish News March 1st. Ms. Biron, however, publicly affirmed that the office's director, Alik Hakobyan, was content to “go back and forth” between Montreal and the main Israeli metropolis. QS and the PQ have reported problems of “trust”, “transparency”, “candor” and “respect for institutions” in this matter.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116