Born in Quebec in 1945, Louise Beaudoin is a professor in the history department of the University of Quebec in Montreal. She is also an associate researcher at the Center of International Studies and Globalization and at the Chaire de recherche du Canada where she specializes in globalization, citizenship and democracy.
From 1976 to 1985 and then from 1994 to 2003, Louise Beaudoin had an active role in the government of Quebec: Director of the cabinet of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs of Quebec (1976-1981); Director of French Affairs at the Ministry of International Relations of Quebec (1981-1983); General Delegate of Quebec in Paris (1984-1985); Minister of Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs (1994-1996); Minister of Culture and Communications (1995-1998); Minister responsible for the French Language Charter (1995-2001); Minister of International Relations (1998-2001) and Minister of Francophonie (1998-2003); Minister of State for International Relations (2001-2003) and Minister responsible for the Observatory on Globalization (2002-2003).
She led the project for Canadair in Europe (1986-1987), was Director of Distribution, Marketing and International Affairs for Téléfilm Canada (1987-1990), General Manager of the Foundation of the Palais de la Civilisation in Montreal (1990-1992), and Vice President of Market Development of Raymond, Chabot International (1992-1994).
Louise Beaudoin was elected deputy of the Quebec Party in the Chambly district for two consecutive mandates (from 1994 to 2003). She was awarded the title of Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honor at the French National Assembly on September 23, 2004.
LINGUISTIC AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY : THE ISSUES AT STAKES
The current globalization phenomenon has given rise to many economic, financial, environmental and security-related issues in the 21st century. Linguistic and cultural issues, while not nearly as prevalent, are nonetheless present in many countries as well.
In 2001, the Member States of UNESCO adopted a declaration which stipulates that cultural diversity is just as vital for the future of humanity as biodiversity is. What do we mean by ‘cultural diversity’? What link exists between linguistic and cultural diversity? And what can we do to preserve both of them? Globalization could lead to the disappearance of languages and cultures, which is worrisome given that the wealth of the world greatly depends on the multiplicity of linguistic and cultural expressions.
In this commotion of globalization, French is both a strong and fragile language. In international organizations, it can have an important status, but in practice it ceases to exist. However, the French language has the advantage of being spoken not only in the Northern Hemisphere, but also in the Southern Hemisphere. The French speakers of the world, spread over five continents and brought together by the “Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie”, now cooperate with equivalent organizations in order to defend the diversity of languages and cultures.