Joseph Howe

History can be painful for those who’ve lived under the cudgel of colonialism and racism, the last thing this site is meant to do is to dredge up uncomfortable memories or to poke at open wounds. This site isn’t meant to be definitive, nor can it be; history is a group effort which depends on multiple sources and diverse perspectives.

An undeniable truth: Dartmouth and Nova Scotia more broadly are located on the ancestral lands of the Mi’kmaq, Mi’kma’ki. Treaties signed are, and ought to be, central to our constitutional makeup. It’s important to show respect to the people who have been so generous.

Joseph Howe helped to bring a non-violent paper revolution to Nova Scotia, one that was achieved “without a broken window, and without a thrown first”, “responsible government”. His example is instructive in many ways: his nascent attempts at inclusivity, his concern for the Indigenous population, and his pursuit of a balance of power with an omnipotent crown, lost less than 30 years later.

Since “confederation” in 1867, Nova Scotia’s Senate (1928) as well as its Cities (1996) have each suffered the same fate; coups masquerading as reforms, consent, and efficiency. Each level of government has fallen like dominoes, their powers and their connection to legal precedent that predates the country they’re now located in has been yielded, without so much as a plebiscite, in opposition to the fundamental concept of rule of law.

The layers of corruption that these unilateral actions have yielded harken back to Nova Scotia’s early colonial history as a proprietary colony. Are these actions meant to benefit Indigenous people, or are they just another chapter in the continuing saga of Canadian imperialistic usurpers? Have these actions led to increased Indigenous self determination and self governance, or more top-down higher order governmental pronouncements?

Canada’s oligarchical despotism stands in stark contrast to the centrist, constitutional balance of power that people like Howe strove for. Group identities are seemingly used, not to right historical wrongs, but to divide and conquer. The goal seems to be a rabid, clannish identitariansm to mask the accumulation and centralization of power at the top.

When a politician pledges allegiance to a crown, their heirs & successors, they’re no longer a representative of the people, but of a crown – a profound disconnect from the concept of accountability and responsibility to the people. Public relations, not democracy, form the heart of their efforts, the polar opposite of e pluribus unum.

How can one have trust in a system predicated on corruption and deceit? Bereft of any redress, limited to a single solitary mark away from dictatorship to express one’s political views? A system that operates as a limited liability corporation, fueled by sycophancy? “Constitutional monarchy” will always be a contradiction in terms.

A written federal constitution imposed less than four decades ago, used to deny the most basic of human rights with just a simple majority is untenable; an unwritten provincial constitution with its own exclusive jurisdiction, untethered to any shared truth or responsibility of action is doomed to repeat history. Tyranny incarnate.

There’s no shortage of bad faith arguments from self-interested people, but in reality there’s a political balance to be had on issues; while at the same time decrying the evils of racism, bigotry, discrimination and systemic failures. Self government, bicameralism and republicanism aren’t in opposition to progress.

From the bottom up, from the middle out, Nova Scotians from all backgrounds are capable of listening and acting with empathy for others, but the tools to achieve those goals have been stymied, stolen or corrupted beyond repair. No one group has a monopoly on common sense or compassion, nor is any one group immune from the dangers of malice and malevolence.

Counties masquerading as cities, a colony of colonies masquerading as a country, a corrupt and monopolistic horror-show will never be the solution to our ills. This site operates without any pretense of speaking for a specific group since it categorizes people into only two groups: the people, and adherents to a crown. It’s certain from the research collected so far, that geographies of resistance and independence are central to the Nova Scotian identity and its political tradition. To peacefully resist this Canadian despotism masquerading as freedom and democracy is duty.