LA Interim Representative Mr. Yanick Godbout LA Office
Interviewee: Mr. Yanick Godbout, Quebec Government Office-Los Angeles, Interim Representative, and Director of Governmental Relations and Public Affairs (Date: June 11, 2010; Place: Westwood, Los Angeles, California; Interviewer/Writer: Takahiro Miyao)
Summary of Mr. Godbout’s Interview
At our office in Los Angeles, we are in charge of the relationship between Quebec and California as well as 12 other Western states in the U.S. regarding political, economic, cultural, and other affairs. What we are currently working on, however, is really a matter of national and even global concern, namely, climate change and clean energy.
First, about the environment and climate change, we are in the process of adopting a “cap and trade” system to reduce carbon gas emissions in Quebec, along with California and several other states in the U.S., ahead of other parts of North America. The reason why we take this kind of “regional approach” is because many states and provinces believed that the two federal governments were not acting rapidly enough to fight global warming. But we Quebecois are so keen about the environment that we have decided to do it now, together with some U.S. states like California, and three other Canadian provinces.
A related matter is our efforts to push electric cars in Quebec by working with California. In Quebec, use of electric cars is being encouraged and supported by the government, which will soon build battery charging stations for electric cars along major highways in the province. And some companies in Quebec will manufacture batteries and other key components for electric cars to be used by U.S. automakers to supply in North America and other parts of the world in the future.
Another strength of Quebec is its film, multimedia, and game industries. In fact, Warner Brothers will soon open up its studio in Montreal to make use of high quality human resources for sophisticated work such as video games, animation and special effects. Our office here in LA is working hard to attract U.S. companies operating in this sector to Quebec as a location for their new studios and other facilities. It is also well known that Montreal is one of the major movie locations in North America, and Quebec is producing many excellent films to show at Montreal Film Festival and other major film festivals in the world. With some government incentives, we have been able to produce and keep high quality human resources to support all these activities in our film industry.
On the other hand, a serious challenge for us in Quebec is how to secure and replenish high quality labor force for our growing economy in the future, as population is gradually aging, just as in Japan. Of course, immigration is the key to this problem, and we are encouraging immigration, though, with emphasis on education in general and French language training in particular for new immigrants. We are also working with other francophone countries for human interaction and knowledge exchange. For example, we have signed a bilateral agreement with France to mutually recognize professional formation.
In this connection, Quebecois sometime adopt children from other countries, and this time quite a few babies are being adopted from Haiti in the aftermath of the big earthquake. As is well known, the government of Quebec is actively trying to help out the people in Haiti, since large Haitian immigrants are located in Quebec. References: Quebec Government Office Los Angles: http://www.quebec-losangeles.org/ Japan-Quebec Blog; Interview with LA Representative (2007): http://japanquebec.blog76.fc2.com/blog-date-200707.html
以上（文責：宮尾尊弘） ------------------------------------------------------------------ With Mr. Godbout at a nearby restaurant after interview -------------------------------------------------------------------
AJEQ Photo Blog: http://ajeq.blog.so-net.ne.jp/ http://www.cslf.gouv.qc.ca/prix-et-distinctions/ordre-des-francophones-damerique/annee/2009/nom/hidehiro-tachibana/detail/single/ Nom : Hidehiro Tachibana Endroit : Autres continents Historique : Professeur de français à l’Université de Waseda, au Japon M. Tachibana a poursuivi des études pour l’obtention de la maîtrise et du doctorat en littérature française à l’Université Waseda, au Japon. Il a obtenu un diplôme d’études approfondies en littérature française à l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. Le professeur Tachibana se révèle comme le plus ardent défenseur de la francophonie au Japon et manifeste une prédilection pour la culture des Antilles et celle du Québec. Ainsi, en plus d’enseigner la langue et la littérature françaises à l’Université Waseda, il effectue des recherches de haut niveau sur les littératures francophones. M. Hidehiro Tachibana est l’un des rares Japonais francophiles qui ont acquis une connaissance étendue du Québec et de la littérature francophone d’Amérique.