Most activities in our lives involve electricity. Yet, how often do we recall that even the simple act of turning on a light is supported by a long history of debates over group vs. individual rights, environmental impact, political agendas and technological innovations?
Using the image of cross-currents as the organizing metaphor, this book details the many and often turbulent interactions and interconnections that occurred among the various people and events during the building of the northeastern Ontario hydroelectric system. Special focus is on Native and non-Native interests; southern business and political elites; northern natural resources and the interactions between technology and the environment.
Manore concentrates on the co-operation that existed among the various interest groups during periods of expansion and amalgamation. In today’s environment of limited energy resources, respect for the rights of First Nations and ecological concerns, this book is a reminder that co-operation rather than conquest is a more realistic approach to development.
''To state that this book is a basic history (chronology) of events leading to the construction of hydro dams, however, would constitute a serious injustice to its author. What Manore has produced is a rich tapestry of events and insights.''
''The story of hydroelectricity in Ontario should be of interest to all citizens of the province. Cross-Currents, with its valuable bibliography, will be most useful to those who teach and study the history of late-twentieth-century Ontario.''