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Policy on Québec Affirmation and Canadian Relations An Action Plan to Convey Québec’s Vision of the Canada of Tomorrow

Québec City, May 2, 2018. – Since the release of the first Policy on Québec Affirmation and Canadian Relations – Quebecers, our way of being Canadian, on June 1st, 2017, dialogue has been at the heart of an expanding action by the Québec government in the area of Canadian relations. The Ce lien ouvrira une nouvelle fenêtre. 2018-2022 Action Plan (english version available soon) of the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes (SQRC), unveiled today, sets out the actions planned by the Government of Québec to continue the implementation of the Policy.

This Action Plan is structured around the three guiding principles that underlie the current and future dialogue in which Quebecers and all Canadians are invited to participate:

  • Adopt a proactive domestic diplomacy in Québec's Canadian relations: a dialogue between the Government of Québec and the Canadian political circles.
  • Foster dialogue between the Government of Québec and the representatives of civil society elsewhere in Canada: a dialogue between the government and Canadian civil society.
  • Facilitate interactions between citizens and civil society groups in Québec and elsewhere in Canada: a dialogue within civil society, between citizens and organizations in Québec and elsewhere in Canada.

The Québec state is providing its government administration with the tools it needs to make Québec and its specificity better known, to increase its outreach in the economic, social, academic, cultural spheres and as part of the Francophonie, to defend its areas of jurisdiction, and to improve mutual understanding and living together within the Canadian federation.

The set of measures outlined in the 2018-2022 Action Plan will strengthen the ties between Quebecers and other Canadians and establish the conditions needed for a dialogue about the future of living together within the Canadian federation. The Policy on Québec Affirmation and Canadian Relations recognizes that constitutional change can only take place without a crisis once Quebecers and other Canadians have come to know each other better and have established closer ties, and it invites them to pursue these goals.

Quote:

“We now have a roadmap for continuing the dialogue aimed at building Canadian relations that are based on better mutual understanding for the benefit of all Quebecers and all Canadians. Through this Action Plan, the Government of Québec is providing itself with the means necessary to implement its vision of the Canada of tomorrow, one which, in addition to individual diversity, recognizes collective diversity and plural belongings.”

Jean-Marc Fournier, Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie

Highlights:

  • Since the release of the Policy on Québec Affirmation and Canadian Relations on June 1st, 2017, Minister Jean-Marc Fournier has taken part in over one hundred activities throughout Canada and in Europe.
  • In the academic community, the Policy is recognized as a key document and is part of the curriculum for courses at McGill University, Queen's University, the Université de Saint-Boniface and the University of Ottawa.
  • The Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, as well as senators and MPs from Québec and the leaders of the Conservative Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party, have publicly stated their interest in resuming the dialogue on Canadian relations.
  • On March 12, 2018, the Centre d’analyse politique : Constitution et Fédéralisme, a group of five universities and think tanks across Canada coordinated by the Université du Québec à Montréal, was launched. Academics from across the country, including around twenty young researchers, welcomed this initiative, which directly echoes the Policy on Québec Affirmation and Canadian Relations.
  • Canadian Relations Administrative Units have already been set up in government ministries to increase Québec's ability to conduct strategic monitoring, analysis and action.
  • To increase governmental expertise in the area of Canadian relations, a partnership has been established between the Government of Québec and the École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP) to create an effective training program.