Visit by the Ambassador of France to Alberta [fr]
The Ambassador of France to Canada, Philippe Zeller,
recently finished a five-day visit of Alberta
(September 30th to October 4th, 2012).
Over the course of these five densely-scheduled days, the ambassador met with Alberta’s leading ministers, particularly Alison Redford, Premier of Alberta; Carl Dallas, Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations; Ken Hugues, Minister of Energy; Jeff Johnson, Minister of Education; and Steven Khan, Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education.
- L’ambassadeur, M. Philippe Zeller avec Mme Alison Redford, Première ministre de l’Alberta, mardi 2 octobre 2012
- L’ambassadeur, M. Philippe Zeller avec M. Carl Dallas, ministre des relations internationales et intergouvernementales, lundi 1er octobre 2012
- L’ambassadeur, M. Philippe Zeller avec M. Ken Hugues, Ministre de l’Energie, mardi 2 octobre 2012
- L’ambassadeur M. Philippe Zeller avec M. Jeff Johnson, Ministre de l’Education, lundi 1er octobre
The ambassador also met with Donald Ethell, Lieutenant-Governor, and Gene Zwozdesky, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
- L’ambassadeur, M. Philippe Zeller avec M. Donald Ethell, Lieutenant-Gouverneur, lundi 1er octobre 2012
- L’ambassadeur, M. Philippe Zeller avec M. Gene Zwozdesky, Speaker de l’Assemblée Législative, lundi 1er octobre 2012
In each of these meetings, the ambassador addressed the primary aspects of France’s presence in Alberta and presented an overview of our cooperation with the province of Alberta: the presence in Alberta of 60 French companies, including Total, scientific and academic cooperation, connections to Albertan organizations involved with the Francophonie. He also proposed potential areas of future cooperation (immigration of our compatriots to Alberta in light of the province’s workforce needs, tourism).
On October 1st, on behalf of the French Minister of National Education, Vincent Peillon, the ambassador joined the Alberta Minister of Education in signing an agreement expressing the intention to pursue further academic cooperation.
- L’ambassadeur M. Philippe Zeller avec M. Jeff Johnson, Ministre de l’Education, lundi 1er octobre 2012
The ambassador also met with the Mayor of Edmonton, Stephen Mandel (October 1st), and the Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi (October 4th).
He visited Alberta’s two primary universities, the University of Alberta in Edmonton (October 1st) and the University of Calgary (October 4th). France and the University of Alberta have already committed to a very promising cooperative scientific project (the FAST! program: France-Alberta Science and Technology Initiative). Possibilities for such cooperation with the University of Calgary, particularly in the fields of sports and kinesiology, are under consideration.
- L’ambassadeur, M. Philippe Zeller avec Mme Elizabeth Cannon, présidente de UofC
On October 2nd, in Edmonton, the ambassador met with the directors of Alberta’s DALF/DELF centres. 10 of the 23 such centres operating in Canada are based in Alberta, a province with a Francophone population of more than 225,000.
Ambassador Zeller presided over a reception organized by the Alliance Française of Edmonton on Monday, October 1st, an event attended by the Delegate General of Alliance Française in Canada, Hervé Devoulon. The ambassador also presided over the Alliance Française of Calgary’s gala dinner on Tuesday, October 2nd. The two Alliances were both celebrating their 65th year, as well as the opening of their new (Calgary) and renovated (Edmonton) facilities.
At the Alliance Française of Calgary’s gala dinner, the ambassador appointed Gérard Carlier, former honorary consul of France and president of the Calgary UFE (Union des Français de l’Etranger), to the rank of Chevalier of the Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur.
On Wednesday, October 3rd, the ambassador visited the Fort McMurray area, following an aerial tour of the area in a helicopter. He then visited Total’s command centre at the Joslyn mine before meeting with Chief Jim Boucher and with Associate Minister Don Scott and the President of the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce.
- A Fort McMurray. M. Jean-Michel Gires, PDG de Total Canada, mercredi 3 octobre 2012
On Thursday, October 4th, Ambassador Zeller visited Lycée Louis Pasteur, which has more than 350 students.
- Au Lycée Louis Pasteur, jeudi 4 octobre 2012
All throughout his visit, the ambassador conducted interviews with representatives of the local media, particularly after the signing of the Declaration of Intention in Edmonton and following his meeting with the mayor of Calgary.