Paper Title

[2.1] The Murder of Emanuel Jaques: Limits and Challenges to Liberalism Under Pierre Elliot Trudeau

Location

IB 1019

Start Date

January 2020

End Date

January 2020

Disciplines

Canadian History | Cultural History | History | Labor History | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Philosophy | Political Science | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social History

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The carefree spirit of the summer of 1977 in Toronto came to a halt when, at the end of July, twelve-year old Emmanuel Jaques who had recently immigrated from Portugal with his family was brutally raped and murdered as he conducted his work as a shoeshine boy. The location of the murder on Toronto’s seedy Yonge Street, coupled with the fact that two of the four perpetrators of the crime were known members of the LGBTQ community, made this a highly politicized event and thus the subject of widespread media coverage. In a decade marked by changes to Canada’s immigration policies, multiculturalism, and by high-profile protests by LGBTQ activists, the representation in the media about this crime complicate popular notions of liberalism under Pierre Trudeau. The limits of Trudeau’s vision for a multicultural Canada manifested in the way that the mainstream media used the murder to quell threats of “otherness” that the two communities posed. Moreover, the Portuguese and LGBTQ communities challenged assertions of liberalism and multiculturalism propagated by the Pierre Trudeau both within the mainstream media and by carving out their own spaces to assert counter narratives that recasted their communities as politically robust. This paper examines the varied stories told about the murder in the mainstream newspapers, The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail, as well as the LGBTQ produced magazine, The Body Politic. Ultimately, the murder of Jaques reveals that Canada has never been as white and heterosexual as it has historically desired itself to be.

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[2.1] The Murder of Emanuel Jaques: Limits and Challenges to Liberalism Under Pierre Elliot Trudeau

IB 1019

The carefree spirit of the summer of 1977 in Toronto came to a halt when, at the end of July, twelve-year old Emmanuel Jaques who had recently immigrated from Portugal with his family was brutally raped and murdered as he conducted his work as a shoeshine boy. The location of the murder on Toronto’s seedy Yonge Street, coupled with the fact that two of the four perpetrators of the crime were known members of the LGBTQ community, made this a highly politicized event and thus the subject of widespread media coverage. In a decade marked by changes to Canada’s immigration policies, multiculturalism, and by high-profile protests by LGBTQ activists, the representation in the media about this crime complicate popular notions of liberalism under Pierre Trudeau. The limits of Trudeau’s vision for a multicultural Canada manifested in the way that the mainstream media used the murder to quell threats of “otherness” that the two communities posed. Moreover, the Portuguese and LGBTQ communities challenged assertions of liberalism and multiculturalism propagated by the Pierre Trudeau both within the mainstream media and by carving out their own spaces to assert counter narratives that recasted their communities as politically robust. This paper examines the varied stories told about the murder in the mainstream newspapers, The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail, as well as the LGBTQ produced magazine, The Body Politic. Ultimately, the murder of Jaques reveals that Canada has never been as white and heterosexual as it has historically desired itself to be.