Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade recommends inclusion of the general cultural exemption in CETA

On March 12, 2012, the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade tabled a report on the negotiations toward a comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU), reports a press release issued the same day by the Parliament of Canada.

Further to committee hearings held in October and November 2011 in Ottawa, the report summarizes the views of Canadian stakeholders with regard to the principal issues in the Canada-EU CETA negotiations. It also reports on meetings held in December 2011 between committee members and European parliamentarians, representatives of national governments, and stakeholders that are involved or have an interest in the negotiations.

With respect to culture, the report notably mentions that

“[…] representatives from another EU member state expressed their hope that cultural services would be dealt with carefully during Canada-EU CETA negotiations and said that they understand Canada's position and the wish to include a cultural exclusion clause similar to the clause in the free trade agreements that Canada has signed with other trading partners.

Quebec’s Delegate General in Brussels and the French parliamentarians who Committee members met in Brussels and in Paris pointed out the importance of cultural diversity and of protecting it in the CETA negotiations between Canada and the EU. According to them, this protection should apply to cultural products and to cultural services.”

In its report, the Standing Committee on International Trade also proposes 17 recommendations, including the following:

“9. The Government should ensure a broad cultural exemption in CETA that would exclude books, magazines, newspapers, publishing, broadcasting, film, video, performing arts, and other aspects of cultural industries.”

To view the press release and report, available in French and English, please consult the Parliament of Canada website.