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 … Read more

“The Dominion of Canada; a study of annexation”

“The Canadian colonies have always been deprived of representation in the Imperial government, and, until the recent Dominion Constitution, prescribed by act of the British Parliament in 1867, they had few privileges of self-government. The colonial government given to Canada after the fall of the French power was not even as liberal as that under … Read more

“The history of Kings County, Nova Scotia, heart of the Acadian land”

“Until January, 1757, the Governor and Council ruled alone in Nova Scotia, at that time, after long debate, it was decided that a Representative Assembly should be created, and that there should be elected for the province at large, until counties should be formed, twelve members, besides four for the township of Halifax, two for … Read more

Local Government in Nova Scotia

Background:Although there were no parliamentary institutions of any kind in the area during the French regime, local government of one sort or another has existed in Nova Scotia from the founding of Port Royal in 1605. It began not with elected municipal councils, nor with incorporated towns and cities, not even with the Court of … Read more

League of the Maritime Provinces


Executive Officers:President: Hon. Joseph HoweVice Presidents: W.J. Stairs, Esq., Patrick Power, Esq.Secretaries: Mr William Garvie,Robt. L. Weatherbee Esq.,Treasurer: Robt. Boak, Jr, Esq. The Maritime Provinces of British America now enjoy all the blessings of self-government, controlling their own revenues, forming, controlling and removing their own Cabinets ; appointing their own Judges, Councillors, and Public Officers; … Read more

State or province? Bond or free?

bond-or-free canada map slavery

The argument that “if they please, (they may make) of the whole Union a single State, and of the States mere Counties” certainly piqued my interest in regards to the Constitutional situation here.

Nova Scotia — once a proto-state in 1775 at the same level as New York, Jamaica or New Zealand, devolved into a dominion under the Province of Canada in 1867 thanks to the BNA, whose counties were municipalized in 1879, whose Senate was dissolved by fiat in 1928 — seems to have completed the process of becoming a county in everything but name nearly 100 years ago. Its municipal corporations of note, the only carve-outs that survived this new regime, finally dissolved by fiat in 1996. Nova Scotia since that time seems to operate as nothing more than a borough of the province of Canada.

The skimming operation known as “Canada” is designed to suck the lifeblood out of the people, pilfering their productivity, their institutions, the economy, even their individuality. Increasingly centrally planned through various mechanisms, today it’s overwhelmingly “the climate” that serves as the vehicle of choice. Whether through “crown corporation” monopolies or (supposedly) “free market” oligopolies, it’s an onshore off-shore economic environment for Canadian vassals outside an administrative class overwhelmingly geographically concentrated in what was once the province of Canada.

What portion of the profits that would be gained through a system like slavery are achieved by these Canadian fiefdoms I’m not sure, but Canada is like a ratchet without a quick release. The rights of Canadian subjects are restricted more and more just as surely as their taxes are higher and higher in each and every session of a foreign crowns parliament at Ottawa, on a parallel track is Canada’s suffocating reliance on a policy of divide and conquer. Historically it was in terms of the loyalists and the disaffected, Tory and Whig, English and French. Today it is immigration and the Indigenous, people of color or sexual minorities, east and west or oil and the environment. Any opposition is racist or phobic — as we move quickly down the road to an inevitable conclusion, the return to serfdom & villeinage outright now that the “constitutional” appendage to Canada’s “‘constitutional’ monarchy” has been proven to be completely fungible and meaningless.

This “return to monarchy” appears to this author to be imminent, at this stage, where even Nova Scotia’s constitutionally guaranteed Federal Senators have been left un-appointed for years (even though it was Nova Scotia’s Senators who served as the great concession of “confederation”). Those Senators who have been appointed during the current regime now deemed “independent”, a status not found anywhere in the constitution and entirely politically convenient for those doing the appointing.

If one is able to separate the constitutional considerations posited in the pamphlet below from the issue of slavery that was unfortunately its linchpin ⁠— a problem that also existed north of the border, regardless of those who seem to think their corner of the world had a geographical and temporal monopoly on the practice in order to suit their own modern political goals ⁠— one can more easily see the argument for States AND people together as America’s constituting force, that which created the Federal government, versus one or the other exclusively.

Without imposing my personal thoughts on the American situation, which is not my intention, I see the necessity of this argument reflected in Canada’s constitutional framework. Canadian jurisdictions are the constitutional end result that (at least some in “the south”) feared for their States, a total loss of sovereignty to a highly centralized unitary state.

This poem seems fitting, located in Canada East & Canada West, once “the province of Canada”, in the map below:

“The field is neither lost nor won,
For Freedom’s battle’s just begun.
What is the next new State to be,
Tell us, in heaven’s name, bond or Free?”

Lewis free soil, slavery, and territorial map of the United States” (

It certainly seems from the historical record that what were once colonies and are now the provinces “of Canada” were subsumed, admitted into “Canada” as something other than free. Who owned the land that “Canada” now claims as its (supposedly) sovereign territory? “If England had the power to barter or give Canada without the will of the people, she might cede the territory to China or Russia“, a throw away line from another forgotten title that makes so much sense in the current environment of love for “basic dictatorships” and former Prime Ministers meeting with friends, ten years after they’re out of office.

Since what is now known as “confederation” ⁠— which occurred shortly after the Civil War ended, around the same time that Alaska, what was once (all of, part of?) Russian America, was purchased and made American territory ⁠— Canada seems to have served as a vessel and a template for an evolution of slavery. Canadian slavery is much more nuanced than the villeinage of old, in the form of “Constitutional monarchy”, a contradiction in terms and in opposition to the “responsible government” that came before it. It’s a framework that provides the perpetually arbitrary and ad hoc necessary, the certainty and security required, for those whose “investments” depend on a skimming operation masquerading as country. A colony of colonies predicated on deception, inversion and extraction.

Those in the past who have trusted in “the crown”, who have labored under the impression that the institutions strengthened by their efforts would stand the test of time, have all been betrayed in what has become an inevitable and perpetual race to the constitutional bottom, generation after generation. A cabal of Canadian elites at all levels now use wokeness to market the same old corrupt crown institutions in a skin suit of intersectionality to a new generation less familiar with its obfuscations. Our educational system whose priority is indoctrination won’t provide any inkling of opposition to these new narratives, as with most other institutions, they’re bereft of accountability mechanisms in favor of struggle sessions designed to market top-down despotism as an evolution, victimhood narratives as power. The great beyond can’t be far off now.

I advocate for a republic, for a free and sovereign State of Nova Scotia, or at least for a Canadian federalism that is based on the principles behind the tenth amendment and not its Canadian inversion in the form of residuary power, given to what is at this point, nothing more than a unitary state at “Ottawa”. While a sub-national written Constitution and a bill of rights provide no guarantee they will be upheld, they at least create an agreed upon foundation with which to protect those most basic institutions and concepts, especially considering Canada’s constitutional framework of specifically apportioned provincial powers (at least, when convenient to “Ottawa”).

Perhaps part of the fix for Canada’s clumsy carpentry needs to come from the sub-national on another front, perhaps Nova Scotia needs to encompass other Maritime Provinces in a return to Nova Scotia’s ancient boundaries. Would Newfoundland want to join with us in what the Canadians have already defined into a “region”, as a maritime state? What was in motion previous to “confederation” could help now by putting an end to constant squabbling about “East” versus “West”, it’s my contention that there’s very few people east of Quebec who want a vote that is worth more than the vote of those in Western Canada. What is for certain is that whatever changes we make must take into account the wishes of the people if they are to be citizens in any meaningful way, which for them would be a first, no matter what intersectional identity they ascribe to themselves.

I advocate for liberation from the bonds of the crowned Canadian despots and their ever more totalitarian unitary state at “Ottawa”, for some level of self determination and self government in whatever construct we the people, not we the vassals of a foreign crown, decide to create. The alternative to a future we take into our own hands is a return to the horrors of the past just as fast as “Ottawa” can devolve our state of affairs — a future that is in motion, one I’m unwilling to participate in, but which at this point seems to be all but inevitable. Tyrannis resistere est Deo obœdire.

“Nothing is more essential to the statesman and the people alike, than to understand the true causes that bring about sudden catastrophes; for thus only they can understand the reach and depth of the questions involved, or even what at heart those questions are. And without knowing that, neither statesman or people can know or even guess at the true remedy, or what it is the part of wisdom in the given case to endeavor to do. Nothing can be settled, until the pith of a controversy is reached and understood. The physician who should mistake the sporadic pustules on the skin for the actual disorder, and undertake to treat them alone, would be fortunate if he did not kill his patient; and statesmen who undertake to patch up by compromise controversies caused by radical differences of opinion on great fundamental principles, are like quacks who pretend to cure with cataplasms of roots and herbs, cancers whose roots cling around the very core of the heart.”

“Revolutions that shatter empires are not improvised, under the spur of a causeless excitement, by a few schemers or malcontents. Habit is a stronger bond of union than affection, and its influence can only be destroyed by the operation of sufficient causes, acting for a long time. It is continual dropping only, that wears away the stone.”

“If George III. and Lord North and the British Parliament had been wise, the Colonies would not have revolted—then. Was it not as well for them to revolt then? Could they always have remained Colonies? Was it not well that king and minister and Parliament would not listen to Chatham and Barre?”

“The Southern States hold, as Jefferson and Madison and all the Anti-Federal party held, that the General Government is the result of a compact between the States; a compact made by the States, amendable by the States only, and dissolvable by the States whenever it fails to answer the purposes for which they created it. The earliest symbol of the Union—a chain, composed of thirteen circular links, each perfect in symmetry and complete in its separate identity—well expressed the true nature of that union, and the Southern States-rights doctrine. The Northern States, on the contrary, hold that there is no such compact; that the whole people of all the States, as an aggregate and unit, made the Constitution; and that there is no right of secession retained by a State; from which, by our American common law, it results as an inevitable corollary, that whenever the majority of voters of the whole Union choose to exercise the power, notwithstanding the mode provided by the Constitution for its amendment, they may call a Convention, not of the States, nor in each State, but of the whole People of all; and, the majority being there represented, may set aside the present Constitution of the United States, and make a new one, making, if they please, of the whole Union a single State, and of the States mere Counties. For it is fresh in our recollection that the People of New York, not many years since, held a Convention, in utter contempt of their Constitution, and of the mode which it provided for its amendment, and made a new Constitution, which the highest Court of that State held valid; and it governs that State now.”

“There is a difference as wide and substantial between this Government, as its nature is understood by the fifteen Slave-holding States, and the same Government, as its nature is understood by the nineteen Non-Slaveholding States, as there is between Constitutional Monarchy in England and Imperial Absolutism in France.”

“Scotland and England were separate and independent States and Kingdoms. Now they are, with Ireland, but one Nation. Surely that was effected by the separate but concurrent action of each State or Kingdom. The only difference is, that our Constitution required the action of each State to be endorsed by the determination of its People, in convention, and not by the act of its Legislature; while in England and Scotland, the action of the Parliament of each Nation was the act of the Nation.”

“A town, city, parish, or county is a municipal corporation. So is a State, though with larger powers; and so is the United States. The people are the corporators in all but the last, and whether they or the States are corporators in that makes it none the less a corporation.”

“A “corporation,” or “body politic and corporate,” is defined to be “a body created by law, composed of individuals united under a common name, the members of which succeed each other, and may be continually changed, the ideal body remaining one, identical, and the same, notwithstanding the change of persons.””

“British America will, in all probability, desire to become, at no distant day, a part of the Union, if it continues; and a simple act of Congress will admit it… How long would it be, under that system, before the union of North and South would be like that between England and Ireland; which, obtained by bribery, has been always maintained by force?”

Pike, Albert. “State or province? Bond or free? : addressed particularly to the people of Arkansas” [Arkansas?] : [publisher not identified], 1861.

Nova Scotian “Sparks of Liberty”

“The spirited Conduct and Debates of the Halifax House of Representatives in opposing Measures of His Majesty’s Council we offer to our Readers, as we are persuaded that the Spirit of Liberty wherever breathed, is agreeable to the Citizens of these States. On the thirteenth of May, 1790, the above quotation appeared in a Boston … Read more

Statistics Relative to Nova Scotia in 1851

“The constitution of Nova Scotia is a representative provincial government. The Lieutenant-Governor, who is subordinate to the Governor-General of British North America, is commander within the province; and the supreme civil as well as military authority under him, is a council of twelve members, of whom the bishop and chief justice are members ex officio, … Read more

Nova Scotia in 1862: papers relating to the two great exhibitions in London of that year

“List of Contributors: … P. McNab, Dartmouth – barley and oats.” “On the east side of the harbor is situated the town of Dartmouth, settled in 1750. The town is well situated, and is admirably adapted to the employment of ship-building. It is connected with the city by steamboats.” “Prior to 1719 (at which time … Read more

History of Halifax City

“The [Indigenous people] had appeared in the neighborhood of the town for several weeks, but intelligence had been received that they had commenced hostilities, by the capture of twenty persons at Canso… On the last day of September they made an attack on the sawmill at Dartmouth, then under the charge of Major Gilman. Six … Read more

Legislative history regarding treaties of commerce with France, Spain relating to New Foundland, Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton


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

Responsible government in Nova Scotia: a study of the constitutional beginnings of the British Commonwealth

“It will be our pride to make Nova Scotia a Normal School for the rest of the colonies showing them how representative institutions may be worked so as to secure international tranquility and advancement in subordination to the paramount interests and authority of the crown.” Joseph Howe. “… It is a political organism informed with … Read more

The Rhode Island emigration to Nova Scotia

“Rhode Islanders emigrating to Nova Scotia? How is that? …Ah Yes! They must have been a group of Tories… No! The colony of which I speak left the parent stock when all were alike loyal to the sovereign of Great Britain – indeed at just the juncture when it was the proudest boast of every New Englander that he was a British subject.

Jan. 11, 1759, Governor Lawrence sent forth from the Council Chamber at Halifax, a second proclamation:

“By his Excellency Charles Lawrence, Esq., Captain General and Governor-in-chief, in and over his Majesty’s Province of Nova Scotia, or Acadia, in America, Vice Admiral of the same etc. etc.

“Whereas since the issuing of the proclamation dated the 12th., day of Oct. 1758, relative to settling the vacant lands in this Province, I have been informed by Thomas Hancock, Esq., Agent for the affairs of Nova Scotia, at Boston, that sundry applications have been made to him in consequence thereof, by persons who are desirous of settling the said lands, and of knowing what particular encouragement the Government will give them, whether any allowance of provisions will be given at their first settlement, what quantity of land will be given to each person, what quit rents they are to pay, what the constitution of Government is, whether any, and what taxes are to be paid, and whether they will be allowed the free exercise of religion? I have therefore thought fit, with the advice of his Majesty’s Council, to issue this proclamation, hereby declaring, in answer to the said enquiries, that by his Majesty’s Royal instructions, I am empowered to make grants on the following proportions:

That townships are to consist of one hundred thousand acres of land, that they do include the best and most profitable land, and also that they do comprehend such rivers as may be at or near such settlement and to extend as far up into the Country as conveniently may be, taking in a necessary part of the sea-coast. That the quantities of land granted will be in proportion to the abilities of the planter to settle, cultivate, and enclose, the same. That one hundred acres of wild wood land will be allowed to every person, being master or mistress of a family, for himself or herself, and fifty acres for every white or black man, woman, or child, of which such person’s family shall consist at the actual time of making the grant, subject to the payment of a quit rent of one shilling sterling per annum for every fifty acres; such quit rent to commence at the expiration of ten years from the date of each grant, and to be paid for his Majesty’s use to his receiver General, at Halifax, or to his Deputy on the spot.

“That the grantees will be obliged by their said grants to plant, cultivate, improve or enclose, one third part of their lands within the space of ten years, another third within the space of twenty years and the remaining third within the space of thirty years, from the date of their grants. That no one person can posses more than one thousand acres by grant, on his or their own name.

“That every grantee, upon giving proof that he or she has fulfilled the terms and conditions of his or her grants, shall be entitled to another grant in the proportion and upon the conditions above mentioned. That the Government of Nova Scotia is constituted like those in neighboring Colonies; the Legislature consisting of a Governor, Council and House of Assembly, and every township, as soon as it shall consist of fifty families, will be entitled to send two Representatives to the General Assembly. The Courts of Justice are also constituted in like manner with those of the Massachusetts, Connecticut and other Northern Colonies. That as to the article of religion full liberty of conscience, both of his Majesty’s royal instructions and a late act of the General Assembly of this Province, is secured to persons of all persuasions, Papists excepted, as may more fully appear by the following abstract of the said act, viz:-

‘Protestants dissenting from the Church of England, whether they be Calvinists, Lutherans, Quakers or under what denomination soever, shall have free liberty of conscience, and may erect and build Meeting Houses for public worship, and may choose and elect Ministers for the carrying on divine service, and administration of the sacrament, according to their several opinions, and all contracts made between their Ministers and congregationalists for the support of their Ministry, are hereby declared valid, and shall have their full force and effect according to the tenor and conditions thereof, and all such Dissenters shall be excused from any rates or taxes to be made or levied for the support of the Established Church of England.’

“That no taxes have hitherto been laid upon his Majesty’s subjects within this province, nor are there any fees of office taken upon issuing the grants of land.

“That I am not authorized to issue any bounty of provisions; and I do hereby declare that I am ready to lay out the lands and make grants immediately under the conditions above described, and to receive and transmit to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, in order that the same may be laid before his Majesty for approbation, such further proposals as may be offered by any body of people, for settling an entire township under other conditions that they may conceive more advantageous to the undertakers.

“That forts are established in the neighborhood of the lands proposed to be settled, and garrisoned by his Majesty’s troops, with a view of giving all manner of aid and protection to the settlers, if hereafter there should be need.

Given in the council Chamber at Halifax, this 11th., day of January, 1759, in the 32nd year of His Majesty’s reign.
(Signed) Charles Lawrence.”

“The significance of this document in one respect must have struck the attention of all who are Rhode Islanders in spirit; refer to its lofty sentiments with regard to liberty of conscience.”

Huling, Ray Greene, 1847-1915. The Rhode Island Emigration to Nova Scotia. [Providence, R.I.?: s.n., 1889.

The Great Awakening in Nova Scotia, 1776-1809

“In the year 1799 the Bishop of Nova Scotia reported to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts that the Province was being troubled by “an enthusiastic and dangerous spirit” among the sect called “Newlights”, whose religion seemed to be a “strange jumble of New England Independency and Behmenism.” Through the … Read more

Provincializing Constitutions: History, Narrative, and the Disappearance of Canada’s Provincial Constitutions

“Constitutional scholarship in Canada since Confederation has been characterized by two primary narratives. The dualist narrative, which characterized constitutional scholarship between the late-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, focused on the parallel developments of provincial and federal constitutions. The monist narrative, which has become the dominant model of interpretation since the mid-twentieth century, focuses on the federal … Read more

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