M2000.79.42 | An Ethnic Cab Driver's Nightmare...

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Drawing, cartoon
An Ethnic Cab Driver's Nightmare...
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1997, 20th century
Ink, felt pen and collage on paper
23.5 x 23.5 cm
Gift of Mr. Terry Mosher
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cartoon (19139) , Crisis (453) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , female (135) , Feminine personalities (54) , Language (22) , Linguistic debate (92) , Louise Beaudoin (4) , Parti Québécois (206) , People (413) , Political parties (800) , politics (10928) , Politics (1624) , Provincial (500) , Québec (427) , Taxi driver (3)
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Keys to History

"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)

  • What

    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.

  • Where

    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.

  • When

    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%.

  • Who

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