Visit of French Prime Minister in Toronto – March 14, 2013 [fr]
The Prime Minister of France, Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault, made an official visit to Canada from March 13 to 16. He visited Ottawa (March 13–14), Toronto (March 14), Montreal (March 14–15) and Quebec City (March 15–16). It was Mr Ayrault’s first official visit to Canada since he was appointed Prime Minister in May 2012.
In Toronto, Mr. Ayrault was the guest of honour of a luncheon organized by the Empire Club of Canada in partnership with the French Chamber of Commerce in Toronto. He delivered a speech about the French economic “competitiveness” and the attractiveness of our territory. This speech was also the occasion to renew the support of France to the ongoing trade negotiations between Canada and the European Union for an economic agreement in order to strengthen economic relations between France and Canada.
After the luncheon, Mr. Ayrault greeted some young people who have chosen to work, after their studies, in one of the 500 French companies implemented in Canada. Today, Canada welcomes 200 Volontaires Internationaux en Entreprises, making this country one of the most popular destinations among French graduates. Mr. Ayrault promised to sensibly increase the numbers of VIE.
French Prime Minister then went to Queen’s Park where he met Ontario’s Premier, Kathleen Wynne before going to the University of Toronto to visit a laboratory of Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular & Biomolecular Research (CCBR). He then attended a panel discussion on university and scientific cooperation between France and Canada about “France and University of Toronto, Inter-Institutional Collaboration”. Three French Post-doctoral Fellows working at UofT, have been invited to speak about the importance of facilitating the mobility of scientists, the circulation of the knowledge and the results of the researches.
After the discussion, the Ambassador of France in Canada, Mr. Philippe Zeller, and the Vice-President of Public Relations at the University of Toronto, Ms Judith Wolfson, signed a Grant Agreement between the Embassy of France in Canada and the University of Toronto, to exchange students between the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Toronto and the Magistère Européen of Genetic of the University of Paris Diderot-Paris 7. This agreement will strengthen the links between the two universities by the creation of scientific and academic partnerships in Genetic and Molecular biology via students and researchers’ exchanges.