Last week’s announcement that a partnership of Boralex and Gaz Métro had won a government contract to operate two wind farms on the property of the Seigneurie de Beaupré puts the companies in an exclusive historical club. The Séminaire de Québec owns the large tract of land and will lease it to the wind farm consortium, which must begin operations by 2013. It is part of a much vaster territory originally granted by Louis XIII of France to the Compagnie des Cent-Associés. Through subsequent transactions with the Compagnie, the first bishop of New France, Monseigneur François de Laval, ended up with parts of the land, which he gave to the Séminaire upon his death. The Seigneurie de Beaupré is all that’s left today of the territory. There are other commercial uses of its land: AbitibiBowater has cutting rights and there are almost 200 hunting and fishing clubs that pay fees. Father Jacques Roberge, Bursar of the Séminaire, told Nobody’s Business that never in their wildest dreams could they have envisaged that wind power would come to be their latest income earner.
13 May 2008