Oligarchical despotism

Most of our large banks have operations in the United States…

How many American banks have operations in Canada?

How many American telecom players operate in Canada?

How many American dairy producers have access to the Canadian market or vice versa?

How is political power concentrated in Canada versus the American system?

What are the barriers to entry in the Canadian market versus the American market?

How competitive is the Canadian market versus the American market?

Oligarchical despotism is a form of governance characterized by a small group of powerful individuals or families, known as an oligarchy, who hold effective control over a society or state. In this system, the ruling elite often exercises despotic or tyrannical power, often serving their own interests at the expense of the broader population.

— The Family Compact, a network of influential individuals in Upper Canada during the early to mid-1800s, epitomized oligarchical despotism. These loyalists monopolized political, economic, and social power and set the stage for the framework that would govern Canadian society in the future. Their control extended over legislative, bureaucratic, and judicial realms, stifling democratic reform and responsible government.

Originating from political appointments made to unelected branches of government — something Canadian subjects certainly witness in abundance today — they upheld a hierarchical class structure favoring their interests. The Family Compact, characterized by close relations and preferential treatment, enforced loyalist ideology and resisted democratic influence.

Contrasting this historical oligarchical dominance to today, the top 87 wealthiest Canadian families each hold thousands of times more wealth than an average family. This concentration of wealth surpasses that of the bottom 12 million Canadians combined, highlighting the persistence of oligarchical structures albeit in a modern economic context.

COVID further exacerbated this gap, with Canadian billionaires growing their wealth by 51% since the pandemic began, while at the same time those in the bottom half of the income distribution saw their average total income decline by nearly 7%. Such disparity underscores a system wherein a select few maintain immense economic power to the detriment of the majority.

Key features of oligarchical despotism include:

Concentration of Power: Power is concentrated in the hands of a few individuals or families who control key institutions of the state, such as government, military, and economy. This concentration enables the ruling elite to make decisions unilaterally and without accountability.

— The Prime Minister and the Cabinet wield significant power in Canada’s political system, often at the expense of parliamentary oversight. This can lead to accusations of executive dominance and a lack of accountability. That the current office holder is part of a political dynasty of unilateral operators certainly doesn’t detract from the optics of tyranny. The Senate and many other facets of Canadian governance exist primarily as bastions of patronage.

The Prime Minister possesses certain prerogative powers, such as the authority to dissolve Parliament and call elections, as well as the power to appoint senators, judges, and thousands of other key officials including the head of state that supposedly restrains his office, all without the advice and consent of parliament.

Limited Political Participation: Oligarchical despotism typically restricts political participation and representation to a select few, excluding the majority from meaningful involvement. Elections, if they exist, may be manipulated to ensure the continued dominance of the ruling elite.

— Canada’s unilateral executive appointments, lack of direct election for the executive, absence of term limits, and executive control over election timing reduce citizens’ influence over government composition and policies. Without direct election, citizens have limited control over the executive, potentially leading to prolonged incumbency and a lack of fresh perspectives.

Executive control over election timing raises fairness concerns. Absence of subnational constitutions limits citizen rights assertion and subnational government accountability. Limited electoral choice further restricts citizen influence. These characteristics indicate a political system with limited citizen participation, input, and influence, raising concerns about democratic legitimacy, representation, and accountability across various government levels.

Suppression of Dissent: Opposition is often met with repression, censorship, or violence. Freedom of speech, assembly, and association may be severely curtailed to prevent challenges to the status quo.

— The court ruling on the government’s use of emergency powers to suppress the “Freedom Convoy” protests found it unreasonable and a violation of Charter rights, indicating governmental overreach. Prime Minister Trudeau’s use of emergency powers, including protester arrests and bank account freezes, coupled with plans to appeal the ruling, suggests a tendency to quash political dissent through legal avenues.

Additionally, Bill C-63’s proposal for civil penalties for hate speech, alongside existing criminal laws, not to mention its ex-post-facto provisions raises free speech concerns, potentially leading to self-censorship and stifling legitimate discourse. The history of misuse of hate speech complaints by the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), yet another body unilaterally appointed by the executive, highlights the risk of further suppression of dissent and infringement on free speech for political purposes. Financial incentives for complaints and subjective interpretations of hate speech exacerbate worries about curtailing free expression and association.

Corruption and Cronyism: Oligarchical despotism is characterized by widespread corruption and cronyism, where opportunities are reserved for those with ties to the ruling elite.

— With so many examples to choose from it’s hard to know where to begin on this front, but the SNC-Lavalin affair is as good as any. The RCMP’s investigation into the SNC-Lavalin affair faced obstacles due to limited access to crucial information, notably cabinet confidences, raising concerns about transparency and accountability. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s alleged attempt to influence legal matters undermines judicial independence and may serve political or corporate interests unfairly.

Partisan influences, evidenced by the adjournment of the parliamentary committee meeting, hinder accountability efforts and perpetuate a culture of impunity. The RCMP’s handling of the investigation, constrained by restricted information and perceived superficial examination, calls into question the integrity of law enforcement agencies. This situation highlights how corruption and cronyism thrive through opaque decision-making, political interference in legal proceedings, and the prioritization of partisan agendas over justice and accountability.

Suppression of Economic Freedom: Oligarchical despotism involves heavy government intervention in the economy, restricting economic freedom.

— Canada’s supply management system for egg, poultry, and dairy products illustrates the limitations on economic freedom through various factors. Price fixing and control hinder market responsiveness, leading to higher consumer prices and reduced choice. Protectionist measures shield domestic producers, stifling competition and innovation while maintaining incumbents’ dominance.

Regulatory capture by industry stakeholders perpetuates the system, disadvantaging consumers. The system’s inequitable impact disproportionately affects lower-income households, contradicting social welfare goals. Despite criticism, bipartisan political support and vested interests impede reform efforts, hindering market-oriented approaches. Overall, the system restricts economic freedom, distorts price signals, and perpetuates inefficiencies, detrimentally affecting consumers and societal welfare.

Distorted Price Signals: Price signals may be distorted due to government manipulation, leading to inefficient resource allocation.

— Canada’s single-payer health system, acting as a monopoly, distorts price signals by eliminating market competition. With the government as the sole insurer and controller of healthcare financing, there’s no competitive pressure on providers to innovate or control costs, while at the same time, many provinces sink a third of their budgets or more into financing them.

This lack of market dynamics can lead to arbitrary pricing decisions, inefficiencies, and limited patient choice. Patient outcomes are dead last among ‘developed’ countries on a wide variety of metrics while at the same time adverse effects and malpractice affect 1 in 4 users over their lifetime and remains the third leading cause of death.

Without the feedback mechanism of competitive pricing, resources may be misallocated, leading to underinvestment in certain areas and overutilization in others. As a result, the system may struggle to adapt to changing healthcare needs and advances in medical technology, impacting both quality of care and cost-effectiveness.

Rent-Seeking Behavior: The concentration of power creates opportunities for rent-seeking behavior, diverting resources away from productive uses.

— Rent-seeking behavior in the Canadian economy is evident in various forms, hindering innovation and economic growth. Canada’s sluggish GDP growth, coupled with stalled productivity, reflects a persistent lack of innovation and weak competitiveness. Instead of fostering a competitive environment, government policies often cater to specific industries through regulations, tariffs, and subsidies, shielding them from competition. This reliance on government protection fosters a business environment where firms seek favors rather than competing on merit.

Consequently, Canada experiences a loss of business dynamism, with fewer new firms entering the market and leading corporations losing global competitiveness. To address this, Canada needs to reevaluate its public policies, prioritizing competition, innovation, and entrepreneurship over rent-seeking behavior and protectionism. Such a shift is essential for fostering economic growth and ensuring long-term prosperity.

Barriers to Entry: Oligarchical despotism erects barriers to entry in the marketplace, protecting incumbent firms and stifling competition.

— Barriers to entry in the Canadian economy are substantial, with the country ranking high in terms of regulations and restrictions on foreign investment. The OECD’s Product Market Regulation and FDI restrictiveness indices highlight Canada’s position as one of the most regulated and restrictive economies. These barriers include limitations on foreign businesses, state-owned monopolies, and explicit regulations limiting competition.

Industries such as air transportation, telecommunications, and agriculture face significant restrictions, hindering competition and innovation. Conservative estimates suggest that over one-third of the Canadian economy is shielded from competition, suppressing incentives for productivity and innovation. Removing these barriers could significantly enhance productivity growth and improve living standards for Canadians.

The deliberate increase in immigration levels by the current government amidst the pandemic, despite housing market constraints, benefited specific groups, particularly those involved in housing investment, while exacerbating socioeconomic challenges. Homeowners, leveraging their properties through reverse mortgages, reap profits, consolidating wealth and power while working-class families are displaced and young individuals remain unable to afford homeownership.

Such policies reflect a manipulation of governmental policy for self-interest, fostering corruption and collusion. By exploiting vulnerable populations and widening socioeconomic gaps, this underscores the oligarchical nature of Canadian governance, wherein a select elite perpetuates its dominance at the expense of the well-being of the populace, using a pandemic in order to solidify power and tilt the scales towards their favor.

Canada’s reliance on unchecked immigration and temporary foreign workers has not only exploited vulnerable workers but has depressed wages for low-skilled workers, amplifying the wealth chasm between the affluent and the working class. The prioritization of business interests over worker welfare has eroded governmental accountability, shielding elites from scrutiny.

Ill-planned immigration has served to exacerbate urbanization and housing crises, reinforcing policies favoring corporate interests over social cohesion, neglecting immigrant and citizen welfare alike.

The prevalence of oligarchical despotism in Canada, characterized by concentrated power, limited political participation, suppression of dissent, corruption, and economic restrictions, has profound implications for the nation’s governance, economy and future. Historical precedents, such as the Family Compact, illustrate the enduring nature of elite control, regardless of supposed partisan involvement, over Canadian society and institutions.

Contemporary manifestations of oligarchical dominance, exemplified by the concentration of wealth among a select few, further exacerbate socioeconomic disparities, particularly highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The manipulation of governmental powers, as seen in policies favoring specific groups at the expense of the broader populace, underscores the oligarchical nature of Canadian governance.

Moreover, the distortion of market forces through monopolistic privileges enjoyed by entities like crown corporations and the healthcare system impedes competition and innovation, hindering economic growth and prosperity for all Canadians. Barriers to entry in the marketplace, rent-seeking behavior, and distorted price signals perpetuate inefficiencies and stifle entrepreneurial spirit.

The maple syrup is sweet, but it’s all aboot where you live, who you know and who you’re related to. Since 1867 Canada exists, not as a country, but as a proprietary colony — an exercise in racketeering vis a vis the American market — created primarily to serve as a protection racket for the benefit of a handful of oligarchical interests, to insulate them from any ‘dangers’ a broader competitive marketplace might present.

Ultimately, oligarchical despotism contradicts the principles of a free market economy, where voluntary exchange, competition, and individual freedom are paramount. Instead of fostering prosperity for all, it consolidates wealth and power in the hands of a privileged few, perpetuating socioeconomic inequalities and hampering the well-being of the broader population. Thus, addressing these systemic issues is crucial for ensuring a more prosperous future for Canadians.

“Fed Chair Powell delivers remarks at the Washington Forum on the Canadian economy”, April 16, 2024. https://www.youtube.com/live/QqwuXkUUJwc

Securities And Exchange Commission: Annual Report Of Province Of Nova Scotia, 1997

An interesting document for a number of reasons. What stood out to me most of all was the proviso regarding Quebec secession. The specter of Quebec separation clearly did a number on the other provinces, who had to decide what they would do in such a scenario. Perhaps this is especially true of the Atlantic provinces, who would be cut off from the rest of Canada, and who might not have the resources and economy to survive on their own. Then there’s Quebec’s generally expansionist stance both physically, culturally and ideologically within Canada over the years, which seems to come in fits and starts.

Most recently, you can see it at work in a logo put forth by the Bloc Quebecois.

“Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet addressed supporters of Quebec’s federal sovereignty party on Sunday, speaking at a podium adorned with a map that removed the border between Quebec and Labrador, making it look as if it were all Quebec.”

bloc

This kind of taunting continues, recently more overt. To be sure, this messaging isn’t by accident.

Screenshot 2024 04 07 113006

Quebec separation is an issue which comes up time and again, and if current polling holds true into the future, might present itself yet again as the impetus for serious constitutional change for points to the east.

“As a province of Canada, Nova Scotia could be affected by political events in another province. For instance, on September 7, 1995, the Government of Quebec presented a Bill to the National Assembly entitled An Act respecting the future of Quebec (the “Act”) that included, among others, provisions authorizing the National Assembly to proclaim the sovereignty of Quebec. The Act was to be enacted only following a favorable vote in a referendum. Such a referendum was held on October 30, 1995. The results were 49.4% in favor and 50.6% against.

In 1996, the Government of Canada, by way of reference to the Supreme Court of Canada (the “Supreme Court”), asked the court to determine the legality of a unilateral secession of the Province of Quebec from Canada, either under the Canadian Constitution or international law. On August 20, 1998, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Province of Quebec did not have the unilateral right of secession, and that any proposal to secede authorized by a clear majority in response to a clear question in the referendum should be construed as a proposal to amend the Constitution, which would require negotiations. These negotiations would have to deal with a wide array of issues, such as the interest of the other provinces, the Federal Government, the Province of Quebec, and the rights of all Canadians both within and outside the Province of Quebec, and specifically, the rights of minorities, including Aboriginal peoples.”

Province of Nova Scotia, 2017. “FORM 18-K For Foreign Government and Political Subdivisions Thereof SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Washington, D.C. 20549 ANNUAL REPORT Of PROVINCE OF NOVA SCOTIA CANADA (Name of Registrant) Date of end of last fiscal year: March 31, 2017” https://novascotia.ca/finance/PDFs/Form-18-K-2017.pdf

“On the Nature of Sovereignty”

I don’t agree with Webster’s conclusion, that the Constitution isn’t a compact between sovereign states, but I do certainly agree with his feelings in terms of the unsuitability of monarchy and European forms of governance anywhere on this continent—that the source of all political power is the people, that it is they who bestow sovereignty on State governments and through them, the sovereignty and legitimacy of the Nation itself, which is its safeguard.

Daniel Webster Photograph edited

“Mr. President, the nature of sovereignty or sovereign power has been extensively discussed by gentlemen on this occasion, as it generally is when the origin of our government is debated. But I confess myself not entirely satisfied with arguments and illustrations drawn from that topic. The sovereignty of government is an idea belonging to the other side of the Atlantic.

No such thing is known in North America. Our governments are all limited. In Europe, sovereignty is of feudal origin, and imports no more than the state of the sovereign. It comprises his rights, duties, exemptions, prerogatives, and powers.

But with us, all power is with the people. They alone are sovereign; and they erect what governments they please, and confer on them such powers as they please.

None of these governments is sovereign, in the European sense of the word, all being restrained by written constitutions. It seems to me, therefore, that we only perplex ourselves when we attempt to explain the relations existing between the general government and the several State governments according to those ideas of sovereignty which prevail under systems essentially different from our own.” —Daniel Webster

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/7600/7600-h/7600-h.htm#07

https://www.facebook.com/groups/novascotiastatehood/permalink/1591482674957221

Legitimacy, or otherwise, of the BNA

Is the BNA illegitimate? Let these facts speak for themselves.

  1. The members of the Legislative Assembly elected in 1863 were only authorized to legislate under the Colonial Constitution and had no authority to make significant changes to it without first obtaining the people’s consent through a vote.
  2. The resolution of April 10, 1867, which preceded the enactment of the British North America Act, was the only authority possessed by the delegates who procured the Act, and it did not empower them to arrange a federal union without including Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.
  3. The delegation was not legally constituted, as it did not have equal representation from each colony as required by the resolution.
  4. The delegates did not ensure just provision for the rights and interests of Nova Scotia, as mandated by the resolution, and the proposed union would deprive Nova Scotians of their rights, liberty, and independence, furthermore it would expose them to arbitrary and excessive taxation, by a Legislature over which they can have no adequate control.
  5. The scheme of confederation was never submitted to the people of Nova Scotia for their approval before it came into effect, which the resolutions argue is essential for its constitutionality.
  6. The resolutions express dissatisfaction with the way Confederation was forced upon Nova Scotia without their consent and against their will.
  7. The people of Nova Scotia expressed loyalty to the Queen and her government but requested the repeal of the British North America Act as it pertains to Nova Scotia and asked for the revocation of the Queen’s Proclamation regarding Confederation.

Wilkins examines the unique constitutional situation of Nova Scotia, which was granted a constitution by King George II, further developed by his successors on the English throne. Despite its effectiveness, the constitution had some deficiencies, notably the lack of a court for impeaching and punishing political offenders.

He expresses a preference for Nova Scotia’s constitution, molded after British monarchy, which he sees as superior despite acknowledging the United States’ constitutional craftsmanship. The speaker then shifts focus to contrasting Confederation with Canada, which he finds “hateful and detestable”. He argues that joining the United States would afford Nova Scotia more freedom and self-governance than being part of Canada’s oligarchical system.

He highlights the loss of Nova Scotia’s freedom under the British North America Act, which gives Canada extensive power to tax Nova Scotia arbitrarily. He criticizes the lack of control Nova Scotia has over Canada’s legislature, with only 19 out of 253 members representing Nova Scotia at the time, since dwindling to 11 out of 338 members.

He concludes by asserting Nova Scotia’s right to preserve its own constitution, which he claims belongs to the people of Nova Scotia and cannot be taken away by the Parliament of England. He argues that Nova Scotia has never been legally confederated with Canada and asserts that it is up to Nova Scotia to decide its future regarding Confederation.

Speeches delivered by Hon. Martin I. Wilkins, (attorney general) in the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia, session 1868, on resolutions relative to repeal of the “British North America Act, 1867”. Wilkins, Martin I. (Martin Isaac), 1804-1881. https://archive.org/details/cihm_23507

Sovereign Citizens

Be alert when you hear “sovereign citizen”, it’s a very specific term that both the RCMP and FBI used to identify those who wish to operate outside the mechanisms of the state.

To them, it refers to those who believe “courts have no jurisdiction over people, that the use of certain procedures (such as writing specific phrases on bills they do not want to pay) or loopholes can make one immune to government laws and regulations.” They create their own identification cards, their own States or nation states, they refuse to file taxes and generally don’t feel they are bound to any laws.

As with most things, there is a nugget of truth in the idea, at least in Canada.

In my opinion, agents of the state use this term purposefully in order to conflate “Sovereign citizens” with “Popular Sovereignty”, the idea that “the leaders of a state and its government are created and sustained by the consent of its people, who are the source of all political legitimacy”, in other words, the basis for all political power that enabled the creation of the United States. It’s otherwise known as the “consent of the governed”, the same referred to in the Declaration of Independence.

Excerpt from “Despotism”, by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films. 1946. https://archive.org/details/Despotis1946

Obviously that isn’t the case in Canada, never has been the case, and never will be the case under such a system as “constitutional monarchy”.

From the start Canada has been an imposition, it has operated as an inversion of the concept of popular sovereignty where “the people” are subjects, not involved in drafting, ratifying or implementing the constitution, where the laws are imposed by a caste of operators with a very specific set of political ideas (adherence to the “the crown” which they have now self-assessed is synonymous with the Canadian state, even though all the links that previously conveyed royal prerogative still exist), where the legitimization of villeinage and socage as “citizenship” appears to be the priority.

The arbitrary and ad hoc nature of “Canadian ‘democracy'” is best understood through those earlier feudal implementations, not through the American meaning and understanding of “democracy” or a republic, since we are still in a very real sense held as chattel under an 18th century British Whig interpretation of “representation”. It is “the crown” that is represented, not the people, the perfection of democracy is to be found in the total insulation of the people from political power, not in their participation.

So, in terms of the mechanics of the state, those “sovereign citizens” are on to something, in that Canada operates as if it were a proprietary colony, not as a “democracy” or nation state as we have all been told exists in order to completely delegitimize the individual in terms of political power.

I don’t say this to suggest anyone refuses to file taxes, though tax protest movements are a legitimate way to thumb your nose at the legitimacy of the state. I don’t suggest anyone should believe those who say the courts have no jurisdiction, since you will find out in short order their sovereignty is absolute.

What I am saying is that there’s a purposeful sleight of hand used to confuse these two terms and the underlying concepts are key to understanding the road to serfdom, which no other nation on Earth might encapsulate better than “Canada”. The breadcrumb trail is there once you start pulling back the clumsy carpentry that’s been holding it together since 1867.

“The Canadian political system iceberg explained”

Well, nice dig at the outset of this video with the “communicated quite poorly” and the playful poke at the end about grasping the intricacies of the Canadian political system. Not sure what to think aboot that.

It’s striking how insistent JJ is on denying any royal connections, while Canada has conveniently left intact all the pre-existing links that historically conveyed royal authority, except for Quebec, which recently ousted its Lieutenant Governor. And then there’s the sly reference to “translating” the King or Queen into the role of Prime Minister…

The disallowance power of the LG was wielded extensively, over 100 times, and one can only wonder if it still lurks in the background, much like other royal prerogatives, quietly nullifying laws behind the scenes, leaving us to witness only a law dying on the order paper.

All these “polite fictions” and convolutions he mentions (privy council, Governor General, Prime Minister, Cabinet, Governor in Council) certainly do pile up. Kudos to him for addressing bilingualism, though he overlooked the fact that the Supreme Court is one of those mandatory bilingual institutions.

The notion of “super protected” rights to travel across the country brought a hearty laugh, especially recalling when Nova Scotia, during COVID, prohibited movement beyond “municipalities,” sometimes even within them, let alone throughout the province or the country. “Super protected rights,” indeed. No laws, no Section 1 or Section 33 applications were required. Is this an example of the charter of disallowance in action?

Props to JJ for highlighting the extensive powers of the executive and the dubious legitimacy of any standards set by the so-called “Westminster Parliament,” a misnomer if there ever was one. Also, the tangled web of constitutional complexities arising from a constitution that nobody can fully grasp, encompassing not only a multitude of documents and royal directive but also abstract “ideas” (as mentioned around the 49:00 mark).

The observation that Trudeau’s “de-colonization” efforts actually reinforce existing colonial structures is a valid one that seems to elude him. It’s almost as if he’s playing a game in these videos, framing discussions of Canada’s constitutional legitimacy as exclusively leftist or as an indigenous-only concern, while simultaneously marginalizing the PPC as far-right “anti-immigration,” which isn’t entirely fair if their focus is on “mass immigration,” a distinct issue altogether.

Thankfully, I’m not beholden to being a “professional Canadian political commentator,” allowing me to express my conviction that Canada is an absurdly tangled mess, tailor-made for perpetuating despotism and tyranny, a charade from top to bottom, suited for those who choose to remain subservient to a foreign crown while pretending they’re a legitimately sovereign country.

But does it have to be this way forever? That’s the lingering question.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9LrjU5n63g

Idea of continental union: agitation for the annexation of Canada to the United States, 1849-1893

“To the east, Nova Scotia; seemed to offer promise to the Revolutionaries. Three-quarters of its population had come from New England and showed a lively sympathy for the rebellion. Geography and the British navy, however, overruled sentiment and kept Nova Scotia; in the Empire. The distances and the wilderness which intervened between the scattered settlements. of the colony made it impossible for American sympathizers there to organize an effective force and to attain the unity of plan and of action necessary to military success. Washington refused to send an army north to capture “New England’s outpost”. He knew that an invasion must go by sea and that the British fleet could intercept supplies and reinforcements sent from the south. The invaders, cut off from succor or retreat and trapped between the Royal Navy and the wilderness and bogs of the interior , would fall an easy prey to the redcoats.

At the peace negotiations the wily Ben Franklin tried to gain by diplomacy what American arms had failed to take. He urged the British to cede Quebec to allay the rancors of war and to avoid future friction. This bold proposal did not convince the British, and Canada remained in the Empire. It is significant to note that the American plenipotentiaries showed little interest in the acquisition of Nova Scotia. Geography made Quebec a potential threat to the new nation, but Nova Scotia; gave them little concern.”

“The development of a “commerce of convenience” helped to increase Canadian-American trade. For example, Canada West purchased its coal from nearby Pennsylvania, while New England bought its fuel from Nova Scotia;. This type of trade was developing prior to 1854; the (Reciporocity Treaty of 1854) stimulated it, but did not cause it.”

“At the beginning of the Civil War, the assembly of Nova Scotia; asked the home government to state its attitude toward the union of British North America. The colonial secretary replied that the cabinet would give serious consideration to any such proposal from the colonies. The governments of the other provinces, however, considered the suggestion premature.44 But growing fear of American military force or economic pressure rapidly ripened their desire for closer unity. In the waning summer of 1864, the governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island called a conference at Charlottetown to consider the formation of a Maritime federation. A delegation from Canada appeared before this meeting and convinced it that the wider latitude of a union of all British North American colonies was possible and necessary.”

“Hostilities in the Maritimes, however, doomed the drive for a speedy confederation. Their people had initiated the movement for union and expected that leadership would be the reward of authorship. Instead, it was painfully apparent that Canada would assume the dominant position in the federation and the Maritimes would be a minority with particular interests which might be subverted by the majority.48 A psychological factor complicated the situation: particularism was a salient characteristic of political thinking in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The people of these colonies lived in their own world, geographically separated from the St. Lawrence Valley and with little desire to be politically coupled to it; they lived by and from the sea and tended to look out upon it and not toward the heart of the continent.”

“The Maritimes had been wedded to free trade, for they depended upon lumbering and fishing for their livelihood and had to import much of what they consumed. Canada, on the other hand, dreamed of industrialization and would surely girdle the new union with its tariff wall.49 Nova Scotia particularly disliked the financial terms which would compel her to surrender most of her sources of revenue to the central government, receiving in return an annual per capita subvention of eighty cents. Such a bargain would beggar them. The income of the provincial government which had been $1,500,000 in 1865 would shrink to $750,000 under confederation. Besides, the province would have to contribute $640,000 annually to the upkeep of the new government, leaving little to support such necessities as education and public works.50

These were the reasons sufficient to impel the people of the Maritimes to resist adoption of the Quebec resolutions. The governments of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island rejected the scheme out of hand, but they were small and peripheral colonies whose adherence was not considered essential. It was quite otherwise with Nova Scotia; and New Brunswick; the completion of the union depended upon their acceptance. When S. L. Tilley, the confederationist premier of New Brunswick dissolved his assembly and held an election on the question of confederation, he was roundly beaten.52 Dr. Charles Tupper, leader of the Nova;Scotian government and likewise a confederationist, learned wisdom from this example and did not make an issue of union in his colony. But the damage was done.”


“New Brunswick was the geographic pivot of the proposed federation, and its rejection of the scheme seemed a fatal wound. Fortunately, this was the darkness before dawn, and other forces were soon at work moving the recalcitrant province. The British government put its overwhelming pressure upon New Brunswick to accept the Quebec Resolutions. Lieutenant Governor Sir Arthur H. Gordon, who had sympathized with the anti-confederationists, was a hasty convert to the “true faith” upon receipt of a sharp admonition from the colonial secretary.53

The voting public lacked such clarifying revelations, but found the same conclusion in other experiences. They were deeply disappointed by the failure of attempts to renew reciprocity, upon which they had counted heavily. Talk of annexation in the United States, in Canada, and in New Brunswick itself gave them concern, and the Fenian raids frightened them.54 The chastened Gordon virtually forced a new election on his anti-confederationist government in 1866, and the results of the previous year were reversed. Nova Scotia also found the ways of righteousness, though through an iniquitous bypath. The wily Tupper, who had declined to challenge the federation question by making it an election issue, coaxed from his assembly a
resolution providing for the renewal of negotiations for union. Using this as a virtual carte blanche, he dispatched a delegation to London, where they joined representatives of the other two colonies. The upshot was the enactment of confederation by the British Parliament in the form of the British North America Act.


The anticonfederationists fumed and sputtered at this trick which Tupper had played upon them, and none more than their leader, Joseph Howe, a great and yet a pathetic figure in the history of British North America. He had had his day of glory when he led, and won, the struggle for responsible government in his colony. His interminable journeyings and campaigns throughout Nova Scotia had added to the fame which this victory had given him. There was scarcely an inhabitant of that province who had not seen and heard the gregarious “Joe” and shaken his hand-or been kissed by him if the subject were female, young, and pretty. Yet Howe’s stature had diminished by 1860. He had never duplicated his great triumph, and he had cheapened himself by his constant petitions to the British government for office. Charles Tupper, less flamboyant but a stumper of rare and rude power, was coming to dominate Nova Scotia. Howe needed again to lead a popular cause to restore his ancient glory. It is understandable that he should seek to retrieve fame by opposing confederation, for most Nova Scotians would follow him in this. Jealousy also dressed him for the role;
it is legend in Nova Scotia that when asked why he opposed union, Howe candidly replied that he refused “to play second fiddle to that damned Tupper.” There were more honorable reasons. Howe sincerely believed that the terms of the Quebec Resolutions were a bad bargain for his province, and he resented the trick by which Tupper had sent a delegation to London.


The “antis,” as the opponents of union were called, fought to block confederation in the British Parliament. They formed the League of the Maritime Provinces and sent Howe and others to London under instructions to point out to the Colonial Office that there were “propositions . . . made . . . in the Congress of the United States [which is] publicly entering the field in competition with Canada for the possession of the Provinces.”55 Howe was also to hint that if the Imperial government accepted the federation scheme, there would be “changes which none of us desire to contemplate and all of us deplore.”56


The Nova Scotian delegation was obviously shaking an annexation stick at the British. Howe continued in the same vein by pointing out to the Imperial government the “range of temptation” which political union with the United States offered to the people of the Maritimes: they would have free trade with a market of 34,000,000 people, access to American capital, and the benefit of American fishing bounties.57 But the Colonial
Office was unmoved by intimidation and gave Howe and his delegation no encouragement. He then sought to influence the public and political climate by showering the newspapers and leading men with pamphlets stating Nova Scotia’s case.58
Persuasion was no more successful than threats. The British were inexorably committed to confederation, and talk of annexation entrenched their convictions. Despite the efforts of John Bright and a few others whom Howe had converted, the government pushed the British North America Act through Parliament after a debate less lively than that on a dog tax bill which followed.
But the British had no more succeeded in convincing Howe and his party in Nova Scotia of the sapiency of Imperial policy than he had convinced them of its folly. These opponents of confederation would be heard again, and in unmistakable tones.”

“The opposition to the union in the United States was mildcompared to the distaste with which many in Canada regarded their new country and government. This antagonism, with its accompanying danger to the British connection, was present in Quebec and Ontario, but reached its greatest pitch in Nova Scotia. Here the anticonfederationist leader Howe had warned that his province might seek annexation to the United States if the Imperial government insisted on forcing it into the union. Nova Scotians showed no signs of accepting the Dominion as a fait accompli even after July 1, 1867, when their province became part of the federation. They stubbornly asserted that they would not remain in the union; the equally obstinate British government refused to heed their demands for release from it. A crisis was mounting and a small annexation movement had already made its appearance in the disaffected province.11 Confederation was inducing what it had been designed to prevent, rather than acting as an antidote to it.”


“It is not surprising that the resentment and protest was most acute in Nova Scotia. As already noted, the people of that province had carried their opposition to union to the Crown, only to be spurned. When Joe Howe returned from his fruitless mission to London, he found his province tottering on the brink of disloyalty. He had set a dangerous precedent and course when, in his correspondence with the Colonial Office, he had listed the temptations which annexation offered to his people. The antis of Nova Scotia continued in this direction. Newspapers and public speakers vied with each other in skipping along the verge of treason. Although many of their hints of annexation were attempts to frighten the British government into permitting the secession of the province, some of them were sincere. 17

This incipient annexation movement, however, soon received a check. Most of the antis still looked upon political union with the United States as a last resort and hoped to relieve their distress by other means. These soon seemed to offer. At the first provincial election under the new Dominion, the opponents of confederation achieved a smashing victory. Thirty-six of the thirty-eight members of the provincial assembly were antis, and Tupper was the only unionist among the nineteen members of the federal House of Commons returned from Nova Scotia. This was no victory for annexation. The repealers were confident that their startling success would compel the British government to heed their wishes, and the majority of Nova Scotians still believed that their problems could be solved within the Empire by a return to the status of a separate and self-governing colony. They could restore their old revenue tariff, the income of their government would rise, and no Canadian majority could trample their interests. They also believed that the United States would renew the treaty of 1854 with Nova Scotia alone. This questionable conclusion arose from the dubious assumption that Americans regarded the Canadian economy as competitive with their own, but the Nova Scotian economy as its complement.

So the anti triumph in the election of 1867 convinced Nova Scotians that annexation was unnecessary; they would soon escape the Dominion and return to reciprocity and prosperity. Since secession from Canada was the key which would unlock the door to this pleasant future, the repealers sought to gain it. The provincial assembly passed resolutions requesting the British government to release Nova Scotia from the Dominion, sent
Howe to London bearing this appeal, and awaited confidently for news of their deliverance from the Canadian yoke.
Howe did not share their optimism. His previous mission had taught him that the home government was committed to confederation as the only preventive for annexation.18 If Nova Scotia seceded, New Brunswick would probably follow, and the Dominion would collapse. The Governor General, Lord Monck, had reached the same conclusion. He pressed the colonial secretary to refuse Howe’s request graciously but firmly; if the union broke up, wrote Monck, “I have no hesitation in expressing my opinion . . . that the maintenance of British power or the existence of British institutions in America will soon become impossible.”19 This advice from the man on the spot fortified the determination of the British government to deny the repeal of confederation. As further insurance, the Dominion government sent Charles Tupper to London to counteract the eloquence of his anti rival.
The colonial secretary proved to be courteous in hearing the complaints of Nova Scotia but adamant in refusing to permit its secession.

Early in June, 1868, he informed Monck that the Imperial government could not consider any request for secession; all provincial grievances must and could be redressed within the framework of the Dominion.20 The publication of this dispatch, frustrating their highest hopes, was a terrible shock to the antis. They rained sorrowful and angry denunciations down upon the Canadian and Imperial governments. Many went beyond philippics and vowed that their loyalty was gone. A member of the Dominion Parliament and a former chief justice of Nova Scotia were enthusiastically applauded when they spoke for political union with the United States at a meeting in New Glasgow.21 Other town meetings became forums on annexation.22 The leading paper in the province, the Halifax Morning Chronicle, asserted that “with 30,000,000 of freemen alongside of us, Britain and Canada well
know that they cannot crush Nova Scotia, or force it into a hateful connection.”23 The annexation movement in the province, it was obvious, was waxing as repealers joined its ranks. This sedition was a startling contrast with the past. Nova Scotia had been a devoted colony. The Loyalists who flooded into it after the American Revolution brought with them love of mother country and antipathy to the United States. The Nova Scotians considered themselves a chosen people, and their demonstrations of attachment to the Crown seemed to outdo those of the English themselves. Extreme devotion was followed by immoderate reaction.”

44 Reginald G. Trotter, Canadian Federation, Its Origins and Achievements, (Toronto, 1924), 39-42.

48 These provinces were afraid that Canada would not consent to providing an adequate protection for their fisheries. Moreover, the total population of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. was not equal to that of either Ontario or Quebec.

49 The Canadian tariff averaged 20 percent; that of Nova Scotia, levied principally on luxuries, averaged 10 percent. Joseph Howe Papers, 26, pt I, Miscellaneous Papers on Confederation (Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa).

50 Yarmouth Tribune, June 27, 1866.

54 The American consul at St. John reported that a quarter of the people of the province favored annexation. James Howard to Seward, May 14, 1866, Consular Despatches, St. John, VI, 159.
Curiously, the Fenian raids seem to have promoted the cause of annexation as well as the cause of confederation, for many Canadians who felt that their country was defenseless were ready for “peace at any price.” Monck to Henry Herbert, Earl of Carnarvon, September 28, 1866, G 180 B, Secret and Confidential Despatches, 1856-1866.

55 This is an obvious reference to the Banks bill, described in the next chapter.
56 Instructions to Howe from the League of the Maritime Provinces,
Howe Papers, IV, Letters to Howe, 1864-1873.
57 British Parliament, Accounts and Papers, 1867, XLVIII, 14-15.
58 Howe Papers, IV, 159-86.

11 There were many instances of annexationist activities in Nova Scotia. C. D. Randall to Macdonald, January 7, February 25, 1868, Macdonald Papers, Nova Scotia Affairs, III; Yarmouth Herald, July 18, 1867. Much of the annexationist materials described in this section on Nova Scotia has previously appeared in the author’s article, “The Post-Confederation Annexation Movement in Nova Scotia,” Canadian Historical Review, XXVIII (June, 1947), 156-65. I wish to express thanks to the editor, John T. Saywell, for permission to use the material in this study.

17 Some annexationists were even appealing to the Department of State for assistance in their projects. J. B. Cossitt to Seward, June 20, 1867, Stephen Howard to Seward, March 26, 1867, A. McLean to Seward, June 29, 1867, Miscellaneous Letters to the Department of State, 1867, March II, and June, II.

18 Though outwardly confident, Howe had written gloomy letters to his friends before departing for London. Archbishop T. L. Connolly to Macdonald, October 26, 1867, Macdonald Papers, Nova Scotia Affairs, III; Howe to A. Musgrave, January 17, 1868, Howe Papers, XXXVII, Howe Letter Book.
19 Monck to Richard Campbell Grenville, Duke of Buckingham, February 13, 1868, G 573 A, Secret and Confidential Despatches, 1867- 1869.

20 Buckingham to Monck, June 4, 1868, Macdonald Papers, Nova Scotia Affairs, III. Attempts by John Bright to set up a royal commission of inquiry were defeated, good sign that Howe’s cause was hopeless. Creighton, Macdonald, 17.
21 Yarmouth Herald, August 13, 1868.
22 Connolly to Macdonald, September 16, 1868, Macdonald Papers,
Nova Scotia Affairs, III.
23 Halifax Morning Chronicle, July 11, 1868.

Warner, Donald F. (Donald Frederick). Idea of Continental Union: Agitation for the Annexation of Canada to the United States, 1849-1893. Lexington: Published for the Mississippi Valley Historical Association by the University of Kentucky Press, 1960. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uva.x000278662

Petition of the inhabitants of Nova Scotia

The Petition of the Inhabitants of Nova Scotia Humbly Sheweth:

That the Province of Nova Scotia is one of the oldest Colonies of Great Britain, and one of the nearest to the Mother Country. That when the American Revolution separated thirteen English Colonies from the Crown, Nova Scotia stood true to her allegiance, and furnished a home for the Loyalists who sacrificed their property and their prospects in the American States’ for the sake of British connection. That, ever since, during the political agitations which have disturbed this Continent,— especially during the War of 1812, and the Canadian Rebellions of 1837-8,— Nova Scotia has been steadfast in her loyalty; and that when the neighbouring Province of New Brunswick was menaced from the American side in 1839. the Legislature of Nova Scotia unanimously placed the whole revenues and resources of the country at the disposal of the Lieutenant-Governor for the defense of the British flag upon the frontier. That this people have discharged, in other respects, the duties of British subjects to the satisfaction of the Crown.

They have sent representatives to the Provincial Parliament since 1758, for a quarter of a century have enjoyed Responsible Government in as full and ample a measure as have their fellow-subjects in the most favoured parts of the Empire, and have preserved from degeneracy and abuse their Constitutional rights and free institutions. That the people of this Province, from their Maritime position, have developed the pursuits of Shipbuilding, Navigation, Commerce, and Fishing, into prosperous activity. Their agricultural resources are rich and varied, while the vast mineral wealth which underlies the whole area of the country is a special guarantee of its future prosperity under favourable political conditions. The gold mines of Nova Scotia, without rising to the character of dazzling lotteries to attract a promiscuous or disorderly population from abroad, have proved steadily remunerative of a regular department of native industry, and a profitable investment for foreign capital. The great iron mines, already discovered, give earnest, in connection with its coal fields, of manufacturing capabilities not inferior to those of any country of similar extent. It has the thickest coal seams in the world, and their area is extensive, affording fairground for the presumption, that for the purposes of peace or way Nova Scotia’s continued connection with Great Britain would prove of mutual advantage.

Possessed of these resources, the people desire closer relations with the Mother Country, in order to be able to enjoy more largely the benefits, as well as share more fully the responsibilities, of the Empire; and already the Province has enrolled 60,000 efficient Militia and Volunteers to assist in the maintenance of British power on this Continent, and sends to sea 440,000 tons of shipping, built and owned within the Province, bearing the flag of England, and manned by more than 20,000 seamen. That Nova Scotia has no controversies with the Mother Country, the other Provinces, or with the population of the neighboring United States; and highly prizes the privileges, so long enjoyed, of regulating her own Tariffs, and conducting trade, but lightly burthened, with the British Islands and Colonies in all parts of the world and with Foreign Countries.

That the people of Nova Scotia are prepared to entertain any propositions by which (preserving to them the Institutions they now have, and the privileges they enjoy) greater facilities tor commercial and social intercourse with other States and Provinces may be secured, and they are willing, whenever their own coasts and harbors are safe, to aid Her Majesty’s forces to preserve from aggression the Provinces in the rear.

That they view with profound distrust and apprehension schemes, recently propounded, by which it is proposed to transfer to the people of Canada the control of the Government, Legislation and Revenues, of this loyal and happy Province, and they venture respectfully to crave from your honorable House justice and protection.

That the Province of Canada lies as far from Nova Scotia as Austria docs from England, and there exists no reason why a people who live at such a distance, with whom we have but little commerce, who have invested no capital in our country, who are unable to protect it, and are themselves shut off from ocean navigation by frost for five months of the year, should control our Legislation and Government.

That in 1864 the Government of Nova Scotia, without any authority from the Legislature, and without any evidence of the consent of the people, sent delegates to Canada to arrange in secret conference at Quebec a political union between the various Provinces, That these delegates concealed the result of their conference from the people until it became incidentally made public in another Province, and that, to this hour, they have never unfolded portions of the Scheme, having the most essential relation to the peculiar interests and local government of Nova Scotia subsequent to Confederation.

That the scheme, when at last made public, was received with great dissatisfaction in Nova Scotia, that the opposition to it has been constantly on the increase, and has been intensified by the conduct of the government and the delegates, who now propose to call in the aid of Your Honorable House, to assist them to overthrow, by an arbitrary exercise of power, free Institutions enjoyed for a century, and never abused.

That the objections of the people to the proposed Confederation Scheme affect not merely minor local details but the radical principles of the plan. The people cannot recognize the necessity for change in their present tranquil, prosperous and free condition. They cannot believe that the proposed Confederation with the distant Colony of Canada will prove of any practical benefit, either for defense or trade; while, from the past history of that country, its sectional troubles, and its eccentric political management and financial embarrassments, they have great reason to fear that Confederation would be to them a most disastrous change, retarding their progress, and rendering their prolonged connection with the Crown precarious if not impossible. Forming, as she does now, a portion of the Empire, Nova Scotia is already Confederated with fifty other States and Provinces, enjoys free trade with two hundred and fifty millions of people, living under one flag, and owning the authority of one Sovereign. She has no desire to part with her self-control, or to narrow her commercial privileges by placing herself under the dominion of a sister Colony, with an exposed frontier, frost-bound for a third of the year, and with no Navy to defend the Maritime Provinces when her ports are open.

The Scheme of Government framed at Quebec is unlike any other that History shows to have been successful. It secures neither the consolidation, dignity and independent power of Monarchy, nor the checks and guards which ensure to the smaller states self-government, and controlling influence over the Federal authorities, in the neighboring Republic. By adopting the Federal principle sectionalism in the five Provinces is perpetuated; by the timid and imperfect mode in which that principle is applied, the people, whose minds have been unsettled by this crude experiment, may be driven to draw contrasts, and nourish aspirations of which adventurous and powerful neighbors will not be slow to take advantage ; and the people of Nova Scotia have no desire to peril the integrity of the Empire, with the blessings they now enjoy, or to try now experiments, which may complicate foreign relations, and yet add no real strength to the Provinces it is proposed to combine.

The people object also to the financial arrangements as especially burthensome and unfair to this Province. Having long enjoyed the control and benefitted by the expenditure of their own revenues, they cannot approve a scheme that will wrest the greater part of these from their hands, to keep up costly and cumbrous Federal machinery, and to meet the liabilities of Canada.

For many years the commercial policy of Nova Scotia has been essentially different from that of Canada. The latter country, partly from necessity arising out of financial embarrassments, and partly as an indirect premium on her own manufactures, has adopted a tariff varying from 20 to 30%, on imported goods. Almost surrounded as Nova Scotia is by the ocean, her people are favourably situated for enjoying free commercial intercourse with every section of the British Empire, and with those foreign countries open to her commerce by the enlightened [)policy of the Parent State; of this privilege she has availed herself, by imitating, as far as local circumstances would permit, the liberal and free trade policy of the Mother Country — 10%, being the ad valorem duty collected under the Nova Scotia tariff on goods imported into the Province. The proposed scheme of union will give Canada, by her large preponderance in the Legislature, the power to shape the tariff for the whole Confederacy according to her inland ideas and necessities, so as to levy the same onerous duties on British goods imparted into Nova Scotia as are now exacted by Canada.

That since the Confederation scheme has been announced, there have been special parliamentary elections in three out of the eighteen counties of this Province, and in all three it has been condemned at the polls.

That in 1865 the scheme was condemned at nearly every public meeting hold by the delegates to discuss it, and numerous petitions against its adoption were presented to the Provincial Parliament, and only one in its favor, until the leader of the government declared the measure to be “impracticable”.

That at the opening of the late Session no reference to Confederation was made in the speech of the Lieutenant Governor, and down to a late period the people of Nova Scotia were led to believe that the scheme had been abandoned. A Resolution was introduced toward the close of the Session, clothing the government with power to appoint Delegates, who, in connection with Delegates from the other Provinces, are to frame a scheme of Government, to which it is proposed to ask the sanction of your Honorable House before it has been submitted to the Legislature that it may annihilate, or to the people, whose legal and constitutional rights and powers it may transfer or circumscribe.

The undersigned, menaced by a measure that may be revolutionary repose implicit confidence in the protection of the Imperial Parliament. They deny the authority of their own Legislature, invested with limited powers for a definite term, to deprive them of rights earned by their ancestry by the most painful sacrifices, wisely exercised and never abused for more than a century, and which they had no legitimate authority to alienate or break down. They believe that any scheme of Government, framed by a Committee of Delegates and forced upon the Provinces without their revision or approval, would generate widespread dissatisfaction among a loyal and contented people; who will not fail to reflect, that no change can be made in the constitution of any of the neighboring States which has not first been approved by the electors; and that important measures, affecting Imperial policy or institutions, are rarely attempted till they have been submitted for acceptance or rejection by the people whose interests they are to affect.

Your petitioners therefore pray that Your Right Honorable House will be pleased to defer all action in favour of Confederation in the Imperial Parliament until the people of Nova Scotia shall have exercised and enjoyed their Constitutional privilege to express their opinions at the polls, or that Your Honorable House may be pleased to direct that a Special Committee shall inquire into all the features of the proposed scheme of Confederation, as it is likely to affect the several Provinces in their relations to each other and to the Mother Country; or that the people of Nova Scotia be permitted to appear by counsel at the Bar of Your Honorable House to defend their interests and Institutions. And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.

The Petition of the Inhabitants of Nova Scotia Humbly Sheweth: That the Province of Nova Scotia Is One of the Oldest Colonies of Great Britain .. [S.l.: s.n., 1865?] https://hdl.handle.net/2027/aeu.ark:/13960/t6tx4hq48

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)

https://www.jstor.org/stable/754119


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”.

“A peep at the western world; being an account of a visit to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada, and the United States”

“Now the “gridiron” is a square box-like structure, situated about midships, in close proximity to the engines, and which being closed in at the top and sides, affords shelter from the wind, and to a great extent, from the heavy seas shipped in bad weather. In the centre is the capstan, which often serves as an impromptu table, and the sides or walls area series of wooden shutters, which fasten tightly into a groove, so that one or more can readily be removed to suit the weather and the convenience of the passengers. From this it can easily be imagined that, at night, the “gridiron” was the snug retreat of those who indulged in “the fragrant weed,” or who were disposed to conviviality. For myself, I shall always remember with pleasurable feelings those agreeable evenings spent on the bosom of the Atlantic in the gridiron aforesaid.”

“It was towards eight o’clock in the evening of the 4th May (and just twelve days from the time of our leaving Liverpool) when we distinguished the lights to guide vessels in their approach to Halifax, and at exactly ten o’clock p.m. we dropped our anchor in Chebuctoo harbour. We bade farewell to those passengers proceeding by the “Niagara” on to Boston, and were not long before we disembarked, and after a hasty inspection of our luggage by the officer appointed to that duty, I proceeded in a dingy and mournful specimen of a hackney coach to the “Acadian Hotel,” my future residence during my stay in Halifax. Halifax, the principal naval station of British North America, is situated in 44° 40″ N. latitude, and 63° 38” W. longitude. It is a quaint old city, unlike any I had ever seen before, and does not certainly present the appearance of having been in English hands for more than a century. It is the capital of the province of Nova Scotia, originally Acadia, and was formerly a French possession. The province was called Acadia after a simple unobtrusive hardy little flower of that name which grows wild in the country—the land which inspired Longfellow, who has shed a romantic interest over it! Nos etiam in Acadia. I knew and felt that I was in Acadia, so I was induced early one fine morning to ramble through the forest in the neighbourhood of Halifax in search of one of these plants, now become so very rare, and was gratified by collecting a very fine specimen in full bloom. The leaf is not unlike that of a small rose plant, whilst the flower itself partakes of the violet species. It is a curious fact associated with this plant that it is not to be found in any other province of the western continent. The wild flowers of Acadia are most abundant, and are indeed a peculiar feature of the province. The roadside is fringed with white, pink, and purple, and wild strawberries blossoming, whiten in their starry settlements every bit of turf. In the swamps too is long green needle grass, surmounted with snowy tufts; clusters of purple laurel blossoms as they are called (though not at all like our laurels) shoot up from beside the grey rocks and boulders which lie thickly and loosely about. The ditches too are bedecked with numbers of pitcher plants which, lifting their veined and mottled vases brimming with water, invite the wood birds to drink and perch upon their thick rims. Here, again, is seen the buckthorn in blossom; there, on the turf, the scarlet partridge berry. Small shrubs of wild cherry trees also abound, and beneath shining tropical-looking leaves the fragrant may-flower modestly hides; and meadow-sweet, not less fragrant because less beautiful, pours its aroma into the fresh air. And above all and around all are the evergreens, the murmuring pines and the hemlocks, the rampikes, the grey-beards of the forest primæval, and the spicy breath of resinous balsams. This is Acadia! “This is Arcadia—this the land, That weary souls have sighed for; This is Arcadia—this the land Heroic souls have died for; Yet, strange to tell, this promised land Has never been applied for!”

“But to resume my narrative. Nova Scotia continued in the hands of the French until the year 1713, when it was ceded to the English by one of the stipulations of the treaty of Utrecht. From this date little or no progress had been made in the settlement of that part of it now known as Nova Scotia; neglect and indifference seem to have been manifested by the home government towards the colony, and gave rise to the natural inference by the French that England was either unaware of the real value of her new possession, or, if alive to its importance, did not exhibit any interest in retaining it. Accordingly they resolved to regain it by clever diplomacy, ofttimes superior to physical force. Their first step was to assert with boldness and pertinacity that “Acadia” comprised the peninsula only, and that the remainder of the territory across the bay of Fundy was still their possession.—* This* dexterous manœuvre, however, did not succeed, for the people settled in Massachussets took alarm at this unexpected claim, and at once urged the attention of the mother country to the matter, pointing out that its admission would supply the French with a formidable frontier, and would be productive of disastrous results to the peace and safety of the British North American possessions. This earnest and well-timed remonstrance roused the English government from its apathy and stimulated it to action, for it appears that plans were immediately devised for “confirming and extending “the dominion of the Crown of England in Acadia, “by constituting communities, diffusing the benefits “of population, and improving the fisheries on the “coast,” and submitted to the president of the “Board of Trade and Plantations.” This functionary was that acute statesman the Earl of Halifax, who ardently approved of the scheme, and obtained the sanction of the legislature for its developement. Public notices were issued stating that encouragement would be given to all officers and private soldiers of the army to settle in Nova Scotia. Now as several thousands of troops had been but recently disembodied from the standing army, the invitation was readily accepted it appears by 3760 persons, who, with their families were entered for embarkation, and the House of Commons voted the munificent sum of forty thousand pounds to defray the expences of their emigration. The Honourable Edward Cornwallis was appointed Governor of the colony, and accompanied the expedition, which took its departure in May 1749, and after a voyage of about six weeks arrived in Chebuctoo Harbour. (The old chronicle says the colony was founded on the 8th day of June, 1749, and is considered the natal day of Halifax).”

“It can readily be imagined that nature in her noblest aspect was here presented to the eye. The shores of the capacious harbour were covered with the dark rich verdure of the spruce and the fir, interspersed with the lighter and more attractive foliage of the larch, the maple, and the beech, thus completely concealing from view the huge masses of granite which were strewed over the soil, and which proved almost insurmountable obstacles to the cultivation of the land. Upon landing, the important question was discussed as to the most elegible site for founding a town, and as the spot first selected turned out unsuitable, that now known as Halifax was ultimately determined upon. It was named Halifax in honor of the noble Earl under whose auspices it may be said the expedition was fitted out. Previously to the landing of the new-comers, the Governor deemed it proper to organize a civil council, and, under his nomination, six members of His Majesty’s Council for the Province of Nova Scotia were appointed. The prospects of the inexperienced emigrant were not of the most cheering nature, though here indeed was “the forest primaeval, the murmuring pines and the hemlocks” enough to arouse the most sanguine expectations, yet, underneath this umbrageous canopy, as we have already shewn, lay hidden the source of bitter disappointment, heightened because of their sudden transition from a land populous and highly cultivated—alike the abode of wealth and civilization. The reader will have observed that the expedition reached its destination in the height of summer, and although it was supplied with provisions sufficient to sustain them for several months, it behoved the emigrants to use every exertion to protect themselves from the severity of the approaching winter. This was accomplished by the erection of wooden huts and the enclosing of the settlement. At this time there were, inclusive of soldiers, nearly five thousand souls within the palisade. Having so far attempted a brief account of the foundation of the settlement, I will proceed to notice more especially the city of Halifax, its harbour, and surrounding scenery.

The streets are all formed at right angles, the principal one running north and south of the town, whilst the houses are mostly of wood, and the churches are principally built of the same material, the appearance of which at once attracts the attention of the stranger. The streets generally are paved with wood planks with wood kerbs, while some are left entirely in their primitive state. Just fancy a wood pavement! The population is computed at 30,000, or thereabouts, and it is remarkable that little or no increase has taken place for the past half century, which is accounted for by the absence of that tide of emigration which flows into other parts of the world, there being in this locality no attraction for the emigrant, or at present any highway to the inland states. The inhabitants may be divided into three classes; first, those of Irish and Scotch descent; secondly, those of German and Dutch extraction (the offshoots of the original settlers); and, thirdly, the black people], which latter are either runaway slaves or their offspring. These latter occupy a position at the extreme north of the town, which is commonly designated the Black Settlement, and have their own distinct places of worship and sable pastors. The city and its suburbs extend over two miles in length, north and south, whilst it is barely half a mile in width at any point. By the original plan for the formation of the streets there were eight, of which two only reached the southern and three the northern extremities of the town; fifteen others intersected these at right angles. Within the last fifteen or twenty years others have been added from time to time by private individuals, in the division, subdivision, and sale of land lying outside the town.”

“There is also the pleasant little village of Dartmouth, situate opposite to Halifax on the other side of the harbour, with which there is communication by means of two steam floating bridges, which ply regularly across from the north and south ferries. It is a fashionable resort of the Halifax people, there being in the vicinity some very pleasant walks.”

“In a commercial point of view, Halifax has very little to boast of, though from its position as a port it is in my humble opinion destined in a short time to become a great commercial mart, and the highroad to our Canadian possessions. Looking at the map I was much struck with the advantages that of necessity must have accrued to its commerce if years ago the “blue noses” had constructed a line of railway direct to Quebec, for from the proximity of Halifax to England as compared with any port in the United States, it does not require any amount of shrewdness to detect that as a consequence of this, coupled with the facilities of inland communication by rail, the whole trade of Canada would flow through Halifax instead of as at present being very nearly monopolised by our Yankee neighbours. If my prognostication respecting Halifax be not realised, it will be simply owing to the lethargy of the “Halligonians,” as they call themselves; but in Halifax I observed that though its inhabitants are industrious and careful as a people, with plenty of capital, they are utterly wanting in enterprise. The responsibility of laying down lines of railway must not be thrown entirely upon government, because it is certainly the duty and the interest of the inhabitants to bring before the legislature the advantages, commercial or otherwise, that would arise from their scheme being sanctioned. It has been the case with all railroads in the United Kingdom, that they have been planned, brought before the House of Commons, and eventually carried out by private enterprise. Though the NovaScotians have undoubtedly lost a commercial revenue by inattention to their own interests in this respect, let me hope that they will not fail to carry out the line of railroad I have suggested before the opportunity be irretrievably lost.”

“Nova Scotia is divided into 18 counties, named (in worthy imitation) after counties or cities in old England. These counties send each two, three, four, or five members to represent them in the House of Assembly, which consists of 54 members, elected every four years, on the principle of universal suffrage. I may mention, en passant , that this mode of election is but of recent introduction amongst them, and as I happened whilst at Halifax to witness the spectacle of a general election, it will perhaps be as well if I say a few words on the practical working of this measure. Before doing so I will explain that the political affairs of the province are delegated to the legislative council, composed of 22 members, and the house of assembly before referred to. The members of the legislative council are styled “honourable” by courtesy, a title retained by them during life.

Now touching universal or manhood suffrage, a question the advisability of which is so much agitated at home by a certain class of politicians, I do not hesitate to aver that I never viewed it in a favourable light, because it throws into the hands of the majority—the lower classes—a preponderating influence which, whilst it is unfair to the minority, the possessors of every description of property, may be used to overthrow the most useful measures, and to favour intrigue of the most venal nature, this, be it remembered, at the expense of those most interested in the prosperity of the country. Nevertheless, not having before had an opportunity of seeing universal suffrage practically developed, I felt considerable interest in watching narrowly the progress of the election, because it would afford me a chance of testing whether the opinion I had formed was erroneous or not. The only qualifications necessary to entitle one to a vote are twenty-one years of age (no qualification at all), and a residence of five years in the province, either of which are easily evaded, because the fraud is difficult and troublesome to detect. During the day I visited, in company with a friend, every polling place in the city, and I am sure that numbers of youths (whose boyish appearance clearly indicated that they had not attained the age of twenty-one) were allowed to vote with impunity. Again, I was assured by inhabitants of the place who were in a position to know, that many voted not only as they should have done, at one booth, but again recorded their vote in another district. Though doubtless there are other means of successfully practising deception, I think I have clearly shewn the gross abuses of a system which I never wish to see introduced at home. The entire population of Nova Scotia is about 224,000; of this number about 80,000 are Roman Catholics.

“Bidding adieu to mine host of the Acadian, I left Halifax, and proceeded to Windsor, a pretty little town situate at the confluence of the rivers St. Croix and Avon, and distant from Halifax 45 miles. The communication is by railway, though the rate of travelling (15 miles an hour, including stoppages) is by no means satisfactory to one accustomed to the trains at home. The carriages on this line I observed were constructed in the United States. Why could they not be made in Nova Scotia? The plain answer is because the people in that province (as I have before hinted) have not the energy and enterprise to make for themselves what is so readily obtainable from their cousins of the stars and stripes.”

John Russell Smith. A peep at the western world; being an account of a visit to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada, and the United States, London, 1863. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/resource/lhbtn.10310/

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