Biddeford House Speaker Ryan Fecteau attended the French Assembly while in France for an exchange program last week. courtesy photo
AUGUSTA -- House Speaker Ryan Fecteau of Biddeford participated last week in an exchange program that welcomed international leaders to France to explore the country's economic cooperation, innovation, environment and energy policies. He also discussed ways to revitalize French education in Maine during this trip.
"I look forward to meeting with leaders from the French government, business and civil society this week," Fecteau said. “Your Department of Foreign and European Affairs has been following the work of the Maine Legislature to know that we are at the forefront of clean energy, smart economic development and sustainable land use policies. They created an itinerary that allows me to see how their country is working on the same issues and even scheduled me a day to visit the town where my ancestors lived before they died in the 17th century and emigrated to Quebec. I am very grateful for this opportunity.”
Fecteau, Biddeford's first speaker in Maine, is serving his final term in the Maine House of Representatives. His French-speaking father and grandparents immigrated to Biddeford from Packington, Quebec in the 1960s to pursue opportunities in Maine's textile mills. Fecteau has spoken about his connection to the French language and culture on various podcasts in Maine and at Franco-American summits, and in 2021 he hosted French diplomats on a visit to Biddeford. Last year, Fecteau hosted the French Ambassador to the United States, Philippe Étienne Maine State House, at the Franco-American Hall of Fame induction ceremony hosted by the Office of the Speaker.