Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois has great confidence in the ability of our artists to make their mark in Quebec and internationally. We believe that the signing of the FTAA agreement will result in even greater cultural exchanges between Quebec and Latin American countries.
However, sight must not be lost of the fact that Quebec's culture did not spring up unassisted. The Government of Quebec has used its authority to step in and assist cultural growth. This has been done by all the governments of Quebec, regardless of political affiliation.
It is for this reason that the Bloc Quebecois is insisting that any continental trade agreement should preserve the Government of Quebec's present and future authority to take such action.
Culture is our soul and our roots. It is how we speak and do things. It is therefore important that Quebec be able to speak on its own behalf and to protect its interests.