FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following message was issued by Economic Development Minister Francine Landry, who is also the minister responsible for La Francophonie, on the occasion of International Francophonie Day, Tuesday, March 20:

On this day, I am proud to take the opportunity to highlight the positive benefits of our participation in the International Organization of La Francophonie.

The provincial government has been a full member of this organization for more than 40 years, which allows us to promote New Brunswick’s best practices in areas like education, culture, sport, technology and the economy.

The organization comprises 58 state and government members, as well as 26 observer countries, representing more than 274 million francophones on five continents. It offers partnership and business opportunities, as well as opportunities arising from an openness to the world, which align with our government’s priorities, including job creation, improving our public finances and enhancing the quality of life for our families. In 2016-17, New Brunswick’s exports to members of the international Francophonie generated $138.22 million in revenue for the province. Meetings and other events related to La Francophonie therefore give us the opportunity to forge ties and establish partnerships with francophones all around the world.

New Brunswick takes part in initiatives and discussions intended to foster youth entrepreneurship, francophone immigration and economic development, among others.

Being a member of this organization also gives us the privilege to host international events in our province.

For instance, your government is proud to play a key role in hosting the 58th ministerial session of the Conférence des ministres de l’éducation des États et gouvernements de la Francophonie (conference of ministers of education of states and governments that are members of La Francophonie), which will take place in Bathurst May 20-24.

In addition, New Brunswick has already started preparations to host the 2021 Games of La Francophonie, which will take place in Moncton and Dieppe. The estimated economic spinoffs for the province are more than $50 million, including $22 million for the host region.

All families in the province benefit from spinoffs associated with the international Francophonie, and I encourage people to continue promoting our culture and the French language, here and elsewhere.

Happy International Francophonie Day.