Historically, men have been drawn to the precious and shiny metal called gold. The Spaniards set out to conquer South America to seize, among other things, gold mines, not hesitating to commit the worst massacres among the indigenous populations. The French also set foot on this land we inhabit, believing they were finding the coveted gold there.
Hugo Fontaine and Marc Tison
Quebec America editions
Hugo Fontaine and Marc Tison
Quebec America editions
Even today the treasure hunt continues, but it no longer has anything to do with what it was in the 19th century, at the time of the rush for “gold from the streams”. Today, dozens of people are dying in this gold quest, as we reported this week in a press wire from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Here, the fabulous story told by the two journalists has nothing to do with the horror tales of miners digging through the bowels of the Earth under extreme conditions and for poverty wages. It takes place at home, in northern Quebec, in the heart of the James Bay and taiga territory. It is a story made of happy luck, of course, but also of perseverance and research.
The town of Noranda, in Abitibi, is the starting point of this thrilling story. Installed around the geological Cadillac fault, “one of the richest gold zones in the world”, the city was originally called Norcanda, for Northern Canada, but a happy typographical error made the name Noranda, more melodious. , appeared on the official paper. Between 1927 and 1950, the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region experienced its heyday. Gold diggers flock in and big business is brewing there. This is when the big industrial companies come into play, driving out the small traditional prospectors.
As the deposits are not eternal, we have to push prospecting even further north. Geologists then map this new Quebec and study its geological structures. “It is virgin territory: no scientific map yet exists for this sector. »Two prospectors, Michel Gauthier and Jean-François Ouellette, will be interested in a site already explored, analyzed then abandoned for lack of interest by the geologists of Noranda, thirty years earlier, on the shores of Lake Ell, 350 kilometers away north-west of Chibougamau. They will baptize the site with the name of Éléonore, in homage to the song Fernande by Georges Brassens.
In the wilderness, the attack of the black bear is one of the risks of the trade, the authors tell us. A prospector was scared of his life when a mother bear wanted to avenge the inadvertent death of her calf. He has come close to death. “He felt the breath of the passage of the paw, describes a witness. He was six inches from a kick and death. ”
But there is worse than black bears: the stock market crash, as happened in March 1997 with the Bre-X scandal. Scammers have invented fake gold deposits in Indonesia. Everyone in the community believed in it, including our Caisse de dépôt et placement, which lost $ 70 million. This immense fraud will be an opportunity for Gauthier and Ouellette to remind investors that such a scam is unlikely to occur in Quebec, where the mining industry is well supervised.
In short, if the rocks, the risks, the intrigues, the really secret secrets, the walk in the forest, the contact with nature, including flies, the discovery of new horizons, the adventure in the middle of unknown territories and the origins of planet Earth fascinate you, become a geologist and gold digger. Perhaps you meet Éléonore along the way.
THE URGENCY TO LIVE
My life with early-onset Alzheimer's
La Presse editions “> Sandra Demontigny
La Presse editions
A midwife for sixteen years, she learned at the age of 39 that she suffered from early-onset Alzheimer's, a disease that she inherited from her father. She thus knew what degradation is since she saw her father die slowly in front of all his family. She does not want to meet the same fate or make her family go through the same horrors, and she claims the right to be able to receive medical assistance in dying when she is still conscious enough to ask for it. This help is not granted to those, very many, who suffer from this incurable disease. Because Sandra wants to leave with dignity. A touching testimony.
A FREE PEOPLE
Independence, secularism and inclusion
Éditions Écosociété “> Benoît Renaud
The author, who “has been a candidate for Québec solidaire on several occasions”, “courageously tackles, with a straight and consistent head, just as“ courageously ”asserts the deputy QS Catherine Dorion in the preface, to these main knots that have divided Quebec and served the nationalist and federalist right ”. This verbal inflation sets the tone for the book. And then this first sentence of the book: “Let's be frank: independence is an old-fashioned affair. Renaud, he has the business. He will give us his recipe for ridding ourselves once and for all of our “identity obsessions that border on racism”. I suggest that she read Marie-France Bazzo's recent column, in L'Actualité , “Plaidoyer pour une gauche normal”. It is clear and precise, and it is above all not moralizing. There is hope!
THE NECESSARY IRRATIONALITY
From Plato to Einstein: the poets
Edition XYZ “> Jean Désy
“I think therefore I am,” proclaimed Descartes. This logic has shaped our lives, our ways of doing things. Jean Désy, the medical novelist, pleads here in favor of an irrational interlude, to mark a pause in the rigor of our lives in order to leave room for a little poetry and feeling, a little madness too. Like Carl Jung, he too believes that the world is divided between the rational and the irrational, between the one who first appeals to reason before acting, and the intuitive, “who passes to the 'act then reflect, if need be ”. With his life stories, Jean Désy has the great merit of bringing us back to essential things. Soothing.