Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

November 15, 2006 16:51 ET

Canadian Heritage: Canada's New Government Strengthens Relationship with Member States of the Organization of American States

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 15, 2006) - Michael M Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister responsible for Montreal, on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, today said that discussions between Ministers of Culture and Highest Appropriate Authorities of the member States of the Organization of American States have contributed to enhancing dialogue, reinforcing understanding, and strengthening relationships within the hemisphere.

"Canada's new Government is committed to inter-American cooperation and intends to continue to work with its partners from the Americas to raise awareness around issues of common interest in the area of culture," said Minister Fortier, at the conclusion of the 3rd Inter-American Meeting of the Organization of American States. "These important meetings provide opportunities to exchange and share Canada's knowledge and policy tools in the area of cultural diversity and learn about best practices in other countries."

Minister Oda chaired the two-day meeting and reiterated the commitment of Canada's new Government to promoting the ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Minister Oda and Senator Andree Champagne held a series of bilateral meetings to promote its ratification.

"Canada remains vigorously committed to pursuing ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions by a large number of countries representing all regions of the world, including the Americas," said Minister Oda. "Ministers and Highest Appropriate Authorities in attendance acknowledged the importance of ensuring that all of us continue to have a voice to express our identities."

Ministers Responsible for Culture or Highest Appropriate Authorities from the member states of the Organization of American States met in Montreal to pursue dialogue on cultural policy issues. They examined the challenges facing heritage institutions with regard to natural disaster preparation and recovery and discussed initiatives and partnerships undertaken to address them.

They looked at ways to foster the development of partnerships between the education and culture sectors, to facilitate the development and promotion of cultural industries, and to develop means to evaluate achievements and outcomes. The development of common measurements would allow for a more accurate evaluation of cultural policies. The influence of indigenous peoples on the formulation of cultural policies, as well as the importance of preserving Aboriginal languages, was also discussed.

The Organization of American States brings together the countries of the Western Hemisphere to strengthen cooperation and advance common interests. It is the region's premier forum for multilateral dialogue and concerted action. For more information, please visit

(This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of
    Canadian Heritage and Status of Women
    Chisholm Pothier
    Director of Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations