Mr. Speaker, the secretary of state in a recent interview stated that we have no national culture. I would like to take this opportunity to respond to that statement.
Most Canadians believe, as my party does, that we must uphold the right of citizens and private groups to preserve their cultural heritage using their own resources but are opposed to taxpayer funded multicultural programs.
An ideological conception of culture is that as Canadians we believe we have something that others do not. Collectively we see ourselves as a tolerant, peaceful and independent people. Canadian culture is not insular but rather has an international consciousness that embraces the ethnic richness others have brought to our shores.
The difficulty is that we continue to debate our self-conception. We need to stop struggling with our self-image and accept who were are.
Visually our culture is a kaleidoscope of images, finely integrated and ever changing. Visual symbols such as our flag, the uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the fleur de lis and the ice flows of the north all connect us to one another at the deepest level of our consciousness. This is our Canadian culture.