The history of French support for Quebec independence, and more generally of Quebec-France relations, is actually a very interesting one, and the reason why it’s being discussed right now is that it appears that President Sarkozy is trying to change the relationship (some would say under the counseling of his Canadian mentor, noted federalist businessman Paul Desmarais).
Right now I can only give a summary of the issue, seeing how I don’t have any reference books close by (and I don’t know it by heart :p). Let’s just say that since General de Gaulle’s speech on the balcony of Montreal’s City Hall in 1967, when he caused a diplomatic incident by saying “Vive le Québec libre!” (“Long live Free Quebec!”), most French politicians’ attitude towards Quebec’s national question has been one of “non-ingerence and non-indifference”. In other words, they won’t try to intervene in internal Canadian affairs, but they are not indifferent to the whole thing and would be likely to recognize the independence of Quebec if there was a democratic vote in favour of it. For the most part, the gaullists (politically more likely to be centre-right) were more likely to support Quebec independence while the socialists were less likely. This seems a little odd since in Quebec most (but not all) sovereigntists tend to be left-wing, but it can possibly be explained by de Gaulle and his supporters’ desire to keep some sort of “empire”. Of course, an independent Quebec would be very unlikely to be part of the French sphere of influence in any strong way.
This has been exploited by sovereigntist politicians, who were planning, in the case of a yes vote to a referendum on independence, to get the support and recognition of France first. After this first-world country (a member of the UN Security Council) had recognized Quebec as a sovereign nation, they reasoned it should be easier to get the recognition of the US and other countries. I’m not sure how true that is, but it does seem like a reasonably good strategy.
But now Sarkozy is trying to strengthen his relationship with the rest of Canada and with Prime Minister Harper, and as such is trying to distance himself from the relationship his country has forged with Quebec over the years. Some people in his government, mindful of not alienating anybody, have said that France considers Canadians to be her “friends” and Quebecers to be her “brothers”, but it’s uncertain what that means, and what the policy of the French government will be for the next few years. Given that even Quebec’s main sovereigntist party isn’t actually trying to do the promotion of independence right now, it probably won’t cause any major “recognition crisis” or anything of the sort, but it might have negative effects on some of the Quebec-France bilateral accords.
Paul in Saudi, Quebec and France do have many bilateral agreements even with Quebec as part of Canada. For example, French students are allowed to study in Quebec while paying only the same tuition fees as Quebec students.