M998.51.11 | Chrétien on Nuclear Weapons at Home

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Drawing, cartoon
Chrétien on Nuclear Weapons at Home
Serge Chapleau
1997, 20th century
Graphite, white ink and newsprint
43.4 x 35.5 cm
Gift of M. Serge Chapleau
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cartoon (19139) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , politics (10928)
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Keys to History

"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

  • What

    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.

  • Where

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

  • When

    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.

  • Who

    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.