Francophonie: Louise Mushikiwabo chooses Caroline St-Hilaire
Caroline St-Hilaire while she was a caquiste candidate in Sherbrooke. (File photo)
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Barring an unexpected last minute reversal, the former mayor of Longueuil and ex-candidate of the Coalition avenir Québec, Caroline St-Hilaire, will become number 2 of the International Organization of La Francophonie.
According to our information, the General Secretary of the OIF, Louise Mushikiwabo, has chosen Ms. St-Hilaire as the organization's administrator. She informed Quebec and Ottawa in the last few hours.
The nomination will be submitted Monday morning to the Permanent Council of La Francophonie, which will meet in Paris. This step should make it possible to officially endorse the decision.
The Legault government sees in the appointment of Caroline St-Hilaire the signal of Quebec's return to the Francophonie. Behind the scenes, we fervently wanted to occupy an important place in the only international organization where Quebec sits as a member state, along with Canada.
The government hopes that Ms. St-Hilaire make the Francophonie better known. He also wants to demonstrate the importance of this organization for the international influence of Quebec.
According to our sources, Ottawa has accepted to nominate Caroline St-Hilaire. The Trudeau government would also have proposed the name of another person with a different profile and whose identity is unknown to give the Secretary General a choice.
The Legault government will have to defend this appointment, which will inevitably be perceived as partisan by the opposition. Caroline St-Hilaire was defeated as a CAQ candidate in the riding of Sherbrooke in the last election in 2022.
Already, last week, the interim leader of the Quebec Liberal Party , Marc Tanguay, accused François Legault of having made a deal with his candidate in the event of defeat. At the time of Maurice Duplessis, we called it patronage, appointing people who are on the right side, he added.
Asked about the possible appointment, the Minister of International Relations Martine Biron defended herself, indicating that the final decision was up to the Secretary General.
Louise Mushikiwabo succeeded Michaëlle Jean as Secretary General of the OIF in October 2018. The two Canadian directors she appointed as her right-hand man did not remain in office for very long.
D' x27;first, in October 2020, Catherine Cano left office barely a year and a half after her arrival. Media then reported a tense relationship between her and Ms. Mushikiwabo.
Then, a few days ago, the OIF announced that the mandate of the Ms. Cano's successor, Geoffroi Montpetit, would not be renewed, opening the door to the appointment of Ms. St-Hilaire.
The position of number 2 of the OIF goes an annual salary of approximately 250,000 Canadian dollars.