“We need to do more business together”, says Legault to the countries of La Francophonie
Quebec Premier François Legault speaks with his Minister of International Affairs Martine Biron in Djerba, Tunisia.
< p class="e-p">Prime Minister François Legault called on the countries of La Francophonie to develop a cultural and commercial counterweight to the Anglo-Saxon world during a closing speech at the 18th Summit of La Francophonie, in Djerba, Tunisia.
From the outset, the Premier of Quebec insisted on the importance – and the difficulty – of protecting the French language.
My first responsibility that I have as Premier of Quebec is to ensure the sustainability of French, he declared at the outset. According to him, this is a difficult task given the enormous pressure exerted by the English language on the only territory in North America composed of a majority of French speakers.
Noting this pressure in the digital world – a central theme of this summit – he called on the countries of La Francophonie to develop a counterbalance to the English-language content that dominates video games and streaming platforms like Netflix.
According to François Legault, the decline of French in the Quebec metropolis demonstrates the urgency to act.
Twenty years ago in Montreal, there were 54% Francophones. Today, we are at 48%, lamented the Prime Minister.
According to him, a serious boost must be given to reverse this trend and cultural products have a role to play.
According to Statistics Canada, this proportion of Francophones is the one who mainly speaks the language of Molière at home; it is not a question of Montrealers who speak French elsewhere, whether at work or in public.
Some of the people who answered the census questionnaire also indicated speaking French and English, or French and another language other than that of Shakespeare, among others, when they are at home.
François Legault believes that the countries of La Francophonie must also collaborate more on the trade front.
In his speech, he pointed out that Quebec relies on the United States for 70% of its trade and that there is therefore a need for the province to diversify its markets.
To this end, he praised the economic possibilities and investment opportunities on Quebec soil, noting the presence of strategic minerals such as lithium, necessary for the construction of electric vehicles.
He also urged his counterparts in La Francophonie to show solidarity in their business decisions.
“We need businesses in La Francophonie to talk to each other and do business together to improve our position.
—François Legault, Premier of Quebec
In doing so, we will protect this beautiful language, he summed up.
For its part, the Ministry of International Relations and La Francophonie announced several agreements and accords, to following the Summit.
Thus, it is mentioned that with the help of a $450,000 grant awarded to the Fédération des cégeps, the training will be offered in Tunisia thanks to the CEGEPs of Jonquière and La Pocatière.
The ministry also indicates that the Montreal company Yulcom has won three contracts for a total value more than $400,000 with the OIF to set up a French teaching platform, develop web and mobile applications, and provide cloud hosting.
< p class="e-p">Finally, Premier Legault announced that the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ) will host the next Rencontre des entrepreneurs francophones, which will take place in Quebec City, Quebec. 27;next year.