Describe the main features of the measure/initiative:
The CDCE formed a partnership with professor Veronique Guèvremont, UNESCO Chair on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions at Laval University and commissioned her to produce an expert opinion and lead mobilization activities on trade negotiations in the digital era. Engagement activities gave the members of the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) the tools they need to face challenges arising from the trade negotiations in the digital era and made policy decision makers aware of the need to maintain the cultural exemption in the TPP and NAFTA during negotiations. A one-day public information and engagement seminar dedicated to the theme “Renegotiating NAFTA: threat or opportunity for Quebec’s cultural industries?” was organized by the CDCE in collaboration with ADISQ on June 6, 2017, at the ITHQ in Montreal, with Ms. Guèvremont as a speaker. This event was also the opportunity to review the function of the cultural exemption in trade treaties to better grasp the issues of their negotiation in the digital era. Two other events were organized on December 5, 2017, in Montreal, and on January 22, 2018, in Toronto. During these seminars, Véronique Guèvremont presented her expert opinion to CDCE members. These events helped mobilize civil society, stimulate discussion and increase its expertise.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?:
This project helped attract the attention of and mobilize civil society at the start of important trade negotiations for Canada. The expert opinion allowed the CDCE to identify the elements that have to be incorporated in trade treaties in order to maintain the protection of Canadian cultural industries in accordance with the objectives and principles of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and with the operating guidelines aiming at the implementation of this instrument in the digital environment. Updating the knowledge of the CDCE and its members on the cultural exemption in trade treaties in the digital era was essential to help understand the implications of new chapters and clauses in the agreement, to be more relevant in the statements with public leaders to better explain the importance of protecting culture in trade agreements to a broader audience and to participate more effectively in consultations led by the Canadian government.