Le rôle des représentations dans les projets de mise en valeur des rivières du Québec : les enjeux de l'implantation de la filière de la petite production hydroélectrique sur la rivière Batiscan

Authors: Gingras, Mathieu
Advisor: Lasserre, Frédéric
Abstract: At the beginning of 1990s, to meet objectives of regional development and maximization of the hydroelectric production, the government of Quebec adopted energy policies aiming to retrofit and construct small power stations by independent producers. To ensure their profitability, small power stations must be built close to existent energy transport networks and consumption places. Moreover, they are often located where the rivers are banked or present important falls. These sites are situated near or in the heart of inhabited and attended places, notably for recreotouristic purposes. Furthermore, these falls and landscapes are symbols of identity and have territorial significance for the local communities. This situation inevitably generated river-use conflicts where many perceptions of the management and the development of the rivers are in opposition. To make an in-depth analysis of this problem, we made a case study concerning the Batiscan river (Mauricie), where promoters considered the construction of three small hydroelectric power stations (1987-1990). Using 15 semi-directed talks and through a review of five daily newspapers (1990-2007), we analyzed the speech of the actors, in order to understand the strategic role and the evolution of the territorial representations of those concerned with the projects of small hydroelectric power stations. This study shows that the promoters of the small hydroelectric power stations perceive this type of development of the river as being a type of regional development which would make it possible to generate substantial economic repercussions for host territories. On the other hand, the opponents, gathered within citizen committees to obtain the abandonment of the projects. Their speech conveys the representation that the realization of the hydroelectric power stations on the Batiscan river goes against the concept of common good and would undermine the landscape, the environmental integrity of the river and the recreotouristic development of the area. By a process of collective reappropriation and valorization of the elements of the territory having a strong patrimonial and identity value, those sought to work out and implement alternative projects which would make it possible to counter the projects of small hydroelectric power stations and to guarantee the protection of the inherent characteristics of the river.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2007
Open Access Date: 13 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/19685
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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