Newsletter - December 2015 [fr]
After the attacks in Paris, COP21 is a symbol of hope and solidarity
Dear compatriots and friends of France in Ontario and in Manitoba,
On Friday, November 13th, 2015, France suffered through cowardly and barbaric acts of violence committed in Saint-Denis and in Paris. In the days following, you came together in great numbers: more than a thousand of us stood together the very next day in front of Toronto City Hall with the Mayor and with representatives of the federal and provincial government. People also demonstrated their solidarity in Winnipeg, Sudbury, and Mississauga, among other places. Many institutions flew their flags at half-mast. A number of towns lit their public buildings in blue-white-and-red: Hamilton, London, Sudbury, Waterloo. The image of the illuminated CN Tower in Toronto was rebroadcasted in France as a symbol of the sympathy and the solidarity felt by our Canadian friends.
To us, these demonstrations were of incalculable value. We gathered together. We expressed our dedication to staying true to our values and to the cherished motto of our Republic. Together, we affirmed that we will never give in to the terrorists or to fear.
The President of the Republic, François Hollande, has committed our country to uncompromising combat against the terrorist forces of Daesh, both on our own national soil and in the territories that they control in Iraq and in Syria. At the same time, our diplomats are redoubling their efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria. In these tense times, the national community must remain united: we will not fall into the trap of Islamophobia, as we know that Islam has nothing to do with these terrorists and that this barbarism is no reflection on Muslims living in France or elsewhere. It is this deeply-held conviction that I travelled to Peterborough to express after an act of arson was committed at the town’s mosque.
United in solidarity and more close to our values and more proud of our Republic than ever, we can continue on with our actions, our projects, and our ambitions. As we do so, we will be ever more vigilant and we will strengthen those security measures that are necessary.
Our country also has the honour, the privilege, and the responsibility of hosting the largest international summit ever organized on climate change. On Monday, November 30th, the President of the Republic opened the Paris Climate Conference, also known as COP21, before 151 heads of state and government. The leaders of the entire world showed their solidarity with our nation and their intention to act without delay in order to save our world from a temperature increase exceeding 2° Celsius by the end of this century. Spurred on by the new government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada has demonstrated its determination to act in the pursuit of ambitious results. Canada has recognized its ability to draw on the efforts that several provinces have already undertaken to implement a carbon tax, which is an essential step towards accelerating the transition towards a low-carbon economy. This is the message that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne brings to Paris. Manitoba Premier Greg Salinger will also make the trip to Paris for this event.
We expect four particular results from this international conference: a legal accord regarding means of reducing greenhouse gases; ambitious national commitments to help us accomplish this goal; an accord regarding available funding mechanisms for developing countries; and consideration for efforts undertaken by leading non-State actors, such as territorial communities and private-sector actors.
I wish you happy reading and happy holidays.
Your Consul General,