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Bernard Landry is mistaken: Michaëlle Jean represents a real opportunity for La Francophonie.

Posted on October 28, 2014

I was surprised to read Bernard Landry’s statement that Michaëlle Jean’s experience as a former governor general of Canada disqualifies her for the position of secretary general of La Francophonie.

Mr. Landry appears to forget that the candidate he supports, Jean-Claude de l’Estrac, is also from a Commonwealth country (Mauritius), whose head of state is the Queen of England!

Should the ties between Mauritius and the British crown disqualify Jean-Claude de l’Estrac? Surely not. Such symbolic battles and condescendence are antiquated and do not reflect the challenges of La Francophonie.

Nowadays organizations like La Francophonie must continually strive to remain relevant and add value to their member countries. Therefore, the choice of the next secretary general involves the future of La Francophonie and will determine whether or not it is recognized as a major player on the international stage.

In La Francophonie, as elsewhere, it is all about leadership. In that respect, Michaëlle Jean’s vision demonstrates an excellent understanding of the issues of La Francophonie. In addition to her desire to continue the political commitment of her predecessors, she wishes to strengthen the economic component of the mandate of La Francophonie, which would meet the expectations of developing countries.

As well, La Francophonie has more work to do to reach out to populations in the French-speaking community and convince them that it is addressing their concerns. The support Michaëlle Jean has gained in Canadian communities as governor general will in fact be the key to her success should she be elected secretary general.

Lastly, it is now critical for leaders of international organizations to be able to convey messages effectively and convincingly through the media. Michaëlle Jean is an outstanding, emphatic, multilingual communicator.

In short, Michaëlle Jean’s personal background and career path, and the unique experience she has gained on the international stage as governor general, Grand Témoin de la Francophonie and special envoy for UNESCO would provide her with the means to achieve her ambitious and visionary plan for La Francophonie. Heads of state and government leaders have the opportunity to write a new chapter of history and set an example by electing the first woman to the helm of La Francophonie. Getting back to Mr. Landry’s arguments, it would have been nice to have a debate on the merits.

Who am I to defend Michaëlle Jean’s bid? I’ll be a candidate of the Liberal Party of Canada in the next election; however, it’s because of my career in diplomacy and my perspective on the importance of the International Francophonie for Quebec and Canada that I was startled upon reading Bernard Landry’s statements.

Claude Boucher

Team Trudeau Candidate for Lévis–Lotbinière in the 2015 Federal Election
Former Advisor to Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali
Former Ambassador of Canada to Haiti

Remarks by Justin Trudeau on the shootings in Ottawa

Posted on October 23, 2014 | No Comments

Check against delivery

My fellow Canadians: I’m speaking to you from Parliament Hill just coming out of the lock down. I am deeply saddened by today’s horrific events here in Ottawa and unreservedly condemn these brutal and heartless acts of violence.

This attack is unforgivable. Should any other perpetrators or co-conspirators exist, they must be caught and be punished to the full force of our laws. I’ve extended an offer of full support to the government along with any assistance members of our Party can provide at this time.

My thoughts and prayers, along with those of my colleagues, go out to the family and friends of the victims of today’s horrific shooting, including Cpl. Nathan Frank Cirillo, who was standing dutifully, guarding one of our nation’s most sacred monuments.

It was a cowardly act — an unarmed man was murdered in cold blood at close range. Words cannot express this deep sadness we feel over his loss. To the brave women and men who rushed to the scene to confront the shooter and help keep us safe, I say only thank you. Thank you for your selfless courage and your professionalism in this time of crisis.

In the days that follow there will be questions, anger, and perhaps confusion. This is natural, but we cannot let this get the better of us. Losing ourselves to fear and speculation is the intention of those who commit these heinous acts.

They mean to shake us. We will remain resolved.

They want us to forget ourselves. Instead, we will remember. We will remember who we are. We are a proud democracy, a welcoming and peaceful nation, and a country of open arms and open hearts. We are a nation of fairness, of justice, and of the rule of law.

We will not be intimidated into changing that.

If anything, these are the values and principles to which we must hold on even tighter. Our dedication to democracy and to the institutions we have built is the foundation of our society, and a continued belief in both will guide us correctly into the future. Staying true to our values in a time of crisis will make us an example to the world.

Criminals cannot and will not dictate to us how we act as a nation, how we govern ourselves, or how we treat each other. They cannot and will not dictate our values, and they do not get to decide how we use our shared public spaces.

Today, some speak of the loss of innocence in Canada. This is inaccurate. Canada is not and has never been innocent to the threats we face. And we know, as we have always known, that we are not immune. What is true is that we have never let those threats shape us, and we have never bowed to those who mean to undermine our values and our way of life.

We have remained Canadians and this is how we will carry on.

We will get answers to how and why this happened. They will be vital in preventing any future attack.

And to our friends and fellow citizens in the Muslim community, Canadians know acts such as these, committed in the name of Islam, are an aberration of your faith. Continued, mutual cooperation and respect will help prevent the influence of distorted ideological propaganda posing as religion. We will walk forward together, not apart.

In the coming days, we will be inundated with pictures and videos showing what happened today. But there is one in particular we should all remember: the picture in our minds we have of Canadians helping and protecting Canadians. That is who we truly are, and it is who we shall continue to be.

Good night.

Team Trudeau on the Issues: Team Building

Posted on October 22, 2014 | No Comments

What makes a great team? Great people, of course. But what else? Toronto Centre candidate Bill Morneau talks team with Justin Trudeau:

Team Trudeau on the Issues: Resource Development

Posted on October 21, 2014 | No Comments

Governments grant permits, but communities grant permission. We need to keep that in mind as we sustainably market Canada’s natural resources. Listen to Justin Trudeau and MP Chrystia Freeland discuss responsible resource development here:

Team Trudeau on the Issues: The Urban Agenda

Posted on October 20, 2014 | No Comments

Stephen Harper has let our cities twist in the wind for too long. It’s time for them to have a real partner in the federal government. Here’s Housing and Urban Affairs Critic Adam Vaughan with Justin Trudeau: