This picture, showing a Citroën DS at what appears to be some official ribbon cutting ceremony was taken on the Laurentian Autoroute north of Montreal. That much we know. However if this were the official opening of the Autoroute, we think there would be more people present. And why would cars already be going through the toll booths?
Even more curious is the DS itself. It appears to be painted a different colour on each side, Look at the colour split in the front valence. We can’t make out what is on the hood (the dark portion on the passenger side), but it appears to be an emblem of some kind. We don’t think that’s a reflection of a sign.
There also appears to be some sort of official sitting in the front passenger seat of the DS. Obviously a tall fellow and wearing what looks like a policeman’s hat.
The date is a puzzle… In the background you can see the Laval-des-Rapides exit #6 sign. According to wikipedia – Laurentian Autoroute, that section of the road opened in 1958.
We believe the fellow on the the right holding the ribbon is Jean Lesage. He was Quebec Premier from July 5, 1960 to June 16, 1966. It is known that Jean Lesage did drive a DS. But is his the one in this picture? Maybe the DS has some sort of Autoroute Vehicle paint scheme. It might have been a Quebec government car. Or maybe Lesage had it painted that way to campaign. He was rather flamboyant.
Why would Jean Lesage be there? He was appointed Federal Minister of Minister of Resources and Development in the Government of Canada from September 17, 1953 to December 17, 1953 and then Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources from December 16, 1953 to June 21, 1957. It is highly unlikely and DS were Canada at time, but we mention Lesage’s Federal tenure gain some understanding why he might have been there. He resigned from his federal seat June 13, 1958 following his election as leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec on May 31, 1958.
In what capacity was he there? Was it taken when he was leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec sometime after May 1958? Or is this a later picture taken when he was Quebec Premier (July 1960 onward)?
Can anyone, maybe our Quebecois sleuths, shed further light on when this photo was taken? What was the event and who are the three people in the photo?