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The Globe and Mail

Quebec budgets $100-million to support new foreign policy platform

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard responds to Opposition questions at the legislature in Quebec City, on Feb. 18, 2016.

Jacques Boissinot/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Quebec announced a new foreign policy program Tuesday that is focused on environmental issues and human rights.

The government is setting aside $100-million over five years to support its first new foreign policy platform since 2006.

Quebec has its own international relations network with consular-type offices in Europe, Asia, Mexico and the United States.

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The province is also planning to open offices in Cuba and in Philadelphia.

Premier Philippe Couillard told reporters the province's foreign policy will emphasize two "fundamental" questions that are important to Quebecers: equality between men and women and the rights of sexual minorities.

"I think in Quebec there is a very broad consensus on these two questions," he said. "And Quebec's position on the international scene should be accompanied by the representation of these two values."

Couillard added that climate change will also be one of the government's top international policy priorities.

The 2017-2027 foreign policy program includes money to support government offices around the world and to create more diplomatic missions.

Quebec also plans to use the money to transform its current international offices into "delegations," Couillard said.

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