Hydro-Québec, the world’s fourth largest hydropower producer, pumps out low carbon electricity at the cheapest rates in North America. For some, it is the key to a greener, more prosperous, future, but that “clean energy” comes freighted with a complicated history and an uncertain future.

This is the story of how a massive, state-owned utility company came to be a symbol of the French-Canadian people. It’s also the story of how a company, with all of the force of a colonial culture behind it, used its power to try to push Quebec’s original occupants—its indigenous people—to one side. It’s the story of how that effort led to something that has become its own kind of revolution in Canada: native people pushing to regain power over their own lives and culture.

And it’s a story about the environmental benefits and human costs of clean energy. 



 
 

Outside/In's Powerline is produced by:

Sam Evans-Brown, Hannah McCarthy, Taylor Quimby, Maureen McMurray and Jimmy Gutierrez. Graphics by Sara Plourde.

Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder.