Quebec to reduce its foreign representation

Quebec to reduce its foreign representation

Quebec City (Quebec) 20 March, 2015 – The Quebec government is studying the repercussions of reducing its presence in certain countries abroad in an exercise to reduce the cost of foreign representation.

The first move would be to sell the houses where the delegates live in cities such as London, Brussels, Munich, and Mexico City.

The delegates can live in much more moderate lodgings; for example back in 2007 the residence in London where the Quebec representative lives cost the government around $7.4 million.

For the four cities involved the total value of all the real estate is equal to about $39 million, so by selling these properties, the government would recuperate a large sum, and when one calculates the extra cost of the maintenance and repairs involved the overall savings could be considerable.

A complete review of Quebec’s presence throughout the world is under scrutiny and the government expects to save millions of dollars simply by reducing maintenance costs and selling off unnecessary properties which are basically becoming too extravagant to maintain.

The office in Milan, Italy will be closed and integrated into the bureau already established in Rome.

Quebec’s foreign presence has bounced around considerably in the past twenty years.

In 1996, the Lucien Bouchard government had reduced the number of foreign delegates by a third, and reducing the offices from 22 to around twelve.

In 2000 the provincial government was not buying lodgings for its representatives, instead offering a living subsidy allowing the delegate to live where ever he or she wanted as long as it fell under the International Affairs budget.

The practice of reducing delegation costs is a concern for all countries as we saw when France decided to sell its consulate building in Quebec City last year.

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