This site is dedicated to Dartmouth — Dartmouth Township, Dartmouth Parish, the Town Plot of Dartmouth, the Town of Dartmouth, the City of Dartmouth or “the community of Dartmouth” in the amorphous nomenclature of what’s become of “local government” since. The area has a long history as Dartmouth dating back to its founding under the Cornwallis regime immediately after Halifax was founded in 1749, per the Royal instructions. It was “founded” much earlier as a community if you include previous settlements on the same general site of Mi’kmaq and French origin

Dartmouth has long been recognized as a town, a town plot, a township and a district interchangeably throughout hundreds of years of provincial enactments, acts and statutes. Beyond Dartmouth’s Common which existed as a kind of corporation created for the benefit of Dartmouth Township in 1788, meaning Dartmouth township was already extant having been defined by 1753 if not earlier; Dartmouth along with Pictou were included in one of the province’s first mechanisms of municipal governance outside of Halifax and Annapolis, an extension of the provisions of an Act on Trespasses in 1818

Dartmouth’s township boundaries were re-affirmed in 1846, it was re-affirmed as a township in 1850, it was the first incorporated town in Nova Scotia in 1873 — though don’t expect the Province to remind you of that fact, preferring to give Pictou that distinction. It was incorporated as a City by charter in 1961, and then finally unilaterally dissolved in 1996 — an abrupt end without a public process nor any kind of plebiscite that recognized the municipality as that of or directed by its citizens, a nebulous concept since as a result. It was then ushered into the Borg — “HRM”, a monopolistic parasite designed to consume 5,500 km² of parts in what was once a county in order to nullify, which was designed to preclude the incorporation of any competition or alternative. Though this prohibition on new towns was technically repealed in 2008 the Municipal Governance Act since that time provides no mechanism for any new incorporations other than “regional municipalities” which, when coterminous with what were counties, leads to the same end result.

At 150 years since Dartmouth’s initial incorporation as a Town in 1873 this site examines the institution of the city in its various different incarnations along with the devolution wrought on Dartmouth, now no longer a Town, Township or City, or part of a County for that matter but something else entirely. What is the nature of local government through the lens of a forever “living constitutionalism”, in an environment without a written constitution at the provincial level which has total control of the municipal, unwritten in many cases at the Federal level too – whereas a result the nature of government local or otherwise has become like that of a sandbar, unrooted to any particular institutional standard or broader public interest?

It responds to the ever shifting waves of corrupt interest instead, which continually lap away at every constitutional shore, a kind of “sea level rise” which presents much more of a concern than that which might be occurring in the ocean. Nova Scotia provides an object lesson in erosion not at the Tantramar but of its institutions and the body politic by the anti-constitutional Canadian whale which along with its supranational handlers have swallowed it alive. The very concept of self government appears to have been sold, yet again — not necessarily to the highest bidder but through a sole source tender process. Liquidated to the higher order governments beyond, themselves further re-engineered over time away from any democratic impetus that might act to guide them, who now seem to take their marching orders from supranational dictate.

What happened to “all the powers relating thereto, vested in the Sessions, Grand Jury, School Meeting and Town Meeting;…all the powers and authority which within the district, previous to the passing of this Act of Incorporation exercised by the Sessions, Grand Jury, or Town or School Meeting, or Trustees of Schools and Public Property” as understood in 1873? This seems especially relevant with what’s happened since, a unilateral conversion into its current form as part of a proprietary vessel whose only “efficiency” produced has been further centralization of action and decision-making away from those on the bottom.

Local courts as they were once understood as the Municipal Court of Dartmouth are gone along with the Grand Jury, “Community Council” is now the final remnant of what was once the Town Meeting and later a City Council, educational impositions from those appointed by a provincial executive themselves insulated from any broader democratic actions have replaced what were previously local school meetings and directly elected school boards; The Common and the Ferry as body politics within, what was once the “Public Property”, now private. 

That the Borg’s naming conventions are sure to use any term but Dartmouth — the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal renamed to “Alderney”, the community council named “Harbour East”, even the Dartmouth Sportsplex was renamed to the “Zatzman Sportsplex” — it’s clear there’s an ongoing danger of municipal resurrection that our astute crown adjacent legal obfuscaters have engineered away from any imminent action. Is this all by design then, a path along which we are sure to see a further erasure of any distinction between public and private? It’s reminiscent of the kind of “privatization” seen with “national socialism”, completely contrived by higher order governments and private interests without any apparent “local” impetus or buy-in, central planning run amok.

What was once a creature of the people at the most basic and local level as seen with a Common for the grazing of animals or a Ferry as an expression of the commonwealth though public infrastructure, since inverted — “the people” returning to their previous feudal status as villeins, now they’re the creatures grazing upon the land and monopolies of their feudal lords in a caste above, in a proprietary vessel imposed on them supposedly for their benefit but in reality used to lock in and propel a set of corrupt “arrangements.”

Can a “common good” be pursued in a society dominated by private interests and institutions, where whatever the people happen to build can be upended at any time? Without any assurance or security afforded to their efforts, corporate or institutional existence? The Senators of Nova Scotia’s upper house once called for a defined constitution, they surely knew all too well what was coming and the challenges they faced in winning such a concession which was never to come to pass.

As a Dartmouthian for a number of years, Joseph Howe’s pre-Marxian environment provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the nature of collective identity at the once proto-national, now sub-national institutional level, in addition to the once municipal. Is the voice of “the people” as expressed through the radical-Whiggery of the American founding and Howe’s analog even possible within a framework now geared towards Fabian socialism and its international extensions, around an exclusive dichotomous Overton window of “Tory and Labour”, through foreign crowns, dynasties, heirs, successors, and a circle of fiefs and sycophants?

Howe’s efforts focused on “the people” of the counties and townships similarly to how they existed in the City, a vessel made up of its annexed neighborhood parts. His pursuit of responsible government in Nova Scotia was seen in his efforts to re-engineer the Provincial Constitution towards a semblance of balance, bringing the people’s voice to the Senate along with recognition of the local, mechanics increasingly erased since being unilaterally overturned by the BNA in 1867 in what’s become a pattern of action ever since. The challenges of promoting a “common country” in a diverse society remain, perhaps they’ve increased, inflamed by a purposeful reliance on essentialism that splinters people into ever smaller identity activist groups, part of an overarching centralization and accumulation of power, a (not always so) soft-totalitarianism currently infecting so many aspects of society. 

Can a re-awakening of the local and a return to the principles that enabled and propelled self-government provide a balance to what it seems is otherwise a runaway train to its inversion, that of “globalism”? Of supranational imposition where the world becomes a single nation or a network of supranational interests to the exclusion of those below, completely insulated from any democratic control and yet in the pole position to drive policy? Where what were previously nations become provinces, their states and provinces become counties — is the eradication of national sovereignty, of the sub-national and local, which always previously served as a check and balance on each other, the final “inefficiency” to be overcome in the race toward global government, toward “communism”?


A league of friendship, an alliance between different nations. 1

Friendship, a league, alliance, friends, a circle of friends. 2

Bond between friends, association, friendly relations. 3


Of things not previously in existence: To come forth, grow, to arise, spring, be born, become visible, appear, descended from, born of.

Of things already in existence: To rise in height, to rise, grow up, thrive, increase, be reared, to grow into, to increase in breadth, to increase in number, to augment, multiply, to be enlarged or strengthened, to rise or increase in distinction, honor, courage, to be promoted or advanced, to prosper, to become great. 1

To be, spring from, increase in size, ascend, attain. 2