Spread the love

Martine Biron wants to open the Quebec Office in Tel Aviv this summer

Photo: Jacques Boissinot La Presse canadienne «Si la sécurité le permet, il va s’installer, avec sa famille, au cours de l’été 2024», a dit la ministre Martine Biron. «C’est l’idée derrière cette nomination. C’est qu’il soit basé en Israël, à demeure.»

Despite the conflict raging in the Gaza Strip, the director of the Quebec Office in Tel Aviv will settle full-time in Israel this summer. At least that is what the Minister of International Relations, Martine Biron, hopes for.

“Things have settled down, the economy has recovered, the signals of a desire to resume economic affairs was there. […] So, it was agreed that our office head begins to go on site to see how things are going, refine his contacts, open this space,” said the elected representative of the Coalition Avenir Québec, Wednesday, during the study of the budgetary appropriations of his ministry, in the National Assembly.

According to Ms. Biron, the head of the office, Alik Hakobyan, will pack his bags during the spring for a final temporary stint in Israel before settling down full-time a few months later at the Quebec Office, which is housed in the embassy of Canada in Tel Aviv.

“If security permits, he will settle down, with his family, during the summer of 2024,” he said. -she says. “That’s the idea behind this nomination. It is because he is based in Israel, permanently. »

The minister was questioned by the Quebec solidaire MP Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, who criticizes her, like the Parti Québécois (PQ), for having continued the activities of opening of the office despite the war. “I see that there are now 32,000 dead in the Gaza Strip. With respect, things have not settled down, there has been no lull,” thundered the united elected official, spokesperson for international relations.

< p>However, the government of François Legault wants the official opening of the Tel Aviv office as quickly as possible, in order to allow Mr. Hakobyan to “make economic contacts” on site. “We are not in Israel for political issues,” Ms. Biron said Wednesday when asked about the conflict that still reigns there.

Also read

  • Israel carries out “offensive action” in southern Lebanon
  • Iran and Israel seem to be moving away from escalation, new American aid

“Waiting for peace to return”

Last November, however, the CAQ elected official called into question the opening of a proper office in Israel's second largest city. “It’s pretty much on ice, I don’t think it’s a very good time to go and open an office in Tel Aviv. We will wait for peace to return. We'll see the state of things, then we'll see what we're going to do,” she said.

“What happened since ? The war is over ? I don’t think so,” retorted Guillaume Cliche-Rivard on Wednesday.

In a written statement, the PQ MP Pascal Paradis, who calls for the freezing of the process of opening the office, accused Minister Biron of lack of prudence.

“Prudence is to suspend the deployment of the Quebec Office in Tel Aviv while the armed conflict rages and there are tens of thousands of civilian victims. How can the minister predict a field deployment date for the director of the Quebec Office in Tel Aviv in such a context ?” he asked.

< p>In committee a few minutes earlier, Jean-Talon's elected representative once again tried to understand why his counterpart at the CAQ had affirmed this winter that Alik Hakobyan worked “from Montreal” when he was in Israel, in February and March. According to Ms. Biron, the answer is simple: “actually, I didn’t know he was there,” she said on Wednesday.

“We had agreed before the holidays that he would travel back and forth,” the minister said. “But I wasn’t told when. »

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