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Cablegate: Diplomatic Note Regarding Unesco Cultural

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

171708Z Oct 05

UNCLAS OTTAWA 003101

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

PARIS PASS UNESCO; STATE PASS USTR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CA ETRD PREL SCUL
SUBJECT: DIPLOMATIC NOTE REGARDING UNESCO CULTURAL
DIVERSITY IMPASSE

REF: SECSTATE 190825

1. (SBU) Post delivered reftel diplomatic note by fax on
receipt Saturday, October 15. The Ambassador followed up
with Jonanthan Fried, senior official at the Privy council
Office. Fried said that he had just spoken to Faryar Shirzad
at the NSC on the same subject but that the GOC remains
convinced that the language in the Convention does not affect
Canada's WTO commitments, and that he had offered to get
International Trade Canada's lawyers to speak to our lawyers
on the subject. (Fried also offered some other points of
contact on the trade side, which Post passed on to the U.S.
Mission to UNESCO.) He continued to hold to that line during
follow-up contacts with the Ambassador and the DCM Saturday
and Sunday, observing that "we in the Government of Canada do
not want this treaty to weaken our trade commitments". We
note, however, that the latest press release from Canadian
Heritage Minister Frulla states that "the Convention will be
on an equal footing with other international treaties."

2. (SBU) Comment: The current minority government is clearly
giving Minister Frulla a free hand on this issue because of
its political value in Quebec, where the Liberal Party is on
a shaky footing. However, it appeals to other groups in
Canada as well. Canada's stance reflects a longstanding
political culture that continues to support regulation of
content even on private subscriber-based audiovisual services
such as satellite radio, to say nothing of onerous language
rules within Quebec. End comment.

Visit Canada's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/ottawa

WILKINS

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