Activists interrogate the Quebec Provincial energy company’s predilection for hydro-dams that wreak havoc on pristine ecosystems.
A “road movie” on a river.
Summer 2008, a year before Hydro-Québec starts building an 8-billion dollar hydroelectric project, Alexis de Gheldere and Nicolas Boisclair decide to canoe down the Romaine River with two environmentalists… a “river trip” down 500 km which will take them from the source in Labrador to the mouth in the Gulf of St-Lawrence.
Packed with an Innu stove, two solar panels and a 2,500-page environmental assessment impact study, they discover a river and the future impacts of Hydro-Québec’s next hydroelectric project. Kilometres after kilometres, they open their eyes on a rich and spectacular ecosystem, virgin of any development. For now. During this 46 day expedition, they document a vast region of spectacular beauty and archive stunning images for future generations.
This adventure runs in parallel to another quest, where the two directors team up with Roy Dupuis, one of the most renown Canadian actor and President of the Rivers foundation. Together they set out on a road trip across Québec to explore ways of producing and consuming energy for the XXIst century. Questions that arose from their canoe expedition leads them to contact numerous experts and people who work in the field to give us a surprising insight into the potential of green energy in Québec. Their findings suggest there are important economic development opportunities in this domain and for generations to come.
Can green energies be a real alternative? What is Quebec’s green energy potential? Are these four dams really needed in a territory that already has one of the highest concentration of hydroelectric dams in the world. 48 years after the election that lead to the nationalisation of electricity in Québec, are we still “Maîtres chez nous”* (Masters in our own home)?
* In 1962, the Premier of Quebec, Jean Lesage and Natural Resources Minister René Lévesque campaigned to get public support for the nationalisation of electricity in Québec. They won the election and launched the most important economic development in the history of the province.