Propos du premier ministre du Québec, M. Jean CHAREST, à la suite de la motion sans préavis de la ministre de la Culture et des Communications, Mme LINE BEAUCHAMP, soulignant la décision de l'UNESCO en faveur de l'élaboration d'une convention internationale sur la diversité culturelle.
Journal des débats de l'Assemblée nationale, le mercredi 29 octobre 2003 - 2003/10/29
Mr. Jean Charest declared that cultural diversity is a “symbolic issue” for Québec. “It is a matter of defending who we are, who we want to be, and what we have to say,” said the premier, explaining why he felt so strongly about speaking out on the government’s position in the debate on the motion introduced by minister of culture and communications Ms Line Beauchamp. Mr. Charest pointed out that ever since the first free trade negotiations, the Canadian government, along with that of Québec, has always strongly defended its “sovereign right to protect and support its cultural industries.” According to Mr. Charest, the challenge Québec faces with regard to cultural diversity is to successfully open up its markets while at the same time protecting its identity. To do so, Québec has opted for the UNESCO approach, and will continue to seize every possible opportunity to state the case for cultural diversity and play a leadership role in the field. “We must continue building alliances. I am very pleased that Québec came up with the idea for a conference on cultural diversity at the book fair that opens in Guadalajara, Mexico, on November 30. It is one more gesture, one more opportunity to advance the cultural diversity agenda […] no matter what the circumstances, we will be on the frontlines […] Most of all, we must stick to our guns and keep up the fight, because it is a fight that we are going to win.” (Available in French only)