In a press release dated July 10, 2008, Québec Minister of Culture and Communications Christine St-Pierre spoke positively of Québec government actions in matters of culture and communication. Minister St-Pierre mentioned that “Québec played a significant role in the negotiations surrounding the modernization of TV5 Monde.” In the press release, she states that the agreement reached during these talks “is the result of fruitful negotiations between France, governments partnered with TV5, and initiatives by Québec and Canada.” According to St-Pierre, “this agreement will allow us to preserve the foundation and best assets of this tool for the promotion of La Francophonie—its multilateral character, cooperative spirit, diverse and pluralistic programming, and editorial independence.”
The press release reports that in December 2007, Minister St-Pierre received the unanimous support of Québec’s National Assembly when she described the importance of TV5 Monde for the distribution of Québec television productions around the world. “Québec Premier Jean Charest personally addressed French President Nicolas Sarkozy to share Québec’s concerns regarding the autonomy of the channel, which Quebec finances along with France, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Government of Canada,” adds the press release.
In her message, St-Pierre stated that the agreement reached “recognized the autonomy of TV5 Monde through the abandonment of the project to concentrate writing within the ‘audiovisual outside France’ holding, which brings together Radio France International (RFI) and France 24 . It gives radio broadcasting experts from all partner countries the opportunity to occupy key positions within the channel.” The agreement limits the proportion of shares that can be held by any single group within TV5 Monde to 49% “which will prevent the channel from becoming a subsidiary of the holding.”
The press release also states that according to the agreement, a greater share—perhaps up to 30%—of TV5 Monde’s airwaves will be progressively granted to programs from La Francophonie which will “open the door to programming that better reflects the cultural diversity of the French-speaking world.” The release goes on to say that the agreement foresees closer collaboration between TV5 Monde and member channels of the French holding regarding distribution and marketing as well as R&D. “This collaboration will make TV5 Monde more competitive in the global media,” declared Minister St-Pierre.
Finally, St-Pierre mentioned that last May she undertook a mission to the Cannes Film Festival, “fully committed to representing our cinema and promoting it abroad.” During her visit, she met with Fadila Laanan, Minister of Culture for the French Community of Belgium. The press release adds that Québec and the French Community of Belgium have maintained close ties for nearly 25 years.