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Home > Visitors > 225th Anniversary of Québec’s Parliamentary Institutions > Highlights of Lower Canada’s Parliamentary History

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Did you know...

À tous les électeurs comic strip

À tous les électeurs
Printed by Samuel Neilson in Québec City in 1792, this comic strip could be the work of John George Hochstetter, an engraver of German origin. Photo credit: McGill Library, Rare Books and Special Collections.

Québec’s oldest French-language comic strip and first elections date from the same year. In 1792, a poster featuring cartoons encouraged voters to support two candidates in the riding of Upper Town Québec City. Its authors, merchants Mathew Macnider and William Grant, were both elected and became two of the first Members for Lower Canada. To date, À tous les électeurs is the oldest known French-language comic strip with speech bubbles. See the only known remaining copy of the original 150-copy print run in the exhibition 1792. A Parliament is Born.

It happened...

June 10, 1791: The Constitutional Act is given royal assent, thus establishing the Chamber of Assembly of Lower Canada, or House.

May 24, 1792: The writs, or orders, are issued for the first general elections, to be held in June and July. This officially launches the election campaign.

December 17, 1792: Lieutenant-Governor Alured Clarke opens the first Parliament’s first session in the Chapel of the Bishop’s Palace in Québec City.

December 18, 1792: Jean-Antoine Panet, Member for Upper Town Québec City, is elected Speaker by his peers.

January 21, 1793: The language debate begins. Never before had the question of the Government’s official language been raised in the colony.

January 23, 1793: By a vote of 20 to 14, the Assembly passes a resolution giving equal standing to French and English by deeming both official languages of legislation.

April 19, 1793: The Assembly passes a resolution requesting that all future financial assistance and allowances be the privilege of the House and that all related bills originate with Parliament.

March 19, 1810: Three outgoing Members, Pierre-Stanislas Bédard (Lower Town Québec City), François Blanchet (Hertford) and Jean-Thomas Taschereau (Dorchester and Leinster), are arrested and accused of subversive practices for their ties to the newspaper Le Canadien.

February 21, 1834: After five days of stormy debate, the Assembly passes the 92 Resolutions (by a vote of 56 to 24).