M2002.131.109 | Repatriation of the Constitution: Trudeau, Chrétien and Levesque in Bed
Repatriation of the Constitution: Trudeau, Chrétien and Levesque in Bed
2001?, 21st century
Graphite on paper
43.3 x 35.7 cm
Gift of M. Serge Chapleau
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Cartoon (19139) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , politics (10928)
Keys to History
In this drawing done some 20 years after the constitutional negotiations of 1981, the cartoonist offers a completely different take on the "night of the long knives" of November 4, 1981, when the Government of Canada and 9 of the 10 provinces signed an agreement to which Québec was not a party. Chapleau's cartoon echoes the old saying, "Politics makes strange bedfellows."
The negotiations between Ottawa and the provinces in 1981 produced a controversial outcome: the Canadian Constitution was patriated in 1982, but without the agreement of Québec, which refused to sign.
The 1981 negotiations took place primarily in Ottawa, the capital of Canada.
An agreement on the patriation of the Constitution was reached in November 1981.
The scene shows the minister responsible for the constitutional negotiations, Jean Chrétien, flanked by Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, holding a document titled Rapatriement (Patriation), and Québec Premier René Lévesque, who looks particularly distressed by the situation.