If Quebec today can reap the benefits of the immense potential of northern development, it is in part thanks to the far-reaching vision of Lomer Gouin.
Visionary, the Liberal government of Gouin pushed for and negotiated the annexation of Ungava, the immense territory north of the 52nd parallel. The colossal hydroelectric site of LG2, launched in 1971 by Premier Robert Bourassa, the Plan Nord presented in 2008 by Premier Jean Charest, as well as the exploitation of mining, forestry and hydro resources of Ungava, all owe themselves in part to the foresight of a turn of the 20th century Liberal government. His government was doubtless the first to concern itself with the province’s economic development concurrently with the improvement in the living conditions of some of its most socially and economically underprivileged citizens.
Born in 1861, Lomer Gouin was a well-known Montreal lawyer who was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1884. He succeeded Simon-Napoléon Parent as Premier in 1905.
Sensitive to the challenges posed by burgeoning urbanization, the Cabinet of Lomer Gouin created the Ministry of Municipal Affairs as well as that of Public Works. He resigned as Premier in 1920 to continue his political career at the federal level.
Appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec on January 10, 1929, he died in office on March 28 of the same year.