Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

"Le gouvernement du Canada continuera de jouer un rôle de chef de file dans l'élaboration d'une convention internationale portant sur la diversité culturelle"

Mme Hélène Chalifour Scherrer, ministre du Patrimoine canadien, Ottawa, le 27 février 2004 - 2004/02/27

On the occasion of 2004 Chalmers Conference, held in Ottawa on February 27, 2004 by the Conference of Canadian Arts, Ms. Scherrer firmly declared her “determination to see Canada continue to play a major role in ensuring the success of the campaign for an International Convention on Cultural Diversity.” Ms. Scherrer stated, “Culture is a vital link that brings Canadians together and gives us a unique voice in the world community.” In addition, “The expression of diversity is a national objective that has become part of an international challenge here.” According to the Minister, “Cultural affirmation is not synonymous with protectionism.” In fact, she emphasized, “Of all the world’s countries, Canada is the most open to other cultures.” To prove this, “One has only to look at the movies playing at our theatres, the songs on the radio, the magazines on our newsstands, and the books on the shelves of our bookstores.” However, she warned, while “this openness enriches Canadian society, it should not make our own creations invisible in our own markets.”

With regards to UNESCO’s work towards creating and International Convention on Cultural Diversity, Ms. Scherrer maintains that in the Speech from the Throne, the Canadian government clearly declared its support for this initiative and that “Canada would continue to play a leading role in the drafting of an International Convention on Cultural Diversity.”  To this end, the Minister added, “I certainly intend to work for its acceptance, with the help of my Quebec counterpart, Line Beauchamp, as well that of my counterparts from other provinces and territories.” (Available also in French and English)