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George-Étienne Cartier: The Lion of Québec

George-Étienne Cartier: The Lion of Québec

| 27 min
The History Makers
The History Makers
1961 6 films

From the most intrepid explorers to the fathers of Confederation, this series of 17 half-hour episodes tells the compelling early history of our great country.


This short biopic profiles Montreal lawyer-turned-politician George-Étienne Cartier as he campaigns to unite English and French Canada under Confederation. The political world of a century ago comes to life as we hear debates in the Parliament of Upper and Lower Canada amidst political strife and personal feuds. Ultimately, Cartier skilfully allays the fears of party and sectional leaders, convincing them that federal union would protect, rather than weaken, Quebec’s cherished rights of language and religion. The eloquent and enigmatic Cartier was instrumental in shaping the Canada that was soon to emerge.

  • director
    John Howe
  • producer
    Julian Biggs
  • executive producer
    Guy Glover
  • script
    Charles Cohen
  • photography
    Reginald Morris
  • sound
    Joseph Champagne
    Ron Alexander
  • sound editing
    Kathleen Shannon
  • cast
    Robert Christie
    Paul Hébert
    Roger Marshall
    William Needles
    John Vernon
    Jacques Auger
    Denis Drouin
    Ivor Barry
    Anne Lauriault
    Larry Zahab
    Walter Massey


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Ages 11 to 18

Study Guide - Guide 1

History - Canada 1867-1914
History - Canada under British Rule (1764-1867)
History and Citizenship Education - Canadian Federation (1850-1929)
History and Citizenship Education - Imperialism and Colonization (1800s-1900s)

Summarize the opposing political views held by George Brown and George Etienne Cartier. Write a newspaper report from the time period that identifies the challenges of uniting Upper and Lower Canada (ensure that the 5Ws are addressed: who, what, where, when, and why). What challenges to accepting Confederation are discussed? Focus in particular on regional concerns. Research Cartier’s contribution and involvement in the Rebellion of 1837 and later at the Charlottetown Conference (1864). In what way does Cartier seek to protect French Canada through Confederation? In the film, Cartier is presented as having two older daughters, however, in reality, only one of his daughters lived past infancy. Why might the director have taken these creative liberties?

George-Étienne Cartier: The Lion of Québec
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