Mr. Speaker, when Brian Mulroney negotiated the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement he said "don't worry, Canadian culture is exempt from free trade". When the Liberal government signed on to NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, it said "don't worry, Canadian culture is exempt from free trade".
The World Trade Organization has ruled that culture is not exempt from free trade, a conclusion not surprising to anyone who ever honestly analysed these agreements and the agenda they serve. But the Minister for International Trade, about this stunning defeat of decades of effective public policy, gives the usual Liberal answer: don't worry.
This defeatist answer has led to much speculation about who is in charge of Canadian cultural policy, Canadians or American business interests. But when we look at the surrender on trade policy, at the decimation of the CBC, at the sale of the RCMP's image to Disney and the appearance of Disneyland on Canadian postage stamps, it is clear why we have such a Mickey Mouse cultural policy: Mickey Mouse is actually in charge.