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Funny and Moody: The Best of Chapleau's Cartoons

Serge Chapleau, Jean-Herman Guay, Université de Sherbrooke and Bruno Lemieux, Collège de Sherbrooke

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Introduction:

Serge Chapleau, Jean-Herman Guay, Université de Sherbrooke and Bruno Lemieux, Collège de Sherbrooke, 2005

Serge Chapleau has gathered together a selection of his political cartoons.

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

The cartoonist's brief, off-the-cuff comments made during the selection process itself are presented here, along 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!


M996.10.175
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Vol au-dessus d'une élection de coucous
Serge Chapleau
14 novembre, 1976, 20e siècle
Encre sur papier
35.6 x 26.5 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M996.10.175
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"I was a young cartoonist in 1976.

Our political friends are here shown wearing straight jackets, but I must confess that my opinion of them has changed considerably since then... Now, I should be the one forced to wear the straight jacket!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

The Quebec election in the fall of 1976 was an unusual free-for-all, with small political groups taking full advantage of the dissatisfaction with Robert Bourassa's Liberal goverment. The Parti québécois won largely because many anglophones voted for the Union nationale, led by Rodrique Biron.

Où:

The party leaders visited all of Quebec's 110 ridings during the election campaign of 1976.

Quand:

The election on November 20, 1976, marked a turning point in the history of contemporary Quebec: a sovereignist party, the Parti québécois, came to power for the first time and, in its first mandate, called a referendum on sovereignty-association.

Qui:

Robert Bourassa, leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and premier of Quebec from 1970; Jérôme Choquette, leader of the Parti national populaire, a new party that won little support; René Lévesque, leader of the Parti québécois and premier of Quebec from 1976 to 1985; Camil Samson, leader of the Ralliement créditiste; and, finally, Rodrigue Biron, leader of the Union nationale, which was taking part in its last general election.

M996.10.284
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Libre-échange
Serge Chapleau
1985, 20e siècle
Encre sur carton
32 x 24 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M996.10.284
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"When it comes to our American friends, nothing has changed!!! It's Free Trade, again and forever. Our neighbours obviously throw their weight around more than we do (a polite way of saying, ''They're bigger than us, and we're a bunch of twits.'')"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

The opponents of Free Trade in Canada worried that, given the huge increase in economic activity with the United States, Canadian identity would be crushed by the American giant. The cartoonist here suggests that Canadian leaders - notably, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney - chose to look the other way when it came to this issue.

Où:

The Free Trade Agreement was intended to liberalize trade between Canada and the United States. A few years later, the agreement was expanded to include Mexico.

Quand:

The Conservatives, the winners of the general election of 1984, proposed stronger ties between Canada and the United States. The Free Trade Agreement that came into effect in 1988 was a key element of this policy.

Qui:

Brian Mulroney was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and prime minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993.

M996.10.266
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Loi 101 - Le dindon de la farce
Serge Chapleau
1986, 20e siècle
Encre sur papier
22 x 19.7 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M996.10.266
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"This is the first beast in my bestiary (how strange it is to go back in time like this... I was, I realize, trying things out)."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Caught between anglophone voters, many of whom detested Bill 101 (the Charte de la langue française) and francophone nationalists, who wanted the law to remain fully implemented, Liberal premier Robert Bourassa tried to find a compromise, which - at least in the short run - made him seem indecisive.

Où:

Anglophone voters, concentrated in the western sections of Montreal Island and the Eastern Townships, were largely hostile to the language policies of the Parti québécois, and not much more accepting of Robert Bourassa's attempts at conciliation. During the 1989 election, the Liberals lost four West Island ridings to the Equality Party.

Quand:

Following their return to power in the elections of 1985, the Liberals had to contend with numerous legal actions against the language laws enacted by the Parti québécois.

Qui:

Robert Bourassa was leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and premier of Quebec from 1970 to 1976 and from 1985 to 1993.

m996.10.346
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Mouammar Kadhafi: Allah le tient dans ses bras
Serge Chapleau
8 janvier, 1986, 20e siècle
Encre sur papier
28 x 21 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
m996.10.346
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"My pal Qaddafi!!!! This was the first caricature of mine that caused a negative reaction. A journalist even wrote me a letter full of dirty words. But I think that some people simply didn't understand the drawing. The way I see it, Allah knew full well that Qaddafi was a fool and was holding him gently in his arms..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

After trying to establish a political position that was neither capitalism nor marxism, Libyan leader Muammar Quaddafi steered a new course and embraced the Islamic faith, becoming quite literally its hostage.

Où:

Libya is a country in northern Africa, located between Algeria and Egypt.

Quand:

Islamic fundamentalism swept the Arab world, including Libya, in the late 1970s.

Qui:

Muammar Quaddafi, military leader and politician, and ruler of Libya since 1969.

M996.10.484
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
En marche vers le "oui"
Serge Chapleau
1992, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
30 x 23.8 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M996.10.484
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"A nice image of former Premier Bourassa, a guy heading in two directions at the same time!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

With his party caught between defending federalism and seeking more and more powers for Quebec, Robert Bourassa reluctantly supported the Charlottetown Accord, which was rejected by Quebeckers as well as a large portion of Canadians, although for the opposite reason. Finalized in 1992 by the premiers, the accord, an attempt to free Canada from the constitutional impasse in which it had been embroiled since the Meech Lake Accord, was rejected by Canadians during the 1992 referendum.

Où:

The provincial premiers and all party leaders in Canada campaigned hard preceding the referendum. Analysts agreed that Quebeckers rejected the Charlottetown Accord because it accorded too few powers to Quebec. In the rest of Canada, the accord met solid rejection because it was thought to be too generous to Quebec.

Quand:

Following the defeat of Meech Lake in June 1990, the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party threw his support to the new compromise, the Charlottetown Accord, which was put before Canadian voters in a referendum in 1992. Robert Bourassa supported the accord, the result of long, hard negotiations between the provincial premiers and the prime minister of Canada. However, in the referendum the accord was rejected by 54.8 percent of voters.

Qui:

Robert Bourassa was leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and premier of Quebec from 1970 to 1976, and again from 1985 to 1993.

M998.51.183
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Un regard sur l'avenir politique de Mario Dumont
Serge Chapleau
1992, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
48.1 x 35.5 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M998.51.183
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"This cartoon describes very well the Mario Dumont of old. The Dumont-Bourassa transformation was taking place right before us. Mario is a guy with a very explosive vision..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Since the age of 22, Mario Dumont has been a major player on the Quebec political scene. Early in his career he patterned himself after Robert Bourassa, but he later rejected the latter's view of the role of Quebec in Canada.

Où:

A native of Cacouna, near Rivière-du-Loup, Mario Dumont very quickly found a forum for his political ideas in political and media circles in Quebec.

Quand:

In 1992, the Quebec Liberal Party was caught in a debate that was tearing it apart. On one side was Robert Bourassa, who defended the Charlottetown Accord - the result of negotiations with the other provincial premiers - and on the other was Mario Dumont, who felt the agreement didn't go far enough. As a result, Dumont quit the Quebec Liberal Party in November 1992.

Qui:

Elected chairman of the Youth Commission of the Quebec Liberal Party in March 1991, Mario Dumont resigned in 1992 to join Jean Allaire in starting up the Action Démocratique du Québec (ADQ). The party was established in 1994, and Dumont became its first leader.

M996.10.62
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Happy Canada Day! Joyeux Canada jour !
Serge Chapleau
1994, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43 x 35.7 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M996.10.62
© Musée McCord

Description:

Serge Chapleau est l'auteur d'un ensemble considérable de dessins humoristiques, la dernière importante acquisition à rejoindre la collection de plus de 15 000 caricatures du Musée McCord. Chapleau, que l'on peut considérer comme l'homologue francophone de Aislin à Montréal, a réalisé ses premières oeuvres en 1971 pour l'hebdomadaire Perspectives. Après avoir ensuite collaboré à divers quoditiens et magazines, il devient le caricaturiste du journal Le Devoir en 1991, puis celui de La Presse en 1996. Il illustre ici le premier ministre Jean Chrétien nous souhaitant une joyeuse fête du Canada.

Clefs de l'histoire:

"One of my early classics of Chrétien. The drawing really captures the man, who speaks two second languages absolutely perfectly!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

A populist politician, Jean Chrétien is famous for frequently butchering the French language by translating literally expressions from Canada's other official language, English. Many cartoonists have lampooned Chrétien for this...

Où:

Canada Day is celebrated annually throughout Canada. In Quebec, however, where there is a deeply entrenched sovereignist movement, the celebration often rekindles the nationalist debate.

Quand:

On July 1, 1994, Jean Chrétien celebrated Canada Day for the first time as the country's prime minister. His Liberal Party was brought to power in the general election of October 1993.

Qui:

Jean Chrétien was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Canada in 1990 and served as prime minister of Canada from 1993 to 2004.

M996.10.68
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Au G-7 à Naples
Serge Chapleau
8 juillet, 1994, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43 x 35.5 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M996.10.68
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"As an artist, I am very proud of the pencil work in this drawing. While at the G-7 meeting, Mr. Chrétien kept his dictionary close at hand - his Italian wasn't very good (either), even with the dictionary!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

When Jean Chrétien came to power in Ottawa, many feared that his simple and direct manner would tarnish Canada's image at meetings of foreign heads of state. Nonetheless, during his 10 years as Canadian prime minister, Chrétien was responsible for advances on several important international issues.

Où:

As prime minister of Canada, Jean Chrétien participated in a series of international meetings. In 1994, he attended the G-7 meeting that took place in the Italian city of Naples.

Quand:

In 1994, Jean Chrétien took part in his first G-7 meeting, attended as well by the leaders of the United States, France, Great Britain, Japan, Germany and Italy.

Qui:

Jean Chrétien was elected to lead the Liberal Party of Canada in 1990 and served as the prime minister of Canada from 1993 to 2004.

m996.10.87
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Johnson étirant son mandat
Serge Chapleau
6 juillet, 1994, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43 x 35.5 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
m996.10.87
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"I am very proud of this drawing because I like my work to address big themes, and here the drawing says it all: he's shooting himself right in the face!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

When a governing party remains in power to the very end of its mandate, it often finds itself in a delicate situation. Some perceive the move as a sign that the party is unsure of its popular support among voters. Jacques Parizeau owes his election victory - and Daniel Johnson's defeat - in the fall of 1994 to precisely this. Johnson stepped down as premier, but he remained at the head of the Liberals until April 1998, when he was replaced by Jean Charest.

Où:

Daniel Johnson, a native of Montreal, made it all the way to the vice-presidency of the powerful Canadian company, Power Corporation, before throwing his hat into the political arena during the 1981 Quebec election.

Quand:

Robert Bourassa's Liberals came to power in Quebec in 1985 and again in 1989. When Bourassa announced his decision to withdraw from political life in September 1993, Daniel Johnson took over from him. In 1994, the Liberals thus entered the fifth and last year of their second mandate.

Qui:

Daniel Johnson, Liberal politician, president of Quebec's Conseil du Trésor from 1988 to 1993, and premier of Quebec for several months in 1994.

M998.51.207
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
We love you - Pas cette fois-ci j'ai mal à la tête!
Serge Chapleau
1995, 20e siècle
48.1 x 35.5 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M998.51.207
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"This drawing summed up the situation so well..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

In the last days of the 1995 referendum campaign, the federalists organized a huge rally "We love you" rally in Montreal. Among those in attendance were Jean Chrétien, Jean Charest and Daniel Johnson. To ensure that many people from other provinces would be at the Montreal rally, organizers even chartered planes and buses, complete with discounted tickets for those willing to travel to Montreal! That move was bitterly criticized by sovereignists.

Où:

Every riding in Quebec took part in the referendum. The turnout was exceptional - as high as 94 per cent. The federalist side won the vote by a tiny margin, by several thousand votes.

Quand:

On October 27, 1995, thousands of federalist supporters took part in a rally to urge Quebeckers to vote No in the October 30 referendum on Quebec sovereignty.

Qui:

More than 40,000 federalist supporters from all parts of Canada converged on Montreal for the rally aimed at convincing Quebeckers not to drop out of the Canadian federation.

M998.51.201
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Je ne suis pas couché...
Serge Chapleau
1995, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
48.1 x 35.5 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M998.51.201
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Every artist's dream. And a real trip for any cartoonist... that rare "flash." Here, it's not Johnson who's in an unusual position, it's everyone else!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Où:

Quand:

Qui:


M998.51.157
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Chrétien dépose un projet de loi sur la protection des espèces menacées
Serge Chapleau
1996, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier - Collage
43.1 x 35.4 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M998.51.157
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"A bit cheeky... Sometimes, you come across funny titles and then use them at another time... for no reason, just like that..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Perceived by many as a politician without much charisma, Daniel Johnson watched his support among voters and key members of his own party ebb away. For more than two years, up until March 1998, his leadership was openly criticized and challenged.

Où:

The electoral defeat of Daniel Johnson's Liberals in 1994 and the slim victory of the No forces in the 1995 referendum revealed a deep fissure in Quebec politics. The Parti québécois appealed mainly to francophone Quebeckers, a group that Daniel Johnson's Liberals had trouble winning over.

Quand:

In January 1996, Lucien Bouchard took over as premier of Quebec after Jacques Parizeau vacated the post, a move that, according to the polls, drastically cut voter support for the Liberals under Daniel Johnson. When he stepped down as party leader in 1998, Johnson said, "I believe that a new approach, new policies, new style, and a new leader would make a difference."

Qui:

Daniel Johnson was president of Quebec's Conseil du Trésor from 1988 to 1993, leader of the Quebec Liberal Party from 1993 to 1998 and premier of Quebec for several months in 1994.

M998.51.159
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Rue Robert-Bourassa
Serge Chapleau
1996, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.1 x 35.5 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M998.51.159
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"No words were needed... Mr. Bourassa had just died. The drawing was intended to indicate clearly his political position."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Robert Bourassa was considered by some to be a master of compromise and by others as the epitome of political ambivalence. Whether in constitutional or linguistic matters, he often hesitated between two different directions before taking a position somewhere in the middle.

Où:

In Quebec, like everywhere in the world, those who have left their mark on society are often honoured by naming places or monuments after them. Here, by the direction sign for the fictive "Robert-Bourassa" street, the cartoonist reminds us of the contradictions that, in the eyes of many, characterized this political figure.

Quand:

On October 2, 1996, Robert Bourassa succumbed to the long illness that had forced him to leave politics three years before. Lise Bissonnette, editor of the Devoir, wrote at the time: "Robert Bourassa had embraced the aspirations of his people but in so doing he had embraced, in particular, their hesitations. Thus he was more a fellow traveller than a guide, more an observer of our movement forward and backward, than a leader. Nonetheless, and despite his great reserve, he won a form of collective respect, not the least of which for his extraordinary courage in the face of his quiet battle, beginning in 1990, with a terrible disease."

Qui:

Robert Bourassa was twice elected to head the Quebec Liberal Party and was the premier of Quebec from 1970 to 1976 as well as from 1985 to 1993. Born in 1933, he died in 1996.

M998.51.163
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Dion milite pour la société distincte ou comment se refaire une image
Serge Chapleau
1996, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.3 x 35.7 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M998.51.163
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"The art of getting around the boss... The first time I drew Stéphane Dion as a rat, I showed the cartoon to Lise Bissonnette, my editor. She told me, "This is certainly very funny, but don't draw him as a rat." A few days later this cartoon appeared in the paper."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

To increase their appeal among francophone voters, some federalist leaders in Quebec developed the concept of Quebec as the "safeguard of French language and culture in North America" to replace the concept of "distinct society"elaborated in the Meech Lake Accord. This "new" concept is viewed by most Quebec political leaders as an artificial attempt at repositioning, nothing more than cosmetics.

Où:

Francophones are in the majority in Quebec, unlike in the other provinces and territories of Canada. This reality is at the heart of the demands of different Quebec governments, sovereignist and federalist, aimed at protecting the unique identity of Quebec in North America.

Quand:

In April 1996, the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) proposed an alternative to the concept of "distinct society" found in the Meech Lake Accord. That notion, first proposed by Brian Mulroney and his government, was strongly opposed by Jean Chrétien and the Liberals. Their opposition, in addition to that of several of the provinces, led to the rejection in 1990 of this constitutional reform.

Qui:

Stéphane Dion, a Liberal politician, was the Canadian minister of intergovernmental affairs from 1996 to 2003. He is perceived as a "hard-liner" with respect to Quebec nationalism.

M997.52.197
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Liste d'attente en chirurgie...
Serge Chapleau
1996, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.2 x 35.5 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M997.52.197
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Clearly, a spoof... Some things never change."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

The aging of the population, in conjunction with significant cuts in health care funding, have seriously compromised Quebec's hospitals. Perhaps the most critical problem is the long waiting lists for essential services.

Où:

In Canada, the provinces are responsible for providing health care services. However, the federal government helps finance health care. Reductions in federal funding along with the rising costs of health care have caused problems in every province and territory of Canada.

Quand:

Since the early 1990s, Canadians have become increasingly concerned about health care.

Qui:

Health care professionals have been working in a pressure-cooker environment since the middle of the 1990s: budget cuts, the massive departure of trained professionals after they were offered early retirement buy-outs... All these factors have led to a crisis in health care that both the unions and media brought to public attention.

M998.51.199
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Madame Sheila Copps, vice-premier ministre du Canada
Serge Chapleau
1996, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
48.1 x 35.5 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M998.51.199
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"My first "Sheila." Shame on you Sheila Copps; you promised to abolish the GST! This cartoon opened the way for me to do at least ninety-two more showing you in the same getup. A good flash, but a hard-hitting one..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

During the 1993 federal election, Sheila Copps promised to resign her seat in Parliament if the Liberals did not revoke the tax on goods and services (GST). In 1996, when it was obvious that the governing Liberals had no intention of keeping their election promise, there were calls for Copps to quit and stand in a by-election. Forced to play by the rules of politics, Copps admitted in a striking statement that she could no longer "look people in the eye" over the issue. That is why certain cartoonists amused themselves by representing her with a paper bag over her head!

Où:

The federal riding of Hamilton East, Ontario, is one of the most industrialized in Canada. Sheila Copps's father was mayor of the city of Hamilton for several years. The 1996 bi-election was in many ways unique: one of the few in which a member of Parliament sought voter approval for a specific mandate resulting from the government's failure to keep an electoral promise.

Quand:

Sheila Copps was first elected to the House of Commons as the member for the riding of Hamilton in 1984 and reconfirmed as the MP in 1988, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 2000.

Qui:

Liberal politician Sheila Copps was minister of the environment from 1993 to 1996 and minister of Canadian heritage from 1996 to 2003. Beaten by Paul Martin in the 2003 race for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, she subsequently withdrew from political life, but not before promising that she would be back.

M998.51.48
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Sheila Copps surprise sur une plage ontarienne
Serge Chapleau
1997, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.2 x 35.6 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M998.51.48
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Sheila Copps... caught by surprise at an Ontario beach. Here I really went as far as I could with that paper bag!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Où:

Quand:

Qui:


M998.51.73
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Caricature officielle de M. Daniel Johnson, chef de l'opposition
Serge Chapleau
1997, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.2 x 35.7 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M998.51.73
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"This drawing is hard-hitting... real hard-hitting. It's one of the last I did of Mr. Johnson, and I consider it the official caricature of him as leader of the opposition. The man is not really there, anymore than he had been as premier."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

In 1993, Daniel Johnson took over from Robert Bourassa as leader of the Quebec Liberal Party. It was a period of intense reform within the party, and Johnson had to deal with all kinds of problems. A reserved man, according to several journalists and political commentators, Johnson was nonetheless constantly in the hot seat. His harshest critics claimed that he lacked substance.

Où:

Daniel Johnson was leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, the legislative seat of Quebec. Those who take on this difficult role find themselves eternally on the offensive as critics.

Quand:

In early 1998, the media and, especially, Liberal party leaders all rallied around a single idea: the party needed Jean Charest, not Daniel Johnson, at its head. So when Johnson resigned, the Liberals didn't even call a leadership race: Charest, former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, was more or less crowned the new Liberal leader. Dissatisfaction with Daniel Johnson's leadership had been building since 1997.

Qui:

Daniel Johnson was president of Quebec's Conseil du Trésor from 1988 to1993, leader of the Quebec Liberal Party from 1993 to 1998 and premier of Quebec for several months in 1994.

M999.81.118
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Non M. Dion, les gens vous haïssent vraiment!
Serge Chapleau
1997, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.1 x 35.6 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M999.81.118
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"This drawing is vicious, the most vicious, gratuitous even. Mr. Dion hadn't done anything in particular and wasn't responsible for any contemptible act, except that of existing..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

When Stéphane Dion joined Chrétien's Cabinet in 1996, he quickly distinguished himself for his clear, hard-line position on Quebec nationalism. To every criticism of the federal regime formulated by Quebec sovereignists, he had an immediate response. His seeming arrogance only increased the hostility of many francophones toward him, as attested by this image of Dion as a rat, a "little rodent."

Où:

Stéphane Dion has a good reputation among English-speaking Canadians, despite the fact that he is viewed in almost exactly the opposite way by francophone voters in Quebec, in particular among nationalists, who see him as the incarnation of everything they are fighting against.

Quand:

The slim victory of the No side in the 1995 sovereignty referendum in Quebec prompted Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to call upon Stéphane Dion to expand and clarify the federalist position.

Qui:

Stéphane Dion, former professor of political science at the University of Montreal, Liberal politician and federal minister of intergovernmental affairs from1996 to 2003.

M2002.131.99
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
On accompagne Monique Simard dans sa réflexion sans la précéder
Serge Chapleau
1997, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.2 x 35.5 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M2002.131.99
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

""We will accompany, rather than lead, Monique Simard as she reflects on..." The PQ likes this kind of talk..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Monique Simard travelled a bumpy road in her political career. Defeated in the riding of Bertrand by Liberal candidate Robert Therrien during the general election of 1994, she fought back in a campaign that got much media coverage. After bringing to light Therrien's fraudulent electoral practices, the latter was forced to resign. Then, when she was finally elected to the National Assembly in 1996 as the MNA for La Prairie, Simard quickly found herself under attack. She was accused of having voted illegally in the 1995 municipal election in Outremont, a charge that prompted her to quit politics for good in 1998.

Où:

Parti québécois MNA Monique Simard represented the voters of La Prairie in the National Assembly for only a short time. The riding of La Prairie is south of Montreal.

Quand:

Monique Simard's career in politics was about to end in November 1997. Her reputation was tarnished when a charge of a voting irregularity was brought against her.

Qui:

Monique Simard, former vice-president of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), and Parti québécois MNA in the National Assembly from 1996 to 1998.

M999.81.21.1-2
© Musée McCord
Montage, caricature
Duceppe visite une usine de fromage
Serge Chapleau
1997, 20e siècle
Encre en poudre sur papier - Dessin à l'ordinateur
27.9 x 43.2 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M999.81.21.1-2
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"This was just the beginning... But as I have always maintained, the original photograph was much funnier than my drawing!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Right in the middle of the election campaign, Gilles Duceppe visited an agro-business factory that produces cheese. All visitors are required by law to wear a hairnet while on the premises. Duceppe looked particularly funny in his, to the delight of the photographers and cartoonists trying to find some way to highlight the many problems confronting the Bloc québécois, and Gilles Duceppe, in the campaign.

Où:

The Bloc québécois is a sovereignist party working at the federal level. It runs candidates only in Quebec's seventy-five federal ridings.

Quand:

Lucien Bouchard was a founding member of the Bloc québécois and became the party's leader in 1993. Gilles Duceppe led his first federal election campaign as leader of the party in 1997. The Bloc's poor organization as well as its leader's inexperience were much in the news at the time, and affected the party's overall performance.

Qui:

Gilles Duceppe, politician, sovereignist and, since 1997, leader of the Bloc québécois.

M998.51.11
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Chrétien et le danger d'avoir des armes nucléaires à la maison
Serge Chapleau
1997, 20e siècle
43.4 x 35.5 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M998.51.11
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"This is taken from a speech by Jean Chrétien: "It's going to be really hard to purchase handguns. Why buy machine guns or nuclear armaments for pleasure? They're dangerous, and when they're lying around the house, children might get their hands on them."

What a gift, almost too easy! Sometimes an ordinary drawing becomes a "hit." That happened with this one..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

The massacre that took place at the École polytechnique at the University of Montreal in 1989 galvanized those calling for tighter gun controls in Canada. In 1997, Jean Chrétien's Liberal government proposed a series of measures restricting access to military weapons. In Quebec there was almost unanimous support for the measures, but not in Western Canada. Near the end of the election campaign, Prime Minister Chrétien began showing signs of exhaustion over this, claiming that children could acquire nuclear armaments in Canada. His blunder was soon forgotten, except of course by cartoonists.

Où:

During a speech that he gave in the riding of Laval-West, north of Montreal, Jean Chrétien stumbled while talking about arms control.

Quand:

The federal election campaign of 1997 was Jean Chrétien's second as Liberal leader. On June 2, the Liberals garnered 39 per cent of the vote, thus taking 155 seats in the House of Commons.

Qui:

Jean Chrétien took over as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada in 1990 and served as prime minister of the country from 1993 to 2004.

M998.51.52
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Jean Charest et le plan de son parti
Serge Chapleau
1997, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.2 x 35.7 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M998.51.52
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Jean Charest was just becoming a star... which didn't make him any less of an empty shell!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

A lawyer by training and a career politician, Jean Charest proposed a renewal plan for the Progressive Conservative Party (PCP) in 1997. His critics, not much impressed, characterized the plan as hollow.

Où:

Following his rise to the head of the Progressive Conservatives in 1995, Jean Charest travelled throughout Canada, from the Maritime provinces to the Rocky Mountains, in an effort to consolidate support among both party activists and voters.

Quand:

In the federal election campaign of 1997, the Progressive Conservatives and their leader Jean Charest faced an enormous challenge: to show that they had rebuilt the party after Kim Campbell's term at the helm. The election of 1993 had been a big blow to the Conservatives; only two of their ranks were elected to the House of Commons.

Qui:

Jean Charest was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1995 to 1998 and became the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party in 1998. He was elected premier of Quebec in 2003.

M999.81.131
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Le calvaire d'Hydro-Québec
Serge Chapleau
1998, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.1 x 35.6 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M999.81.131
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"A visual "flash" that came to me during the big blackout..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

The storm that dumped 20 to 30 millimetres of freezing rain on southern Quebec in January 1998 wreaked havoc with Hydro-Quebec's transmission system and resulted in blackouts over a wide area served by the public utility. Pylons buckled under the weight of the ice and several major transmission lines went down, leaving people without light or heat. The event, which hit right in the coldest days of winter, recalled for many Quebec's religious tradition, represented here as the most difficult section of the stations of the cross.

Où:

Several parts of Montreal as well as a large swath of the area south of the St. Lawrence River, particularly the Eastern Townships, were hit hard by the blackout, the most serious in Quebec's history.

Quand:

January 5, 1998, will long be remembered as the day Quebec was hit by an ice storm that plunged a large part of it into darkness. It was not until February 8, or 35 days after the start of the crisis, quickly dubbed "the Ice Storm," that Hydro-Quebec finally restored power to the rest of its customers.

Qui:

During the height of the event, more than 900,000 households - that is, one-third of hydro customers in Quebec - were deprived of electricity. To prevent the event from turning into a full-scale social crisis, Quebec's premier, Lucien Bouchard, called upon the solidarity of Quebeckers and threw his full support to André Caillé, the CEO of Hydro-Quebec, who appeared on TV regularly.

M999.81.186
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Portrait officiel du président Bill Clinton
Serge Chapleau
1998, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.1 x 35.6 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M999.81.186
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"This drawing certainly got a lot of people talking! Terry Mosher (the cartoonist at The Gazette who works under the penname, Aislin) took it with him to a conference in the United States where many commented that the drawing would never have gone over with Americans. Here, it went over very well..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Bill Clinton's political life was marked by a series of sexual scandals. During both his time as governor of Arkansas and as president of the United States, Clinton was accused, on more than one occasion, of sexual misconduct. But it was the Monica Lewinsky affair that irrevocably tarnished the image of the president. Clinton later admitted that he had had an "inappropriate relationship" with the former White House intern.

Où:

The White House is the official residence of the president of the United States. Several hundred people work there. The very heart of the American government, it is home to the famous Oval Office.

Quand:

The Monica Lewinsky affair made headlines in the United States and elsewhere throughout 1998. The accusations of misconduct brought against Bill Clinton went as high as the U.S. Congress, which acquitted the president.

Qui:

Bill Clinton, a Democrat, was the governor of Arkansas before being elected the president of the United States, a position he held from 1993 to 2001.

M999.81.193
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Pôvre Canada!
Serge Chapleau
1998, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.3 x 35.6 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M999.81.193
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"I love the graphics in this cartoon, which captures our differences so well: a Suzanne Tremblay for francophones and a Don Cherry for anglophones!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Known for his direct and confrontational style, Don Cherry often uses his televised segment "Coach's Corner," part of Hockey Night in Canada, to vaunt one all-Canadian culture and to deliver anti-French tirades. In April 1998, Cherry raised the ire of many Quebeckers by stating that the Francophone Games in Hull, Quebec, were a waste of money. He added insult to injury by calling Olympic gold medalist Jean-Luc Brassard an "unknown" and French-speaking politicians "whiners.. In June 1998, culture ministers from twenty-two countries met in Ottawa for the International Meeting on Cultural Policy. Quebec did not participate, a fact which angered Suzanne Tremblay, the Bloc québécois critic on cultural affairs who was also known for her straight talk. She accused Sheila Copps, federal heritage minister, of denying the existence of Quebec culture: "Mrs. Copps doesn't have the authority to speak in the name of Quebec culture," she told the media.

Où:

Whether speaking out in Quebec or in Ontario, Suzanne Tremblay and Don Cherry do their part to keep the Canadian identity debate alive because whatever they say is transmitted across the country by the media.

Quand:

In April and June of 1998, Suzanne Tremblay and Don Cherry each, in their own way, found themselves caught up in the controversial "national identities," debate, a debate that rears up repeatedly to animate Canadian political, social and cultural life.

Qui:

Suzanne Tremblay, politician, member of the House of Commons representing the Bloc québécois from 1993 to 2004, and Don Cherry, sports commentator on CBC, the English-language network of the country's publically owned broadcaster.

M2000.93.71
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Lorraine Pagé et l'affaire des gants volés
Serge Chapleau
1999, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur carton
43.2 x 35.6 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M2000.93.71
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"In a television show that I co-hosted with Chantale Hébert, Lorraine Pagé told me that she found this cartoon so pertinent, so true, that it made her cry."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Accused of stealing a pair of gloves while shopping just before Christmas 1998, Lorraine Pagé saw her career go down the drain in the ensuing controversy. She was forced to quit her post as the president of one of Quebec's largest and most influential unions, the Centrale de l'enseignement du Quebec.

Où:

Lorraine Pagé was found to have a pair of gloves that she had not paid for in her possession as she was leaving The Bay branch in the Place Versailles shopping centre, in eastern Montreal.

Quand:

Originally found guilty on the charge of shoplifting brought against her in 1999, Lorraine Pagé, who stated that she had been distracted at the time, had to wait until the summer of 2000, and her acquittal, before she could put the whole affair behind her.

Qui:

Lorraine Pagé, union activist, was president of the Centrale de l'enseignement du Quebec (CEQ) from 1988 to 1999.

M2001.99.115
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Les athlètes cubains aux Jeux panaméricains
Serge Chapleau
1999, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.2 x 35.6 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M2001.99.115
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"We often forget that Fidel Castro is a dictator..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

In March 1999, news of the summary trial of four Cuban dissidents was splashed across newspaper headlines throughout the world, with many countries expressing their disagreement with the policies of Fidel Castro. These human rights violations were yet another example of Castro's powerful hold on the Cuban people.

Où:

The Pan American Games bring together 5,000 athletes from North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Since the fall of the dictators in South America, Cuba is the only nation in the Americas to remain non-democratic. Cuba has a population of 11 million.

Quand:

The 1999 Pan American Games were held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, from July 26 to 29.

Qui:

Fidel Castro, the leader of Cuba since 1959, is shown with a Cuban dissident dressed as a prisoner.

M2001.99.65
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Raoul, 11 ans, comparaît devant la justice américaine pour inceste
Serge Chapleau
1999, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier - Collage
43.2 x 35.6 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M2001.99.65
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"This one's a bit hard to explain. You have to read the excerpt:

"Two weeks after his arrest, Raoul, an 11-year-old Swiss-American boy, appeared today in a Colorado court to answer charges that he engaged in incest with his 5-year-old sister.

After a neighbour reported to police in June that she saw him remove his sister Sophie's underwear and fondle her genitals, Raoul was arrested by police during the night of August 30. Police woke him, handcuffed him and took him to a juvenile detention facility [...]"

This is a very nice drawing of a chair..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

The American justice system treats young criminals much more severely than does the Canadian system. In some states in the U.S., the death penalty is still in force, and the nation has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world. Here, the cartoonist sought to spotlight the excesses of the American system by depicting a child's seat in an electric chair.

Où:

In Canada, the criminal code is applied in the same way all across the country. In the United States, however, each state has its own criminal laws.

Quand:

Violence is more widespread in the United States than in Canada. From 1980 to 1994, the juvenile crime rate in the U.S. more than doubled, and juveniles were responsible for more than 5 per cent of the nation's homicides. The mass murders in schools that took place in the late 1990s were particularly shocking to the public as well as to governments.

Qui:

Raoul, an 11-year-old boy whose family name cannot be revealed, was not condemned to death. He was, however, detained for six weeks after being accused of sexually touching his sister.

M2000.93.8.1-3
© Musée McCord
Montage, caricature
Stade Trek - la suite -
Serge Chapleau
1999, 20e siècle
Encre en poudre sur papier - Dessin à l'ordinateur
28 x 43.2 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M2000.93.8.1-3
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"The stadium that I have been drawing for almost 20 years has reached the stage of science fiction (like the space ship in the popular TV show, Star Trek)!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Built for the 1976 Olympic Games, the Olympic Stadium - whose striking design is often compared to that of a space ship - was intended to be a monument befitting of the city of Montreal. However, for many it has become a sad reminder of a costly and dangerous blunder: the huge cost overruns during construction and the many faults and accidents associated with the stadium have led to safety concerns as well as to scathing criticism and even ridicule.

Où:

Located in eastern Montreal, in the former city of Maisonneuve, the Olympic Stadium is at the heart of a vast sports complex.

Quand:

When, on January 18, 1999, its roof ripped, snow, ice and water began to accumulate on the floor of the Olympic Stadium, causing the cancellation of the 31st Montreal International Auto Show, scheduled to take place there from January 22 to 31.

Qui:

In 1972, Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau chose French architect Roger Taillibert to design a stadium with a retractable roof for the 1976 Olympic Games. The professional association of architects in Quebec was highly critical of Drapeau's decision.

M2001.99.159
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Si près, si loin
Serge Chapleau
2000, 21e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.2 x 35.6 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M2001.99.159
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"A good summary of the PQ's situation at the time: two completely different visions. Each of these men would have preferred to watch the other from afar..."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Jacques Parizeau has long exercised tremendous influence within the Parti québécois. Subsequent leaders might have picked up the reins and taken the party in new directions, but Parizeau, the head of the radical wing of this sovereignist party, is always present and active in party affairs.

Où:

Lucien Bouchard left Ottawa and the leadership of the Bloc québécois to return to Quebec and take over from Jacques Parizeau after the latter stepped down as premier.

Quand:

After the setback of the 1995 referendum and his controversial remarks about the influence of ethnic groups on its outcome, Jacques Parizeau stepped down as leader of the Parti québécois and premier of Quebec. Lucien Bouchard, considered more of a moderate in his approach, took over the leadership, a post he occupied until 2001.

Qui:

Two former leaders of the Parti québécois: Jacques Parizeau, who held the post from 1988 to 1995, and Lucien Bouchard, who held it from 1996 to 2001.

M2001.99.202
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Arafat et Barak à Camp David: drôle de couple
Serge Chapleau
2000, 21e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.2 x 35.6 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M2001.99.202
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"Another Israeli-Palestinian meeting. Something can always go wrong at such meetings, any little thing can derail the negotiations... including Mr. Barak's inadvertent use of Arafat's kaffiyeh as a dishtowel!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

One more stage in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Invited to Camp David by President Clinton, the Palestinians and Israelis were not able, at least on this occasion, to work out a solution to the disagreements that had divided them for more than 50 years. The cartoon illustrates very well the gap separating the two men: that Barak is reduced to doing the dishes puts him in an inferior position. However, the fact that Barak uses Arrafat's kaffiyeh to dry the dishes depicts for readers the extent to which, in the eyes of the cartoonist at least, the Israeli leader is contemptuous of and lacks respect for the head of the Palestinian state.

Où:

Camp David is one of the official residences of the American president. It is more relaxed in terms of protocol than the White House and therefore more conducive to informal negotiations. Important talks are often held there.

Quand:

In July 2001, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli government head Ehoud Barak met in a closed-door session under the auspices of the American president, Bill Clinton. Unfortunately, the meeting had no tangible results. The participates held firm to their positions throughout the several days of negotiations.

Qui:

Ehoud Barak was the prime minister of Israel from 1999 to 2001, and Yasser Arafat, whose presence here is indicated by his voice "off stage," was head of the Palestinian Authority from the 1970s up until his death in 2004.

M2002.131.92
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Grincheux dans comment j'ai volé l'élection
Serge Chapleau
2000, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur papier
43.3 x 35.8 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M2002.131.92
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"I find this drawing funny. The title, "How I Stole the Election...," was not the one that accompanied the drawing when it was published. That one was too tough... I sometimes engage in self-censorship!"

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

The 2000 federal election, called surprisingly to coincide with the start of the Christmas season, saw Jean Chrétien win a crushing victory over his opponents. Chrétien had been able to take advantage of division and weakness in the opposition parties. At the time, the film How the Grinch Stole Christmas, directed by Ron Howard, had just been released. So the parallel seemed natural... to the cartoonist, at least.

Où:

Almost everywhere in Canada, the Liberals took an easy victory in the poles, winning 42 per cent of the votes. They elected 170 members to the House of Commons, while their closest rival elected 68.

Quand:

When Jean Chrétien's Liberals won a sizeable majority on November 27, 2000, they went down in the record books as having won three consecutive majority governments. In Canadian history, this was a rare feat for either the Liberals or the Conservatives. The election was, however, the last fought by Jean Chrétien.

Qui:

Jean Chrétien was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Canada in 1990 and served as its prime minister from 1993 to 2004.

M2002.131.165.1-2
© Musée McCord
Montage, caricature
L'évolution des armes à travers les siècles
Serge Chapleau
2001, 21e siècle
Encre en poudre sur papier - Dessin à l'ordinateur
29.7 x 41.9 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M2002.131.165.1-2
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

"This cartoon was drawn the day after the attacks of September 11, 2001."

Serge Chapleau

Quoi:

Since the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, airline passengers can no longer carry on board anything that might be used as a weapon. All sharp implements, including razor blades and exacto knives, are strictly prohibited. They are considered to be weapons just like knives... or firearms.

Où:

The security measures adopted in the United States and subsequently by most countries in the world have led to longer boarding times at airports everywhere.

Quand:

The September 11, 2001, attacks prompted the tightening of security measures. The American government adopted a series of laws aimed at improving security against terrorists; some observers consider that these laws curtail fundamental liberties.

Qui:

Terrorist organizations don't need sophisticated weapons to create panic in an airplane or to force the pilots to give up control of it. But the absurdity is that ordinary citizens can now find themselves accused of criminal conduct for simple possession of a tiny knife.

M999.65.236
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Portrait de Serge Chapleau
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1997, 20e siècle
Encre, crayon feutre et crayon sur papier
28 x 36 cm
Don de Mr. Terry Mosher
M999.65.236
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

Born December 5, 1945, in Montreal, Serge Chapleau came out shooting with his crayons at a very young age, notably, in the naval battles played by him and his friends! In 1969, Chapleau earned a diploma from Montreal's École des beaux-arts and, in 1971, the Quebec weekly Perspectives published his caricature of singer Gilles Vigneault - on a full colour page, a Canadian first. Chapleau's success was immediate - nothing short of phenomenal, in fact. From 1975 to 1977, his work appeared in the Sunday edition of Montréal-Matin as well as in magazines such as Week-End, Actualité and Nous. At the same time he was creating 3D puppets for television, in particular, the celebrated and ever active Gérard D. Laflaque. Then, in 1985, it was Le Devoir, followed in 1987 by the Matin adventure and, from 1989 to 1992, his daily cartoon in 7 jours. After a return to Le Devoir in 1991, he joined La Presse in 1996, quickly making liers out of everyone who expected his cartoons to change.

Here are Chapleau's answers to two often-asked questions:

How do you come up with so many ideas?

By working with the best comedy writers in the world: politicians. Every day they provide me with material, and for free!

What is a cartoonist?

A very lucky person who has the privilege of publically sticking out his tongue, and being paid to do so.

Quoi:

Où:

Quand:

Qui:


M2000.93.206
© Musée McCord
Dessin, caricature
Serge Chapleau en vacances
Serge Chapleau
1998, 20e siècle
Mine de plomb sur carton
43.2 x 35.6 cm
Don de M. Serge Chapleau
M2000.93.206
© Musée McCord

© Musée McCord Museum