By David Massell
Read Online or Download Amassing Power: J. B. Duke and the Saguenay River, 1897-1927 PDF
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Additional info for Amassing Power: J. B. Duke and the Saguenay River, 1897-1927
The available literature suggests that such relations were altogether too cordial and close. For Jean Hamelin and Jean-Paul Montminy, it was in part the “collusion” of politics and business in the 1896–1929 period that fostered rapid industrial growth in the province, accelerating the integration of Quebec’s economy into that of North America. A. Lovink, despite periodic and vehement criticism of such intimate links by the Conservative opposition. “Businessmen and provincial politicians became partners in development,” John Thompson and Allen Seager summed it up in the Canadian Centenary Series text on Canada of the 1920s and 1930s, referring to the numerous corporate directorships occupied by Canada’s premiers.
But each acre submerged in the rural parishes was of primordial importance to the families that based their livelihood upon it, all the more so in a symbolic sense in a valley and a province becoming chronically short on arable land. Worse, the land had not yet been purchased when the gates were shut in the summer of 1926, nor was warning given the local inhabitants who had already put down seeds for the short growing season. What was soon dubbed the “tragedy of Lake St John” became a contentious provincial political issue in the mid 1920s and saw “violent agitation” 14 at the Saguenay itself.
N. Parent was the sole architect and practitioner of such a policy, first as the commissioner entrusted with natural resource development from 1897 to 1900 under Liberal premier Marchand, and thereafter to 1905 in the double role of commissioner and premier himself. Policy formation and policy execution were thus effectively united during this period in a single political figure. Something of an elected autocrat, Parent penned annual reports on progress on the part of the ministry in the first person which read like entries in a personal diary.