December 8, 2022

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Francophonie Summit | Legault meets Tunisian president, Trudeau abstains

(Djerba, Tunisia) Justin Trudeau and François Legault, who held their first post-re-election meeting on Saturday, will have a very different agenda: Mr. Legault will meet with President Said, whose rule is controversial, while Mr. will pass.


The two prime ministers managed to exchange about twenty minutes on the sidelines of the Francophonie summit on Saturday. On the menu: Quebec Act 96 French protection, specifically the French collapse in Montreal, and federal health transfers, two subjects the two are not on the same wavelength.

The content of the exchanges is yet to be revealed, with no media access to the main floor of the event. Also, the summit is being held under high police surveillance. Quebec and Ottawa are scheduled to meet separately with reporters later Saturday. Meanwhile Francois Legault posted a tweet at the end of the interview. The second meeting will be held in December.

The Canadian prime minister finally arrived on the Tunisian island of Djerba on Saturday after campaigning with France to once again postpone this high mass of La Francophonie.

At the start of the international event, Tunisian President Gais Said went there with a shovel to the countries that wanted to move the summit, the last edition of which dates back to 2018.

“Everyone knows, for many reasons, there was talk of difficult times to organize this remote summit via video conference”, President Said said, before adding: “For some, to cancel it to organize it elsewhere, but we are unwavering. We will win with the support of our friends, ” continued Mr. Said in front of dignitaries.

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The biennial Francophonie summit was first postponed to 2020 due to the pandemic, and then Mr. It was adjourned to 2021 after Saeed’s gesture seized all legislative powers on the grounds that the country was ungovernable due to the political crisis. It was also decided to hold the summit outside the capital.

Pres Because of the worrisome political situation, according to Ottawa, Mr. Trudeau had revealed that he pleaded. The Legault government was also reluctant to participate, but said it wanted to “give democracy a chance”.

Tunisia will hold democratic elections on December 17.

Justin Trudeau plans to raise the issue of human rights and the protection of democracy with the Tunisian government, but it has been indicated that no bilateral meeting with President Said is planned.

According to a source close to the federal government, Ottawa wants to “maintain its relationship” with Tunisia, but Mr. Sayyid did not want to “strengthen” or “give prominence” to the regime. Country.

Justin Trudeau, on the other hand, will participate in the plenary sessions, which will also be attended by the Tunisian president. Lateral trade-offs may occur in these activities, it was noted.

Instead, François Legault will meet with the Tunisian president later in the day on Saturday. As the country hosting the summit, Mr. The Prime Minister said on Friday that the meeting was held at Saeed’s request.

Mr. Legault explained that there is no “common strategy” with Ottawa on the issue, while Quebec has the title “full member government” of La Francophonie.

“We’re not going to get involved [de la politique tunisienne]But we will still mention that democracy and human rights are important to us,” said Mr. Legault said.

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François Legault has to deal with the media at the end of the day. On the federal side, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly will address the press.

The Trudeau-LeGault meeting

Photo by Sean Kilpatrick, Press of Canada

Quebec Prime Minister François Legault and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The summit provided an opportunity for Justin Trudeau and François Legault to hold their first bilateral meeting, with the Legault government returning to power with a strong majority. A conflict is already brewing between Quebec and Ottawa over immigration and federal health transfers. Quebec demands more powers on immigration, which Ottawa refuses.

François Legault spoke on Friday about his reform of 101 (Act 96) and his immigration policies. Mr. Legault believes.

“I want Mr. Trudeau to understand that the situation is alarming because 48% of Francophones are on the island of Montreal. We have to work together,” Mr. Legault said Friday, referring to recent findings by the Office Québécois de la Long Française.

The Prime Minister wants to reiterate the importance of increasing federal health transfers, a unanimous request of Canadian provinces. Provinces must increase federal health transfers from 22% to 35%.

Ottawa said it was open last week, but wants to attach conditions that Quebec rejects.

Mr. Legault will participate on Saturday, with access closed to the media. He is scheduled to speak during a closed plenary session on the theme “Digital technology, a priority tool for the Francophonie” and meet the president of the Swiss Conference, Ignacio Cassis.

Mr. Exchanges continue for a bilateral meeting between Legault and President Emmanuel Macron.

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