This January historian David Massell’s second scholarly monograph appeared with McGill-Queen’s University Press. Quebec Hydropolitics speaks to hydro policy in the province that produced Hydro-Québec, and to the integration of North American economies, illustrating the process by which American capital and industry drew Canada's resource-rich North into the economic orbit of the United States.
The construction in the 1940s of hydroelectric dams and reservoirs, Lakes Manouan and Passe Dangereuse, were enormous projects that had consequences not only on the environment but also on international affairs. Built by the Aluminium Company of Canada (Rio Tinto Alcan), the project helped meet the American and Allied Forces demand for electrical power and aluminium ingot during the Second World War but also forced Innu/Montagnais hunter-trappers from their ancestral lands.
Examining sources as varied as the papers of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and interviews with Montagnais elders, Quebec Hydropolitics presents a compelling synthesis of business and social history as well as wartime politics. A narrative that flows from the Saguenay watershed to the centres of political power, Quebec Hydropolitics is an informative look at the costs and benefits of large-scale industrialization.