M998.51.163 | Dion Supports Distinct Society, or How to Remake Your Image

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Drawing, cartoon
Dion Supports Distinct Society, or How to Remake Your Image
Serge Chapleau
1996, 20th 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)
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Keys to History

"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

  • What

    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.

  • Where

    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.

  • When

    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.

  • Who

    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.