FREDERICTON (GNB) – Premier Brian Gallant welcomed France’s ambassador to Canada, Nicolas Chapuis, March 25, as part of his first official visit to New Brunswick.

“We have mutual priorities, including economic growth and job creation, and by working together we will be able to find ways of improving trade and investments to the benefit of New Brunswick and France,” said Gallant. “We value the relations between New Brunswick and France, our esteemed partner. Wednesday’s and future meetings will lead to worthwhile exchanges and will strengthen the ties that bind us.”

Gallant also said, when he introduced Ambassador Chapuis to the members of the legislative assembly, that New Brunswick shares values, a common history as well as the French language with France.

Chapuis, who took up his position on February 4, also met with Lt.-Gov. Jocelyne Roy Vienneau, Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Francine Landry, who is also minister responsible for La Francophonie, and Environment and Local Government Minister Brian Kenny.

“France’s relations with New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province in Canada, go back a very long way, and are strengthened by the presence of a consulate general in Moncton as well as a promising outlook for the future,” said Chapuis. “This is true economically speaking with the implementation of the Canada-European Union free trade agreement, which will offer New Brunswick many opportunities, as the province clearly understood when it invited a delegation of ambassadors from European Union member states to Canada this June.”