"Father" of the Baie James

Robert Bourassa (1933-1996)

On April 30, 1971, at the Petit Colisée in the city of Québec, Robert Bourassa kicked off "the project of the century" before more than 5,000 Liberal Party members. The premier gave the green light to the Baie James project, the world’s largest hydro development, amid political upheaval. Supporters of nuclear power denounced the choice of hydroelectricity. The project was the subject of incessant criticism in many respects: the environment, relations with Aboriginal people, soaring costs, rate increases, etc. But Robert Bourassa stood firm. In two books he wrote on the subject, Deux fois la Baie James (1981) and Power from the North (1985), he argued that hydroelectric power was the best energy choice for Québec. Two days after Robert Bourassa’s death on October 4, 1996, the National Assembly agreed that La Grande-2, the most powerful facility in the complex, would be renamed Robert-Bourassa generating station.

Robert Bourassa