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QUEBEC – Minister for Francophone Affairs Caroline Mulroney and the Trudeau government have a new partner in Quebec City. Jean-François Roberge was appointed on Thursday as Minister for Canadian Relations and Canadian Francophonie in the Legault government, replacing Sonia Lebel.
The member for Chambly also becomes the minister responsible for the French language. This is a change as he succeeds Ms. Lebel, who sees her duties lightened while retaining the Treasury Board. In recent months and during the election campaign, François Legault has been chanting that Ottawa needs to give its government more powers over immigration. This file should come back to Mr. Roberge in his talks with the federal government.
It is also a new focal point for Canadian Francophonie organizations and Ottawa Minister for Official Languages Ginette Petitpas Taylor.
This appointment comes as the federal government attempts to pass its Official Languages Act. C-13, which thwarts the Charter of the French Language, Law 96, adopted last May. In the past, Sonia Lebel had shown her claws against Ottawa and her bill, calling it a “retreat”. in conversation with ONFR+.
“There are also aspects (in C-13) that come into play with our abilities. We welcomed the bill that recognizes this asymmetry and has now disappeared. So there’s a disappointment,” she said a few months ago.
Regarding Canadian Francophonie, Jean-François Roberge will be responsible for implementing the Government of Quebec’s policy on Canadian Francophonie. It was announced in March and includes almost 80 measures specifically around five main orientations.
“The FCFA is pleased with this appointment and looks forward to working with Minister Roberge to further build Francophone solidarity between Quebec and our communities,” responded the Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities (FCFA), praising Ms. Lebel’s work the way.
Former Radio Canada journalist Martine Biron replaces Nadine Girault on International Relations and La Francophonie. More specifically, Ms. Biron will be responsible for representing Quebec at the Sommet de la francophonie, which will be held on November 19th and 20th in Tunisia. Eric Girard, for his part, takes on a new role as Minister in charge of relations with Anglophone Quebecers.
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