Nova Scotia Constitutional Timeline

An expanded version of what’s put forth by the Nova Scotia legislature.

1493 – May 4, Alexander VI, Pope of Rome, issued a bull, granting the New World. Spain laid claim to the entire North American Coast from Cape Florida to Cape Breton, as part of its territory of Bacalaos.

1496 – March 5, Henry VII, King of England issued a commission to John Cabot and his sons to search for an unknown land

1498 – March 5,  Letters Patents of King Henry the Seventh Granted unto John Cabot and his Three Sonnes, Lewis, Sebastian and Sancius for the “Discouerie of New and Unknowen Lands”

1502 – Henry VII commissioned Hugh Eliot and Thomas Ashurst to discover and take possession of the islands and continents in America; “and in his name and for his use, as his vassals, to enter upon, doss, conquer, govern, and hold any Mainland or Islands by them discovered.”

1524 – Francis I, King of France, said that he should like to see the clause in Adam’s will, which made the American continent the exclusive possession of his brothers of Spain and Portugal, is said to have sent out Verrazzano, a Florentine corsair, who, as has generally been believed, explored the entire coast from 30° to 50° North Latitude, and named the whole region New France.

1534 – King Francis commissioned Jacques Cartier to discover and take possession of Canada; “his successive voyages, within the six years following, opened the whole region of St. Lawrence and laid the foundation of French dominion on this continent.”

1578 – June 11, Letters patent granted by Elizabeth, Queen of England to Sir Humphrey Gilbert, knight, for “the inhabiting and planting of our people in America”.

1584 – March 25, Queen Elizabeth renewed Gilbert’s grant to Sir Walter Raleigh, his half-brother. Under this commission, Raleigh made an unsuccessful attempt to plant an English colony in Virginia, a name afterwards extended to the whole North Coast of America in honor of the “Virgin” Queen.

1603 – November 8, Henry IV, King of France, granted Sieur de Monts a royal patent conferring the possession of and sovereignty of the country between latitudes 40° and 46° (from Philadelphia as far north as Katahdin and Montreal). Samuel Champlain, geographer to the King, accompanied De Monts on his voyage, landing at the site of Liverpool, N.S., a region already known as “Acadia.”

1606 – April 10, King James claimed the whole of North America between 34° and 45° North latitude, granting it to the Plymouth and London Companies. This entire territory was placed under the management of one council, the Royal Council for Virginia. The Northern Colony encompassed the area from 38° to 45° North latitude.

1620 – November 3, Reorganization of the Plymouth Company in 1620 as the Council of Plymouth for New England, encompassing from 40° to 48° North latitude.

1621 – September 29, Charter granted to Sir William Alexander for Nova Scotia

1625 – July 12, A grant of the soil, barony, and domains of Nova Scotia to Sir Wm. Alexander of Minstrie

1630 – April 30, Conveyance of Nova-Scotia (Port-royal excepted) by Sir William Alexander to Sir Claude St. Etienne Lord of la Tour and of Uarre and to his son Sir Charles de St. Etienne Lord of St. Denniscourt, on condition that they continue subjects to the king of Scotland under the great seal of Scotland.

1632 – March 29, Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, between King Louis XIII. and Charles King of England for the restitution of the New France, Cadia and Canada and ships and goods taken from both sides.

1632 – May 14/24 – Concession of the River and Bay of St. Croix to Commander Razilly, by the Company of New France

1635/6 – January 15/25 – Concession of Acadia to Sir Charles La Tour, By The Company of New France.

1638 Grant to Charnesay and La Tour

1647 – February – Commission To Lord D’Aulney Charnizay, By Louis XIV of France.

1651/2 – February 25th,March 7th – Letters Patent Confirming Sir Charles La Tour In Acadia, By Louis XIV. Of France.

1654 – August 16, Capitulation of Port-Royal

1656 – August 9/19, The Grant of Acadia, By Oliver Cromwell

1656 – September 17/27 – Commission to Colonel Temple, By Oliver Cromwell

1667 – July 31, The treaty of peace and alliance between England and the United Provinces made at Breda

1668 – February 17, Act of cession of Acadia to the King of France

1689 – English Bill of Rights enacted

1691, October 7, A charter granted by King William and Queen Mary to the inhabitants of the province of Massachusetts Bay, in New England

1713 – March 31, Treaty of peace and friendship between Louis XIV. King of France, and Anne, Queen of Great Britain, made in Utrecht

1713 – April 11, Treaty of navigation and commerce between Louis XIV, king of France, and Anne, Queen of Great Britain

1719 – June 19, Commission to Richard Philips to be Governor (including a copy of the 1715 Instructions given to the Governor of Virginia, by which he was to conduct himself)

1725 – August 26, Explanatory Charter of Massachusetts Bay

1725 – December 15, A treaty with the Indians (Peace and Friendship Treaty, ratification at Annapolis)

1727 – July 25, Ratification at Casco Bay of the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1725

1728 – May 13, Ratification at Annapolis Royal of the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1725

1748, October 7–18, The general and definitive treaty of peace concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle

1749 – September 4, Renewal of the Peace and Friendship treaty of 1725

1752 – November 22, Treaty between Thomas Hopson, Governor in Chief in and over His Majesty’s Province of Nova Scotia and Major Jean Baptiste Cope, Chief Sachem of the Tribe of the MickMack Indians inhabiting the Eastern Coast…

1758 – Nova Scotia Legislature established (consisting of the Lieutenant Governor, his Council and the newly established, elected legislative assembly called the House of Assembly)

1760 – March, Treaty of Peace and Friendship concluded by the Governor of Nova Scotia with Paul Laurent, Chief of the La Heve tribe of Indians

1761 – November 9, Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Jonathon Belcher and Francis Muis

1763 – February 10, France ceded, for the last time, the rest of Acadia, including Cape Breton Island (‘île Royale), the future New Brunswick and St John’s Island (later re-named Prince Edward Island), to the British (Treaty of Paris) and it was joined to Nova Scotia

1763 – October 7, Royal Proclamation

1769 – Prince Edward Island established as a colony separate from Nova Scotia

1779 – September 22, Treaty signed at Windsor between John Julien, Chief and Michael Francklin, representing the Government of Nova Scotia

1784 – Cape Breton Island and New Brunswick established as colonies separate from Nova Scotia

1820 – Cape Breton Island re-joined to Nova Scotia

1838 – Separate Executive Council and Legislative Council established

1848 – Responsible government was established in Nova Scotia (Members of the Legislature appointed a majority of those in the Legislative Council)

1867 – “Union” of provinces of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as the “self-governing” federal colony of the Dominion of Canada (British North America Act, 1867 — now known in Canada as Constitution Act, 1867) & the Parliament of Canada established (consisting of the Queen, the Senate and the House of Commons)

1928 – Abolition of the Legislative Council (leaving the Legislature consisting of the Lieutenant Governor and the House of Assembly)

1931 – Canadian “independence” legally recognized (Statute of Westminster, 1931)

1960 – Canadian Bill of Rights enacted

1982 – “Patriation” of the amendment of the Constitution of Canada & adoption of the Constitution Act, 1982, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Canada Act 1982)

Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on the State of Virginia. J. Stockdale, 1787.

Legislature of the State of Maine. “The Revised Statutes of the State of Maine, Passed August 29, 1883, and Taking Effect January 1,1884.”, Portland, Loring, Short & Harmon and William M. Marks. 1884.

Farnham, Miss Mary Frances. “Documentary History of the State of Maine: Volume VII Containing The Farnham Papers 1603-1688”. Maine Historical Society. Portland. 1901.,

Kennedy, William P. Statutes, Treaties and Documents of the Canadian Constitution: 1713-1929. Oxford Univ. Pr., 1930.

Harvard Law School Library. “Description Legislative history regarding treaties of commerce with France, Spain relating to New Foundland, Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton,” ca. 1715? Small Manuscript Collection, Harvard Law School Library., Accessed 07 June 2021

Thorpe, Francis Newton. “The Federal and State constitutions: colonial charters, and other organic laws of the States, territories, and Colonies, now or heretofore forming the United States of America” Washington : Govt. Print. Off. 1909.

Murdoch, Beamish. “Epitome of the laws of Nova-Scotia” [Halifax, N.S.? : s.n.], 1832 (Halifax, N.S. : J. Howe) Volume One:, Volume Two:, Volume Three:, Volume Four:

Marshall, John G. “The justice of the peace, and county and township officer in the province of Nova Scotia : being a guide to such justice and officers in the discharge of their official duties” [Halifax, N.S.? : s.n.], 1837 (Halifax [N.S.] : Gossip & Coade), Second Edition:

Livingston, Walter Ross. Responsible Government In Nova Scotia: a Study of the Constitutional Beginnings of the British Commonwealth. Iowa City: The University, 1930.

Bourinot, John George. “The constitution of the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia” [S.l. : s.n., 1896?],

Laing, David, editor. “Royal letters, charters, and tracts, relating to the colonization of New Scotland, and the institution of the Order of knight baronets of Nova Scotia. -1638“. [Edinburgh Printed by G. Robb, 1867]

Labaree, Leonard Woods. “Royal Instructions to British Colonial Governors 1670–1776“. Vol. I and Vol. II. The American Historical Association. (New York : D. Appleton-Century Company, 1935),

Beamish Murdoch, “On the origin and sources of the Law of Nova Scotia” (An essay on the Origin and Sources of the Law of Nova Scotia read before the Law Students Society, Halifax, N.S., 29 August 1863), (1984) 8:3 DLJ 197.

Shirley B. Elliott, “An Historical Review of Nova Scotia Legal Literature: a select bibliography”, Comment, (1984) 8:3 DLJ 197.

Dominion Disallowance of Provincial Legislation in Canada

Federal disallowance of Provincial Legislation has been a significant aspect of the Canada’s system of “federalism”, allowing the central government to nullify provincial acts deemed contrary to federal interests. This power, unique to Canada, contrasts with the American federal system, reflecting a “differing approach” to federalism. From 1867 to 1935, the Dominion government disallowed at least 114 provincial acts and territorial ordinances, highlighting its considerable powers over provincial legislation.

The process of disallowance involved the submission of provincial acts to the governor-general, with the governor-general in council having the authority to disallow them, typically based on recommendations from the Ministry of Justice, in the same way colonies previous to Confederation would submit their legislation through Lieutenant Governors to the Crown. Disallowance had to occur within one year of receiving the act. While the British government couldn’t directly interfere with provincial acts after confederation, it could express its concerns to the Dominion government instead, as could other foreign governments.

The reasons for disallowance varied widely, including conflicts with federal legislation, exceeding provincial powers outlined in the British North America Act, violation of treaty rights, or infringement on individual rights and property. The subjects of disallowed acts ranged from immigration and banking to mining and liquor regulation, indicating the Dominion’s broad oversight.

Historically, the frequency of disallowance fluctuated, with peaks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries followed by a decline in recent years. Initially, the crown and its Federal government, themselves involved in a parent-child relationship, viewed a strong central government as necessary, akin to a parent-child relationship with provinces. Where that leaves “the people” is clear.

Evolving interpretations of “Canadian federalism” have more recently emphasized provincial rights and autonomy, more in keeping with the American meaning of the term. Decisions by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and advocacy for provincial rights led to a shift in attitudes toward disallowance. Provinces began to assert their legislative independence, advocating for minimal federal interference. By the early 20th century, calls for disallowance were expected to be justified by clear attempts to infringe on federal jurisdiction. Whether this power is still exercised today, on the down low, with the only outward evidence of such actions being a bill dying on the order paper, is unclear.

“Although there is a federal form of government in both the Dominion of Canada. and the United States, there are striking differences in the two types of federalism. Some of these differences are to be found in fundamentals, such as the basis upon which the powers of government are divided in the two countries. Less striking, but nevertheless significant, are still other points of variance. Among these is the power which the dominion government has to disallow legislative acts of the provinces. Just why the fathers of the Canadian federation thought this power should be given to the central government is not clear. The fact remains, however, that in the years from 1867 to 1935, at least 114 provincial acts and territorial ordinances were set aside. It is important to note that these acts were dis- allowed by executive officers of the dominion government. Executive officers of the national government in the United States do not possess similar powers where state legislation is concerned.”

“A survey of the law-making efforts of provincial legislatures which have been set aside by the dominion government indicates that the central government has interfered with some of the most important fields in which provincial legislation might be enacted.”

“The frequency with which the dominion’s power of disallowance has been used has varied considerably at different periods in Canada’s history. In the years from 1867 through 1895, no less than 72 acts and ordinances were set aside. In the years from 1896 through 1920, a period of almost equal length, 37 provincial acts and ordinances were annulled. From 1920 to 1935, only five acts passed by provincial legislatures fell before the disapproval of the dominion government. In the first period mentioned, the greatest number of acts to be disallowed in one province was 26, in Manitoba. British Columbia, with 20, was a close second. Seven ordinances (as distinct from legislative acts) were set aside in the Northwest Territory, while in Ontario and Nova Scotia six acts in each province were disallowed. The remainder of the 72 can be accounted for by the disallowance of four statutes in Quebec, two in Prince Edward Island, and one in New Brunswick. In the second period, British Columbia headed the list with 22, while Manitoba and Saskatchewan had three each. Ontario and Quebec each had one act annulled. Seven ordinances were set aside, five in the Yukon Territory and two in the Northwest Territory. Since 1920, legislative acts in only three provinces have been disallowed. Three were annulled in Nova Scotia and one each in Alberta and British Columbia.”

“To many Americans, it is, of course, striking that the central government in a federation should possess this degree of control over certain types of legislation enacted by the member units in that federal organization. In the Canada of 1864-66, however, there were many who, like J. A. Macdonald, wished to see a strong central government created. They believed that the war between the states to the south of them was due, in part, to weakness at the center. That the dominion government should be able to disallow provincial legislation did not seem strange to them.”

Heneman, H. J. (1937). Dominion Disallowance of Provincial Legislation in Canada. The American Political Science Review, 31(1), 92–96.

Education in Nova Scotia before 1811

“In 1792, 400 acres (were set apart for school purposes) at Dartmouth… By surveys conducted in 1813 previous land grants for schools were supplemented by an addition of 4,625 acres comprising tracts in twelve settlements in different parts of the province. These latter parcels of land were made in favor of the Chief Justice of the province to be held in trust by the Bishop and the Secretary.

These land concessions for school purposes were made in conformity with the agreement of the Lords of Trade with the S. P. G. in 1749; the Royal Orders issued to Governor Cornwallis in 1749, and the more recent instructions given Governor Lawrence in 1756 authorizing him to reserve “a particular spot in or near each town for the building of a church and four hundred acres adjacent thereto for the maintenance of a minister and two hundred acres for a schoolmaster;” and to retain, likewise, over and above the stated amount, one hundred acres in each township free of quit rent for ten years, for the use of all schoolmasters sent out by the Society. Prior to 1766 ministers of the Church of England exercised a sort of guardianship over the school plots lying in their respective parishes pending their occupation by duly appointed teachers.

But because of a school law passed by the Nova Scotia Legislature in that year administration of all school lands in the province was vested in a board of trustees endowed with corporate powers. Usually the ministers of the parishes in which the lands were situated and the church wardens were named trustees. From this circumstance, partly, the view came to prevail that the original intention was to reserve these lands exclusively for the benefit of S.P.G. teachers although there had been no express agreement to that effect.”

Thibeau, Patrick Wilfrid, 1892-. “Education In Nova Scotia Before 1811 …” Washington, D.C., 1922.

Constitutional Questions in Nova Scotia. The Attorney-General of Nova Scotia v. The Legislative Council of Nova Scotia

“At Confederation the Conservative Government then in power in Nova Scotia had filled all the vacancies in the [Legislative] Council (of which there were a number), occasioned not only by natural causes but by the appointment of a number of Councillors to the newly formed Senate of Canada; so that the Liberals who were returned in September of 1867 were in a minority in the Council.”

“As to the practical reasons behind this determined attempt to get rid of the [Legislative] Council-three main arguments are usually advanced. First: That it is obsolete and unnecessary and that all the other Provinces in Canada, except Quebec, carry on their affairs without an Upper House. Second: That it tends to become an obstructionist body when made up of an opposition majority, and that this obstruction is political and is not in the best interests of the Province. Third: That it is an unnecessary expenditure of money-the total yearly budget for the Council being at least $20,000 to $25,000.

On the other hand, there are all the arguments usually advanced in favour of a Second Chamber, i.e. that it is a necessary guarantee of good, safe government.”

MacKenzie, Norman. Constitutional Questions in Nova Scotia. The Attorney-General of Nova Scotia v. The Legislative Council of Nova Scotia. Journal of Comparative Legislation and International Law Vol. 11, No. 1 (1929)

This argument, cost, is no doubt a very important consideration, but it has manifested itself over time as a perpetual amorphous “efficiency” to be applied to all levels of government — it represents an unending centralization of power and the disassembly of any institution not yet under federal control. It’s been used in addition to another argument, that asserts the Federal government took all powers “of significance” at the BNA so that there’s no need for an upper house to provide a check on the lower, in relation to provincial affairs and otherwise as regards the “intergovernmental interface”.

Since that time, with (what was once devolved to the municipal, at least in Nova Scotia’s case, and are now) provincial responsibilities like education and health being the main drivers of provincial budgets — both on the receiving end of an unending volley of constitutional impositions from Ottawa for what are clearly ideological reasons, totalitarian in nature — having a house of sober second thought provincially could’ve helped prevent the implementation of so many of these successive impositions on behalf of our unicameral ram-fest legislature. No doubt if we elected and/or appointed our own judges we could’ve prevented some of the absurd scenarios recently brought forward by courts stocked by the Canadians with those who act as little more than a political arm of “Ottawa”, to legitimize its political designs.

All Articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces”, Section 121 of the BNA is very clear, its supposed free trade basis and provisions likely one of the only ways they could’ve imposed the BNA without instituting an outright conflict, yet the decision in R v Comeau is proof nothing is sacred or insulated from constant Canadian de-evolution, even at the highest levels of “Canadian courts”.

What are obviously constitutional concepts of great significance are then reduced to their basest most literal interpretations possible, in what used to be the press, in the talking points of the smarmiest of crown adjacents of which there’s no shortage. They’ll be sure to share a laugh about the subject — R v Comeau now imposes a standard of “illegality” on “citizens” who dare purchase beer in one province only to try and transport it back to their home province — knowing full well what they’re ushering in as predicate as will be applied to any number of products in the future, always chipping away at anything not yet engineered with an exception.

Provincially there’s court cases like Gee and Grabher, but there are others: the former ruled that a person doesn’t have the right to inspect a product they can otherwise legally procure, previous to its purchase — the latter being that an anonymous complainant, who perhaps purposefully misunderstood the sprit of a personalized license plate because of political orientation, should have the right to force the forfeiture of the license plate from its holder, primacy given to the complainants subjective aggrievement, without any consideration of the fact the term in question is the last name of the individual who holds the personalized license plate.

At the municipal level was the somewhat recent introduction of a smoking by-law which seems to have brought about or reinforced the constitutional predicate required for spatial, geographical restrictions on freedom of movement, enabling illegal parks as well as restrictions on inter and intra-county travel within the province which made an appearance during the pandemic.

This spatial angle was expanded into a kind of pass system like that which existed before the revolution, preventing certain people from entering or leaving the province, as they once did to debtors, apprentices, servants and slaves. Even “national and international media outlets” and their reporters were prevented from entry to Nova Scotia, unlike war torn Syria or Ukraine, after a mass shooting which the Federal government quickly utilized for political purposes, in order to bring about a number of restrictions on guns — restrictions which never would’ve prevented the tragedy in question in the first place, but which certainly leave “the people” defenseless and unable to partake in what I would assert is another natural right beyond self defense, that of subsistence from hunting, an activity more integral in terms of “Canadian culture” than just about anything else.

Even something as simple and elemental as riding a bicycle has recently been criminalized, it’s illegal without a helmet, another imposition in conflict with what I would assert is a natural right to determine one’s risk, that is if we are still considered sentient.

Many of these actions may be the manifestation of a separate but significant disease process, a parasite on our local self government, that of a monopoly health insurance concern, itself part of an omnipotent eugenics monopoly which operates at the Provincial level, increasingly regulated at the national and international level. Even organ donation — an amazing gift, proof we’re surrounded by those who possess an incredibly selfless spirit of giving — has been politicized. The provincial uni-party has decided one’s organs are the property of the monopoly health authority by default, unless one “opts out”, crediting the youth wing of one of the participant parties in the uni-party for floating the idea so as to portray any criticism of the policy as an attack, as insensitive. What kind of blemish those who dare call the government call center to re-claim ownership of their organs receive on their social credit score remains to be seen.

All this without getting into the retrogression in other areas — the centralization of healthcare administration and provision more generally, the courts in terms of their reorganization without the Sessions (which became the municipal courts at Dartmouth’s incorporation), the Grand Jury has been disappeared (another power bestowed on localities including Dartmouth at incorporation, an institution at the very center of Howe’s acquittal), School districts and boards have met the same fate. All were once municipal powers, a level of government with seperate jurisdiction since disappeared in favor of municipalized counties designed to deny the ability to incorporate. All has occurred since, I’d wager thanks, to the constitutional impositions of the purposefully paradoxical Charter of 1982.

Canada’s institutions have never been a reflection of the people but instead exist as a mechanism of control in opposition to people. “Canada” was imposed from some shadowy level above, avenues our system of governance which features a foreign crowned executive provides no shortage of — a “nation” predicated on the premise people aren’t capable of self government, that there’s a separate class of people unencumbered by the usual human weaknesses to whom our governance should be unquestioningly surrendered.

It seems strange to me that those so loyal, who would submit to any number of indignities foisted upon them or enacted in their name, for which they’re later expected to take the blame, can’t be trusted to govern themselves. In my opinion, it’s as close to the proof we will ever find that America’s founding fathers were on the most solid of moral ground, absolutely prescient, overwhelmingly accurate in their assessments of what it was they faced from across the Atlantic, their fate was sealed unless they took the actions they did.

In no way do I advocate for “democracy” as the solution other than that which is defined in the US Constitution, of which only a part is “democracy”. I’m of the opinion that for our safety we need fundamental change to reposition our institutions, to insulate us from powers being asserted by a run away federal government at Ottawa and its many international “partner organizations”, all of whom will never be amenable to our wishes.

We need to restore our bicameral house provincially, we should try to strengthen our upper house federally. Senators should be appointed by those elected to the provincial legislature, as it was in the United States for each State previous to the 17th amendment, as it was in Nova Scotia from its counties previous to its own Senate’s dissolution in 1929 — this would ensure the Executive at either level can’t use their Senate as a vessel of patronage, while diffusing the voice of the people somewhat from that branch, at least temporally.

A Senate filled with the executive’s appointed toadies can never be a check on the executive, even (and perhaps especially) when the executive decides they’re “independent”. America’s founders were right to use the Senate as a kind of mollification of the directly democratic, to help insulate the second chamber from popular feeling as well as the Executive, in order to steady the course of governance overall including through the use of staggered six year terms.

That’s something we need to implement here, a staggered term on a timeline than differs from that of the lower house. This serves as a middle ground between the entirely democratic of a popularly elected Senate and the present intolerable Canadian circumstance of a Senate full of appointees, whose grace we could be forced to suffer for decades, appointed by an irresponsible executive — now full of his supposed “independents” — a purposefully weak upper house which is at the same time completely insulated from the people, seemingly designed to enable its dissolution altogether in a not too distant future in a kind of repeat of the Nova Scotia template set down almost a century earlier. What happened to Nova Scotia with the dissolution of its Legislative Council has led us down a road to nowhere, we’re hopelessly lost in the woods always further from where we started, supposed evolutions always digging us a deeper grave.

Provinces as entities do not receive their legitimacy from “Ottawa”, I see it the other way around: if “Ottawa” is to be legitimate it is because of the consent of its parts, any strength it enjoys comes from that of its parts and people. If we’re to advance a great awakening — the spirit shown in Alberta, as monarchical as it may be could be the impetus for a reawakening of spirit across Canada and allow the opportunity for a much needed rethink — we should study the Northwest Ordinance as a bridge, a guide to format our institutions, a roadmap to a Republic where “the people” are represented in a way that allows a proper check within the Constitution.

If for some reason we are forced to stay within the confines of the current constitutional environment we must endeavor to cut down the Federal government to as thin of a wedge as possible, both in terms of the financial as well as the cultural. Defense (which shouldn’t leave the provinces without the ability of instituting some equivalent to State guards), international trade and foreign affairs, minting coin, the census (which was successfully carried on long before Canada by its parts too, mind you), the post office; otherwise starve the beast, nullify Ottawa as much as possible, bring back some semblance of the province as body politic, the people as its actuators, ancient concepts foundational to our constitution essentially erased by the BNA and the way it was imposed. This situation has become even more of a quagmire thanks to the Charter’s divide and conquer games, a document imposed from above, whose supposed benefits are nullified in multiple ways within the document itself.

The Maritimes should “amalgamate” our landmass and provincial governments. Using the Congressional Apportionment Amendment of the US Constitution as a guide we could create a legislature based on a formula of one representative for every 40,000 residents, this would net us a lower house of 49 representatives, I suggest an upper house of one third that number, 16. George Washington was of the opinion that number should be 30,000 which would net us 65 representatives and 21 Senators based on our current population.

I prefer seats based on population and geography alone to those based on immutable characteristics, but I am interested in a system where Indigenous people feel represented. Bicameralism is a check on the legislature that reflects “land” and localities in terms of counties, as well as other interests, in the way the US Constitution proscribes for its States.

For those whose priority is “efficiency” a reorganization such as this would cut the number of districts in total between the three provinces by more than half, from 131 to 65 (or by one third if you subscribe to George Washington’s view, to 86). I argue reinstating a second chamber and reorganizing representation as it concerns the urban rural fringe similar to Florida’s recent efforts would improve representation, especially if protections for local government are enshrined along with what would otherwise be contained within in a written constitution like a Bill of Rights.

New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island both have protection for local government which we could adopt back in some way in union. A capital at Moncton makes sense, both geographically and culturally between the three provinces. The provinces together could accelerate the acquisition of the link to Prince Edward Island from the dominion government as local infrastructure. We could implement official languages in the same way Alaska does, recognizing English, French, Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik and Peskotomuhkati as official — if Gaelic is to be considered, so too should German — a Maritime Union is a return to Nova Scotia’s ancient form, under a number of names over time, a process interrupted by “Confederation”. To split 50,000 square miles (133,000 square kilometers) and almost 2 million people into three provinces is a happenstance of the impositions of 1867 and those of almost a hundred years earlier, actions that no longer make sense if they ever did.

Ultimately it’s my hope that we could consider the US Constitution as “the crown”, not “Ottawa” with its perpetually intractable drama and its innumerable supranational tentacles — or perhaps more accurately, the tentacles of its various supranational masters, perhaps the source of what is seen as “arbitrary” by those stuck underneath. Treaties, at least in the case of the Maritimes, go back at least as far as 1725, a treaty the Government of Canada has decided not to recognize. What about Canada’s posture on the Jay Treaty, is Ottawa interested in upholding the treaties or only those that support their year 0 approach to Constitutional affairs?

Being a US Territory would be an evolution in so many ways, it would afford powers of self-government far beyond the status quo of forever childhood imposed on “the people” by Canada, most especially that imposed on the Indigenous who would gain the ability to levy taxes, institute various services and implement their own policies.

“Healthcare” is held up as some overarching and unique Canadian value, a service we’re supposedly currently enjoying, yet the world presents any number of models with better outcomes, plenty of inspiration we can use to design a system to deliver healthcare without needing to resort to our present role as subsurvients under Ottawa’s ideological cudgels — why are people so resigned to the status quo? Don’t people realize that with self government comes the responsibility, and the opportunity, to design and implement our own policies?

The issue as I see it, healthcare being the perfect example, is that under the status quo it is currently illegal to take charge at lower levels, everything has been designed to prevent anything other than dependency. The lowest level is the individual, yet Canadian courts have decreed that there is “no right to private healthcare“, officially vassalizing that which they pretend are sentient citizens, if there was any doubt previously, which streamlines completely with a system that has already decided physicians should be barred from accepting private payment. Not to mention the fantasy that there will be a stampede of physicians and other health professionals taking advantage of the “Nova Scotian lifestyle” to make up for their anemic government regulated incomes, a fraction of what they could earn in adjacent jurisdictions. We aren’t governed by the incompetent, but by the malicious.

Wrong turn at Albuquerque

Perhaps territory-hood wouldn’t be as much of a boon for “provinces” in terms of resource development as compared to the current setup under the BNA, hence I assume the posture of provinces like Alberta. How can we ensure the development of natural resources aren’t used as a political football, as they are now, but instead recognized as the blessing they are in terms of security and prosperity? I contend “public lands” point the way forward in contrast to those of a crown, when it comes to conservation, the environment or Indigenous rights, certainly in terms of “de-colonization” — a process which Canada supposedly stands ready to implement yet which it opposes in every way through its makeup and conduct.

After more than 150 years of wrong turns the road map currently points to a Canadian unitary state at Ottawa, a de-facto government of foreign actors, directed by the UN, the WHO, the WTO and any number of other international organizations whose dictate increasingly serves as the basis for our local laws, dictate which can never be challenged. This is our present and most certainly, in an ever increasing fashion, our future — unending impositions on behalf of the members of a crown adjacent uni-party who, along with their multitude of supranational masters, will never bring about a balanced Constitution that recognizes the popular sovereignty of “the people” as a unit in combination with that of the provinces and the Federal government. There is currently no mechanism to prevent what is increasingly a one way street to a despotic tyranny.

It seems to be by design that Canada’s paradoxically named charter of rights and freedoms ushered in this governance by intersectionality in order to prevent any organization of “the people” as such, going so far as to bestow upon the indigenous equivalent of fiefs what should be the popular sovereignty of their people, in order to instead incorporate them as “indigenous municipalities” under the guise of “nationhood”, surrendering any land claims they might have had to the totalitarian government at Ottawa.

“I think I’m lost… Wow. First I passed the BNA, then I passed the Charter, then I passed amalgamation…”

What we need isn’t free money but a free country — one which has “equality” and “we the people” at its root, not “equity”, not “we the vassals of wholly unaccountable international actors” and most certainly not “we the various intersectionalities, where some are more equal than others, in whatever way power can use us as a tool of forever divide and conquer”.

Institutionalizing Eugenics: Custody, Class, Gender And Education In Nova Scotia’s Response To The “Feeble-Minded”, 1890-1931

It’s obvious to me that the eugenicists didn’t stop after 1931, that it was used in ways that were politically motivated seems just as obvious. It was preceded by a few generations of “stirpiculture“, which just so happened to make an appearance in an institutionalized form in Nova Scotia in time for “confederation” leading to many subsequent expansions, including at the time of Dartmouth’s incorporation. Howe hinted towards this possibility in his speech at Dartmouth, “The lunatic asylum of course we must keep up, because Archibald may want it by-and-by to put Tupper and Henry into at the close of the elections“, by no means the only example of such statements. That 1868-69 featured the highest number of admission to the “Hospital for the insane” since its inception in 1859 adds further context.

I often think of this whenever I hear a member of Canada’s ruling caste — those who we are supposed to believe have the best interests of their subjects at heart — talk about “mental health” within the context of the current political environment, where they’re preparing every avenue, most especially health and education, for the application of philosophical intoxication against those who resist any of their totalitarian actions and inclinations.

It certainly brings clarity as to why we have such a highly political and ideologically focused monopoly health care system devoid of private payments or hospitals, let alone private insurers for primary care. It’s a level of control that wouldn’t have been so easy to achieve with the patchwork of jurisdictions, imbued with some measure of self government, which we enjoyed previous to this current “amalgamated” regime of hyper-centralization in terms of the administrative state.

I’m sure they’re just looking out for all of our best interests, now.

“Between 1890 and 1927 hundreds of Nova Scotian children and adults were identified as either feeble-minded or mentally deficient through investigations conducted by physicians and philanthropists in the province. The earliest of these studies were not commissioned by the provincial government but instead reflected the middle-class internalization of the eugenic discourse. Reformers, drawn often from medical, religious, educational, and philanthropic vocations, sought with ever-increasing alacrity to respond to perceived social problems, such as poverty, prostitution, venereal disease, and alcoholism, with a scientific solution. The scientific solution that they embraced was eugenics.

Eugenic ideology and programs rose to popularity in Europe and North America at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. Driven by social anxiety and the medicalization of reproduction, eugenic theory expressed the concerns of the middle classes that those they deemed less fit on the basis of socio-economic class, education or heredity, were reproducing at a higher rate than the ‘desirable’ segments of the population. The application of eugenic theory was shaped by cultural assumptions about gender, class and race which resulted in the same principles finding different expression in different areas across the globe.

This dissertation seeks to understand how local circumstances shaped the Nova Scotian understanding of eugenics and its application. It examines the manner in which Nova Scotian physicians and philanthropists, with strong ties to both New England and Britain, participated in the transnational eugenic discourse through both professional and popular publications and organizations. Overall it argues that the expression of eugenics in Nova Scotia culminated in legislation that enforced the inspection, segregation and institutionalization of individuals who were assessed as feeble-minded. In doing so it also calls attention to the need to recognize outcomes other than sexual sterilization as legitimate expressions of eugenic policy. Subsequently the influential role played by regional circumstances in shaping what was considered an acceptable eugenic outcome as well as how eugenic policy was sought and implemented is examined. In investigating what reformers understood to be eugenic, and conversely what they considered dysgenic, a complex discourse surrounding the health of populations and reliant on ideas of gender, race, and class is revealed.”

Baker, Leslie Elaine. Institutionalizing Eugenics: Custody, Class, Gender And Education In Nova Scotia’s Response To The “Feeble-Minded”, 1890-1931. University of Saskatchewan, Feb. 2015.

From Private Property to Public Resource: The Emergence of Administrative Control of Water in Nova Scotia

This is a fascinating essay, there must have been implications as it relates to Dartmouth even before it became the City of Lakes. It was expropriation on a broad scale, which encompassed “every water body in the province except for small rivulets or brooks unsuitable for milling, mechanical, or power purposes”. Dartmouth’s lakes, once “protected by public ownership for the enjoyment of future generations“, perhaps a vestige of this “administrative control over water (which) replaced not only private decision making and exchange, but judicial control.”

The assertion that “the absence of constitutional protection for property, as provided in the United States by the Fourteenth Amendment, significantly altered the rules of the game in Canada” explains so much about the increasingly feudal situation in Canada.

The kind of interjurisdictional powerplay happening as seen in the Nova Scotia Tramways incident was certainly floated before “confederation”, “does it necessarily follow that this union must produce peace and happiness? What if the larger Colonies should combine to rob the small one of her independence, should tyrannize over her, and trample on her rights and liberties…“. The timing of this powerplay, soon after the “Halifax explosion” and during a period of constitutional upheaval is yet another data point.

So many rights, so much freedom, as long as the meaning of “rights” and “freedom” aren’t arbitrarily redefined as benefits the further centralization of irresponsible power on a perpetual basis. You’re “free”, as long as you agree, under a regime with specifically apportioned constitutional powers from the Federal level disconnected from a written constitution at the Provincial level, what in essence becomes a proprietary constitution, known only to those authorized by the regime to officially opine on it, for their own benefit.

“In 1919 Nova Scotia took charge of the management of its inland water resources in a radical and dramatic way. The Water Act of 1919 simply expropriated basic riparian rights by vesting in the province the ‘sole and exclusive right to use, divert and appropriate any and all water.’ Water was transferred from private to public ownership without compensation of recourse to the courts.”

“Nova Scotia’s Act was atypical in its scope (within the Canadian provinces)… only Nova Scotia handled the widespread problem by expropriating riparian rights.”

“Judges… faced conflicts with only the traditional tools of the common law inherited from England… In addition to riparian rights, the common law affecting water included prescriptive rights and easements, nuisance and negligence… The judges seem to have focused on the details of the particular legal issues before them rather than on the consequences of the decisions.”

“Part of this tacit ‘policy’ was an absolute regard for private property rights. All the common law doctrines relevant to conflicts over water use – riparian rights, trespass, nuisance – provided for the strict protection of the individual property owner’s rights… In its strictest form, the doctrine of riparian rights accorded owners the right to the water flowing past their land undiminished in quantity or quality. Taken literally this right would have virtually precluded any upstream industrial activity: most commercial uses would violate strict common rights in some way… the traditional property rights may be thus seen as having a built-in antidevelopment bias. The doctrine… was modified, first in the United States and then in England, by allowing for some interference with water flow if the defendant’s use was ‘reasonable’, and by adding the requirement of ‘material’ or ‘sensible’ injury. These vague terms offered great potential for flexible interpretation. Nova Scotia courts, however, seem not to have been inclined to take advantage of the modifications.”

“…the chief reason for the passage of (the 1919 Water Act) does not seem to have been that common law action had significantly hindered productive development of water, rather, the act grew out of a long controversy over the control and development of water power, which by 1914 had become a major issue in the Nova Scotia legislature.

The Nova Scotia Power and Pulp Company was granted a charter with immense powers to develop hydro power on the Gaspereau River. The company, which was owned by Montreal capitalists, wanted to take over the very successful Halifax Electric Tramway, which could absorb power from the development and provide close to half a million dollars to pay dividends and interest on the large number of stocks and bonds the owners planned to float. The takeover produced a bitter struggle, with the Halifax city council trying to retain municipal control of the tramway. In the end, the Montreal-based group succeeded. Incorporating as the Nova Scotia Tramway and Power Company, it made an estimated gross profit of over a millions dollars in transfers of stocks and bonds. The Montrealer’s then sold controlling interests to a group of Americans in 1919 ‘for a further undisclosed profit’.”

‘The ostensible purpose of the merger was to permit the development of hydroelectricity on the Gasperau and the distribution of cheaper light and power within the city of Halifax. But nothing came of that … the funds raised for that purpose were promptly channeled out of Nova Scotia.’

“By 1918 the Water Power Commission was ready with its recommendations for law reform. The stated objectives of the resulting legislation were to encourage the most efficient development of water power, to protect the public from ‘worthless power schemes’, ‘ill designed plants and dams’, and ‘monopolistic control,’ and ‘to in all ways have in view the fullest conservation of the water resources.’ The act seems to have been a response to the Nova Scotia Tramways fiasco, and in particular it seems to have been an effort to keep control of water resources within Nova Scotia. The commission presumably came to the plausible conclusion that the only way to ensure local control was to remove water from the realm of unregulated market transactions.

The act can be seen as a preliminary step towards the drastic action of the 1919 Water Act. The right to use all watercourses was vested in the Crown, except ‘the right of every riparian proprietor to the use of water for domestic purposes’ — a major exception, since ‘domestic purposes’ included the workings of railways or factories by steam. All grants were to be retroactively construed as having reserved to the Crown all watercourses and beds of all watercourses. In case there was any doubt left in the minds of judges that these provisions would fundamentally change existing riparian rights, it was further stated that ‘the grant shall be construed accordingly and not in accordance with the rules of the English Common Law.”

“…The scope of the expropriation was especially large, however, since the powers could be transferred to private companies….”

“The water Act, in the words of the Halifax Herald, decalre[d] that the government of Nova Scotia has power to divert and appropriate any water at any time in any water course no matter by what grant.”

“This simple and sweeping act gave rise to a heated debate in the legislature, portions of which were reported in the local newspapers. The Herald headline read, ‘A Bill before the Legislature That Takes from the Owners the Water Powers of Nova Scotia and Can Take Also Other Valuable Property.’ The real point of objection was not public ownership, but that there was no provision for compensation in the Water Act and no exception for investment in existing power developments. The attorney general, who introduced the bill, argued lamely that it was not an expropriation measure but simply a ‘vesting bill’, that it only had to do with unused waters.”

“Administrative control over water replaced not only private decision making and exchange, but judicial control.”

“Even in recent history, long after the initial attempt to exclude them, the courts have continued to display their inclination to protect traditional private rights. In the early 1970s two parties successfully used the old exception of small rivulets or brooks to bring an action as riparian owners, and the legislature once again responded by removing the exception.”

“From an American perspective, the ease with which the Nova Scotia legislature accomplished the abolition of a whole class of property rights is astonishing.

–Carmen Baggeley offers an interesting commentary on the differences between the United States and Canada with regard to the protection of property: ‘In the absence of constitutional protection of rights and judicial review, the power of the legislature in Canada is almost unlimited. As a result, the concept of a business being “affected with the public interest”, which formed the legal basis for government regulation in the United States, was unnecessary in Canada. As Christopher Armstrong and H.V. Nelles point out, the absence of constitutional protection for property, as provided in the United States by the Fourteenth Amendment, significantly altered the rules of the game in Canada. Early in this century, when the “due process law” clause was being interpreted broadly, American businessmen were able to turn to the courts for protection. Canadian businessmen did not have this option, instead they tried to play one level of government against the other. Sometimes they succeeded, but more often than not they failed. In desperation, some Canadian businessmen began to discuss ways in which they might get the constitution amended. in 1911, B.E. Walker, President of the Bank of Commerce, even suggested pressure from abroad, “… a complaint from those who represent capital in the United States would seem to be a most natural way in which to bring about consideration of the subject by the Government at Ottawa… “

“…of course the Charter of Rights and Freedoms now provides for constitutional protection of rights and judicial review, but property is not included among those rights.”

Nedelsky, Jennifer. “From Private Property to Public Resource: The Emergence of Administrative Control of Water in Nova Scotia.” Essays in the History of Canadian Law: Nova Scotia, edited by Philip Girard and Jim Phillips, vol. 3, University of Toronto Press, 2012, pp. 326–52. JSTOR, Accessed 23 Aug. 2022.

French Prison: Near old Ferry Road, Dartmouth Cove, probably built about 1793, afterwards J. P. Mott & Co. soap factory

“Old French Prison, probably built about 1793, afterwards J.P. Mott & Co’s Soap Factory near Old Ferry Road, Dartmouth Cove, Dartmouth, N.S. View looking eastward. Photographed on the afternoon of June 13, 1929. Modern low addition (to the building) at east end. Addition by Mott, to original building at right.”

“Just a few years before its demolition. This historic building was erected in 1793 without additions [addition to the right was made by J.P. Mott & Company]. It was used as a barracks for French prisoners until September 1805. In John P. Mott’s time soap was made there. It was built into a bank of clay on property that originally contained a variety of slopes and hillocks.

The extensive bulldozing at Hazelhurst during 1946, completely obliterated its landmarks. The site of this 18th century prison is thought to be on the spot where stands the new residence at 59 Newcastle Street extension.

The view is looking eastwards towards the heights of Johnstone Avenue. In the skyline, one inch to the right of the roof, the tower of Blink Bonnie House rises out of a forest which until then was almost privative. Mount Amelia is at left. Mr. Harry Piers, late Curator of the Provincial museum, is seated in the middle of the group at left…”

“Blink Bonnie House”

“Large room for prisoners with parlor beyond of stairs to bedroom above. View looking west south west (back towards photo above) on the afternoon of June 13, 1929. From left to right: Modern addition on south side, Door to parlour, Stairs to bedroom, Door to parlour, Door to old stairs, main entrance (northern side).”

“Parlour and dining room, with large room beyond for prisoners (seen directly above), view looking eastward (in the same direction as the photo seen at top), photographed on the afternoon of June 13, 1929. From left to right: Door to old stairs to kitchen, opening boarded over, at this side of door, Door with glass in upper part, Large room beyond door, Fire place, Door to old chamber.”

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin:

“As enemy ships captured off the coast were usually brought to this port, their crews were quartered at Melville Island, or at [this] old prison …, or they were put on parole in private homes at Preston where they often worked for their keep….

The prison … seems to have had a section for hospital cases, and quite likely a surrounding enclosure where the interns could enjoy recreational activities.

[Prisoners sometimes attempted to escape] as a notice in one of the issues of the Royal Gazette during July 1805 showed …. One result of this getaway was that the next issue of slop-clothing for Dartmouth and Melville Island camps, had the initials “P.O.W.” prominently marked in red print on the back of the jackets, on the thigh of trousers and on the breast of shirts. Inside their shoes was the word “PRISONER”.”

“Dartmouth, Halifax Co.: French Prison: Near old Ferry Road, Dartmouth Cove, probably built about 1793, afterwards J. P. Mott & Co. soap factory”, 1929.

Topographic Map Nova Scotia – Uniacke Sheet and Chezzetcook Sheet No. 11

Lots of detail in this topographical map surveyed in 1920 and reprinted in 1946.

The path of the “Old Annapolis Road” can still be seen.

“Topographic Map Nova Scotia – Uniacke Sheet and Chezzetcook Sheet No. 11. Surveyed and Reproduced by the Geographical Section, General Staff, Department of National Defence. Surveyed 1920 reprinted 1946”,

Acadia Sugar Refinery

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, after the fire. February 1912.

Acadia Sugar Refinery, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, after the fire. February 1912.

Acadia Sugar Refinery, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Acadia Sugar Refinery, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. (?) 1912-1927.

Acadia Sugar Refinery. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. After 1912 fire, before 1927.

Acadia Sugar Refinery Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin:

THIS IS THE FIRST WOODSIDE REFINERY. It was projected by an English Company under the Presidency of George G. Dustin, who came from Scotland to live in the Fairbanks house about 1863. Completion of the Refinery came in 1881. All this time Mr. Dustin kept appealing for adequate sugar tariff protection.

Page 1 of 4
1 2 3 4