Quebec Studies

Quebec's Energy Policies in the 1980s: New Forms of Sectoral Dirigisme

Quebec Studies (1989), 8, (1), 83–96.


Québec Studies, No. 8, 1989 QUEBEC'S ENERGY POLICIES IN THE 1980s: NEW FORMS OF SECTORAL DIRIGISME by William F. Aueryt I. Introduction The success of the révolution silencieuse in the social and political spheres also prepared the way for an upsurge in entrepreneurial dynamism in the Quebec economy in the 1980s. ' As Quebec emerged from the general North American recession of the early 1980s, the strength of the new cadres became so evident that the role of the government was already under reconsideration. In the last years of the Parti Québécois regime, government planners envisaged the shrinkage of the state's role from leader of the development process to partner with the private sector, from l'État levier de développement to l'État catalysateur. The arrival of the Liberal government in December 1985 increased the calls for deregulation and privatization. The Quebec Government established a Minister charged with privatization and began to examine the provincial Crown corporations for immediate candidates. The underlying philosophy of the Liberal Government was one of classic market liberalism, although once again it is important to keep in mind that the PQ government had already been advocating a selective withdrawal of the state from the development process. This article will test the basic hypothesis of the withdrawal of the state from the economy by examining a critical sector, the energy sector, and the evolution of the state's energy activities and mission in the 1980s.4 The analysis will seek to discover the limits beyond which the Quebec government probably cannot go in its efforts to leave such a critical sector to market forces. II. Energy in Quebec The energy sector, for Quebec, is a "leading industry" in the Schumpeterian sense: It has revolutionized the Quebec economy, has provided extensive backward and forward linkages for the growth of supplying and user industries, and is strategically important for Quebec in the international market.5 Energy in Quebec is synonymous with hydro power, since the province lacks oil and possesses only small supplies of natural gas which cannot yet be profitably exploited. Canada is the largest hydro power producer in the world,

Access Token

 Google Scholar

Bélanger, Yves. "L'État québécois: un État hybride," Interventions économiques 17 (1987): 117-27. L'État québécois: un État hybride Interventions économiques 17 117 27 Google Scholar

Bélanger, Yves and Pierre Fournier. L'Entreprise québécoise: développement historique et dynamique contemporaine. Lasalle: Hurturbise, Cahiers du Québec, 1987. L'Entreprise québécoise: développement historique et dynamique contemporaine Google Scholar

Bourassa, Robert. Power From the North. Scarborough, Ontario: Prentice-Hall Canada, Inc., 1985. Power From the North Google Scholar

Chaput, Denis and André Poirier. "Quebec-United States Financial Ties: Hydro-Quebec's Experience," Forces 70 (1985): 57-58. Quebec-United States Financial Ties: Hydro-Quebec's Experience Forces 70 57 58 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Durivage, Paul. "Des investissements de $1 milliard compromis dans l'est de Montréal," La Presse, May 30, 1987: Hl. Des investissements de $1 milliard compromis dans l'est de Montréal La Presse Hl Google Scholar

Fournier, Pierre. The Quebec Establishment. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1976. The Quebec Establishment Google Scholar

Financial Post. May 31, 1986: 28. Google Scholar

Fraser, Matthew. Quebec Inc. Toronto: Key Porter Books, 1987. Quebec Inc Google Scholar

Gherson, Giles. "U. S. Bottleneck Holds Canadian natural Gas," Financial Post August 6-8, 1988: 1. U. S. Bottleneck Holds Canadian natural Gas Financial Post 1 Google Scholar

Globe and Mail. November 26, 1987: 1. Google Scholar

Green, Christopher. Canadian Industrial Organization and Policy. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1985. Canadian Industrial Organization and Policy Google Scholar

Horngren, Charles T. and George Foster. Cost Accounting: A Managerial Emphasis. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1987. Cost Accounting: A Managerial Emphasis Google Scholar

Hydro-Québec. Hydro-Quebec Development Plan 1988-1990: Horizon 1997. Montreal: Hydro-Québec, 1988. Hydro-Quebec Development Plan 1988-1990: Horizon 1997 Google Scholar

Larouche, Daniel. "Les frères ennemis," Revue commerce 85 (1983): 37-44. Les frères ennemis Revue commerce 85 37 44 Google Scholar

Laux, Jeanne Kirk and Maureen Appel Molot. State Capitalism: Public Enterprise in Canada. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988. State Capitalism: Public Enterprise in Canada Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

National Energy Board. "Written Argument of Soligaz," Order No. RH-4-86. February 20, 1987: 1-18. Natural Gas Exporter. April, 1988: 3. Google Scholar

Parent, Guy. "Par quatre chemins," Science et technologie 3 (1984): 54-57. Par quatre chemins Science et technologie 3 54 57 Google Scholar

Parent, Robert. "Les multinationales québécoises de l'ingenierie," Recherches sociographiques 24 (1983): 84-94. Les multinationales québécoises de l'ingenierie Recherches sociographiques 24 84 94 Google Scholar

Quebec. Ministère de l'Énergie et des Ressources. Energy: Driving Force of Economic Development: Energy Policy for the 1990s. Quebec, 1988. Google Scholar

Quebec. Privatization Ministry. From the Quiet Revolution … to the Twenty-First Century: Report of the Committee on the Privatization of Crown Corporations. Quebec, 1986. Google Scholar

Quebec. Privatization Ministry. Privatization of Crown Corporations: Orientation and Prospects. Quebec, 1986. Google Scholar

Quebec. Privatization Ministry. Rapport d'étape sur la privatisation des sociétées d'État au Québec. Quebec, 1987. Google Scholar

Riverin, François. "L'énergie québécoise à l'ère de concurrence," Finance 6 (1985): 29-33. L'énergie québécoise à l'ère de concurrence Finance 6 29 33 Google Scholar

Tremblay, Miville. "Le pipeline Sarnia-Montréal: SOQUIP prépare une requëte à l'ONE," La Presse. January 15, 1988. Le pipeline Sarnia-Montréal: SOQUIP prépare une requëte à l'ONE La Presse. Google Scholar

Turcotte, Claude. "Québec demandera à l'ONE de mettre un terme a l'inertie d'IPL pour Soligaz," Le Devoir, January 20, 1988: 5. Québec demandera à l'ONE de mettre un terme a l'inertie d'IPL pour Soligaz Le Devoir 5 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here


Author details

Averyt, William