Quebec Premier François Legault, accompanied by Grand Chief of the Cree Nation Abel Bosum and former Grand Chief Ted Moses, paid a posthumous tribute to Bernard Landry earlier this week by renaming the Eastmain-1 dam and the 768-MW Eastmain-1-A hydroelectric power plant in memory of the former premier.
Moreover, the reservoir is being renamed the Peace of the Braves Reservoir, to commemorate the historic agreement concluded in 2002 between the Cree Nation and the Québec government, then headed by Landry.
The announcement was made in the presence of Landry’s widow, Chantal Renaud-Landry, and his children, Pascale, Julie-Anne and Philippe Landry. Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Jonatan Julien, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration Simon Jolin-Barrette, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs Sylvie D’Amours, and Éric Martel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hydro-Québec, participated in the tribute.
Premier Legault also announced that Minister of Culture and Communications Nathalie Roy had designated Landry as a person of historical importance pursuant to the Cultural Heritage Act.
“When a nation loses a person of Bernard Landry’s stature, it has a duty to honour him. We must find a means that is commensurate with our gratitude, the individual’s outstanding qualities and his achievements,” Legault said. “These designations combine economic, cultural, social and environmental development and reflect Bernard Landry’s ambitions for Québec. Premier Landry will always be a model and a source of inspiration for me. I would like to salute his memory on behalf of all Quebecers. I am pleased that we have bolstered the symbolic power of our gesture through sharing with the Cree Nation.”
Martel said: “Bernard Landry’s legacy is substantial. Thanks to him, our ties with our Cree partners have been durably consolidated. This affords us access to clean, abundant energy, which we can offer to our neighbours to help them reduce their dependence on polluting fossil energies. This tribute is highly symbolic and richly deserved.”
The 160-MW Eastmain-1 powerhouse was commissioned in 2006. The main dam and 33 dikes form the formerly named Eastmain-1 Reservoir, with a surface area of 603 km2. The Eastmain-1-A powerhouse was added in 2012, yielding a total energy output from the reservoir of about 6.3 TWh per year (from 2012 forward).