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Funny and Moody: The Best of Aislin's Cartoons

Terry Mosher, Jean-Herman Guay, Université de Sherbrooke and Bruno Lemieux, Collège de Sherbrooke

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Introduction:

Terry Mosher, Jean-Herman Guay, Université de Sherbrooke and Bruno Lemieux, Collège de Sherbrooke, 2005

Terry Mosher, also known as Aislin, has gathered together a selection of his political cartoons.

What an adventure: reducing a body of work spanning almost thirty years to some twenty-five cartoons! A real challenge for Aislin...

With a few sentences, the cartoonist comments on his selection. These texts are accompanied with notes written by political scientist Jean-Herman Guay and his colleague, press analyst Bruno Lemieux. The notes describe the political context in which each cartoon was created.

Welcome to this chronological and politically incorrect overview!


M984.303.81
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Le cercle équestre, Bromont
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1976, 20e siècle
Crayon feutre et encre sur papier
29.4 x 35.9 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M984.303.81
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"The Gazette has indulged me over the years by letting me go off and do occasional sketchbooks on events or places that appeal to me for one reason or another. These forays are a delightful change from drawing my daily cartoons, which are primarily from the political arena. One of my first sketchbooks for the newspaper was produced during Montreal's Olympic Games in 1976. I wandered the sites for the entire two-week period, drawing the participants in various guises. This is one of my favourite sketches: haughty, horsey types watching the equestrian events in rural Bromont. I think the drawing is a good illustration of the axiom that the rich are different from the rest of us."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

This cartoon evokes the barb that Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, threw at Robert Bourassa, premier of Quebec, by calling him a "hot dog eater" when Bourassa refused to ratify the Victoria Charter in 1971. The expression was quickly adopted as a pejorative reference to francophones, replacing "pea soup," an expression long used to denigrate French Canadians.

Où:

The town of Bromont, in the Eastern Townships, was the site of the equestrian events during the Olympic Games in Montreal.

Quand:

The preparations for the 1976 Olympic Games were marked by numerous controversies related to costs and deadlines. At the time, Robert Bourassa's Liberal government was on its last legs and soon to be replaced (in November) by René Lévesque and his sovereignist team. During the Games, Quebec's anglophone minority realized that its relationship with the francophone majority was at a turning point.

Qui:

Until the early 1980s, anglophones from Montreal dominated the political scene in Quebec. They constituted a wealthy and influential minority, and some harboured feelings of superiority toward francophone Quebeckers.

M988.176.371
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Yvan Cournoyer
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1 février 1975, 20e siècle
Encre, crayon feutre et film sur papier
39.2 x 28 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M988.176.371
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Most Montrealers are as addicted to sports - particularly to hockey - as they are to politics, so I enjoy offering up the occasional sports-related cartoon for The Gazette's editorial page. For a while during the 1975 hockey season, Yvan Cournoyer, one of my favourite hockey players, was having trouble scoring. So I drew this cartoon of a frustrated Cournoyer in a straightjacket, kicking the puck and yelling "HOSTIE!". There was great debate at The Gazette about whether to run the cartoon, given the impropriety of the expression. Finally, the newspaper decided to go ahead, it being generally agreed this was exactly what a frustrated Cournoyer would say! The experience with this cartoon suggests that if you're going to cross certain social lines in a newspaper, it might be best to do so first in cartoons."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

The 1979 hockey season was to be Yvan Cournoyer's last. Back problems, stemming from a back operation he had undergone several years earlier, were slowing down the star player.

Où:

Montreal is home to the "Canadiens." Founded in 1909, the hockey team has always been a rallying symbol for the city's francophone population.

Quand:

From 1976 to 1979, the Montreal Canadiens won four straight Stanley Cups. It was only the second time in the history of the National Hockey League (NHL) that a team had won the coveted award four years in a row. However, the team that many thought invincible lost a bit of its lustre in the following seasons.

Qui:

Yvan Cournoyer, a native of Drummondville known for his speed and scoring ability, played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1964 to 1979.

M988.176.220
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Le boxeur René Lévesque
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
20 octobre 1979, 20e siècle
Encre, crayon feutre et film sur papier
26.4 x 30.6 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M988.176.220
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"We remember René Lévesque for his great moments: the historic election of his Parti québécois in 1976 and his valiant, if losing, struggle during Quebec's 1980 referendum, for example. But Lévesque had to deal with the same problems as other politicians - the day-to-day business of governing a complicated entity. At times it seemed that Lévesque's biggest battles were with the people in his own corner, his allies in the Parti québécois. That's why I drew this cartoon."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

René Lévesque, founder of the Parti québécois, often had more trouble with party militants than with his Liberal opponents. The "radicals" on his team criticized him for not doing enough to promote Quebec independence and for his willingness to compromise. Lévesque's relationship with unions, the traditional allies of the Parti québécois, were often marred by conflict.

Où:

During the period before the first sovereignty referendum, all of Quebec became a boxing ring for René Lévesque, who faced legions of adversaries.

Quand:

In June 1979, the seventh convention of the Parti québécois approved a go-slow strategy to achieve Quebec sovereignty. The delegates agreed that the government would seek in a referendum a mandate to negotiate with the rest of Canada sovereignty-association rather than independence, as demanded by party radicals. That referendum was held less than one year later, in May 1980. Despite the strategy that would have required a second consultation with Quebeckers before the withdrawal of Quebec from Confederation, the federalists won a convincing victory.

Qui:

René Lévesque (1922-1987) was the founder and first leader of the Parti québécois. He was premier of Quebec from 1976 to 1985.

M987.244.170
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Allumez les briquettes!!
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
6 septembre 1980, 20e siècle
28.2 x 35.5 cm
Don de Mrs. Marilyn Michel
M987.244.170
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"In 1980, Pierre Trudeau was determined to repatriate the Canadian Constitution, come hell or high water. He set his sights on getting all ten Canadian premiers to toe the line on the project. So I drew the premiers as Trudeau's ten toes, being readied for the walk through the process."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

From the outset of his political career, Pierre Elliott Trudeau had wanted to repatriate the Canadian constitution, which was a British statute until 1982. The project encountered many roadblocks because the provinces - Quebec, in particular - wanted to work out a new power arrangement between themselves and the federal government. During the negotiations, Trudeau was perceived as a centralist set on dominating the provincial governments. In the end, three provinces opposed the repatriation deal : Newfoundland, British Columbia and Quebec.

Où:

Canada is a federal state in which the central government in Ottawa and the provinces share various powers. Over the years, the power-sharing arrangement has been the source of great controversy, particularly in Quebec. Normally, changes to the arrangement are negotiated at constitutional conferences, many of which have taken place in Ottawa, including the one of September 1980.

Quand:

After his victory over Quebec sovereignists in 1980, Prime Minister Trudeau invited the provincial premiers to a conference to work out a new Canadian constitution. The conference marked the beginning of a cycle of conflict and backbiting by the different political players that finally ended in April 1982 with the repatriation of the Canadian constitution.

Qui:

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (1919-2000) was leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister of Canada from 1968 to 1984 (with the exception of a few months in 1979).

M987.244.62
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Merci, Jean...
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1986, 20e siècle
Encre, crayon feutre et film sur papier
27.3 x 30.7 cm
Don de Mrs. Marilyn Michel
M987.244.62
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Love him or hate him, Mayor Jean Drapeau was the dominant figure in Montreal municipal politics for several decades. During that time, we cartoonists had a field day with his eminently caricaturable physiognomy! When Drapeau finally retired, in 1986, I drew this cartoon, comparing his presence in Montreal to that of Mont Royal, as a salute to him."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

Montreal's mayor for thirty years, Jean Drapeau (1916-1999) dominated the political scene in the city. Drapeau greatly enhanced the international reputation of the city, in part by his original, although often authoritarian, leadership.

Où:

Montreal is the economic and cultural centre of Quebec. Almost half of Quebec's population lives in the city or its suburbs. For centuries, Montreal was considered the metropolis of Canada.

Quand:

Several times elected mayor of Montreal, Jean Drapeau was the driving force behind numerous large projects in the city : the creation of Place des Arts (1963), the construction of the métro (1966), the holding of the World's Fair (1967), the founding of a major-league baseball team (1969) and the preparations for the Olympic Games (1976).

Qui:

Born in 1916, Jean Drapeau served as the mayor of Montreal almost without interruption from 1954 to 1986.

M998.48.175
© Musée McCord
Impression
Encore une grève des chauffeurs d'autobus de Montréal, 1984
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
Vers 1990, 20e siècle
Encre sur papier - Photolithographie
36.5 x 28.9 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M998.48.175
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Cartoons can serve as a quick read of the social situation and attitudes in a given era. Montreal in the 1970s and 1980s was a hotbed for the labour movement and union activity. Strikes were commonplace, with the participants often displaying a cavalier attitude towards the affected public. No strikes proved more inconvenient to Montrealers than the seemingly annual transit strikes. Many Montrealers had to skidoo or snowshoe to work during the strike in 1978. So when yet another transit strike was announced in 1984, I drew this cartoon of a very happy bus driver who had just changed the destination on the display panel of his bus."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

In 1984, bus and métro drivers in Montreal went out on strike, and stayed out for thirty days. Aislin here suggests that during rush hour bus drivers did not, as required, always provide this essential service, and often for dubious reasons.

Où:

In most large cities, public transit is considered an essential service. In Montreal, during the mid-1980s, more than 600,000 people used the bus and métro service on a daily basis.

Quand:

Between 1970 and 1990, Montrealers frequently faced interruptions in public transit because of labour conflicts. In 1974 alone, there were four such interruptions. Exasperated, governments gradually limited the right to strike of workers in this sector.

Qui:

The unions were particularly active in Montreal, and in the public transit sector at this time. Many people thought that the unions went overboard in promoting their demands.

M996.11.22
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Bourassa en girouette
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1991, 20e siècle
Encre sur papier
26.5 x 27.5 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M996.11.22
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Robert Bourassa was one of Quebec's - of Canada's - most interesting political figures, someone who survived some very complicated times by learning on the job. As the young premier of Quebec during the early 1970s, Bourassa seemed naive in the face of the confrontations and rhetoric. Soundly defeated by René Lévesque and the Parti québécois in the historic election of 1976, Bourassa returned as premier in 1985 a far craftier man. For the next eight years he paid close attention to the whims and vagaries of the populace, changing direction whenever he thought it necessary to do so to ensure social peace. That is why this shows Bourassa as a weathervane. Of the many caricatures I drew of him, this is a favourite."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

A major figure on the Quebec political scene, Robert Bourassa (1933-1996) sought, throughout his career, compromise among the different forces in Quebec society. This was his approach in both constitutional and linguistic matters. While some criticized his shifts in position - or, his contradictions - others saw in him an ability to take advantage of circumstances coupled with sharp political intuition.

Où:

Robert Bourassa's Liberals had to navigate a variety of polarized electoral groups in Quebec. While the Parti québécois found its greatest support in francophone ridings, the Liberal Party had a base of support among the anglophones of Montreal's West Island and among allophone voters. In 1989, with the rise of the Equality Party, the Liberals realized that they could no longer count on getting almost 100% of anglophone votes.

Quand:

In March 1991, the Quebec Liberal Party published the Allaire Report, proposing a new constitutional arrangement for Quebec. The report's quasi-sovereignist approach represented an abrupt change of direction. It was the culmination of a period of turmoil within the party that had started with the failure of the Meech Lake Accord and the rise of the sovereignist movement. At the end of the Liberal convention at which the Allaire Report was released, however, Robert Bourassa reaffirmed his commitment to federalism, a move which disappointed many party members.

Qui:

Born in 1933, Robert Bourassa took over as leader of the Quebec Liberal Party in 1970. He headed the government of Quebec from 1970 to 1976, and also from 1985 to 1993.

M988.175.154
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Qu'est-ce qui vous énerve?
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1986, 20e siècle
Crayon feutre et encre sur papier
30.6 x 28.7 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M988.175.154
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Cartoonists usually work in solitude, coming up with their own ideas. In
the mid-1980s, I decided to experiment with getting The Gazette readers involved in the process. We asked them to submit examples of the things that bothered them in everyday life (which I would then illustrate in a weekly panel). The response was quite overwhelming. The series, entitled What Bugs You?, ran for two years on the submissions from thousands of readers. The McCord Museum has many of these What Bugs You? panels in its collection, but this is a particular favorite of mine."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

Où:

Quand:

Qui:


M998.48.176
© Musée McCord
Impression
Pomme du libre-échange, 1986
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
Vers 1990, 20e siècle
Encre sur papier - Photolithographie
29.7 x 23.2 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M998.48.176
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"In 1984, Brian Mulroney became Prime Minister of Canada after winning the largest parliamentary majority in Canadian history. In his campaign platform, he had opposed any sort of free trade arrangement with the United States. But in 1986, Mulroney and his new friend, Ronald Reagan, announced that they would indeed pursue a free trade agreement between the two nations. That led to this cartoon, which suggests we should perhaps be suspicious of American motives in the matter."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

In the late 1980s, many people feared that the ratification of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement would severely restrict Canadian autonomy. Opponents of free trade argued that Canada's political agendas would be submerged by those of its mighty neighbour to the south, in particular Canada's social programs. The cartoon evokes this fear, which was much more pronounced in the English-speaking provinces than in Quebec.

Où:

Canada and the United States have always been important trading partners. Nonetheless, a web of laws and regulations on each side of the border stood in the way of the creation of a North American common market. The Canada-US Free Trade Agreement of 1988 and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of 1992, which also includes Mexico, created one of the largest free trade areas on the planet.

Quand:

Upon taking power in Ottawa in 1984, Brian Mulroney set about to ease tensions between Canada and the United States. His efforts to restore the relationship between the two countries led to the signing of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement on January 2, 1988. In the House of Commons, the opposition parties tried everything within their means to prevent its adoption. After fighting a gruelling election campaign dominated by the debate on free trade, the victorious Conservatives ratified the trade measures, which came into effect at midnight on December 31, 1988.

Qui:

The cartoon alludes to the two dominant political figures of this period: Brian Mulroney, represented by the beaver, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993, and Ronald Reagan, president of the United States from 1980 to 1988 who, like William Tell, was supposed to aim for the apple but instead, hit the figure under it : Canada. Brian Mulroney was born in Baie Comeau, Quebec, in 1939.

M998.48.5.1
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Brian Mulroney en perroquet
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1991, 20e siècle
24.3 x 23.8 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M998.48.5.1
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"When Brian Mulroney was a lad, he sang Irish songs for American company bosses in his hometown of Baie Comeau. Things didn't change much - he did the same for President Ronald Reagan. Canada has always had strong leaders who not only held Americans at arm's length, but also tried to pull Canadians back from the temptations of the American candy store. Mulroney, however, ended up working behind the counter. In this cartoon, I've drawn a furtive-looking Mulroney as an American parrot."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

Many English-speaking Canadians viewed Brian Mulroney as a mouthpiece for American policies. Because of his personal relationship with Ronald Reagan, Mulroney was often depicted as a parrot who repeated everything said in the White House. Subsequent analysis of the balance of trade between the two countries has nonetheless shown that the Canadian economy benefited greatly from the policies put in place by Brian Mulroney's Conservative team.

Où:

The Canadian and American economies are closely integrated, no doubt the result of the many historical and geographical links between the two countries. Because the population of the United States is almost ten times larger than that of Canada, many Canadian nationalists viewed the lowering of tariff barriers between the two countries as a significant threat to Canada.

Quand:

The earliest attempts to create a free trade zone between Canada and the United States go back to the early 20th century. In 1911, Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier and his Liberals proposed a reciprocity treaty. The project was abandoned when Laurier lost the election of 1911. Ironically, it was the Conservative party under Brian Mulroney that, with voter support, finally implemented the measure. The 1988 federal election campaign was dominated by the debate over Canada's economic and political ties with the United States. The victorious Conservatives elected 170 members to the House of Commons, while the second-runners, John Turner's Liberals, elected 82.

Qui:

Brian Mulroney was born in Baie Comeau, Quebec, in 1939. He was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993.

M989.397.95
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Le monstre du lac Meech
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1988, 20e siècle
Crayon feutre et encre sur papier
26.5 x 29.7 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M989.397.95
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"In 1988, Brian Mulroney promised that he would bring Quebec into the Canadian fold if the country approved the Meech Lake constitutional deal. Failure to ratify the accord, he stated dramatically, would result in Canada falling apart - thus, this Meech Lake monster cartoon. In fact, the Meech Lake proposal failed, and the country still hasn't fallen apart!"

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

In 1982, Canada's constitution was repatriated without the approval of Quebec. When he took over as Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney set about to rectify that situation. At the Meech Lake Constitutional Conference his government proposed an accord aimed at revamping the Canadian constitution in order to fully integrate Quebec in the federation. Quebec sovereignists regarded the accord as completely unsatisfactory, while many English-speaking Canadians thought that its provisions on Quebec as a distinct society went too far. Thus, for those in each camp, the tranquil waters of Meech Lake seemed to have spawned a monstrous creature: Mulroney transformed into Frankenstein, the protagonist of Mary Shelley's famed novel.

Où:

Quebec, one of the ten provinces that make up Canada, is home to one-quarter of the country's population. Because Quebec's population is 80% French-speaking, Quebec is different from the rest of Canada, and thus for several decades has demanded recognition of its unique status. The Meech Lake Accord sought to affirm in the constitution Quebec's distinct character within Canadian society.

Quand:

Signed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and all of the provincial premiers in June 1987, the Meech Lake Accord was severely criticized, first by New Brunswick, then by the western provinces. To be enshrined in the constitution, the accord had to be ratified by all ten provincial legislatures by June 23, 1990, at the latest. On that date, however, two provinces, Manitoba and Newfoundland, had failed to ratify it, thereby scuttling the accord. This event led to a sharp rise in the popularity of the nationalist movement in Quebec.

Qui:

Brian Mulroney was born in Baie Comeau, Quebec, in 1939. He was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993.

M990.761.105
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Voir le lac Meech et mourir
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1990, 20e siècle
28 x 31 cm
Don de Ms. Iona Monahan
M990.761.105
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"For a change of pace I sometimes use only words in a cartoon, perhaps to parody or satirize the vernacular of the moment. By 1990, we had all grown tired of hearing the word "Meech" (because of the failed Meech Lake constitutional deal, concocted by Brian Mulroney). There was also an expression very much in the air: "Life's a bitch, then you die!" Thus, this cartoon, which was clipped out of many a newspaper and hung on office walls or fridge doors - the ultimate compliment for any cartoonist."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

Cartoons published in newspapers are usually drawings or photomontages retouched with pencil that bring out the grotesque or negative side of the news. Here, Aislin used a method that was unusual for him. To make known, as only a humorist can, his utter disenchantment with the constitutional issue, he based this cartoon on a play on words rather than the exaggeration of the subject's physical characteristics. From the well-known expression "Life's a bitch" it's a short hop, skip and jump to "Life's a Meech!"

Où:

Located in Quebec, north of the city of Ottawa, Meech Lake was in the late-19th and early-20th centuries a resort that attracted mostly upper middle-class families, notably, the country's most successful financiers, who built their mansions on its shores. Also built there was one of the official residences of the Canadian Prime Minister. It was there that the constitutional accord bearing its name was drawn up. And because it was never fully ratified, the Meech Lake Accord has become a symbol of the complexity of the relationship between the federal and provincial governments in Canada.

Quand:

Drawn up in 1987 by the premiers of the provinces under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Canada, the Meech Lake Accord was intended to amend the Canadian constitution of 1982 and to recognize the distinct status of Quebec within Canada. The accord was slated to become law in 1990 upon ratification in each of the ten provincial legislatures. However, what should have been little more than an administrative formality turned into a national psychodrama that, for three long years, was played out almost daily in the national media.

Qui:

In June 1990, on the eve of the St. Jean Baptiste celebrations in Quebec, two men sounded the death knell of the Meech Lake Accord : Elijah Harper, an Aboriginal and New Democrat member of the Manitoba legislature, who blocked the legislative debate on the subject, and Clyde Wells, premier of Newfoundland who, on the eve of the deadline, refused to submit the accord to the planned ratification vote.

M990.761.202
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Chien de la S. Q.
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1990, 20e siècle
28.5 x 26.5 cm
Don de Ms. Iona Monahan
M990.761.202
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Cartoons usually amuse viewers. Occasionally, a more cutting image so angers someone that he or she writes a righteously indignant letter to the editor. The reaction to this cartoon went well over the top, however. During the well-documented Oka Crisis of 1990, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), Quebec's provincial police force, fumbled the ball badly while trying to contain the potential violence. Not only were officers shot at, they also took a casualty. Several of their cars were destroyed and then used by the Mohawks to shore up their barricade. I drew this cartoon of a SQ officer as a hot-dog - with all that implies - adding the inevitable donut badge. It provoked a bizarre communiqué, faxed from SQ headquarters in the dead of night and accusing The Gazette of not only disseminating blatant Mohawk propaganda but also harbouring an anti-police bias because the Meech Lake constitutional deal had fallen through! When news of the incident broke, the police force was flayed in both the French and English papers - and I dined out on the incident for months!"

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

The event known as the Oka Crisis came to an end in the summer of 1990, just days after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord. In protest over construction projects planned by the mayor of Oka on lands claimed by the Mohawk nation of Kanesatake, activists from that community barricaded the roads leading to it. The conflict really heated up when, in a show of solidarity, the Mohawks of both Kahnawake and Awkwesasne blocked access to the Mercier Bridge. On July 11, the Quebec provincial police (Sûreté du Québec, or SQ) stormed the roadblocks, but were forced to withdraw. An SQ officer, Corporal Marcel Lemay, was killed. Some observers blamed the SQ for escalating the tension and causing the events that led to the death of one of its members. This cartoon attempts to convey the state of mind of members of that police force.

Où:

Oka is a town situated south of Montreal. It lies on the border of the Kanesatake Reserve, one of three Mohawk communities in Quebec. The Mercier Bridge, over which thousands of suburbanites travel each day to go to work on the Island of Montreal, spans the St. Lawrence River at the eastern edge of the island.

Quand:

The Oka Crisis lasted seventy-eight days, from June to September 1990. The premier of Quebec, Robert Bourassa, said during that hot summer: "It's the most difficult crisis of my fifteen years in power."

Qui:

The Sûreté du Québec is the largest police force in the province. It works in conjunction with the Quebec's municipal police forces. In the other provinces this is the role of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which also operates in Quebec.

M988.175.41
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Le fumeur à la fenêtre
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
3 juin 1988, 20e siècle
Encre, crayon feutre et film sur papier
28.1 x 33 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M988.175.41
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"I enjoy wandering all over Montreal; so many areas of the city are visually stimulating. Occasionally, I like to use a familiar locale as the backdrop for a cartoon. For this drawing, I didn't have far to go. It shows Rue St. Jacques, in the heart of Montreal's financial district and also the location of The Gazette's offices before the move uptown to the corner of Peel and Ste. Catherine. The window in which the figure is perching was the window of my studio.

The cartoon addresses two issues very much on the public mind at the time. It was about one year after the mini-crash of 1987, so many people had financial concerns. Might the person be thinking of jumping because of financial ruin? Nope. He was just another employee who had been told he could no longer smoke indoors, so he was sitting out on the window ledge having a smoke. The issue was clearly on my mind - I had yet to quit smoking."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

With the enactment in the late 1980s of laws restricting smoking in public places and in the workplace, smokers were forced to make dramatic changes to their daily routines. Many were critical of the laws; others saw them as an incentive to give up smoking. Still others, who could not forego the pleasures of cigarettes, simply went outdoors to smoke... often in the street, but sometimes in more unusual places such as the one the cartoonist shows here, thereby underlining the message that cigarettes can kill.

Où:

The new laws prohibited cigarette smoking in most public places. The smoking rooms in buildings and smoking sections in restaurants and bars are the last places where one might encounter drifting blue smoke... apart from on the street, the last stand of smokers!

Quand:

The Act respecting the Protection of Non-smokers in Certain Public Places, adopted in 1987 by the government of Quebec, as well as the Non-smokers' Health Act, adopted in 1988 by the federal government, are intended to regulate tobacco use.

Qui:

In response to public opinion and to lobbying by health groups, the governments of Quebec and Canada adopted laws aimed at protecting non-smokers and improving the wellness and health of all citizens.

M998.48.104.1
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Un Québécois à Wimbledon
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1995, 20e siècle
27 x 25.5 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M998.48.104.1
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Here is another favourite street corner in Lachine. I had always wanted to include it in a cartoon if the right situation arose. Then, in 1995, tennis player Greg Rusedski (from Montreal's West Island) played at Wimbledon, passing himself off as British on the basis of his dual citizenship. Now, Jacques Parizeau is a well-known anglophile who speaks English with a slight British accent. So this cartoon picked up on an imagined conversation within the pictured home.

Several days after the cartoon appeared, I received an excited phone call from a woman who had grown up in that house, and she told me all sorts of interesting things about its history."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

The tennis champion Greg Rusedski was born in Montreal to a British mother and a Polish father, and it was there that he grew up. So when he decided to represent Great Britain rather than his country of birth in international tennis competitions, everyone took notice. In Canada, questions of identity and belonging are taken more seriously than sports or culture. The dialogue in this cartoon leaves the impression that anglo-Quebeckers would have preferred Jacques Parizeau - who often has the air of an English noble - to be the one claiming British nationality!

Où:

Wimbledon, on the outskirts of London, is known the world over for its tennis championship, which dates back to 1877. The Wimbledon matches are closely followed even in working-class areas of Montreal, especially when a player born on the West Island is competing...

Quand:

In the summer of 1995, during preparations for the second referendum on Quebec sovereignty, which was to be held the following October 30, Greg Rusedski, a tennis player with dual nationality, chose to compete at Wimbledon for Britain rather than for Canada.

Qui:

Greg Rusedski, the professional tennis player, was born in Montreal in 1973. Jacques Parizeau, elected leader of the Parti québécois in 1988, was premier of Quebec from the fall of 1994 until late in 1995.

M998.48.132
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Jacques Parizeau le dompteur de lion
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1994, 20e siècle
Encre, crayon feutre et pigment blanc opaque sur papier
25.4 x 26 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M998.48.132
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Jacques Parizeau is a delightfully refreshing character for cartoonists because - agree with him or not - he always speaks his mind, and with little concern for the consequences, unlike other politicians. So when Parizeau was premier of Quebec in the 1990s, almost anything he said was cartoon-able, never more so than when he insisted on giving the Americans a piece of his mind - and inspiring this 1995 cartoon."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

Jacques Parizeau is one of those who believe that a sovereign Quebec would be able to stand up to the American economy, and even fend off its superior strength. Here, the thoughts of the American lion echo the scepticism of many : how could a small nation like Quebec, in need of investment capital, take on an adversary capable of swallowing it in one gulp, and still maintain its independence?

Où:

During the 1980s, the political elite in Quebec supported the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement. Robert Bourassa, Jacques Parizeau and Bernard Landry all saw eye to eye on the question of Quebec's ability to profit from the lowering of tariffs between Canada and the United States. In the other provinces, political and economic leaders were much more divided on the issue.

Quand:

Following his victory in the elections of September 12, 1994, Jacques Parizeau began the referendary process intended to bring about the sovereignty of Quebec. During the months leading up to the referendum of 1995 - which the sovereignists lost by a narrow margin - the premier tried to convince voters that Quebec's economy had a solid grounding.

Qui:

Jacques Parizeau was minister of finance in the government of René Lévesque and premier of Quebec for just over a year, between 1994 and 1995. An avowed indépendantiste, he is a key player in the radical wing of the Parti québécois.

M987.244.24
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Les Territoires du Nord-Ouest seront divisés en deux...
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1987, 20e siècle
26 x 29.8 cm
Don de Mrs. Marilyn Michel
M987.244.24
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"American university researchers once did a massive analysis of North American cartoons and puzzled over the fact that they couldn't find even one cartoon that was against improving the environment! They might have said the same about cartoons of Aboriginal persons, who are almost always portrayed by political cartoonists as dignified and stoic.

I am very fond of this simple drawing suggesting the vastness - and timelessness - of Canada's northern regions."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

This cartoon is about Nunavut, created in 1999 out of the eastern section of the Northwest Territories. This was the first time since 1949, and the entry of Newfoundland into Confederation, that a provincial or territorial border in Canada had been changed. But, as the cartoonist here points out by invoking such a vast territory and so few inhabitants, the North doesn't really register in the preoccupations of people living in the South.

Où:

Nunavut is bordered on the west by the Northwest Territories, on the south by Manitoba and on the north and east by Baffin Bay. This region, marked by its Arctic climate, is sparsely populated. In 1999, the Yukon and Nunavut each counted about 30,000 inhabitants and the Northwest Territories counted about 40,000.

Quand:

It was on April 1, 1999, that the map of Canada was officially changed to include Nunavut, which covers some 1.9 million square km.

Qui:

The Aboriginal peoples of Canada, often forgotten and neglected in the past, began flexing their political muscle in the late 20th century. The settling of land claims and self-government were at the top of their list of demands from the different levels of government, an indication, perhaps, of tensions that have long existed between the white majority and the Aboriginal nations.

M999.65.231
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Ne te fâche pas - Prends ta revanche...
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1997, 20e siècle
Crayon feutre et encre sur papier
27 x 27.5 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M999.65.231
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Some people I know claim to love winter. I, on the other hand, think that if God wants Canadians to endure the cold, she should give us fur. As far as I'm concerned, winter is good only because it forces me to work, thereby allowing me to ignore the great outdoors. Each year I draw several winter cartoons just when the climate is at its most unbearable and I sense that Montrealers are as fed up as I am. This one, which reflects on the collective frustration of dealing with tardy municipal snow removal, is a
particular favourite."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

To remove winter's snow from its 4,700 km of streets and 6,400 km of sidewalks, Montreal passed a regulation prohibiting parking on certain streets, on certain days and at certain times. This only added to the daily frustrations faced by Montrealers in winter. Those who live in areas where the streets are narrow - in the Plateau Mont Royal, for example - find snow-removal operations particularly trying.

Où:

Meteorologists have calculated that Montreal receives more snow than many other northern cities, including Moscow and Oslo. Montrealers, in particular those who drive, often find it hard to get around in winter. This is no doubt one reason why merchants have, over the years, created an underground city in which the métro lines link up to shopping centres and office buildings.

Quand:

Montreal, like many Canadian cities, must contend with extremes in temperature : the mercury can climb over 30°C in summer and drop below -25°C in winter. The city also gets a lot of snow between December and March, although the first snowfall can come in November and the last one in April or May. That means winter lasts almost six months in Montreal! Municipal snow-removal crews have to work day and night to clear the snow, often for several days in a row.

Qui:

When a winter storm hits Montreal, almost 2,000 city workers get to work clearing the snow and ice from streets and sidewalks. Almost the same number of private contractors are also called out. Each year the city spends over $100 million on snow removal.

M998.48.40
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Les sondages d'été
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1990, 20e siècle
Encre, crayon feutre et pigment opaque sur papier
23.5 x 23.9 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M998.48.40
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Poking fun at the pretentiousness around us is at the heart of all good cartooning. No one escapes this scrutiny, not even the prognosticators in our own business!

The media are constantly publishing studies and polls in an earnest effort to explain exactly who and what we are. Canadians seem particularly prone to this preoccupation. Endless surveys attempt to define us as a people. So, one summer day when yet another dreary poll appeared in the newspaper, the question occurred to me: Would Canadians rather be reading this survey, or...?"

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

During summer, when federal and provincial politicians are on vacation, there isn't much news being generated. The same is true for financial and cultural news. It's rare that business or arts groups announce a new program in summer; they usually wait until the fall. Still, daily newspapers must fill their pages with something. So what do they do? Sponsor a poll, of course!

Où:

In Canada, for the past thirty years, polls have been as much a part of the news as are actual news events. Do Canadians outdo their American or European counterparts in wanting to analyze the heart and soul of their communities? It's a moot question.

Quand:

In the weeks before elections or other important events, polling firms are out testing the mood of voters. Polls, like marketing studies, are often used to determine consumer preferences before a political party or business revamps its image.

Qui:

The most important polling firms in Canada when this cartoon was published were Angus Reid, CROP (Centre de recherche sur l'opinion publique), Decima Research, Environics Research Group, Léger Marketing (a member of Gallup International Association) and Sorecom.

M996.11.44
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Le dossier Lindros
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1991, 20e siècle
Encre sur papier
32.8 x 31 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M996.11.44
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"It's an accident of history that cartoons appear on the editorial pages of newspapers. In the 1890s, some editors decided that their editorials might be more eye-catching if they were illustrated. But their initiative backfired because head-strong cartoonists began demanding the right to express their own points of view.

In my experience, earnest editorialists and oddball cartoonists make an effort to get along, even if they remain a puzzle to each other. Occasionally, though, editorial writers get emotionally worked up about a subject. That happened all over Quebec when hockey player Eric Lindros announced that he would not play for Les Nordiques in Quebec City. Well! Didn't that create a collective round of righteous indignation, as reflected in the generic characters in this cartoon."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

The Lindros Affair, as it was called, hit news headlines in 1991. Which hockey team would Lindros play for? What conditions would he demand? Would he sign up to play for the Quebec Nordiques? Everyone had an opinion : journalists, columnists, editorial writers - even Prime Minister Mulroney. Here, the cartoonist reveals his surprise at seeing people get so worked up over the NHL hockey draft.

Où:

The Quebec Nordiques were never able to really lay down roots and win over fans. They were usually at the bottom of the NHL rankings. One year after the club was moved to Colorado, the Avalanche - the new name of the franchise - succeeded in doing something that the Nordiques had not been able to do in sixteen seasons in Quebec City, win the Stanley Cup. The Lindros Affair was a good illustration of the problems that plagued the Nordiques: how could a team caught in a dwindling market and never able to top its league meet all of the demands of a star hockey player?

Quand:

The city of Quebec was home to its own National Hockey League (NHL) team from 1979 to 1995. During that time, the Nordiques, who wore the colours of the capital city of Quebec, rarely ranked among the leading teams. The salary increases awarded to players by the NHL, along with the small size of the Quebec City market, eventually sounded the death-knell of the Nordiques.

Qui:

Born in 1973 in London, Ontario, Eric Lindros played for the Philadelphia Flyers from 1992 to 2000, and then for the New York Rangers.

M2000.79.59
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
On peut toujours rêver...
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1997, 20e siècle
Crayon feutre et encre sur papier
24 x 23.5 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M2000.79.59
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"To actually suggest that someone be killed is, of course, unacceptable in any civilized society. However, satire can serve as an effective antidote to our politically correct times. This cartoon was drawn in reaction to the death of two small children in a Sea-Doo accident. Anyone who has visited a normally quiet Canadian lake is probably no fan of the irritatingly noisy machines, but this cartoon is not meant to suggest that we shoot anyone who rides one. Instead, hyperbole and exaggeration - two of satire's most powerful weapons - are used here to suggest that strong measures should be taken to prevent such tragic and unnecessary accidents from ever happening again."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

In July 1997, two children drowned near Chambly when the boat in which they were sitting was hit by a personal watercraft. When the careless behaviour of an individual leaves two children dead, the public is quick to react : it wants the killer punished as an example. Here, the cartoonist suggests the public desire for justice through the metaphoric targeting of the presumed killer.

Où:

Located along the shores of the Richelieu River, the Chambly region was opened up in the 17th century with the construction of Fort Chambly. The river, with its rapids, falls, and large, quiet basin, represented both an important communication link and a protected site. Today, those features attract tourists and recreational boaters to the area.

Quand:

It was in 1968 that Bombardier launched the personal watercraft - a one- or two-seat craft sold under the name Sea-doo. Their popularity grew rapidly in the 1990s, although the machines also had their share of detractors : many found them noisy and dangerous, especially to other pleasure-boaters. The accidental deaths that took place in the Chambly Basin on July 12,1997, increased the demands for stricter regulation of these watercraft.

Qui:

According to the cartoonist, the typical Sea-doo driver is a reckless, somewhat arrogant young man who revels in power and speed when behind the controls of these machines.

M998.48.62
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Poisson d'avril
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1995, 20e siècle
Crayon feutre et encre sur papier
26.4 x 25.5 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M998.48.62
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"In 1995, Brian Tobin, the premier of Newfoundland, had a Spanish trawler seized in response to that country's overfishing of Canada's already-depleted turbot stocks. As a result, there were massive anti-Canadian demonstrations in Spain. What a zany situation! Would Canada and Spain actually go to war over the lowly, ugly turbot, a fish with two eyes on one side of its head? Here is my response to the situation. I really like the drawing's swirling layout and wonky rendering of the fish. I was drawing well that day."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

The turbot, a fish found in the deep waters off Newfoundland, was at the centre of a conflict dubbed the Turbot Wars in which the Canadian government, out to protect its fishing zone, confronted foreign vessels that were overfishing along the boundary of Canada's territorial waters. The crisis came to a head on March 9, 1995, when Canada seized the Estai, a ship flying the Spanish flag. The move, which was authorized by Brian Tobin, Canada's minister of fisheries, surprised and angered several European Union governments, but elevated Tobin to stardom at home... where he became known as Captain Canada.

Où:

Newfoundland is the poorest province in Canada. It is economically dependant on fishing and oil exploration and drilling in the waters off its coast.

Quand:

Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949. Workers there often have no choice but to take seasonal jobs, and thus unemployment rates are high. When the federal government closes or restricts certain fisheries to protect fish stocks, Newfoundlanders are hit hard. The province's economy has long been dependent on federal transfer payments.

Qui:

Brian Tobin was born in 1954. As federal minister of fisheries and oceans, he took a hard line against foreign trawlers fishing in Canadian waters. Tobin became premier of Newfoundland in 1996, a post he held until 2000.

M998.48.116
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Un sans-abri au chaud
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1995, 20e siècle
Encre, crayon feutre et crayon sur papier
26.9 x 27.6 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M998.48.116
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"One day, I walked into the lobby of a bank on St. Laurent Boulevard where there was a cash-dispensing machine. On the floor was clear evidence that someone seeking warmth had slept there the night before. Back at The Gazette, I recreated the probable scenario in this drawing. I was struck by the irony of the situation: a homeless person sleeping with instant wealth, in the form of that faceless and impersonal ATM, so close, yet so far away."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

Cartoons generally draw attention to a specific news story by exaggerating some aspect of it to bring out what's at issue. However, sometimes a cartoonist will illustrate a more serious reality and thus urge readers - as do some editorialists - to reflect on social issues. Here, a homeless man in need of a little warmth is forced to sleep on the floor of a bank...

Où:

Canada, one of the richest nations in the world, has an impressive network of social programs. Despite that, its large and medium-sized cities are home to many hundreds, if not thousands, of homeless people. In Montreal, throughout the year, aid organizations such as L'Accueil Bonneau, Le Refuge and Le Bon Dieu dans la rue shelter homeless men and women, helping them become more autonomous so that they can reintegrate into society.

Quand:

Starting in the early 1980s, financial institutions began installing automatic banking machines in order to provide round-the-clock service to their customers. Because their doors are now always open, bank lobbies, like métro entranceways, often serve as temporary shelters for the homeless in winter.

Qui:

In the lobby of a bank, a homeless man sleeps beneath a radiator. Between 1980 and 1990, there were an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 homeless persons in Montreal, of which some 4,000 to 5,000 were young people from eighteen to thirty-five years of age. However, these estimates are controversial. In 1987, the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) reported that in Canada 10,762 persons were living in shelters. Quebec accounted for 17.5%, or fewer than 2,000 persons. In 1991, Statistics Canada launched a study of ninety aid groups in sixteen cities. Nonetheless, in 1995, it announced that the data from the study would not be published. A Statistics Canada document from 1999 states, "To this day, Canada has no official data on homelessness..."

M2000.79.42
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Le cauchemar des chauffeurs de taxi étrangers...
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1997, 20e siècle
Encre, crayon feutre et collage sur papier
23.5 x 23.5 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M2000.79.42
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Many of Quebec's anglophones have come to understand, even if grudgingly, that Bill 101 is meant to guarantee the survival of French in Quebec. However, they have often been appalled at the insensitivity and stupidity of the "language police" charged with ensuring the law's
implementation. Louise Beaudoin, who was in charge of the portfolio for five years in the late 1990s, was especially vilified. Viewed by most francophones as a competent minister, Beaudoin had an arrogant manner that pushed the hot-buttons of many an anglo. This led to my drawing caricatures of Beaudoin as a whip-cracking, leather-clad dominatrix whenever she made comments about "rampant bilingualism" or the over-abundance of English services in hospitals or, as in this cartoon, Montreal cabbies not speaking enough French.

Beaudoin's attitude seemed an ironic reversal of the way the English had treated the French in the hoary old days before the Quiet Revolution. However, being dominated has always been considered a classic "English" fantasy. Whatever the case, the series of dominatrix cartoons was the most popular among readers of any that I have drawn for The Gazette."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

After the return to power of the Parti québécois in 1994, the government of Quebec attempted to reaffirm the status of the French language. Louise Beaudoin, at the time minister responsable for the French Language Charter, was often seen by non-francophones as demanding and intransigent... Here, the minister's apparent displeasure over the use of English on the job by many foreign-born taxi drivers allowed the cartoonist to depict Beaudoin as a language cop with dictatorial tendencies.

Où:

Francophones make up 80% of the population of the province of Quebec. Montreal, however, has the largest proportion of non-francophones, that is, anglophones and allophones, of any city in the province. This demographic reality is what underlies the adoption in Quebec of measures to protect the French language, spoken by a small minority within Canada and North America.

Quand:

Wherever and whenever she could, Louise Beaudoin fought to defend and promote the French language. In 1997, for example, while the CRTC was reviewing its regulations governing radio, she proposed that the quota for French-language songs on French-language radio stations be maintained at 65%.

Qui:

Parti québécois MNA Louise Beaudoin was minister of culture and communications from August 1995 to December 1998.

m996.11.139
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Arnold Bennett et Nick Auf Der Maur
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
7 avril 1990, 20e siècle
Encre sur papier
28.1 x 28 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
m996.11.139
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Montreal's anglo community has produced many hotheads on the language and cultural front. One man well ahead of his time for representing conciliation within the community was Nick Auf der Maur. Boulevardier, newspaper columnist, politician and raconteur, Nick moved comfortably in Montreal's downtown circles. This is my favourite cartoon of him, drawn when Nick ran successfully in the 1990 municipal election against activist Arnold Bennett. To understand the bottom-pinching reference, you need to know that Auf der Maur was a real ladies' man. Nick was also one of my best friends and I miss him. His life-style of excess eventually caught up with him, striking him down prematurely in 1998 at the age of fifty-five. As a tip of the hat, the city of Montreal named a small laneway in the Crescent Street area after him."

Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)

Quoi:

Où:

Quand:

Qui:


M2000.81.30.1
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Autoportrait de Terry Mosher, alias Aislin
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1997, 20e siècle
Encre et crayon gras sur papier
19.5 x 15 cm
Don de Mrs. Mary Hughson-Mosher
M2000.81.30.1
© Musée McCord

M997.53.154
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Autoportrait d'un caricaturiste...
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1994, 20e siècle
Crayon feutre et encre sur papier
23.1 x 23 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M997.53.154
© Musée McCord

© Musée McCord Museum