Note: Opinions are divided on William Price. Did he help develop the Saguenay or did he exploit the inhabitants of the region?

Excerpt 1:

“Endowed with vast intelligence, an enterprising and incredibly perseverant spirit, fortune could not help but smile on him, and we soon counted him among our richest and most enterprising businessmen. Upon arriving in this country he quickly recognized the immense wealth contained in our forests, and heartily set to work. There is not perhaps a single source of water power from Québec City to Matane where he has not installed his mighty sawmills.”


“But where his name will remain most intimately linked to the history of our country is with regard to the progress he made in the colonization of the Saguenay, where was been fittingly nicknamed “The Father.”


“Such was Mr. William Price, father, sincere and devoted friend of the public good, and a true father to the colonists of the Saguenay. His name will be written among those benefactors of their country, and his memory will never perish in the grateful hearts of the children of the Saguenay.”

Excerpt 2:

“At the time the monument was erected (largely at the initiative of the family itself and its associates), the Price name was for most people in the Saguenay a symbol of social oppression, injustice and even servitude. It should be remembered that in the 19th century, the British industrialist had established an economic and social monopoly in the region that kept a large percentage of the population in extreme poverty. This unjust regime had been denounced at the time by many stakeholders (particularly by Bishop Lapointe and the seminary priests, as well as by journalists at the Progrès du Saguenay and in the national press).”


“What one must especially remember is the great effort made by Chicoutimi’s French Canadian elite between 1890 and 1910 to break this monopoly that kept the local population in poverty by imposing appalling conditions.”

Source of excerpts:

1 – Francis Xavier Gosselin, Prothonotary, District of Chicoutimi (1882), Inauguration of the monument erected in Chicoutimi to the memory of William Evan Price, June 24, 1882. Document found on the site Les classiques des sciences sociales,

2 – Bouchard, Le projet de mise en valeur du monument Price à Chicoutimi : Un détournement de la mémoire régionale, Press Release, November 17, 2004. Document found on the site Les classiques des sciences sociales,