Quebec’s Premier Philippe Couillard will lead an economic mission to Israel in the spring, becoming the first Quebec premier to head an official visit to the country.
He made the announcement during the annual cocktail for members of the National Assembly held at the legislature by the Quebec branch of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), with Federation CJA and the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee, on Nov. 30.
Close to 70 representatives of the Montreal Jewish community attended the event, which had a special significance this year because it highlighted the federation’s 100th anniversary.
Couillard spoke of the long and important contribution of the Jewish community to Quebec. “Your history is that of Quebec’s, and the history of Quebec is your history.”
Couillard described Israel as “the only democratic state in that troubled region.
“Israel and Quebec have much in common and together we must reinforce the ties that unite us,” he said.
In addition to Couillard, the delegation was addressed by Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) leader François Legault and the Parti Québecois’s (PQ) Stéphane Bergeron, critic for international relations. Both spoke warmly of the Jewish community’s impact on the province.
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