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Ministère des Relations
internationales et de la Francophonie

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14 Oct 2009

Québec City hosts OECD Annual Rural Development Conference

Left to right: Jean-Pierre Blackburn, federal Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture and Agri-Food), Aart de Geus, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD, Nathalie Normandeau, Deputy Premier, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Minister responsible for the Northern Plan, and Laurent Lessard, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy. Photo: MAMROT

A number of international experts are in Québec City from October 13 to 15 to discuss rural development issues and their impact on prosperity during the OECD Annual Rural Development Conference. The event was launched in the presence of Aart de Geus, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Nathalie Normandeau, Deputy Premier, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Minister responsible for the Northern Plan, and Laurent Lessard, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy.

“The OECD countries are slowly recovering from the most severe economic recession in recent history. But now, as government policy begins to help the recovery, it is important that we take a broader look at all the components of our national economies, and all of our regions,” said Deputy Secretary-General de Geus. “The recession provides us with a moment to take stock of the opportunities for as well as identify new ways to foster economic vitality and growth. Our belief at the OECD is that some of these new opportunities will be in rural regions and this conference will help us find ways to explore these opportunities and restore rural prosperity.”

According to Deputy Premier Nathalie Normandeau, “Québec’s future is intimately linked to that of rural communities. We believe that closer complementarity between rural and urban communities will generate greater wealth. Villages have always been fertile breeding grounds for innovation. When it comes to deploying new approaches in areas like forestry, agriculture and fishing, or in the green energy sector with bioenergy, the rural economy offers numerous opportunities, and it is up to us to make the most of them.”

Minister Lessard, who presented the National Policy on Rurality, declared: “I am particularly proud to see such a prestigious organization hold a conference here. OECD's presence in Québec is confirmation for me that the initiatives of the Government of Québec with regards to the rural areas, the regions, and the dynamic occupation of the territory spark interest even beyond our borders.”

OECD Annual Rural Development Conference
Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire (in French)
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