“Far be it from me to wish, on this occasion, to draw national distinctions. I desire rather to show you how the certainty that your descendants will be one race, having a common attachment to Nova Scotia, and knowing no higher obligation than to love and honor her, ought to draw you closer to each other in friendly union, and make you solicitous to give that direction to their minds which shall best secure their happiness, and promote the welfare of their common country.” “…from Virginia, with her 66,000 square miles, covered with flourishing towns and more than a million population – from New York, with her magnificent rivers, princely cities, and two millions of people – from Massachusetts, with her extensive border crowded with activity and intelligence – from the Canadas, with their national dimensions, great natural resources, and rapidly increasing population – to our own little province, hemmed …

An address delivered before the Halifax Mechanics’ Institute on the 5th November, 1834 by Joseph Howe Read More…

In opposing the British North America Act… (Joseph Howe) always urged that it was not acceptable to the people of Nova Scotia. As an election was soon to be held, to make good his statement Mr. Howe felt that he must organize his forces, and demonstrate beyond dispute that the Province of Nova Scotia was overwhelmingly opposed to the union. He returned early in May, and on May 22nd delivered at Dartmouth the following speech, in which he betrays no loss of his old-time warmth and vigour: MEN OF DARTMOUTH -Never, since the [Indigenous people] came down the Shubenacadie Lakes in 1750, burnt the houses of the early settlers, and scalped or carried them captives to the woods, have the people upon this harbour been called upon to face circumstances so serious as those which confront them now. We may truly say, in the language of Burke, that “the high …

Speech at Dartmouth, May 22 1867 Read More…

On moving the eleventh resolution, on the 3rd of March (1837), Mr. Howe made a speech that is worth preserving, for various reasons. Those who defended the old system of government assumed, first, that the institutions of the United States had failed to secure liberty and happiness, and that by yielding responsible government, republican institutions would be at once introduced. Mr. Howe combated both these arguments. While he did justice to our neighbours, and ascribed to the practical working of their purely elective institutions the great prosperity and freedom which they enjoyed, he showed that responsible government was not republicanism, but a purely British mode of conducting public affairs, which British Americans might claim without any impeachment of their loyalty: “In rising to move the last resolution, while I congratulate the House on having got so nearly through the series, I must also thank them for the patient attention with …

Speech on Elective Councils (Senate) Read More…

“The most intelligent of the Nazis, the legal theorist Carl Schmitt, explained in clear language the essence of fascist governance. The way to destroy all rules, he explained, was to focus on the idea of the exception. A Nazi leader outmaneuvers his opponents by manufacturing a general conviction that the present moment is exceptional, and then transforming that state of exception into a permanent emergency. Citizens then trade real freedom for fake safety. Dissidents of the twentieth century, whether they were resisting fascism or communism, were called extremists. Modern authoritarian regimes, such as Russia, use laws on extremism to punish those who criticize their policies. In this way the notion of extremism comes to mean virtually everything except what is, in fact, extreme: tyranny.” Snyder, Timothy. On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. Tim Duggan Books, 2017. https://books.google.ca/books/about/On_Tyranny.html?id=06E8DgAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y

“Democracy is precious and exceptional. Democracy is undone from within rather than from without. The occasion to undo democracy is often an election. The mechanism to undo democracy is usually a fake emergency, a claim that internal enemies have done something outrageous. A tyrant cares about his person, not the Republic. Coups are defeated quickly or not at all. While they take place we are meant to look away… When they are complete we are powerless. In an authoritarian situation, the election is only round one. You don’t win by winning round one. It is up to civil society, organized citizens, to defend the vote and to peacefully defend democracy.”

“A coup is *against* the law — not just illegal, but against the belief that established legal documents and legal precedent hold value over their own attempted power grab. When a coup is successful, they rewrite the law so that they are no longer breaking it.”

“Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the State was to make men free to develop their faculties, and that, in its government, the deliberative forces should prevail over the arbitrary. They valued liberty both as an end, and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness, and courage to be the secret of liberty. They believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that, without free speech and assembly, discussion would be futile; that, with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty, and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. They recognized the risks to which all human …

“…the secret of happiness…” Read More…

“We have gathered here to affirm a faith, a faith in a common purpose, a common conviction, a common devotion. Some of us have chosen America as the land of our adoption; the rest have come from those who did the same. For this reason we have some right to consider ourselves a picked group, a group of those who had the courage to break from the past and brave the dangers and the loneliness of a strange land. What was the object that nerved us, or those who went before us, to this choice? We sought liberty; freedoms from oppression, freedom from want, freedom to be ourselves. This we then sought; this we now believe that we are by way of winning. What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon …

“The Spirit of Liberty” Read More…

How came the king by a power which the people are afraid to trust, and always obliged to check? Such a power could not be the gift of a wise people, neither can any power, which needs checking, be from God; yet the provision, which the (British) constitution makes, supposes such a power to exist. But where says some is the King of America? I’ll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain…that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other. A government of our own is our natural right: And when a man seriously reflects on the precariousness of human affairs, he will become convinced, that it is infinitely wiser and …

Common Sense Read More…

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/3741/3741-h/3741-h.htm#link2H_4_0002

At a meeting of the Members of the House of Assembly, in the Assembly Room, in the Provincial Building at Halifax, on the 7th day of November, 1867, the following Declaration was unanimously agreed to, and ordered to be published:— We, the representatives of Nova Scotia, having assembled for the purpose of constructing an Administration, and having effected that object, cannot separate without making known to our constituents our unanimous and unalterable determination to use every lawful and constitutional means to extricate this Province from the operation of the British North America Act, the passage of which, in the Imperial Legislature, was obtained by falsehood, fraud, and deception. We shall take the earliest opportunity of informing the Queen and her Parliament that the people of Nova Scotia were systematically and perseveringly prevented from expressing their will on the subject of Confederation until after the Imperial statute was enacted, and we …

Reports of meetings held in the province of Nova Scotia, to consider a repeal of the “British North America Act, 1867” Read More…

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Meager J in 1900, in regards to Dillon on Municipalities; utilizing American case law in regards to Nova Scotian municipalities, noting the parallels between the municipal situations in both jurisdictions (and their differences as constituted through their particular charters, enabling legislation) Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Volume 33 (1901), The Queen Ex Rel. Laurence V. Patterson (1900)