Daily press and the Beauharnois power project, 1928-1933


Drystek, Henry Frank




The daily press serves a function which is greater than the mere dissemination of objective news reports. By analysing the Beauharnois Power project one can gain some insight into the manner in which the national newspapers helped to shape the Canadian political and economic fabric during the period that the nation was industrializing. The press, in its self-appointed role as the disciple of economic expansion and the defender of the national welfare, served as an influential conservative force in the Canadian community.

Beauharnois Power case, which gained a great deal of public attention, presented the media with the necessity of contending with some serious questioning of the status quo which had been responsible for the rapid economic expansion of the previous decades. The response of the daily press to these inconsistencies between theory and practise amounted to a firm defence of all the facets of the existing political economy. This staunch conservatism, however, was often obscured by the tendency of the press to indulge in partisan, regional and racial debate. Rather than weakening the ideological message of the press these diversions created the illusion that there was no serious challenge to the political and economic ideals which were shared by the public. The unanimity of the press served to reinforce its credibility, and in turn to ensure its role as a conservative force in Canadian society.


Press -- Canada
Saint Lawrence River -- Power Utilization
Beauharnois Power Corporation




Carleton University

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