Nova Scotia Quotes

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#   9-1-1 — Planes diverted to Nova Scotia
#   Condoleezza Rice goes to Canada to commemorate September 11th

              “...suddenly planes were told to land wherever you are...”
#   Cuban Missile Crisis 1962: The Canadian Angle
#   Stanfield's revenge
#   Hurricane sinks HMS Bounty
#   Escaped American slaves in Nova Scotia
#   Cape Breton Island
#   When Boys Mined Coal
#   Those were the days
#   Howard Blackburn
#   Dave Carroll
#   Gary Clement
#   Stephen Colbert
#   Amor de Cosmos
#   Charles Dickens
#   Stéphane Dion
#   Parker Donham
#   Brian Flemming
#   Harry Flemming
#   Robert Fulford
#   Max Haines
#   Pat MacAdam
#   Michael Moore
#   Arnie Patterson
#   Harry Rogers
#   Ralston Saul
#   Simon Schama
#   Aaron Sorkin
#   Floyd Spence
#   Graham Steele
#   David Swick
#   Leon Trotsky

The first of the new Arctic patrol boats will be named after Admiral Harry DeWolf, the swashbuckling Nova Scotian Second World War commander of the destroyer Haida.

A Navy rebuilt, at last, by Conrad Black, in the National Post, March 14, 2015

•  Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf, Unassuming Hero and Leader
HMCS Sackville Newsletter, February 2001
•  DeWolf Park highlights Bedford's naval history
Herald Bedford-Sackville
•  Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf, A Canadian Naval Legend
Jerry Proc's web pages
•  Harry DeWolf, Canada War Hero, Dies at 97
New York Times, January 14, 2001
•  Vice Admiral Henry George "Harry" DeWolf CBE DSO DSC CD (1903-2000)

A poster that was created by a student has now been removed from the wall of a Nova Scotia high school because it depicts a black man wearing chains.  The (Tri-County Regional) School Board took it down after receiving a complaint but the students are upset thay were not consulted and they say their education is being censored... The poster was a winner in a contest run by the Black Loyalist Society...

Frame grabbed from the CTV News website, 9 March 2015
Nova Scotia school removes poster for depicting slavery
Video 2:20     CTV News Atlantic, March 9, 2015

Also See:
•  Poster removed from Shelburne school over slavery depiction
Shelburne County Coast Guard, Shelburne, March 6, 2015
•  Poster removed from Nova Scotia high school
over slavery depiction of black man in chains

MetroNews, Halifax, March 9, 2015
•  Poster removed from Shelburne school over slavery depiction
Daily News, Truro, March 9, 2015

A photo parody of American Gothic, dubbed Nova Scotia Gothic, was taken right here on Maple Street in Bridgewater (in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia).  Maritime Moments Jigsaw Puzzle owners Bethe and Rick Cameron have been picturing local scenes as a way to promote their business.  Ms Cameron explained that after she and her husband recently broke two shovels, they decided to make a comic video and post it on Facebook.  In the process, they decided to parody American Gothic with one of their broken shovels.  "We went to our wardrobes to see what we had [which would be suitable], and we just stood outside with our broken shovel and our son took the picture," said Ms Cameron.  The photo was taken on February 19th... It has since been uploaded to viral photo sharing sites such as Imgur and Reddit, and now has over 2.6 million views.  "It's gone around the world," said Ms Cameron, noting the viral photo has resulted in many Facebook page likes for her company and requests to make Nova Scotia Gothic into a puzzle.

American Gothic parody goes viral - Bridgewater photo viewed millions of times
Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin, Bridgewater, 24 February 2015


Graham Steele

Let me put it this way.  In the British comedy Yes Minister, if a (political) decision was going to lose votes, it was called ‘controversial.’  If a decision was going to lose an election, it was called ‘courageous.’  This is a very, very courageous report...

CBC political analyst Graham Steele on 19 November 2014, about a new report proposing major changes to Nova Scotia's tax system.

•  Watch the video Graham Steele comments on tax review 2:59

•  Graham Steele  Wikipedia

•  Graham Steele becomes news analyst for CBC Nova Scotia
Truro Daily News,  October 29, 2013

•  Yes Minister  Wikipedia

Hopefully, the Brits do not refuse to honour the results of the Scottish democratic vote as they did when Nova Scotia (New Scotland) voted 65% in favour of separation in 1868.

–Source: A comment, referring to the Scottish Independence referendum to be held on Thursday, 18th September 2014, attached to: ‘Think very carefully about the future’: Queen finally breaks silence over Scottish independence
National Post, 15 September 2014


Gary Clement

All aboard with Gary Clement this summer as he rides the rails
on a cross Canada train trip from Halifax to Vancouver.
Gary Clement's Summer on the Rails: Ocean train observations

National Post, 11 July 2014

It never ceases to amaze me how people of obvious ignorance can so proudly display that ignorance in as many forums as possible.  But I guess, in this age of enlightenment and the internet, ignorantly displaying one's stupidity has become fashionable... To a Gael, whose people have been attacked by a policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide, the consideration of anything “Royal” is as logical as asking anyone of Jewish faith and heritage to consider joining the Nazi Party.  To purport to be a Gael, ignorant of the offensive nature of this symbol to an exiled and scattered race, is nothing short of complete and utter stupidity... Is there any way to educate these people at all?  Ach, mar a thuirt na sean fheadhainn, “Cha gabh tour a cuir ann an damh!”

Letter – A vehicle for the ignorant? – in The Inverness Oran, 30 May 2014, commenting on the recent decision to change the name of the Colaisde na Gàidhlig / The Gaelic College to the Royal Gaelic College, to mark the college's 75th anniversary, but instead the move reopened centuries-old wounds.

Colaisde na Gàidhlig / The Gaelic College
Located northeast of Baddeck, on the Cabot Trail, the
college was founded in 1938 by a Presbyterian minister
who  had  immigrated  from  Scotland's   Isle   of   Skye.
The college promotes itself as the most important school
of Gaelic  language  and  culture  in North America.

See pages 5-9: Iomradh-Sùileachaidh nam Meadhannan
Media Monitoring Report, 2014 March 28

The CEO of the Royal Gaelic College in Cape Breton says the school's board of governors is carefully considering a proposal to drop the word “royal” from the institution's name... Controversy erupted in December 2013, when some in Cape Breton's Gaelic community called the addition offensive, saying most Gaelic-speaking migrants who sailed to Nova Scotia in the 1700s were forced out of the Highlands after conflict with the English...

—Source: Royal Gaelic College CEO weighs in on name controversy
in The Globe and Mail, 4 March 2014

In a controversy pitting some Nova Scotians of Scottish ancestry against each other, the chairman of Cape Breton's recently renamed Royal Gaelic College has stepped down because of a backlash against the school's gaining its royal prefix from Queen Elizabeth II... The name change was intended to mark the college's 75th anniversary, but instead the move reopened centuries-old wounds...

—Source: ‘Royal’ treatment to Gaelic College name prompts uproar, resignation in Nova Scotia
in The Globe and Mail, 18 December 2013

My son is now the fourth generation of continuous military service.  He is serving in Petawawa with the Canadian Airborne, throwing himself out of perfectly good aircraft – well, maybe not so perfectly good any more, but throwing himself out of aircraft.

Ms. Betty Ann LaVallée, great, great, great granddaughter of Major Jean Baptiste Cope, testifying before the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans of the House of Commons on 25 November 1999.

...we have a DVD with six hours of impeccably researched history; we have a great companion book.  Now we have to lobby the school districts, the state legislatures, to put African American history where it belongs, in the classroom – not as a separate course, because most legislatures won't do that.  I'm talking about integrating the story.  Let's say, not only do we learn about George Washington – we learn about his slave Harry Washington.  Harry ran away from George's Mount Vernon, fought for the British, and then when the British lost went to Nova Scotia with the free black community.  Then when Nova Scotia didn't work out they went to Sierra Leone and settled there.  That tells a fuller story of American history and George Washington than simply ‘George Washington chopped down a cherry tree and didn't tell a lie.’ (boldface emphasis and hyperlinks added)

Henry Louis Gates Jr. PhD, professor, History of American Civilization program at Harvard University, interviewed by Tavis Smiley — broadcast by PBS TV station KCTS-TV, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., and seen in Nova Scotia at 4:09am ADT on 22 October 2013.  Professor Gates was discussing “Episode One: The Black Atlantic,” from the series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. 

Henry Louis Gates arrest controversy

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

Premier-designate Stephen McNeil, from nearby Upper Granville, will announce and welcome the new executive council for the provincial government of Nova Scotia at a swearing-in ceremony held on October 22, at King’s Theatre in the town of Annapolis Royal at 11am... Annapolis Royal was the capital of Acadia and of Nova Scotia for almost 150 years – until Halifax was founded in 1749... (hyperlinks added)

—Source: “Annapolis Royal gets McNeil nod
Annapolis County Spectator, 16 October 2013

Nova Scotia's new cabinet will be sworn in close to the new premier's home town.  Premier-designate Stephen McNeil will introduce the cabinet during a ceremony next Tuesday (22 October 2013) at King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal... Swearing-in ceremonies have been held in Annapolis Royal several times in the past.  The first, for the record, April 25th, 1720, when then-Governor Phillips swore in his Executive Council.  (hyperlink added)

—Source: News item read by Steve Murphy, anchor
CTV News at Six, October 16th, 2013

2013 Oct 17
CTV Atlantic web poll results, 17 Oct 2013
CTV Atlantic web poll results, 17 Oct 2013

I would have liked to see a question directed
to the significant historical aspect of this event
– reactivating a precedent from 293 years ago
(when Halifax and Louisbourg were primeval forest).

This is an interesting time.  My father started farming when he was 16; he started farming behind a horse.  My son started farming four years ago; he started with a GPS tractor...

Andy Vermeulen “an innovative risk-taking farmer in Canning who not that long ago was also an immigrant to Nova Scotia, part of a wave of Dutch immigrants who have made such a marvellous contribution to our province over many decades.”
—Source: “In agriculture, it's adapt or die” in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 13 July 2013

GPS in Agriculture
GPS tractors
Tractor GPS


Parks Canada Blunder
Cape Breton Historic Site
Canada Day, 2013

Parks Canada blunder, Canada Day, 2013
Parks Canada Flunks Cape Breton Geography
Cape Breton Historic Site, Canada Day, 2013

—Source: Map: Historic Sites across Canada

The “Cape Breton - Newfoundland Cable” that was a “vital section of (the) first transatlantic cable completed in 1856” did not come ashore at “North Sydney.”  The Nova Scotia end came ashore at Aspy Bay, Victoria County, Cape Breton, more than eighty kilometres from North Sydney.

Area Code 902 Running Out of Phone Numbers

8. The CRTC determines that the area (Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) served by area code 902 is to be overlaid with a new area code 782, effective 30 November 2014.

9. The CRTC notes that area code overlays require the use of 10-digit local dialing to ensure proper local call routing between the overlaid area codes.  The CRTC also notes that consumers require a permissive dialing period during which calls are completed regardless of whether they are dialed using 7 or 10 digits.  During the permissive dialing period, when a consumer makes a local call using 7 digits, the call is first directed to a standard short recorded announcement about the change to 10-digit local dialing before it is automatically completed.  (hyperlinks added)

10. With respect to the transition to 10-digit dialing for area code 902, the CRTC determines that
• (a) the permissive dialing period is to take place between 23 August and 16 November 2014, with (standard short recorded) announcements and automatic call completion for calls made using 7 digits being phased in between 23 and 30 August 2014;
• (b) mandatory 10-digit local dialing is to be implemented beginning on 16 November 2014, with (standard short recorded) announcements for calls dialed using 7 digits stating that the caller must hang up and dial the area code with the 7-digit number being phased in between 16 and 30 November 2014; and
• (c) standard (short recorded) announcements stating that calls made using 7 digits cannot be completed as dialed are to be phased in between 2 March and 2 April 2015.

Quoted from Telecom Decision CRTC 2012-528, issued 1 October 2012 by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

New telephone numbers with the 782 area code will be issued to customers, anywhere in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, requesting new telecommunication services beginning in November 2014.  This means that, after November 2014, two adjacent units in an apartment building can – and often will – be in different area codes.  In fact, if you have two telephones in your home, they can be in different area codes.  It also means that, when dialing any telepone number, long-distance and local including your next-door neighbour, you will have to dial ten digits every time, no matter if the number you are calling is in the same area code as you.
      ICS, 22 Dec 2012

Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 8 May 2013
Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 8 May 2013
Nova Scotians need to train their dialling fingers for extra 3 digits

...Following the Second World War (1939-1945), a wave of immigrants from Holland came to Nova Scotia.  It may have been the most successful wave of immigration to rural Nova Scotia in our history.  It was a deliberate strategy.  The provincial Department of Agriculture advertised, along with the federal Department of Immigration, in Dutch newspapers: “Come to Nova Scotia and we will help identify farm land and help finance your acquisition of that farm land through the farm loans board.”  They had a very targeted, economically focused immigration strategy... A leading Nova Scotia businessperson recently commented to me that he remembered people saying in the 1950s: “Why do we need those Dutch coming in?  They are going to take our jobs.”  The reality is those hard-working Dutch immigrants not only built futures for their families, but also built jobs for all Nova Scotians...

–Source: Break immigration bottleneck by Scott Brison, MP for Kings-Hants, Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 4 May 2013

A very interesting and well-documented example of (the) empowering of the empowered (by the drive towards increased public transparency and allowing for enhanced data-enriched citizen/public engagement in policy and other analysis and assessment) can be found in the work of Solly Benjamin and his colleagues looking at the impact of the digitization of land records in Bangalore.  Their findings were that newly available access to land ownership and title information in Bangalore was primarily being put to use by middle and upper income people and by corporations to gain ownership of land from the marginalized and the poor.  The newly digitized and openly accessible data allowed the well-to-do to take the information provided and use that as the basis for instructions to land surveyors and lawyers and others to challenge titles, exploit gaps in titles, take advantage of mistakes in documentation, identify opportunities and targets for bribery, among others.  They were able to directly translate their enhanced access to information along with their already available access to capital and professional skills into unequal contests around land titles, court actions, and offers of purchase for self-benefit and to further marginalize those already marginalized...

Benjamin's meticulously documented paper describing the process of digitization of land records and the aftermath in Bangalore, shows how the digitization and related digital access to land title had the direct effect of shifting power and wealth to those with the financial resources and skills to use this information in self-interested ways.  This is not to suggest that processes of computerization inevitably lead to such outcomes but rather to say that in the absence of efforts to equalize the playing field with respect to enabling opportunities for the use of newly available data, the end result may be increased social divides rather than reduced ones particularly with respect to the already poor and marginalized...

(In) response to (an) earlier blog on this matter... a private e-mail... (was received that included the following:) “(You don't) have to go to Bangalore.  The very same thing is happening in Nova Scotia where, over the last 20 years, there's been a concerted push to get all land titles, deeds, surveys and other data into a publicly available GIS (geographic information system).  Because much (most?) of the rural land in Nova Scotia is still unsurveyed” … people are rooting through various data being put online – nineteenth century deeds, ancient maps and so on … “then pay surveyors and lawyers to, in one way or another, take land away from owners.  A neighbor, 80 yrs (old) and illiterate, lost some 50 acres [20 hectares] from the family homestead … All the old-timers in the community know the land belonged to him and to his daddy before him” but he lost it anyway.  “(This) wouldn't have been economic (or even possible) … before the digitized GIS system went public.”  (hyperlinks added)

Open data: Empowering the empowered or effective data use for everyone?
by Michael GursteinFirst Monday, v16 n2, 7 Feb 2011

A local boy named Jefferson Davis Shatford... left the village, suitcase in hand, at age 16 (in 1878), fell in with the Rockefellers of New Jersey, made a fortune in oil... His will, which, in 1956, was tacked to a bulletin board outside the local post office, stated that the bulk of his estate... “should be held in trust for the benefit of the people of Hubbards community...”

–Source: How a Nova Scotia businessman has helped students from his hometown graduate debt-free for half a century  National Post, 24 May 2013

The J.D. Shatford Memorial Trust
Trustee - JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Legacy of J.D. Shatford of Hubbards hailed as ‘a wonderful gift’
Halifax Chronicle-Herald, September 4, 2015

I remember sitting on the 32nd floor of the United Nations, allowing myself to daydream, and say: “Boys, this is a long way from Litchfield, Nova Scotia.”

Walter Peters, a retired military officer from Annapolis County who Ottawa says was Canada’s first black jet fighter pilot and who was involved in the development of the iconic Snowbirds, as reported in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 27 February 2013.  According to Veterans Affairs Canada, Peters helped establish the Snowbirds air team and later flew with them.  He was a flying instructor during his career, and he also became the Canadian Armed Forces’ first human rights officer.  Peters did some international security work, too, as an adviser to the United Nations Security Council.  Peters was born in Litchfield, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, in 1937.

–Source: Walter Peters was an aviation pioneer, Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 27 Feb 2013

She doesn't look a day over eighty...
There is something special going on there...
A huge statistical anomaly...

From "Nova Scotia's Centenarian Rate Amazes Experts on Ageing" in the National Post, 1 March 2002.  At the top of the article was a group photo of four people taken that week in Yarmouth: Neva Foot, 100; Harry Doane, 100; Ella MacDonald, 102 (she doesn't look a day over eighty); and Delima D'Entremont, 102.  The National Post:

There are eight centenarians among 8,000 souls in the fishing town of Yarmouth on Nova Scotia's southwest coast.  That's one person aged 100 or older for every 1,000 residents — a huge statistical anomaly that is making Yarmouth, and Nova Scotia in general, the focus of North American medical researchers intent on cracking the elusive secrets of a long life... Dr. Thomas Perls, a geriatrician at the Boston Medical Center and one of the world's senior experts on ageing, says Nova Scotia has a higher proportion of centenarians than anywhere else in North America, possibly the world... There is truly a doubling of the prevalence of centenarians [in Nova Scotia] and Dr. Perls says that is probably due to the gene pool.  He says research has discounted the theory that a high proportion of very old people is simply the result of young people moving away.  "You've got this mixture of Acadians, and people with British roots, and Scots, basically northern European-type stock.  Something in that gene pool has produced this — there is something special going on there."  He says people need two traits to live to 100: a 'longevity-enabling gene' that delays the process of ageing, and a scarcity of genes that cause diseases such as Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer.  These traits, he says, are mysteriously common among Nova Scotians, and also among people in the New England states, which are filled with Nova Scotian immigrants.  He says most of the centenarians he encounters in New England tell him they were actually born in Halifax...

Nova Scotia is remarkable for the number of its old people.  It has a larger population of centenarians than any other country, there being one in every 19,000 inhabitants, while England has only one in every 200,000.

The Nova Scotia magazine, page 8, v1 n1, January 1894, Halifax, N.S.

War of 1812

...British vindication came on June 1, 1813, when HMS Shannon bested the USS Chesapeake in a broadside duel.  The Shannon's cannons blasted the Chesapeake out of operation and the Shannon's crew boarded the wounded U.S. frigate.  After brutal hand-to-hand fighting, with heavy casualties on both sides, the Americans surrendered.  HMS Shannon then towed the defeated Chesapeake to Halifax harbour.  “I emphatically endorse the decision to put the Shannon on the toonie,” says Andrew Lambert, the British historian and author of War at Sea in the Age of Sail.  (The Shannon is the first in a series of five War of 1812 $2 coins being issued by the Royal Canadian Mint).  “Its victory was the turning point of the war at many levels”... By the end of 1813, the Royal Navy had won the upper hand.  “American trade was so strangled by the Atlantic blockade that the U.S. was on the verge of bankruptcy,” says Victor Suthren, a Canadian naval historian and author of the book, The War of 1812.  The Americans were compelled to negotiate peace with the British and a deal was struck on Dec. 24, 1814.

–Source: British Navy played a central role in the War of 1812 National Post, 10 Nov 2012

HMS Shannon, War of 1812 - #1 in a series of five $2 commemorative coins
HMS Shannon, War of 1812
#1 in a series of five $2 commemorative coins


Hurricane sinks HMS Bounty

Frame from the CNN website, 30 Oct 2012 5:03am ADT
A frame from the CNN website, 30 Oct 2012  5:03am ADT
Cable News Network, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Cable TV channel 637, CNN High Definition

This image was broadcast about eight hours after
the storm made landfall in southern New Jersey.

Crew member dead, captain missing after
Canadian-built replica of HMS Bounty sinks

Globe and Mail, Toronto
29 October 2012

Captain missing after Canadian-built HMS Bounty sunk by Hurricane Sandy
National Post, Toronto
29 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy Sinks HMS Bounty...
Cruise Law News, Miami, Florida
29 October 2012

HMS Bounty: Captain missing after Hurricane Sandy sinks ship...
National Post, Toronto
30 October 2012

Captain still missing after HMS Bounty's sinking
Times of Malta, Valletta, Malta
30 October 2012

Bounty victim was mutineer's relative
Chronicle-Herald, Halifax, Nova Scotia
30 October 2012

Shipyard: Months of repairs on Bounty rang no alarms
Chronicle-Herald, Halifax, Nova Scotia
31 October 2012

Bounty (1960 ship)

A new mutiny is brewing...

Kevin Cox, in "Mutiny over the Bounty", The Globe and Mail, 18 January 2000.

The ship lists clumsily at the dock.  She has been stripped of her majestic sails.  The steel-cable rigging is rusting.  Her hull shows signs of rot.  Several spans are missing.  This, former crew members say, is the sorry state of the HMS Bounty II, one of North America's best-known tall ships.  Forty years ago, the majestic square-rigged ship was the pride of shipbuilders in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and the floating stage for the movie Mutiny on the Bounty.  Now, they say, she sits awkwardly in the water, with a list of between five and ten degrees, at Fall River, Massachusetts, awaiting work valued at more than $1-million (U.S.) to repair her rotting hull and bottom, replace aging sails and masts and install new engines and electrical systems.  And a new mutiny is brewing, pitting the former crew members against the Tall Ship Bounty Foundation, which has put the ship up for sale.  There is a big difference of opinion over the ship's state of seaworthiness...

I am hard-pressed to actually name the senators from Nova Scotia.  I am a member of Parliament for the province of Nova Scotia and I cannot tell you their names.  They are non-existent in our province.  They are not out there meeting with people.  They are not out there talking about issues.  I don't know what they do.

Halifax MP Megan Leslie (New Democrat), speaking on the floor of the House of Commons in Ottawa during debate on the government's Senate reform bill, as reported in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 27 February 2012.
Halifax MP Leslie: I'm stumped on senators, I bet you are too


The Cuban Missile Crisis
The Canadian Angle

The Cuban Missile Crisis started quietly on 13 October 1962, when American aerial reconnaissance obtained conclusive photographic evidence of ballistic missile sites on the island.  The American reaction was swift.  Aircraft were alerted, invasion forces quietly assembled, and the United States Navy (USN) brought out in force.  Four days later the commander of U.S. Atlantic anti-submarine forces flew to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to brief Rear-Admiral Kenneth Dyer, Flag Officer, Atlantic Coast, on the developing situation... On the night of 17 October, Canada's military forces, under the command of Admiral Dyer, made their first contact with a Russian submarine 300 miles [500 km] off the Canadian coast.  Eleven more contacts followed over the next three weeks.  While the submarine was tracked by both Canadian and American forces, the tension between Washington and Moscow over the missiles in Cuba heated up.  Canadian maritime forces, both naval and air, were on a high state of alert and actively engaged in the preliminaries of the crisis when Kennedy's speech of 22 October 1962, shook the world.  “Kennedy's speech that evening was a complete surprise to the Canadian political system and to the population as a whole.”  Kennedy demanded the unconditional withdrawal of the missiles, and established a quarantine around Cuba to stop further shipment of military equipment... If there was any doubt about the presence of Russian submarines, Dyer had only to look out his office window.  There, lying in Halifax harbour, was the Soviet submarine replenishment ship Atlantika.  She sailed on the 27th for Georges Bank... Dyer got little firm direction from Ottawa, and no authorization even for the additional fuel allocation required... Like Nelson at Copenhagen, Dyer turned a blind eye to Ottawa's indifference and kept his ships and aircraft at sea.  The peak of operations came on 5 November, with the ‘the carrier, some twenty-four escorts and two submarines... deployed across an area over 1000 miles long and about 250 miles wide’ [over 1600km long and about 400km wide].  Two days later Kootenay made contact with a Soviet Foxtrot Class submarine near Georges Bank, one of eleven being tracked by plotters.  Confirmation that it was a submarine came when two Soviet trawlers nearly charged the destroyer in an attempt to break contact.  Kootenay held on and passed the Foxtrot off to the United States Navy for further prosecution.  In the end, between 23 October and 15 November, 1962, some 136 Soviet submarine ‘contacts’ were made in the Atlantic in or near the Canadian zone...

–Source: The Canadian Angle During the Cuban Missile Crisis

HALIFAX – Forget about federal politicians, prominent business folk and even the general public, one candidate for Halifax mayor has gotten a major boost in his bid to run the municipality.  Tuxedo Stan – a dapper, three-year-old black and white cat – has already achieved more global notoriety than his homo sapien competition.  He's been featured on international news channels and websites, but CNN anchor Anderson Cooper gave Stan his biggest boost, by giving the feline his endorsement for mayor.  Stan won the popular newsman's support as a part of Cooper's regular segment, “The Ridiculist,” on Monday [24 September 2012] night's broadcast of AC360.  Halifax Regional Municipality will head to the polls on October 20 (2012)...

Global News CNN's Anderson Cooper endorses Tuxedo Stan' s bid to be Halifax mayor

Frame grabbed from the CNN website, 24 Sep 2012
A frame from the CNN website, 25 Sep 2012

Percy Langille on Tancook still makes the world's best sauerkraut.

Marq de Villiers, former editor of Toronto Life, in The Financial Post Magazine, July/August 1996, page 44.  Greater Tancook Island lies in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Lunenburg County.  Villiers adds:

The ferry to Tancook Island and back is the best $1 bargain in the Western Hemisphere...

On 15 July 1996, the ferry fare was increased
to $5 per person, round trip, still a bargain.

In December 2012, the price of a round trip ticket is still $5.

Webcam view of the Tancook Island ferry dock at Chester

Sure, Peggy's Cove is cute, and Brier Island off the Fundy Shore is wild and wonderful, and Bear River an "alpine village" in miniature (self-described, but not so inaccurately), and Wolfville prosperous and picturesque, and Annapolis Royal saturated with history, and St. Catherine's Beach of Kejimkujik Park as pristine as prehistory.  And sure, the drive around Cape Breton will break your heart with its vistas, and the ferry to Tancook Island and back is the best $1 bargain in the Western Hemisphere and Chester's OK, I guess (at least it has the best bread this side of Paris), but for me, the most stirring sight in all Nova Scotia is coming up over Puffycup Hill past Corkum's Island and seeing Lunenburg across the harbour, spilling down its hillside into the waters of the Atlantic, whence it came.

Marq de Villiers, former editor of Toronto Life, in The Financial Post Magazine, July/August 1996, page 40.

There are more islands in Lunenburg County than there are on the entire west coast of the United States.

Bob Douglas, of the Mahone Bay real estate firm of R.W.B. Douglas & Associates, which has specialized in selling islands since 1969, on CBC Radio's Information Morning, 24 July 1996.



September 11 attacks

We have been diverted to Halifax, Nova Scotia.  All airspace in North America has been closed.

The pilot of Delta flight 777 from London Gatwick, England, to Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday, 11 September 2001, speaking on the plane's intercom to the passengers, halfway across the North Atlantic, as described by passenger Don Tooker, in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 15 September 2001.  D.K. Tooker received his navy wings and commission in April 1947 and later served with the United States Marine Corps, retiring in 1968 as a Lieutenant Colonel.  In 1950 he graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  In Korea he logged 133 combat missions in Corsairs and jets.  In the early 1950s he flew helicopters and observation aircraft, but went back to jets in the 1960s, flying the F8 Crusader and commanding the VMF-323 (Marine Fighter) squadron.  From 1966 to 1968 he commanded VVMO-5, flying the Iroquois and the Bronco.  His decorations include two Distinguished Flying Crosses, ten Air Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation.  His book, The Second Luckiest Pilot: Adventures in Military Aviation, ISBN 1557508216 was published in May 2000 by the Naval Institute Press, in Annapolis, Maryland.

Last Tuesday [September 11, 2001] my wife, Peri, and I were headed home to California from London.  Midway on our flight from Gatwick to Atlanta, our Delta flight captain made the following solemn announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, I have some terrible news.  The Pentagon and the two World Trade Center towers have been hit by terrorists who've apparently hijacked four commercial jets.  The two towers have collapsed and are no more."

A moment's silence, then, "We have been diverted to Halifax, Nova Scotia.  All airspace in North America has been closed."  Not since the shocking Pearl Harbor news [7 December 1941] had I ever been more stunned...

In all some forty aircraft were parked (at the Halifax airport) on an alternate runway; our Delta 777 was No. 39... Some seventeen hours after the London takeoff, we clambered down the jet stairway and into transit vehicles, then through Customs and into school buses, headed for a place called Shearwater Naval Base... To all Canadians, especially you Nova Scotians, you've done well!  You've done a fantastic job on short notice, a service that none of us will ever forget...

Nova Scotia Quotes: 42 planes parked at Halifax International Airport, 11 September 2001
42 planes parked at Halifax International Airport, 11 September 2001
They were carrying 9,080 people, passengers and crew.
Source: Halifax Daily News, 11 September 2002

Stranded passengers flood Canadian airports CBC News, 11 September 2001

This past week, I was an unintentional visitor to Halifax, a traveller aboard an Air France flight bound for Philadelphia and diverted to your city.  The traumatic and tragic events which took place in the United States occasioned a poignant and emotional experience for me in Canada, which I would like to describe to you Canadians with my heartfelt appreciation and my awe at your outpouring of support for us... It was a challenge of major proportions to every aspect of your cities and, in my view, you shone... Authorities at Halifax Airport were efficient, cautious and professional... I happened to arrive at Exhibition Park, along with 1,500 other travellers.  What followed was a demonstration of volunteerism that you should be tremendously proud of.

I have vivid memories of young people with smiles on their faces, pumping away to get those mattresses ready.  Bravo to their generation!  I was told that some 800 Halifax residents came by the facility to offer their homes for overnights stays or for us to take showers and to simply relax away from the press of people... You displayed behavior that we should all aspire to in the face of human tragedies.  Thank you, officials of Halifax.  Thank you, Exhibition Park.  Thank you, Canadian Red Cross.  Thank you, Canadian Salvation Army.  Thank you, all the private citizens of Halifax who gave your time and yourselves.

Alan G. Ringgold, in a letter dated 15 September 2001, addressed to "Dear Canadians" and sent to Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly, as reported on the front page of the Halifax Sunday Daily News, 16 September 2001.  Alan Ringgold, formerly a deputy assistant director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was one of 1,500 passengers who slept on a cot at Halifax's Exhibition Park when his Air France flight to Philadelphia was diverted to Halifax on September 11th.  Before he retired, Ringgold was the agent overseeing all FBI law enforcement outside the United States.  He appeared numerous times before committees of the United States Congress, updating politicians on FBI operations in cases such as the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, which killed nineteen U.S. soldiers.  He now lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

I was flying from Frankfurt to New York for a vacation, but landed in heaven.

A quote from an anonymous passenger on one of the transatlantic airplane flights diverted on short notice to land in Halifax on September 11th, 2001.  It is inscribed on a plaque presented to Halifax and its citizens by Dennis Holland, national director of the Canadian Red Cross, to commemorate their "humanitarian efforts" in coping with the sudden emergency.  "You can imagine the magnitude of caring for eight thousand people who came to dinner unexpectedly, that takes quite a significant amount to effort," Holland said at a meeting of Halifax Regional Council where the plaque was presented, as reported in the Halifax Daily News, 4 October 2001.

Mr. Dennis Holland, President, and Mr. John Byrne, Regional Director, Canadian Red Cross, made a presentation to Council to thank HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality) and to recognize the community at large for their assistance during the U.S. Disaster.  In their presentation, Mr. Byrne made the following points:
  • 8,666 people were displaced over a twelve hour period.
  • Over a four day period, 1,622 volunteers assisted in the efforts.
  • 72,000 meals were served in four days.
  • 18 comfort shelters as well as numerous private homes were offered to accommodate the displaced passengers.
In response, Mayor Kelly thanked the Red Cross for their work.

Quoted from Halifax Regional Council minutes, 2 October 2001

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, as word spread of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, 224 commercial planes were immediately diverted to 17 airports across this country: to British Columbia and Alberta, to Yukon and the Northwest Territories, to Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec – but mostly here, to runways across Atlantic Canada.  These aircraft carried some 33,000 people.  Most of them were Americans – some heading off on business trips or vacations, others bound for home.  Many were told that they would be setting down in Halifax or in St. John's, in Moncton or Stephenville, in Goose Bay or in Gander.  These were places that many aboard had never heard of.  They are now places that few of the passengers will ever forget.

Prime Minister Paul Martin, in a speech delivered at Pier 21 in Halifax on 1 December 2004, with United States President George W. Bush present.

May it be recorded; may it be inscribed forever in the Book of Life: Bless the good people of Halifax...

From “An Ode to Human Decency” by Stephen Jay Gould, in The Globe and Mail, 20 September 2001.  His flight from Milan to New York was one of 45 diverted to Halifax on September 11th.  Dr. Gould is among the best known and widely read scientists of our present generation.  He is currently the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Geology at Harvard University, Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology in the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, and adjunct member of the Department of the History of Science.  He has established a reputation as one of Harvard's most visible and engaging instructors, offering courses in paleontology, biology, geology, and the history of science.  Since 1996, he also has been Vincent Astor Visiting Research Professor of Biology at New York University and now divides his time between New York and Cambridge.

...My first actual encounter with Maritime Canada, as a teenager on a family motor trip in the mid-1950s, sparked nothing but pleasure and fascination, as I figured out the illusion of Moncton's Magnetic Hill, marvelled at the tidal phenomena of the Bay of Fundy (especially the reversing rapids of Saint John and the tidal bore of Moncton), found peace of spirit at Peggy's Cove and learned some history in the old streets of Halifax.  I have been back, always with eagerness and fulfilment, a few times since, for reasons both recreational and professional...

My latest visit among you, however, was entirely involuntary and maximally stressful... I live in lower Manhattan, just a mile from the burial ground of the Twin Towers.  As they fell victim to evil and insanity on Tuesday, September 11, during the morning after my sixtieth birthday, my wife and I, enroute from Milan to New York, flew over Titanic's resting place and then followed the route of her recovered dead to Halifax.  We sat on the airport tarmac for eight hours and eventually proceeded to the cots of Dartmouth's sports complex, then upgraded to the adjacent Holiday Inn.

On Friday, September 14, at three o'clock in the morning, Alitalia brought us back to the airport, only to inform us that their plane would return to Milan.  We rented one of the last two cars available and drove, with an intense mixture of grief and relief, back home...

Halifax sat on the invisible periphery of a New York epicenter, with 45 planes, mostly chock full of poor strangers from strange lands, arrayed in two lines on the tarmac, and holding 9,000 passengers to house, feed, and especially to comfort.  May it be recorded; may it be inscribed forever in the Book of Life:  Bless the good people of Halifax who did not sleep, who took strangers into their homes, who opened their hearts and shelters, who rushed in enough food and clothing to supply an army, who offered tours of their beautiful city and, above all, who listened with a simple empathy that brought this tough and fully grown man to tears, over and over again.  I heard not a single harsh word, saw not the slightest gesture of frustration, and felt nothing but pure and honest welcome... We, 9,000 strong, are forever in your debt, and all humanity glows in the light of your unselfish goodness...

And so Canada, although you are not my home or native land, we will always share this bond of your unstinting hospitality to people who descended upon you as frightened strangers, and received nothing but solace and solidarity in your embrace of goodness...

Stephen Jay Gould has written more than twenty books, including:


Stephen Colbert

...It took a two-hour flight to Halifax, Nova Scotia, this week, followed by a 90-minute motorcade north up Highway 102 to Pictou County, for (Secretary of State Condoleezza) Rice to find herself linked to someone with similar star appeal: Peter MacKay of Canada, the single, sophisticated foreign minister, routinely named Canada's sexiest M.P. by The Hill Times in Ottawa, and the closest thing to eye candy on the diplomatic circuit.  Tall, athletic, young, blond and recently dumped by his girlfriend, a fellow member of Parliament, Belinda Stronach, who parted with him when she switched parties, Mr. MacKay does not look like your usual foreign minister.  He has a tan and the build of someone who spends his time on the rugby field, not holed up reading G-8 communiques.  Sure, at 40 years old, he is younger than Ms. Rice, who is 51, but that did not stop gossips from engaging in baseless speculating... Mr. MacKay, wearing a pearl gray suit, pink and blue striped tie... mentioned Nova Scotia's rich black history, citing the "black loyalist community, Canada's oldest community of African heritage"...

"Dance of Diplomacy Provides Grist for the Gossip Mill", New York Times, 13 September 2006

Nova Scotia Quotes: The Colbert Report, 14 Sep. 2006

Fig. 1

Nova Scotia Quotes: The Colbert Report, 14 Sep. 2006

Fig. 2

Nova Scotia Quotes: The Colbert Report, 14 Sep. 2006

Fig. 3

Nova Scotia Quotes: The Colbert Report, 14 Sep. 2006

Fig. 4

Nova Scotia Quotes: Albion Steam Locomotive, Museum of Industry, Stellarton, Nova Scotia

Fig. 5

Nova Scotia Quotes: Albion Steam Locomotive, Museum of Industry, Stellarton, Nova Scotia

Fig. 6

Figs. 1 to 4:  Screenshots from The Colbert Report, 14 Sep 2006.
Figs. 1 and 3:  Stephen Colbert discusses the article "Dance of Diplomacy Provides Grist for the Gossip Mill", New York Times, 13 Sep 2006.
Fig. 2:  View of the article "Dance of Diplomacy Provides Grist for the Gossip Mill", New York Times, 13 Sep 2006.
Fig. 4:  The Colbert Report shows a shot (from CNN, 13 Sep. 2006) of Peter MacKay and Condoleezza Rice in front of the steam locomotive Albion in the Museum of Industry, Stellarton, Nova Scotia.
Compare fig. 4 with figs. 5 and 6, showing partial views, photographed on 28 Mar 2006, of the steam locomotive Albion in the Museum of Industry, Stellarton, Nova Scotia.

Reference: The Colbert Report in Wikipedia

Albion, built 1849 or earlier, is
a rare historic industrial artifact,
the 34th oldest surviving steam
locomotive in the world.


Condoleezza Rice

Press Statement: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Travel to Canada, September 11-12, 2006
Press Statement, Washington, D.C., Released on September 8, 2006

Briefing En Route Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada
by Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Halifax NS, Canada, September 11, 2006

Remarks to Halifax International Airport Officials and Staff
by Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Halifax International Airport, Halifax NS, Canada, September 11, 2006

Remarks at 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony With Citizens of Halifax
by Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax NS, Canada, September 11, 2006

9/11: The World Remembers
CNN NEWSROOM, Aired September 11, 2006 - 14:00 ET
includes video clip of speech by Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Halifax International Airport, Halifax NS, Canada, September 11, 2006

Remarks With Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay At the Museum of Industry
by Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Stellarton, Canada, September 12, 2006

Remarks at the Museum of Industry
by Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Canada, September 12, 2006

Interview by Michael Tutton of The Canadian Press 12 September 2006
Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Stellarton, Nova Scotia

Interview by Steve Murphy of ATV Evening News 12 September 2006
Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Stellarton, Nova Scotia

Interview by Amy Smith of the Halifax Chronicle Herald 13 September 2006
Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Halifax, Nova Scotia

The fact that she chose, on the anniversary of nine-eleven, to be here in Halifax, here in Nova Scotia, I think says a great deal about the fact they do appreciate what Canada, and what Nova Scotia has done... The fact that she came here on that anniversary – she could have gone anywhere else in the world – to me sends a very powerful message...

Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald, speaking about the two-day visit by United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Nova Scotia, 11-12 September 2006, the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001.  This was part of Mr. MacDonald's 2006 year-end interview broadcast on CPAC (Canadian Parliamentary Affairs Channel), a cable television channel distributed all over Canada.  The interview was broadcast on CPAC several times in late December 2006, and at 12:15am AST 2 January 2007.

...The fall of the French stronghold was hailed in England with noisy rapture.  Addresses of congratulation to the King poured in from all the cities of the kingdom, and the captured flags were hung in St. Paul's (cathedral in London) amid the roar of cannon and the shouts of the populace... At New York there was a grand official dinner at the Province Arms in Broadway, where every loyal toast was echoed by the cannon of Fort George; and illuminations and fireworks closed the day... Nowhere did the tidings find a warmer welcome than in the small detached forts scattered through the solitudes of Nova Scotia, where the military exiles, restless from inaction, listened with greedy ears for every word from the great world whence they were banished.  So slow were their communications with it that the fall of Louisbourg was known in England before it had reached them all.  Captain John Knox, then in garrison at Annapolis (Nova Scotia), tells how it was greeted there more than five weeks after the event.  It was the sixth of September.  A sloop from Boston was seen coming up the bay...

Francis Parkman's description of the reaction to the news of the capitulation, signed 26 July 1758, of the Fortress of Lousibourg – the strongest military site in all of North America – in his best-selling book Montcalm and Wolfe: A History of the Seven Years War in North America, published in Boston in 1884.

Francis Parkman (1823-1893) Dictionary of Canadian Biography
John Knox ( ? -1778) Dictionary of Canadian Biography

"When the mines closed down that winter.  He had nothing left to eat.  And he starved, he starved, I tell you, On your dirty damned street."  A rough-hewn alcoholic poet named Dawn Fraser wrote those lines more than 80 years ago – but in evoking the trauma of the Cape Breton miners strike of 1922, his words retain a stark bitter immediacy.  Or as Halifax journalist John DeMont puts it in his new book, Coal Black Heart, published this week, the poems that Fraser produced during that turbulent time "read like fragments of a dark age..."  Fraser is only one among a gallery of colourful characters – some inspiring, some monstrous – who inhabit DeMont's elegiac, scrupulously researched but often shocking history of the Nova Scotia coal industry... Coal Black Heart often reads like a personal history – despite the fact that DeMont's coal saga extends 300 million years into the past, ponders the early explorations of men like Samuel de Champlain and John Cabot, casts light on the unexpected role played by King George III in the development of a Nova Scotia coal industry, examines a 19th-century coal culture where "the rich built palaces and the poor went shoeless"... Coal was an important but neglected part of Canadian history.  "More people died in the coal mines than died in the battlefields of World War One.  That's not well known – even here in Nova Scotia.  Cape Breton coal fuelled the factories and ran the steel mills and armed the troops for World War One and World War Two... It was hugely important to the growth of the country.  It's almost a sidebar and asterisk in Canadian history, yet it was such an important industry – really important to the form that Nova Scotia has taken, in terms of what areas were settled and the kind of people that arrived there and the kind of society that has grown up."  Coal Black Heart abounds in vivid prose snapshots of the way things were: the "perpetual servitude" imposed on the mining community by the company store; Glace Bay's infant mortality rate of 306 per 1,000 babies at a time when the national average was 88; the terrors that haunted Joe MacDonald, a miner who slept with a nightlight for the rest of his life after being trapped underground in a mine disaster; the ghastly plight of the ponies that worked in the mines...

Nova Scotia's Black Heart, a review by Jamie Portman in The Ottawa Citizen, 10 May 2009, of the book Coal Black Heart by John DeMont, published by Doubleday Canada in May 2009.

Source:— Complete text of Mr. Portman's review in the Ottawa Citizen, 10 May 2009.

This magnificent biography should be read by the many people who will never read it: journalists whose rhetoric reveal their belief that miners are no more than underground ditchdiggers.  And those clergy who seem to think that allegiance to their enterprise should take precedence in a coal miner's mind over the welfare of his family.  And politicians for whom the safety and economic security of the citizens they serve comes second after their allegiance to corporate bankers... Alas, history is like money: those most in need are the least likely to find more than enough to stave off starvation.  But unlike financial poverty, unfortunately, intellectual poverty is more likely to damage the pauper's clients than the pauper.  In 1885 Emile Zola's novel Germinal, the first, best, and grandfather of all coal mining novels, outlined the plight of coal mining families at the mercy of denseheaded politicians and "industrialists," as they like to call themselves.  Zola made graphically clear the consequences of profiteering stupidity.  If Zola had lived to be 100, he might easily have rewritten his novel, setting it in Glace Bay during the first three decades of the 20th century, changing only the language and the names of the characters.  Of course those who didn't read Germinal learned nothing from it... David Frank's biography of J.B. McLachlan is as clear and as devastating as Zola's fictional history of a coal town and no doubt quite as futile in its attempt to wam the future... But at least this biography, which is a clear and concise history of industrial Cape Breton, will serve to send the sinners to the Hades of history and secure for them a permanent location in Nova Scotia's Hall of Shame.  During strikes in the coalfields of Cape Breton and Nova Scotia an unwritten rule dictated that the miners would provide basic maintenance so the mines would not flood and when the strike was over, the mines would be ready for production.  A correlative rule dictated that miners and their families would not be denied credit at the company stores and would not be turned out of their company houses, that is, left homeless and starving.  The problem was that the company and the provincial and federal governments held the first rule to be sacred, but the correlative to be flexible.  In spite of accusations against McLachlan that he was a communist, a bolshevist, that he was godless, and a host of other buzzword accusations, his real crime was that he considered both sides of the correlation to be sacred: if you are going to starve our children, we are not going to protect your mine... As both union leader and newspaper editor McLachlan kept firmly in mind the two great needs of the coal miners he represented: money enough for their families to live healthy lives, and a safe environment to work in – the two great needs, of course, that the company did not want to satisfy.  And it is sad to say that in his quest to satisfy these basic needs, J.B. got no help from church or state and damn little from the United Mine Workers of America...  Indeed it would have been hard to find an institution whose representatives did not conspire against him: the newspapers, the courts, the politicians, the churches, and in spite of his superior intelligence, his iron integrity, his genius for tactics and strategy, they finally landed him in prison on a charge of "sedition."  The charge turned out to be as flimsy as an old miner's lung; McLachlan was in Dorchester no more than a week when preparations were already in the works for his release...

Excerpted from a review by Sheldon Currie of the book J.B. McLachlan: A Biography, by David Frank, James Lorimer & Company, Toronto, 1999, 592 pages.  The review was published in Issue 121 (unknown date), The Antigonish Review, a quarterly literary journal published by St. Francis Xavier University.

James Bryson McLachlan (1869-1937)

J.B. McLachlan: A Biography (review)

Cape Breton Red: J.B. McLachlan and Canadian Labour Radicalism

Sleuthing pays off with two national prizes
UNB Sightings: Issue 38 Spring 2000
(Note: You can access this online article by using your
browser's Copy and Paste feature to copy this URL whole and
then to paste the whole URL into your browser's URL window.)

Press on.  Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.  Genius will not: Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not: The world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Positive change: New attitude, new generation vital,” in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 31 August 2012

Consider also the Supreme Court decision Re Nova Scotia Board of Censors et al. and McNeil (84 D.L.R.(3d) 1-29).  It acknowledged the legitimacy of Nova Scotia's Theaters and Amusements Act to regulate, supervise, and control the film business within their provincial jurisdiction.  However, Regulation 32 of the provincial Act was regarded as being indistinguishable from the Criminal Code provision and was regarded as an invasion of the criminal law field reserved for the federal government.

What did the Internet (then known as the “Information Highway”) look like in 1995?  A glimpse is found in: Illegal and Offensive Content on The Information Highway - A Background Paper published in 1995 by Industry Canada

When war broke out in 1939, the Dominion government looked to long-standing opponents of miners within industry and government circles to act as advisors in the determination of federal policy affecting the coal industry.  One such prominent recruit was Michael Dwyer, a former Minister of Mines and Labour in the provincial Liberal government of Angus L. Macdonald; he was also a former president of the Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company, and a consistent opponent of union militancy.  Dwyer served as the Maritime Regional Superintendent of the National Selective Service (NSS) between 1942 and 1945, and in the effort to boost bituminous coal production he proved to be a strong advocate of harsh and arbitrary action against United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members.  When the Dominion government appointed another Royal Commission in 1944 to study the coal industry in Nova Scotia, it turned to Justice W.F. Carroll to act as chairman. Carroll was well-known to District 26 miners, having waged an unusually bitter and vitriolic election campaign in Cape Breton against UMWA leader J.B. McLachlan during the 1921 Dominion elections... The history of the Dominion government's wartime efforts in relation to the Nova Scotia coal industry also confirms the “primarily parasitical” role of the federal government in the economic underdevelopment of the Maritimes... Ottawa virtually abandoned Maritime economic interests during the Second World War apart from token gestures of financial aid, with Maritime firms receiving only 3.7 per cent of industrial investment and 6.2 percent of the shipbuilding contract funds from C.D. Howe's Department of Munitions and Supply between 1939 and 1945.  It is more difficult to judge the impact of the Department of Labour and NSS on the economic development of the Maritimes during the war.  Humphrey Mitchell and Arthur MacNamara seemed to share none of Howe's personal animosity towards Maritime industry, but neither Mitchell nor MacNamara spearheaded significant initiatives to assist the primary industrial sectors of the Maritime Provinces...

Conscripting Coal: The Regulation of the Coal Labour Force in Nova Scotia during the Second World War Acadiensis, vXXIX n2, Spring 2000, by Michael D. Stevenson, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Pictou East New Democrat Clarrie MacKinnon had a funny anecdote about sitting next to a Republican senator during a meal at one of the conferences.  He recalled the senator talking about Canadian politics, saying he knew what a Conservative and Liberal were, but couldn't put his finger on where the NDP fit on the political spectrum.  MacKinnon said he told him that in government, the NDP has to represent all interests and move philosophically toward the centre.  But as a party, he said “some people would call (us) Liberals in a hurry,” so it's left of the Liberals.  “He looked at me, he was speechless,” said MacKinnon.  “He said, 'You're left, you're slightly left of a Liberal?  How could anybody be left of a Liberal?'  And he physically picked up his chair and moved it over closer to the person next to him, and kept looking at me shaking his head.”  After the initial shock wore off, though, MacKinnon said the right-winger moved back and they continued their chat amiably.

Howe Room: MLA prepared to shell out for special visit to Atlantic City,” in the Halifax Sunday Herald, 22 July 2012

Here in Canada, we are hearing much about nationhood, or at least about nations.  We have the First Nations, the Quebec nation, the nation of Alberta, and more (Newfoundland?).  We hear also of the Catholics, who used to be the Roman Catholics, and of course there are Greek Orthodox Catholics, Coptic Catholics, and more.  The word “catholic” is still used to mean “universal”, as in “catholic tastes”, and “nation” means that beyond our borders, all are foreigners.  I'm afraid Humpty Dumpty has been at it again, with his “words mean what I mean them to mean”, and his firm conclusion that what matters is “who is to be master – that's all”.  It is easy to insist on definitions, even legal definitions, in matters such as these, but in every case we can see a struggle for dominance, or at least for survival, and we find ourselves back for another reading of Instincts of the Herd.  One thing is certain: the legal profession will always be with us.  It is apparent that each of us wants to belong, and to defend the herd or group with which we identify ourselves.  Of course, since each of us belongs to several herds, we cannot always be sure to which herd we are loyal at any one time.  Is that herd geographic, ethnic, religious, economic, or other?  Wolves don't have this problem, nor do ants.  But we have this problem in abundance, even with the sexes, which now are three, or is it four?  So who are you?  Who I am depends on where I am, and with whom I am.  All right – like the rest of us, I'm not sure.

Donald Crowdis commenting in his blog on 8 February 2007.

In 1982, a photographer living in Nova Scotia bought a house that was at the time the definition of a fixer upper.  He spent just $15,000 on the home, which sits on 105 acres and is thought to be the oldest house east of Quebec City.  Then he set about restoring the old home, a task on which he spent the last 30 years.  Now, according to CBC News, he has put the home back on the market and hopes his hard work will help fetch some $2 million.  The house was once the property of the King of England before the creation of the Township of Newport, when the home and land was granted to two Rhode Island men in 1760.

Nova Scotia House Bought For $15,000, Now On Market For $2,000,000 The Huffington Post, 25 June 2012

We had to shorten our vacation in Nova Scotia due to the lack of road signs.  We relied on the map in Doers and Dreamers, but found it necessary to ask directions nearly every day.  The problems meant lost time and frustration.  Local residents and employees were helpful, and agreed with us that getting lost while OFF the 100-series highways was predictable.  Even then, after crossing Halifax Harbour, we drove Highway 101 West for about six kilometres before knowing for sure we were on it.  Returning from Hall's Harbour, we sought Rte. 1 East in Kentville, as shown on the map.  But there were no juncture signs telling us when to expect that intersection.  In Walton, we searched for Rte. 4, to take us to Brooklyn.  At a repair shop, the employees said there was such a route through town, but it was too confusing to take because there were no signs at the turns.  Even the government's Tidal Interpretive Centre near South Maitland had no signs until you were upon the site.  Finally, in Truro, staff at the visitor centre said there were no directional arrows, and not even a street sign, for the dead-end lane that allows observation of the tidal bore.  All the wasted time cost us an excursion to Cape Breton Island, and meant the cancellation of our reservations there.
L---- W----- and G----- I-------, Chestertown, MD

Nice place to visit?,” letter in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 21 June 2012

...According to Industry Canada data, tires are Nova Scotia's number one export, with Michelin manufacturing 224 million tires since locating here 42 years ago.  The company contributes about $70 million per year to provincial tax revenue and another $70 million in direct and indirect economic spinoffs... ...

“N.S. to study Waterville airport relocation; Possible Michelin plant expansion involved” in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 2 May 2012

Nova Scotia holds special prestige for marine treasure hunters.  Navies, cargo ships, privateers and fishermen have sailed its waters for hundreds of years.  Its traffic and rugged, stark coastlines have left an astonishing number of shipwrecks dotting the ocean floor.  A study released by the provincial government estimates that Nova Scotia's coastal waters might hold upwards of 10,000 shipwrecks, compared with 50,000 in the entire United States...

“A Watery Grave,” page 98 in the Reader's Digest, November 2011


Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues and all citizens of this Nation join me in congratulating the men and women of our U.S. Marine Corps as they celebrate the 222nd anniversary of the birth of the corps this Monday, November 10 (1997).  In commemoration of this event, I would like to include for the record a description of the creation of the Marine Corps in 1775 and a brief summary of the history of the Marines 'from the Halls of Montezuma' to the evacuation of American citizens from strife-ridden Sierra Leone.  On Friday, 10 November 1775, Col. Benedict Arnold stood on the banks of the St. Lawrence River and looked in frustration across a mile of storm-whipped water at the objective – Quebec.  It was critical that Arnold's army execute the crossing before British reinforcements arrived.  Outside Boston on that same day, Gen. George Washington and his army were encamped at Cambridge.  Although reasonably provisioned, there were shortages of blankets, uniforms, and powder.  In Philadelphia that same Friday morning, the President of the Congress, John Hancock, convened the Second Continental Congress to consider the situations near Quebec and Cambridge.  Major items of discussion focused on relieving pressure from Arnold's army by securing Nova Scotia and replenishing Washington's army with the captured supplies.  The success of the Nova Scotia plan called for the creation of two battalions of Marines from Washington's army.  Accordingly, the Continental Congress resolved that two battalions of Marines would be raised and they 'be able to serve to advantage by sea when required.'  The new battalions would be distinguished as the First and Second Battalions of American Marines.  General Washington considered the decision to raise the Marine battalions from his army impractical.  Congress relieved Washington of this responsibility and ordered the Marine battalions to be created independently of the army.  The expedition to Nova Scotia was eventually abandoned, but Congress refused to abandon the resolution to form two new Marine battalions.  The Continental Congress continued to maintain the idea of a Corps of Marines.  During the subsequent decades and centuries, Congress has continued to nurture and support America's Marines...  Since their creation in 1775, the marines have served our Nation in virtually every clime and place... [boldface emphasis added]

“222d Anniversary of the birth of the United States Marine Corps,” Speech of Hon. Floyd Spence of South Carolina in the House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, 5 November 1997, as recorded in the Congressional Record, 105th Congress (1997-1998)
Complete text of speech

Captain John Knox, of the forty-third regiment, had spent the winter in garrison at Fort Cumberland, on the hill of Beauséjour.  For nearly two years he and his comrades had been exiles amid the wilds of Nova Scotia, and the monotonous inaction was becoming insupportable.  The great marsh of Tantemar on the one side, and that of Missaguash on the other, two vast flat tracts of glaring snow, bounded by dark hills of spruce and fir, were hateful to their sight.  Shooting, fishing, or skating were a dangerous relief; for the neighborhood was infested by “vermin,” as they called the Acadians and their Micmac allies.  In January (1759) four soldiers and a ranger were waylaid not far from the fort, disabled by bullets, and then scalped alive.  They were found the next morning on the snow, contorted in the agonies of death, and frozen like marble statues...

Chapter 24 Montcalm and Wolfe, by Francis Parkman, Boston, 1884

John Knox ( ? -1778) Dictionary of Canadian Biography
Francis Parkman (1823-1893) Dictionary of Canadian Biography
Fort Beauséjour (also known as Fort Cumberland) Wikipedia
Fort Beausejour (before June 1755) - Fort Cumberland (after June 1755)


Stanfield's revenge

The offer (by Bell Canada) to buy control of MT&T and NBTel was made on 18 August 1966, and was set to expire on 8 September.  Bell did not expect any significant resistance.  But Robert Stanfield, then premier of Nova Scotia, was livid at Bell's attempt to acquire control of MT&T.  Contrary to Stanfield's popular image as a meek politician known for his underwear business, he proved to be far more dangerous to Bell than anyone thought possible.  With the Nova Scotia Legislature as his weapon, the premier was determined to use the force of law to stop Bell in its tracks.  Stanfield also had a second weapon which turned out to be even more potent in what became a bitter and intense campaign against Bell's scheme... After the dust settled, Bell had acquired 52.4% of MT&T's shares... but the legal problems Bell encountered for years afterward, from the Combines Investigation and related developments, were enough to prompt Bell historian Lawrence Surtees to write: "Stanfield could not have exacted a harsher revenge on Bell.  The complaints to the DIR over the MT&T acquisition not only provided ammunition for the combines inquiry, but also jeopardized Bell's objectives in Parliament."

Source: Premier Robert Stanfield Exacts Harsh Revenge

Reference: Pa Bell: The Meteoric Rise of Bell Canada Enterprises by Lawrence Surtees, Random House, 1992, ISBN 0394221427

MT&T refers to the Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company,
the dominant (1910-1999) telephone company in Nova Scotia.
NBTel refers to the New Brunswick Telephone Company.


Harry Flemming

Harry Flemming portrait by Jeremy Akerman A portrait of the ineffable Harry “The Hat” Flemming (1933-2008), whose likes will never again be seen in Nova Scotia journalism, glares down from a wall of the press room at Province House.  Harry's friend and neighbour, the actor, artist, and reformed politician Jeremy Akerman, painted the image and donated it to House Speaker Gordie Gosse, who staged a quiet ceremony to hang it this week: A perfect tribute to a writer who knew no fear, a character who knew no peers.  God, I miss his sardonic pen.  Be inspired, young journos.

Parker Donham in his influental blog Contrarian on 5 May 2011.  For 15 years, Donham's spirited weekly debates with Harry Flemming on the CBC Television's First Edition were among CBC Nova Scotia's most popular programs.

Throughout our long history, Nova Scotia premiers have been the good, the bad, and the utterly forgettable.

Harry Flemming in the Halifax Daily News, 30 September 1990.
On that day, the Premier's office was occupied by Roger Bacon.

Boys, brag about your country.  When I am abroad, I brag of everything that Nova Scotia is, has, or can produce; and when they beat me at everything else, I turn round on them and I say "How high does your tide rise?"

Joseph Howe, speaking to a Halifax audience.  Quoted by Harry Flemming in the Halifax Daily News 30 September 1990.

To the zealots who would ban smoking in all public places: there was a man who loved dogs and children and abhorred smoking and drinking.  There was another man who had a weak whiskey with his breakfast, gradually progressing throughout the day to postprandial strong brandy.  Their names, respectively, were Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill.

Harry Flemming, well-known commentator on current events in Nova Scotia, in the Halifax Daily News, 23 October 2002.

"Flummery and flattery got you nowhere with Harry; he could instantly see through fakery and insincerity," Jeremy Akerman, Flemming's close friend and neighbour, said in an e-mail message.  "He was a courageous, outspoken journalist whose opinions, while seldom popular, were invariably respected."

Harry Flemming's obituary in the New Glasgow News, 16 Febuary 2008.

Harry Flemming had a strong opinion on almost everything, but waxed most passionately on politics and baseball.  He took no prisoners when it came to discussing politicians and their policies, but had the most fun displaying his love of and phenomenal memory for baseball and the game's players.

Harry Flemming's obituary in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 20 Febuary 2008.

For me, then a teenager, the 20-something Harry was straight from central casting for some film noir classic like The Front Page.  The iconic Harry wore his trademark fedora on the back of his head, smoked like an ancient steam-driven train, and drank more than his fair share of single-malt whisky... A few years ago, Harry wrote his own obituary in The Daily News.  It was neither long nor boastful: Harry's copy was always admirably "tight" and he never bragged about his accomplishments, which were many.  He thought all "obits" should be written that way... Those were the glory days for Harry, when he shared the op-ed pages of The Daily Snooze – journalists never respect the proper names of their papers – with me and Parker Barss Donham, his sparring partner on the wildly popular weekly CBC TV supper hour political panel.  Even when "overly refreshed," as Harry sometimes was, he was better than many who'd never touched demon drink.  His editors might have said, as Abraham Lincoln did of the hard-drinking Ulysses S. Grant, "Tell me what kind of whisky he drinks and I'll send a case of it to all my generals."

We'll never see another Harry by Brian Flemming in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 20 Febuary 2008.

Our top 10 politicians so far
Howe, Stanfield and Borden were among Nova Scotia's best
By Harry Flemming

Recently, a friend who knows a bit – but not a lot – about politics, asked my opinion on the 10 most influential Nova Scotian politicians in our history.  I began by compiling a list and quickly decided it would be bootless and foolish to try to rank them in order.  And so here, in alphabetical order, are my choices:
        Sir Robert Borden, prime minister from 1911 to 1920.  Led Canada throughout the First World War and paved the way for recognition of Canada as an independent nation by insisting on separate representation at the 1919 Versailles Conference ending the war.
        William Stevens Fielding, from 1884 to 1896 premier of Nova Scotia and then for 19 years, finance minister of Canada, a record never likely to be broken.

Tribune of the people

        Joseph Howe, "tribune of the people," established freedom of the press in Nova Scotia, led the fight for Responsible Government, became premier.  A vehement anti-Confederate, he helped reconcile Nova Scotians to the new union by joining the federal cabinet.  Died as lieutenant-governor.
        James Lorimer Ilsley, Canadian finance minister for virtually all of the Second World War.  No country's wartime finances were ever better managed than those of Canada.  Later served as justice minister before becoming chief justice of Nova Scotia.
        Angus L. Macdonald, perhaps the greatest of them.  Premier from 1933 to 1940, he paved the roads and electrified rural Nova Scotia.  Called to Ottawa as naval affairs minister, he built from scratch Canada's navy so that, by 1945, its was the fourth largest in the world.  Returning home as premier, he won three more elections, dying in office in 1954.
        Allan J. MacEachen, minister of just about everything in the governments of Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Elliott Trudeau, also a deputy prime minister.  A master parliamentarian, he's widely credited with orchestrating the defeat of the Joe Clark government and engineering Trudeau's return to power.  Later became Liberal leader in the Senate.
        George H. Murray, premier from 1896 to 1923.  His 26½ years in office are a Commonwealth record that still stands.
        Robert L. Stanfield, took over Nova Scotia's seatless Conservative party in 1947 and led them to victory nine years later, ending 23 years of Liberal rule.  His 11 years as premier were marked by major road-building programs and determined, often successful, efforts to industrialize the province.  He became federal Conservative leader in 1967, but failed to unseat the Trudeau Liberals in three attempts.  In 1972 he came within a whisker of doing just that, but remains "the best prime minister Canada never had."

Brilliant career cut short

        Sir John S.D. Thompson, briefly premier in 1882 before resigning to become a judge in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.  Resigning that, he went to Ottawa as minister of justice, becoming prime minister in 1892.  His brilliant career was cut short two years later when he died at Windsor Castle shortly after receiving his knighthood.
        Sir Charles Tupper, premier from 1864 to 1867, he led the Confederate forces in the struggle to found the Dominion of Canada.  Held several key ministries in the government of Sir John A. Macdonald, briefly becoming prime minister in 1896.

Harry Flemming's regular column in the Halifax Daily News, 11 January 2001. 

The 10 next most influential
For better or worse, these politicians changed Nova Scotia
By Harry Flemming

In response to a raft of requests (two) in reply to my Jan. 11 column naming the 10 most influential politicians in Nova Scotia's history, I am moved to name those I consider the second-most influential.  They will be named in alphabetical order, not in order of merit.  Too many relatives are still alive.
        William Annand, a thorough-going and even more vehement anti-Confederate than Joseph Howe, this journalist/publisher was premier from 1867 to 1875.  Like Howe, he became reconciled to Confederation, later becoming successively Canada's and Nova Scotia's agent general in London.
        John M. Buchanan, four times elected Tory premier, a feat matched only by Robert L. Stanfield.  His influence was as great as his legacy was malign.  Loved by all, his inability to say No drove the province into penury from which we may never emerge.
        Henry D. Hicks.  The heights of his career came before and after his two years as premier, 1954 to '56.  As the province's first minister of education, he built the first rural high schools, a landmark achievement.  If universities count as politics, which they do, Hicks as president made Dalhousie what it is today.
        James W. Johnston.  The fact that his over-life-size portrait hangs in Province House beside that of Howe persuades me he was a man of substance.  Between 1857 and 1864, he was twice premier.  If the Tories would agree, which the more historically minded of them wouldn't, we should take Johnston down and replace his with a portrait of Angus L. Macdonald, preferably by Scott MacNutt.
        A. Stirling MacMillan, the minister of highways who, under Angus L., paved the roads during 1930s.  When Macdonald went to Ottawa in 1940 as minister naval affairs, MacMillan took over as premier for the next five years, loyally relinquishing office on Macdonald's return.
        Peter M. Nicholson.  Twice, without quibble, he could have become Liberal leader.  Instead, this most brilliant of politicians soldiered on in the trenches to become, in 1970, the definitive voice of fiscal sanity in a government that might otherwise have put us quicker into penury.
        James Layton Ralston, a First World War hero while serving in the Nova Scotia legislature, he later, from 1940 to '44 as minister of defence, precipitated the conscription crisis of 1944.  Mackenzie King won the politics of the affair; Ralston won all the honour.
        Gerald A. Regan.  His first government, 1970 to '74, had as much talent and wit as ever assembled in the province.  They were socially liberal and fiscally conservative, and they made the seemingly irreconcilable consilable.  I'm biased; I was a small part of it, but government was fun in those days.  The credit goes to Regan.
        John Savage will never be anyone's favourite politician except his own.  Driven from office in less than one term by his own Liberal party, his influence can't be doubted.  Against his own instincts, he drove the province's chaotic finances into order; and, for good or ill, he virtually singlehandedly forced four municipalities into the shotgun affair called Halifax Regional Municipality.
        George Isaac (Ike) Smith.  Without his bulldog tenacity and organizational talents, it's doubtful if Stanfield could ever have become premier.  Like MacMillan before him, and Nicholson after that, he was the perfect No. 2 man.  Like both of them in succession, he paved the roads and ran the finances with efficiency, honest and frugality.  With courage, if not foresight, he provincialized Sydney Steel in 1967.
        With help and imagination, I may come up with more pols worthy of mention.  Billy Joe, perhaps?

Harry Flemming's regular column in the Halifax Daily News, 22 February 2001. 

The politically most important byelection in Canadian modern times is about to take place in the Nova Scotia constituency of Kings-Hants on September 11, 2000.  It will determine the immediate fate of the Progressive-Conservative Party and perhaps that of the country itself...

Harry Flemming, in the Halifax Daily News, 10 August 2000.  Mr. Flemming – long recognized as a knowledgeable political commentator – argued that this byelection is the most important in Canada since that of February 9th, 1942, in the Toronto riding of York South.

The pantheon of great diplomats includes Talleyrand, Cavour, Metternich, Canning and Benjamin Franklin, masters, giants, of their craft.

Adapted from a comment by Harry Flemming in the Halifax Daily News, 9 November 2000.  (This quote helps us to understand George Canning's place in history.)

On April 10, 1827, George Canning was commissioned by King George IV to form a Government; on August 8, 1827, he died.  He held the office of Prime Minister for less than four months...  Canning's (earlier) tenure of the Foreign Office was marked by events of exceptional importance... Spencer Walpole described him as the "most brilliant Foreign Minister of the 19th century".  Lord Acton wrote: "No Foreign Secretary has equalled Canning"...  That Canning was ever "popular" in the ordinary sense is not true, but the public were deeply moved by the news of his tragic and premature death, and his funeral in Westminster Abbey was witnessed by a vast and deeply sympathetic gathering...

Sir John Marriott MP in the Quarterly Review, #493, July 1927, on the occasion of the centenary of the death of George Canning, Prime Minister of Great Britain.  In his memory, the prosperous community of Apple Tree Landing, in Kings County, Nova Scotia, was renamed Canning.


Aaron Sorkin

LEO (John Spencer):  I thought he's on vacation?
SAM (Rob Lowe):  He is.
LEO:  I thought he's on vacation in Nova Scotia?
SAM:  He is.
LEO:  What, they called him in Nova Scotia?
SAM:  Yeah.
LEO:  How the hell did they find him in Nova Scotia?
JOSH (Bradley Whitford):  They have telephones in Nova Scotia, Leo.  It's not Amish country.
JOSH:  Mendoza was summoned to the White House from his vacation in Nova Scotia.  When you summon someone to the White House, you generally expect to see them within the hour.  Judge Mendoza told us that he would see us in three days...
LEO:  He's driving from Nova Scotia to Washington?
SAM:  Yeah.
LEO:  How's a person do that?...
NESSLER (Robert David Hall):  What happened to Judge Mendoza?
JOSH:  I'm sorry?
NESSLER:  Did he ever get here from Nova Scotia?
JOSH:  Actually, he's on his way right now.  He's spending the night in Connecticut to do some antiquing...
BARTLET (Martin Sheen):  ...Where is Mendoza?
SAM: He's on his way, sir.
BARTLET:  Right now?
SAM:  Yes, but he won't be here until the day after tomorrow.
BARTLET:  Day after tomorrow?
SAM:  Yes sir.
BARTLET:  Is he coming in from Neptune?...

The West Wing, Celestial Navigation first season episode 15
Teleplay by: Aaron Sorkin
Story by: Dee Dee Myers and Lawrence O'Donnell jr.
First broadcast: 16 February 2000

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty mentioned a trio of Nova Scotia-born prime ministers in his speech Friday (25 February 2011) in Halifax.  He first noted past Conservative leaders Sir John Thompson and Sir Charles Tupper, then referred to Sir Robert Borden, who became party leader in 1901 and was prime minister from 1911 to 1920.  Flaherty said while opposition MPs have their sights trained on him in question period, he finds comfort in a passage he saw in Borden's memoirs.  The minister described Borden visiting a candidate and noticing a beautifully framed motto on the living room wall.  "He discovered it purported to describe the candidate's golden rule of daily conduct, which was as follows: 'So live this day that you can look every damn man straight in the eye and tell him to go to hell,' " said Flaherty, cracking up the Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

David Jackson, in his regular column “The Howe Room” in the Halifax Sunday Herald, 27 February 2011

This sets  a new  nesting  record for this  collection.  Here I'm quoting
David Jackson, who was quoting Jim Flaherty, who was quoting
Robert Borden, who was quoting an anonymous source.

One of the most exciting things I saw as a child was a zeppelin going over the village one day in the late 30s.  It was very low, seemed huge, and floated so easily and slowly over the community.  I think everyone probably saw it.  This zeppelin was the first moving thing in the sky except birds that I had ever seen... After I finished school I went to work for Hollingsworth and Whitney, a Lumber Company with offices in Bridgewater.  That company had come from Maine and bought up a lot of woodlands in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia during the 1930s.  Part of those lands had belonged originally to the Davison Lumber Company.  My first year I was a tallyman for a cruiser working to renew lines.  The following year I had my own crew of three men.  During my time with the company I worked all over mainland Nova Scotia, up around Pictou and Cumberland Counties, marking off the boundaries of particular pieces of land, getting them ready for the company to sell to Scott Paper.  We had to make estimates of how big the trees were and how much would be ready to be harvested in a particular time... In 1958, I bought the General Store from Gaius Joudrey.  He and his father had started the store in the 20s.  I knew that I wanted to be working closer to where I lived and so I told him that when he wanted to sell I would like to buy it.  Eventually, while cutting my hair in his barber chair there in the store he offered it to me.  He took his barber's chair with him across the street... and continued to cut hair there.  For the first year we lived out in Green Bay, but it was difficult to keep store hours in the winter when the Green Bay Road was not plowed.  So I built an apartment over the store where there had been a pool room and where the band had practiced... In those days when someone bought milk they brought an empty glass bottle back to the store when they bought a full one... The mail came by train to Italy Cross and Edgar Johnson would take his team of horses to collect the mail.  Orders were sent and arrived from Simpson's and Eaton's.  Baby chicks arrived in the spring for farmers...

Gordon Whynacht reminiscing about his early life in Green Bay, Lunenburg County, as published in The Voice of History section of the Autumn 2009, Summer 2010 and Autumn 2010 editions of "Changing Tides," a joint newsletter from The Friends of Crescent Beach, Green Bay and Area Society and the LaHave Islands Marine Museum Society.

Today is a sad day for all of us who are privileged to sit in the Nova Scotia Legislature.  Three former MLAs and one sitting MLA have been charged with criminal offences connected to their expenses as members.  The people charged today will have their day in court.  I'm sure you join with me in hoping for a speedy resolution of the matter and a just result.  Many of you are feeling anger and disappointment, I share those emotions.  I work every day with men and women from all political parties who are elected to represent you in the legislature.  The personal failure of an MLA affects us all.  We must work together as elected officials to rebuild your trust.

Stephen McNeil, Leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party
14 February 2011
Source: Statement: Rebuilding Trust

Today's charges are the result of a system where MLAs could set their own rules.  This flawed system led some MLAs to act irresponsibly, and possibly criminally, with taxpayers' money.  The voters and taxpayers of Nova Scotia deserve justice.  It must be done and seen to be done.  Just as importantly, Nova Scotians deserve a political system they can believe in again.  The people must be at the top of the system – not symbolically – but in practice.  Even though today's charges include former MLAs, it is the duty and responsibility of the current members of the House of Assembly to take immediate and effective action to rebuild trust in our political system.  There are opportunities ahead, like with the MLA pension review, to put Nova Scotians back at top of the political system through citizen participation.

Jamie Baillie, Leader of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party
14 February 2011
Source: Baillie statement on results of RCMP investigation

It was a black day, but maybe a glimmer of a new one, too, as RCMP laid criminal charges against three former members of the House of Assembly and one sitting MLA.  Black for obvious reasons.  Never in Nova Scotia's history have so many grave charges been laid, in one fell swoop, against so many people entrusted with a seat in the House and against representatives of every political party.  But it was a hopeful day for bittersweet reasons.  Never in the province's history have an audit and police probe gone so far in shaking up a rotten, secretive and self-serving system and in following the evidence where it led...

Editorial in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 16 February 2011


Parker Donham

Irving once helped sponsor a ship-wreck salvage operation off the northern tip of Cape Breton.  One calm, sunny day, he ventured onto the salvage ship to see the work underway.  Shortly after his arrival, an equipment problem halted operations for several hours.  Irving, a notorious Type A personality, paced the decks restlessly.  In the distance, he could see St. Paul's Island, the barren rock outcropping that lies a quarter of the way to Port-aux-Basque, NL.  Irving directed the crew to lower the ship's tender into the water, and moments later, he was alone on Cabot Strait, rowing toward St. Paul's.  Upon reaching the island, he explored the vertical shoreline for a few minutes until he found a place with just enough room to haul the dinghy ashore.  He clambered up the cliff and starting walking toward the lighthouse at the opposite end of the island.  He had closed half the distance when the door of the lighthouse burst open, and the keeper appeared.  “Irving!” he exclaimed. “Am I glad to see you!  You know that wringer-washer you sold me?  It's stopped working.”  Everyone knew Irving.

Source: “Irving Schwartz story number four” as recounted by Parker Donham on 26 September 2010 in his blog Contrarian.  Irving Schwartz, O.C., entrepreneur, humanitarian, community leader, devoted son of New Waterford, Cape Breton, and a leading figure in Atlantic Canada's Jewish community, died Saturday, September 18, 2010, in Sydney, at age 81.

I like the name Kempt Head.  Grammatically, it's a lost positive, like gruntled or ept.

Parker Barss Donham, in his regular twice-a-week column in the Halifax Daily News, 30 August 2000.  Mr. Donham was describing the effects of Canada Post's recent decision to change the postal address of his house, from Bras d'Or, Nova Scotia, to Kempt Head, Nova Scotia.  The house was not moved – just the postal address was changed.

I'm one of the lucky ones.  Not only will my street address become my official mail address, the "town" in my address will become Kempt Head, where I actually live, in lieu of distant Bras d'Or.

In Nova Scotia's long, sorry history as a Third World supplicant, the Offshore Gas Review Panel's report stands as a further milestone in the abasement of local interests to the demands of foreign capital.

Parker Barss Donham, in Victory for Mobil, Epochal Defeat for Nova Scotians, the Halifax Daily News, 29 October 1997.  Donham continued:

Nova Scotia is sitting on the largest untapped reserve of natural gas in North America.  This resource gives us a once-in-a-lifetime chance to lever desperately needed industrial benefits for our province.  Doing so will require time, planning, and a supportive regulatory regime.  The federal-provincial Panel ruled out all three this week.

Between 1922 and 1932, Dosco (the Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation, then the largest coal-mining company in Cape Breton) imposed wage cuts totalling 45%, while evicting families of miners who protested.  On several occasions, Ottawa dispatched machine-gun-equipped troops (to Cape Breton) to put down the resulting strikes.  Generations of miners had their working lives cut short by accidents and disease.  More than 2,600 men and boys died in Nova Scotia coal mines between Confederation (1867) and the 1992 Westray explosion.

Parker Barss Donham, in a November 2000 National Post review of the book Boys in the Pits: Child Labour in the Coal Mines, by Robert McIntosh, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2000.

When Boys Mined Coal

I'm going to take a picture of my ballot so I can tell people who I voted for.  I went over to a little cardboard shield that you stand behind, marked my ballot and took out my iPhone and snapped a few photos... I was exercising political speech... They know I didn't get... a bottle of rum for my vote.  They know I was making political point...

Political blogger could face $5,000 fine for tweeting photo of his marked ballot from N.S. election
Parker Barss Donham, National Post October 6, 2013


Within a few years (from 1996), a decade at most, the V-chip will self-destruct in the face of merging communications technologies.  As the Homolka fiasco demonstrated, the Internet is quickly outstripping the capacity of government busybodies to impose their will on citizens.

Parker Barss Donham in his regular column in the Halifax Daily News, 17 March 1996.
Source: Newsgroup item V-chip: Keith Spicer's deceptive weasel words 20 March 1996

In his most recent (17 March 1996) article, columnist Parker Donham delivered a stinging criticism of Keith Spicer's V-chip plans.  Quoting George Orwell, he says Keith Spicer's "spin" on the V-chip has "words used in a consciously dishonest way...with intent to deceive."  Ouch.

V-chip: Keith Spicer's deceptive weasel words by David Jones, 20 March 1996, (commenting on Parker Barss Donham's column in the Halifax Daily News, 17 March 1996).

In this case, I was advocating on behalf of a bunch of unmoneyed, uncultured, unsuccessful, unlucky, unhappy, unappealing, unestablished social cast-offs in a fight against the moneyed, successful, lucky, established pillars of social order.

Parker Barss-Donham, in a message posted to the Internet mailing list "" on 3 May 1998, responding to a posted message objecting to the public acclaim directed toward Parker and David Rodenhiser when they and the Halifax Daily News were selected to receive the 1998 Michener Award for their work on the RG-72 story about the lengthy record of child abuse in provincial institutions.

Michener Award Winner 1997 The Daily News won praise for detaching David Rodenhiser, one of its nine reporters, for a three-month study of abuse at the province's reform schools. "Grim details of beatings, molestations and rapes emerged," from the investigation.  Much of the information contained in the Daily News stories was unearthed by reporters who discovered a "massive sealed archive" of government documents of which even some senior civil servants had been unaware...

I have stood in a crowded hall in Yarmouth and denounced the violence and greed and racism of that area's fishermen.  I have stood in a crowded hall in Whitney Pier and demanded the closure of Sysco (the Sydney Steel Corporation).  I may be guilty of many sins, but lacking the courage to speak my mind isn't one of them.

Parker Barss-Donham, in a message posted to the Internet mailing list "" on 27 February 1997.

Suddenly I find myself a former journalist, having, as CBC's Canada Now put it, "retired" from journalism to take a government Public Relations job.  This is known in the trade as "crossing over to the dark side," or more bluntly, "selling out."

Parker's Last Column
Halifax Daily News, December 2, 2001

I think it's time to stick up for Sydney.  It infuriates me that this beautiful place has been so blackened (by the prolonged tar pond controversy).  We need to roll back damage done by unfair, malicious slander.

Parker Donham in Donham defends his decision to defend the tarponds plan King's Journalism Review, v10, October 2004.

King's Journalism Review, October 2004
King's Journalism Review, Halifax, October 2004

I don't think there's as much bullshit in the Maritimes as there is in other places.

Peter Gzowski, quoted in The Chronicle-Herald, 17 May 1997.

bullshit noun: nonsense; foolish insolent talk.  Usually considered vulgar.

vulgar adjective: common; lacking in cultivation, perception, or taste; of or relating to common speech; crude or offensive language; widely known; generally comprehensible.


Simon Schama


Escaped American slaves in Nova Scotia

[0:37]...escaped American slaves who fought for – King George, not George Washington – in the American Revolutionary War, who flocked to the British flag, thousands of them, and who believed so badly in British freedom they went through every kind of hell to get it.  A few years ago, I found that story – or rather it found me – a story of three men, two African Americans, one young white Englishman.  A soldier, a preacher, a sailor, they have haunted me ever since.  And so they should, ghosts, black and white, tugging at our memory...

[6:43]...thousands of fearful, hopeful men, women and children, came to the New York dockside, desperate for passage to land and freedom on the last British sailings (from New York).  And where was this promised land?  About as far away from the southern plantations as you could possibly get, on the wind-whipped eastern edge of Canada, Nova Scotia.  It didn't take long for Sergeant Peters to realize this place was not going to be the land of milk and honey.  The ex-slaves were denied workable plots of land.  They were reduced to hiring themselves out as cheap labour to the mostly bigoted Nova Scotia whites... “There is in Nova Scotia such a degrading and unjust prejudice against people of colour, that even those who are acknowledged to be free are refused their rights...”

Simon Schama's narration of Rough Crossings, the fascinating story of the African-American slaves who chose to fight for Britain – and their freedom – in the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
Watch the video Rough Crossings

A frame from Rough Crossings, written and narrated by Simon Schama
A frame from Rough Crossings by the BBC

1792 departure from Halifax, a frame from Rough Crossings, written and narrated by Simon Schama
The 1792 departure from Halifax, a frame from Rough Crossings


The epic exodus at the centre of Schama's book, made in 1792 by 1196 black former slaves in 16 ships from Nova Scotia to Sierra Leone, was organised and led by Lieutenant John Clarkson, the brother of abolitionist Thomas Clarkson.  The sight of the fleet leaving Halifax harbour was, says Schama, “a spectacle to make the heart leap and one that deserves remembering in the annals of African-American history”.
— Sunday Times, London, 25 September 2005

There's a Canadian angle to Rough Crossings, but it doesn't flatter us in terms of race relations.  Rough Crossings, a PBS (Public Broadcasting System) special that airs Monday, February 16th, 2009, dramatizes the little-known true story of escaped American slaves who fought for the British in the U.S. Revolutionary War (1775-1783) because the British had promised the slaves their freedom.  The complication, of course, was that the Americans won.  The British technically held up their end of the deal, as they refused to return the slaves to their former owners in the American south.  But when thousands of former slaves were relocated to Nova Scotia, they found that they largely were unwelcome.  Britain's Simon Schama, whose various documentary programs about history and art always are fascinating, reconstructs the tale through diaries, autobiographical accounts and dramatizations.  One of the individual stories focuses on escaped slave Thomas Peters, who was born free in Africa, was willing to fight to become free again, and became a British sergeant in the Revolutionary War.  After the war, Peters wrote of his new Canadian home, "There is in Nova Scotia such a degrading and unjust prejudice against people of colour that even those who are acknowledged to be free are refused their rights."  Schama says in Rough Crossings, "The ex-slaves were denied workable plots of land.  They were reduced to hiring themselves out as cheap labour to the mostly bigoted Nova Scotia whites."  Eventually, a young British Navy lieutenant named John Clarkson concocted a plan to transport the former slaves from Nova Scotia to Sierra Leone in Africa, where each passenger would be entitled to a free piece of land.  But as is revealed in Rough Crossings, that didn't exactly work out, either...

Review by Bill Harris of “Rough Crossings” by Simon Schama,
Winnipeg Sun, 14 February 2009


Runaway slaves in Nova Scotia

...He recounts the fates of black loyalists (the runaways and freemen who fought for George III in the American revolution, trusting in "British freedom" to abolish slavery) and the few heroic white men who tried to help them.  He follows the most wretched refugees on their retreat into Nova Scotia after the war had been lost, and then on their remarkable convoy in 1792 to found a new African homeland, in modern-day Freetown in Sierra Leone...  The epic exodus at the centre of Schama's book, made in 1792 by 1,196 black former slaves in 16 ships from Nova Scotia to Sierra Leone, was organised and led by Lieutenant John Clarkson, the brother of abolitionist Thomas Clarkson.  The sight of the fleet leaving Halifax harbour was, says Schama, "a spectacle to make the heart leap and one that deserves remembering in the annals of African-American history"... Loyal blacks fared almost as badly with their liberators as their exploiters – sometimes re-enslaved by trickery, often "left to perish" in the gutters of London, or on cold, hard smallholdings in parts of Nova Scotia that white settlers did not want...

Review by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto of “Rough Crossings” by Simon Schama,
Sunday Times, London, 25 September 2005

Video: Simon Schama talks about his book Rough Crossings, the fascinating story of the African-American slaves who chose to fight for Britain – and their freedom – in the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
Watch the video Rough Crossings: Simon Schama Speaks at Google

During this talk, Dr. Schama mentions “Nova Scotia” (seven times),
Preston” (four times), “Halifax” (twice), “Boston King” (twice),
General Birch” (twice), and “Birchtown” (once),

Of Human Bondage
A review of “Rough Crossings...” by Simon Schama,
The Observer (Sunday edition of The Guardian)
25 September 2005

Give Us Liberty
A review of “Rough Crossings...” by Simon Schama
New York Times, 4 June 2006


Robert Fulford

Richard Pryor, one of the great comedians, probably imagined that by the force of his undoubted genius he could take the curse off the word nigger once and for all.  He could save his fellow blacks from this historic verbal affliction by using it till he wore away its dark meaning.  So he sprayed it freely over his audiences, and in 1974 won the Grammy for best comedy record with an LP called That Nigger's Crazy.  But eventually the word's uncanny power defeated him, as it had defeated Dick Gregory in the 1960s and would later defeat Chris Rock.

Dick Gregory was a radical black comedian who in 1967 wrote Nigger: An Autobiography, explaining to those who complained that he was defanging the language's ugliest expletive.  In the mid-1990s the monologues of Chris Rock ("I love black people, but I hate niggers") divided blacks into those who deserve respect and those who deserve the hate word.

Richard Pryor stopped saying it after deciding that people never really understood, and recent articles about Chris Rock report that he's given it up, perhaps because he hates to waste so much time defending himself.  Those artists would nod their heads sadly over the recent news that the Nova Scotia department of education may ban three books, one of them Harper Lee's much-loved To Kill a Mockingbird, for the sole reason that they contain this intolerable word.  They don't use it offensively.  They use it (as Mark Twain used it, 215 times, in Huckleberry Finn) because it was the right word for the purpose.  That doesn't help.  For some people, just using it is indecent.

B----- C-----, of the Nova Scotia Black Educators' Association, said her group doesn't advocate censorship, it just wants these particular books banned from classrooms.  Why, she asked, is To Kill A Mockingbird used when other books are more appropriate and less offensive?  She wants books that build students' self-esteem "instead of damaging and eroding self-esteem and self-worth in the classroom."

Her sentiments sound wholesome, well-intentioned, good-hearted, and dangerous.  Beware of those who believe they can manage the self-esteem of others by denying them books.  She demonstrates that the impulse to censor never dies, it just changes targets.  In one generation it defends the young against blasphemy, in another it saves them from pornography, and in a third it shields them from being upset.

Even in the censorious atmosphere of public education, nigger stands alone.  It retains a terrifying grip on the imagination.  We fear it as we fear an incantation, one of those magic words whose power we no longer believe in (except in this case).  All the struggling against its sorcery, all the jokes and discussions, have done little...

“Racism, censorship, and words that sting,” column by Robert Fulford in The National Post, 11 May 2002
Complete text of this column


Howard Blackburn

So I reached down, lifted the oars from where they lay in the icy water on the boat's bottom, and squeezed my fingers with all the remaining strength left in them, into a curved position around the oar handles.  My object was to let my hands freeze in that way, so that, after they became rigid, it would still be possible for me to manage the oars.

Captain Howard Blackburn, born on February 17, 1858, in Port Medway, Queens County, Nova Scotia, describing how he narrowly survived the storm of January 25, 1883, on Burgeo Bank
reprinted in shunpiking, Halifax, Nova Scotia, v1 n9 November 1996

...This is a gripping story about two men and a cold, angry sea.  The fishing vessel (mother ship) was the Grace L Fear, a Banks sea-going, two-master out of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, captained by Johnny Griffin.  The two men involved were Harold (sic) Blackburn of Dock Cove, Port Medway and his dory partner, Tom Welch, a Newfoundlander.  The time was Jan. 25, 1883, and it was so dark the two young men could only see outlines of their dory's thwarts and the gun'les through the driving snow.  Frozen sleet slashed at their faces and spray-ice glazed their 20-foot dory.  Every few minutes the dory shipped water and they had great difficulty keeping afloat.  The seriousness of the moment kept them from thinking too much about the fact that they were 30 miles [50km] off shore, out of sight of the Grace L. Fear, in a howling mid-winter gale, and completely lost... They'd given up all hope of rowing back to the schooner.  After pulling desperately at the oars until they were totally exhausted, they had seen the Grace L. Fear's riding light disappear into the distance.  The dory was now icing badly and the duo was being soaked by raging combers... They bailed endlessly... For eight straight hours the sturdy dory struggled up the top of one giant wave after another.  The cold became unbearable and bailing was agony.  Out of desperation, Blackburn decided to make one last try to row toward the coast... The wind and seas worsened so Blackburn decided to break open one of the sturdy, oaken trawl kegs to provide some further drag and serve as a sea anchor.  This action was for naught and in the process one oar was lost overboard – and Blackburn's heavy wool mittens went with it.  It was not long before Blackburn's hands were white, seemingly bloodless and without feeling as he knocked them against the gunwale.  He made a fearless decision, quickly knowing he must stay ready to row.  With much effort he picked up two oars and, pressing his fingers against his knees, forced them to curl around the handle ends until they held tight.  Then he dipped both hands and handles in the icy water in the bottom of the dory and held them up to the freezing wind.  In about 15 minutes he had a solid grip – his hands were frozen to the oars... Near dawn of the third day the wind began to drop and by sunrise it was nearly warm.  But by now Blackburn had little hope, feverish through lack of fresh water, no food for 48 hours and hands frozen into claws.  Yet, after a few minutes of rest, he positioned his frozen claws to the oar handles, got his oars in those pins and began to row...

Shipbuilding in Queens County 1760-1925, Part 2” 16 January 2008
Shipbuilding in Queens County 1760-1925, Part 3” 23 January 2008
by Armand Wigglesworth in the Queens County Advance, Liverpool, Nova Scotia

Howard Blackburn and Tommy Walsh signed up for a fishing voyage out of Gloucester, Massachusetts, in January of 1883.  The Schooner Grace L. Spears was bound for the Burgeo bank in search of halibut.  Blackburn, a Nova Scotian, and Walsh, a Newfoundlander, happened to be paired up in an 18-foot dory once the Spears had reached its target on the Burgeo Bank.  The two men set to work putting out a tub of baited hooks before returning to the schooner.  Two hours later, the skipper of the Spears, Alec Griffin, ordered the men back out to retrieve their lines.  A winter storm was brewing and he didn't want the men caught out in a storm...

Rowing for his life – Part 1” 16 February 2013
Rowing for his life – Part 2” 18 February 2013
by Brodie Thomas in the Gulf News, Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador

Howard Blackburn

Lone Voyager: The Extraordinary Adventures Of
Howard Blackburn Hero Fisherman Of Gloucester

by Joseph E Garland, 336 pages, 2000
ISBN-10: 0684872633
ISBN-13: 978-0684872636

I am the one who posted a message a few days ago, idly wondering why the Lunenburg founders don't seem to get the recognition I thought they deserved and asking if anything was being planned for the 250th anniversary.  From the discussions that have ensued, I suspect that I didn't convey very well what I thought was 'unique' about the Lunenburg founders and why they deserve special recognition.

In pursuing my wife's ancestry, we have collected information on over 140 of her direct ancestors — from Quebec, Nova Scotia, Germany, Scotland, France, Switzerland, etc.  None of them are particularly distinguished as individuals.  There's no one who is particularly famous or infamous in the entire crowd.  We cherish them all.  Although they cover a wide variety of origins and backgrounds, there is one group of them that does stand out, the Lunenburg Founders, and that is because of their close association with a major turning point in Nova Scotia history.

Although the British had held Nova Scotia (less Cape Breton) since the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, they had at first treated it as 'occupied territory' and made no attempt to settle it beyond what was needed to support a few military garrisons there.  Even Halifax, when it was first founded in 1749, was primarily to be a military base to counter-balance the French fortress at Louisbourg in Cape Breton.  Aside from an earlier half-hearted, ill-thought-out, and largely unsuccessful attempt to attract a few English settlers to Halifax, the 'Foreign Protestant' Program was the very first organized British attempt to settle Nova Scotia permanently and change its status from an 'occupied' territory.  The decision to recruit the Foreign Protestants was not a casual one.  It was proposed as an essential strategic measure, discussed at great length, and finally pursued with great vigour because of its importance to the long term British hold on Nova Scotia.  The success of this effort marked a significant turning point in Nova Scotia history and really is the start of Nova Scotia as a "British" entity.

To a large extent, the significance of Lunenburg and the Foreign Protestants has been submerged by the flood of other immigrants that followed them: the Planters, the Scots, the Loyalists, the Irish, etc.  But the Lunenburg founders were there at the beginning — in fact, in a real sense they were the beginning.

I would think that this would single them out for some special form of recognition...  [emphasis added]

Thomas Giammo, <> in a message titled The Uniqueness of the Lunenburg Founders posted to the Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia genealogy discussion list <> on 29 Nov 1996.

The Foreign Protestants

Nova Scotia Department of Tourism and Culture

The Foreign Protestants
Lighthouse Publishing Limited

The Foreign Protestants

The ship Murdoch sailed into Halifax on September 19, 1751, with 298 passengers on board.  Twenty-nine people died during the 58-day journey from Rotterdam.

David Rodenhiser, commenting on the difficult conditions that faced transatlantic travellers in the 1700s, in the Halifax Daily News, 30 December 2001.  Mr. Rodenhiser is the great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Johann Philipp Frederick Rothenhauser, who crossed on that voyage of the Murdoch.

Roots Rodenhiser Style

Nova Scotia Genealogy


Dave Carroll
United Breaks Guitars

Tweets are in the air we breathe.  Most of us know that "friend" can also be a verb.  Social media are part of the public discourse now, whether or not we're active users of them.  A new case... offers an object lesson in what that means for big, recognizable companies and their brands.  "United Breaks Guitars" documents the incredible viral power of social media, analyzing the reach and impact of a clever customer complaint music video produced by Canadian musician Dave Carroll when his attempts to recoup the value of his guitar (broken in transit) are stonewalled for over a year by United Airlines.  Posted on YouTube on July 6, 2009, the video was tweeted by Carroll's friends, posted on social news sites, shared with Facebook friends, and picked up by bloggers.  From there it was a quick hop to the mainstream media; by the end of July, the video had been viewed 4.6 million times, with external references expanding that audience by many more millions.

Taught at the Harvard Business School in Boston, in the MBA second-year course Digital Marketing Strategy and multiple Executive Education programs, the case depicts a new media era in which increasing numbers of people are spending as much time online as they are in front of the television and where one person can get the attention of a multibillion-dollar corporation and its customers with a music video produced for $150. "This is a good case for getting a glimpse into a new world of communication, vs. the old world of Super Bowl ads and prime-time audiences," says HBS marketing professor John Deighton.  "The new world doesn't necessarily play by the rules of the old.  One of the points we debate in class is whether social media are better at destroying value than creating it.  In social media an entity's size and brand recognition make it more vulnerable to parody and attack, not safer.  As we accumulate experience with these media, perhaps we will find that they tend to favor the insurgent over the incumbent."

United maintains a presence on Twitter and picked up a tweet about the video less than a day after it was posted.  "This has struck a chord w/us and we've contacted him directly to make it right," United tweeted on July 7.  It offered $1,200 to replace the guitar and $1,200 in flight vouchers; when Carroll asked that his compensation be given to another, similarly affected customer, United chose instead to donate $3,000 to a music school.  Throughout the fracas, United used Twitter as its communication channel, answering critical tweets that it should have responded sooner with "Absolutely right, and 4 that (among other things), we are v.sorry and are making it right.  Plan 2 use video in training."  HBS classes tended to divide sharply on whether United's response was very good or could have been better.  The speed and consistency of the company's response won praise.  But students did not agree on whether United should have used the incident to make an affirmative statement on customer service, or should simply have kept a low profile and waited for attention to subside...

Source: HBS Cases: United Breaks Guitars Lessons from the Classroom by Julia Hanna, 29 November 2010

You can view the video here:
United Breaks Guitars

I have just watched this video in a Marketing class in Argentina.
That's what I call "the power of the Internet"!
(Comment posted 12 September 2013)

In the spring of 2008, Sons of Maxwell were traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour and Dave's Taylor guitar was witnessed being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago.  He discovered later that the $3500 guitar was severely damaged.  United Airlines didn't deny the experience occurred, but for nine months the various people he communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on everyone other than themselves.  The final word from United was that they would do nothing to compensate him for his loss.  Dave promised the last person who finally said "no" to compensation that he would write and produce three songs about his experience with United Airlines and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world.  United: Song 1 is the first of those songs, is titled "United Breaks Guitars" and has received international media coverage and over 4 million hits on YouTube in less than 4 weeks...
Source: Dave Carroll by Stacey,, 1 March 2010

It was a broken Taylor guitar that made Dave Carroll an international celebrity.  When United Airlines baggage handlers tossed his beloved instrument and refused to accept responsibility, Carroll retaliated with "United Breaks Guitars," the first in a trilogy of songs that were to become immense YouTube hits with over nine million views.  The story broke from CNN to The New York Times to Rolling Stone, and culminated with Dave's appearance on The View with Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd.
Source: Dave Carroll bio

It is the deadening, geographical equivalent of the tag tied to the toe of a corpse; all that's missing is the smell of formaldehyde...

Paul Patterson, Professor of Management of Technological Change, University College of Cape Breton, in the Cape Breton Post, 29 July 2000, commenting adversely on the name selected by the provincial government for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality when it was formed in the mid-1990s.

The ultimate indignity for any people is the denial of a name in which they can take pride.  Cape Breton Regional Municipality is no more a proper name for our community than its acronym, CBRM, is a ballistic missile.  It is a soulless label imposed by a bureaucracy, conveying none of the spirit, brilliance, vigour, or cultural vitality of the people who live and work here...

We should remind ourselves that good can come out of an Inquiry like this, I remember back to the double fatality on the highway near the airport in 1988, and at that time in Nova Scotia we killed between one and four people on the highway every year doing traffic control or temporary workplace traffic control work.  And we haven't had a fatality since (this was in July 1996) that Inquiry, and I think largely that comes from the Inquiry and from the comments that the judge made at the time, reminding people of their responsibility...

Robert Wells, representing the Canadian Union of Public Employees, speaking to the Westray Mine Public Inquiry in Stellarton on 22 July 1996 (Day 77), as reported at Lines 17-25 of page 16691 of the Official Transcript, and continuing on the following page.

Index to the Westray Mine Public Inquiry Transcript

More than that of any one man or group of men, McGill is his work.

Stephen Butler Leacock, renowned humorist and professor of economics at McGill University, writing about John William Dawson's work in the early days of McGill University in Montreal, as quoted in the biography of John William Dawson.

McGill University Wikipedia
Sir John William Dawson historic plaque Pictou

Resolution: Commemorating the development of the charge-coupled device:
Whereas the charge-coupled device (commonly referred to as “CCD”) technology revolutionized imaging equipment and has significantly affected society by improving quality of life and the technological capabilities of everyday tools and equipment;
Whereas CCD is widely used in technology, including digital cameras, video recorders, space-based telescopes, satellites, and medical imaging devices;
Whereas Willard S. Boyle of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and George E. Smith of New Barnegat, New Jersey, have advanced society through their development of the CCD while working at the Murray Hill, New Jersey, Bell Labs site in 1969; and
Whereas Mr. Boyle and Mr. Smith have been awarded the 2006 Charles Stark Draper Prize by the National Academy of Engineering and inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for their invention;
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate commemorates the development of the charge-coupled device.

United States Senate resolution 478 15 May 2006
Complete text of U.S. Senate resolution 478

...They fiddled with some math and drew some sketches on the blackboard showing how this new device could be made.  After about an hour and a half Boyle said, “Okay, this looks pretty good.”

“We should name it something,” said Smith.

“Well, we've got a new device here.  It's not a transistor, it's something different,” said Boyle.

“It's got charge.  And we're moving the charge around by coupling potential wells,” said Smith.

“Let's call it a charge coupled device,” said Boyle.

“Sure, 'CCD'.   That's got a nice ring to it.”

Researchers and colleagues pooh-poohed Boyle and Smith's idea, saying it would never work.  Remember, at this point it was only a theory, a bunch of equations and diagrams on a blackboard.  But the pair decided to take the plans to the shop down the hall to see if the device could be made.  Some months later it was made, and it worked exactly as expected...

—  Willard S. Boyle by

Nova Scotia Quotes: Those Were the Days: Letter, Chronicle-Herald, 20 July 2005
Those Were the Days

Letter, Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 20 July 2005


Patrick MacAdam

Glace Bay is the end of the road.  The main street leads to the Atlantic Ocean and the next stop is Ireland.

Pat MacAdam, in his weekly column in The Ottawa Sun, 23 May 2004.  Mr. MacAdam grew up in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, when it was an active coal mining community.

Patrick MacAdam

Nova Scotians believe that Scot ascendancy began with the arrival of the ship Hector in Pictou in 1773.  Others point to the beginning of the Scots' beachhead with a boatload of emigrants at Iona, Cape Breton.  That's what local historians believe.  Most Cape Bretoners have never been to Baleine (Whale) Cove, halfway between Louisbourg and Main-a-Dieu.  Most Cape Bretoners, myself included, have never heard of the crossroads settlement.  I was born less than 20 miles away and was stunned to learn that the first Scottish settlement in Nova Scotia was in Baleine Cove in 1629.  James Stuart, Lord Ochiltree, son of the Earl of Arran and a Baronet, arrived there in July 1629, with 60 Scottish emigrants.  They built a fort...

Pat MacAdam in The Ottawa Sun, 22 October 2006

Map showing location of Baleine

James Stuart, Lord Ochiltree Dictionary of Canadian Biography

A story making the rounds was of an "Upper Canadian" couple on their first automobile trip down East.  They were intrigued by all the place names that had native Indian roots – Antigonish, Tatamagouche, Shinimicas and Whycocomagh.

Passing through Whycocomagh, they had a mild argument about how to pronounce it.  The husband said: "Let's stop this silly bickering.  We'll stop for lunch and ask our waitress how to pronounce it."

"Miss, please tell us where we are, how to pronounce it and please say it slowly."

The waitress replied: "Brrrr Grrrr King."

Pat MacAdam, in his weekly column in The Ottawa Sun, 23 May 2004.

I grew up on Cape Breton Island in New Scotland where superstitions and "forerunners" were rampant.  "Forerunners" were early warnings of a death or a calamity.  Scots' folklore was rife with tales of goblins and "bocans" (Scots' Gaelic for ghosts).  But, always they were just tales that were passed down.  I never met anyone who ever experienced one and I certainly never did.

Pat MacAdam, in his weekly column in The Ottawa Sun, 5 July 2009.

It was 1988.  There I was, in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street... I was tongue-tied, face to face with one of my heroes and one of the world's dominant politicians.  The prime minister was in rare form.  She had kicked off her high-heeled shoes.  She was prancing around like one of Glace Bay's pit ponies brought out of the darkness and up to the surface when the miners took their annual August vacation...

Pat MacAdam, describing his 1988 meeting with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in his weekly column in The Ottawa Sun, 11 January 2004.  Mr. MacAdam grew up in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, when it was an active coal mining community.

Hold it, Mr. President!  Hold it!  Isn't it interesting we are together today – you, the son of a peasant shoemaker; Mr. Mulroney, the son of a unionized electrician in a paper mill; Mr. MacAdam, the son of a unionized Cape Breton coal miner, and me, the son of a butcher from small town Nova Scotia?

Robert Coates, MP and President of the Progressive-Conservative Party of Canada, interrupting a speech by Nicolae Ceauşescu, tyrannical ruler of Romania, at a meeting in Bucharest in 1980, as described by Pat MacAdam in his weekly column in The Ottawa Sun, 1 February 2004.  Also present at that meeting were Brian Mulroney, president of Iron Ore Company of Canada, and Mr. MacAdam.  "Ceausescu positively beamed and Marx and Engels were forgotten... The twenty minutes we expected with him stretched into a full hour..."

Robert Coates

Nicolae Ceauşescu

When the Sydney to Port aux Basques ferry Caribou was torpedoed in 1942, Canadian censorship kept the news from the Canadian people for three days.  Lord Haw-Haw broke the news the same day the ferry was sunk.

Pat MacAdam in The Ottawa Sun, 31 July 2005.

William Joyce, an American with a British passport, was a supporter of Alolf Hitler.  He lived in Berlin during World War Two, and delivered in English a daily radio program that the German government broadcast all over the world on a high-power radio transmitter, of propaganda – selected news items and commentary favourable to Germany and highly critical of Great Britain and the United States.  Joyce was known throughout the British Empire as Lord Haw-Haw.  A third of the population of England listened to Lord Haw-Haw every day.  In January 1946, Joyce was hanged by the British.

William Joyce, a.k.a. Lord Haw-Haw

Inverness, Nova Scotia, is not a wealthy town, but its United Church still managed to raise enough money to dedicate eight stained glass windows to men who died in World War Two.  The world is stuck on tilt!  Ploughshares are being beaten into swords.  But, through the violence and hatred, in the clash of cultures, ideologies and religions there is at least one small oasis of sanity where brotherhood and love are alive and well.  They live in peace in a small United Church in Inverness, Cape Breton Island...

They shall remember them” byPat MacAdam in The Ottawa Sun, 30 March 2003

John and George Maxwell were identical twins.  The only language they spoke and understood was "the Gaidhlig" – Scots' Gaelic.  The Maxwells were black.  They may have been the only black Gaelic-speaking "Highlanders" in the world.  For sure, there were no other Gaelic-speaking blacks in Nova Scotia.  The Maxwell twins were born June 18, 1864, on Cameron Island in Bras d'Or Lake in the West Bay-Marble Mountain area of Cape Breton Island.  Their father was the son of a West Indies slave who emigrated to Halifax from the United States after the American War of Independence.  George met Rudyard Kipling in the port of Gloucester, Massachusetts.  Kipling had many fixed addresses.  He was born in India but lived in England, Burma, South Africa, Canada and the United States... His wife was from Gloucester and he was living there when he met George... Kipling was quite fascinated by George Maxwell and they spent several evenings together.  At the time, Kipling was researching and writing Captains Courageous, a novel about Gloucester fishermen on Newfoundland's Grand Banks.  He decided to add a black character.  So, George Maxwell became the cook on the fishing schooner...

Pat MacAdam in The Ottawa Sun, 29 October 2006

The cook was a huge, jet-black negro, and, unlike all the negroes Harvey had met, did not talk, contenting himself with smiles and dumb-show invitations to eat more. 

“See, Harvey,” said Dan, rapping with his fork on the table, “it's jest as I said.  The young an' handsome men – like me an' Pennsy an' you an' Manuel – we're second ha'af, an' we eats when the first ha'af are through.  They're the old fish; and they're mean an' humpy, an' their stummicks has to be humoured; so they come first, which they don't deserve.  Ain't that so, doctor?”  The cook nodded.

“Can't he talk?” said Harvey, in a whisper.

“ 'Nough to git along.  Not much o' anything we know.  His natural tongue's kinder curious.  Comes from the in'ards of Cape Breton, he does, where the farmers speak home-made Scotch...”  “That is not Scotch,” said Pennsylvania.  “That is Gaelic.  So I read in a book.”

Rudyard Kipling in Captains Courageous, published 1896

In 1907, Rudyard Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature,
making him the first English language writer to receive the prize,
and he remains today (2013) its youngest-ever recipient.

Go To:   Project Gutenberg, online text of Captains Courageous Chapter 2

John "Gee" Ahern was a Halifax sportswriter, mayor of Halifax and a Liberal member of the Nova Scotia legislature.  He was also a 170-pound defenceman with the senior Halifax Crescents in the 1920s.  "Gee" Ahern had little reason to spend money on campaign signs or brochures.  He campaigned every evening.  Each night, he visited every funeral parlour in the city to extend his condolences.  One funeral establishment attached a brass plaque under a hook in the cloakroom.  It read: RESERVED FOR "GEE" AHERN.

Pat MacAdam in The Ottawa Sun, 16 August 2009

St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys in Baltimore, run by the Jesuits' Xaverian Brothers, was a combination reform school and orphanage housing 800 children behind prison-like walls.  In the dozen years George Herman (Babe) Ruth was there he did not have a single visitor.  He met disciplinarian Brother Mathias at St. Mary's. Brother Mathias was a six-foot-four [193 cm] 220-lb. [100 kg] Cape Bretoner, born Martin Boutilier, July 1872, in Bridgeport, a Glace Bay suburb.  His father was a miner who moved the family to Boston when work petered out in Lingan colliery.  As a kid, he played baseball but is not remembered for his prowess on the diamond.  He took Ruth under his wing and coached him in every aspect of the game – pitching, fielding, batting and bunting.  He made his proteges master every position. In an interview with Bob Considine, Ruth recalled Brother Mathias could hold a bat with one hand and lash out 350-foot [107 m] fly balls.  When Ruth was 12 he was playing with 16-year-olds and when he was 16 he was the best all-round player at St. Mary's...  In July 1914, Baltimore Orioles sold Ruth to Boston Red Sox.  Boston dealt him to the Yankees in 1919.  He powered them to seven pennants and four World Series' victories.  The "Babe" kept in touch with Brother Mathias... Senior and semi-pro baseball were extremely popular in the Maritimes in the 1930s.  Until Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier (in 1947) with Montreal and Brooklyn, black players were relegated to playing in all-black leagues or barnstorming.  They played 300 exhibition games a summer in the Maritimes.  The colour barrier was a puzzling dichotomy.  Negroes weren't welcome in hotels and barbershops; McCarran's Tearoom, New Glasgow's leading restaurant, refused to serve blacks and the town's Roseland Theatre restricted blacks to the balcony.  Yet, a touring black baseball team would draw 6,000 fans.  The exhibition games were part first-class baseball and part circus... Babe Ruth visited Nova Scotia often to hunt and fish but he never crossed the Strait of Canso to visit Brother Mathias' birthplace.  Babe had a hunting buddy in Lockeport.  He gave hitting exhibitions in Halifax and Westville in 1936 and 1942.  But, by then, the Babe was in his 40s and well past his sell-by date...

Out of the park” byPat MacAdam in The Ottawa Sun, 31 March 2002

You can take the boy out of Cape Breton but you can't take Cape Breton out of the boy.  The life of 86-year old former Inverness-Richmond, Cape Breton, Member of Parliament, Robert S. (Bob) MacLellan, was celebrated by a packed congregation of family and friends at Annunciation of The Lord Catholic church in east end Ottawa last Wednesday (January 19, 2011).  Bob was remembered as the Member of Parliament who was responsible for the initiative of a reconstructed French fortress at Louisburg – today a major tourist attraction.  The Requiem Mass was very much a Cape Breton ceilidh... The MacLellans, Bob and Margaret, raised seven children... He was a lawyer at age 21.  Twelve years later he ran federally for the Conservatives against the formidable Alan J. MacEachen.  For years, Nova Scotia was a lost cause for Conservatives.  Only George Nowlan, "The Lone Ranger", managed election to the House of Commons in the Annapolis Valley in one of the province's 12 seats.  In 1957, Bob lost by 858 votes but managed to slash Alan J's comfortable cushion by more than 8,000 votes.  In 1958, Bob was a giant killer.  He handed Alan J. his only ever defeat.  His winning majority was 16 votes.  In the 1962 election, a ricochet hit Bob when the Diefenbaker government was reduced from 208 seats to 106.  Alan J. won Inverness-Richmond back with a majority of 998 votes.  Bob and Donald MacInnis in Cape Breton South were the only two Tories to suffer defeat in Nova Scotia.  The Prime Minister appointed Bob chairman of the Restrictive Trade Practices Commission.  When his term expired he entered private law practice in Ottawa.  The MacLellans remained in Ottawa and divided their time between the Billings Bridge area and a summer home at 31-Mile Lake in Quebec.  The recessional music as the service ended was Cape Bretoner Leon Dubinsky's anthem and Rankin Family signature song: We'll Rise Again.

Farewell to a giant killer” by Pat MacAdam, in The Ottawa Sun, 22 January 2011.

Like all the picturesque fishing villages strung along Nova Scotia's breathtaking south shore, Shag Harbour is a place of weathered cottages perched atop rocky cliffs offering vistas of the Atlantic.  But what sets it apart from other seaside hamlets (other than its frequent inclusion on lists of funny place names) are the little green men.  There is a little green man standing guard outside the post office named Alvin. And there is a three-foot-tall green man at the side of the highway – a plywood cut-out that beckons travellers to stop in at the Shag Harbour Incident Museum and Research Centre.  "The Incident" as it is referred to in these parts, is the strange occurrence of October 4, 1967, when locals witnessed strange lights hovering in the sky before a dark object appeared to plunge into the ocean.  Shag Harbour residents were convinced a plane had crashed and they jumped into their fishing boats to search for survivors.  But all the fishermen found was a strange fluorescent foam floating on the water that evaporated when they tried to collect it.  The navy, air force, Coast Guard and RCMP continued the search in the morning and for days to come before calling it off, saying they came up empty-handed.  "At least that was their story," said Cindy Nickerson, chairwoman of Shag Harbour Incident Society, chuckling.  Today the mystery of the Unidentified Flying Object endures – in both the literal and mythological sense – as Canada's Roswell...

"Nova Scotia village uses UFO sighting to lure tourists" in The Vancouver Sun, 19 November 2008

Surfers looking for a good book to carry with them to the beach should paddle out to Nova Scotia, Canada, where lies one of the first online bookstores. Roswell Computer Books announced its new electronic presence with national and international ordering, browsing, and inquiry services supported by a database of over 7,000 titles.  And, if you're after a title they don't carry, Roswell will even accept special orders via e-mail, phone, or fax. Their digital "alter" is available via gopher at : At the first menu, select 11; at the second, select 7; then you're on your way.  Queries can be directed to

Can't Judge a Book by Its .SIG File Wired magazine, Issue 2.01, January 1994


Cape Breton Island

Driving along Cape Breton's world famous scenic drive, the Cabot Trail, I'd seen kilometres of rocky cliffs trail down to empty beaches.  Outside small villages, houses stood far apart, strung infrequently along the shoreline.  Fishing boats bobbed at small piers.  In wet, misty spots the narrow, winding road disappeared when I drove through a very low cloud.  I half expected to see a leprechaun leaping out of the smoky whirls twined with the thick forest.  And beyond, whales spouted offshore in white caps under a low, damp, grey sky that rarely revealed the sun.  It had a stormy black and white beauty, and it was clearly not a propserous place.  I had glanced at a local paper and noticed homes selling for $14,000; Cape Breton may be the only place in North America where you can buy an oceanfront home on your VISA card.

Steve Cohen in The Globe and Mail, 10 August 2002, page R12

After months of research, in 1986 they visited Cape Breton, an island connected by a causeway to the Nova Scotia mainland.  It's a four-hour drive from Halifax (and an hour-and-a-half flight from Boston).  A year later (they) found their Walden: a cozy three-room cabin on the banks of Cape Breton's Margaree River, some of the finest Atlantic salmon water in North America.  The Moores got in early on Cape Breton, the long-overlooked, easternmost part of the peninsular province of Nova Scotia, whose mainland has been a hot real estate ticket since the early 1990s.  Mainland Nova Scotia was said to feel like New England fifty years ago, a friendly, uncrowded maritime paradise with vast tracts of cheap, desirable land.  It was discovered by wealthy Americans and Europeans (mostly Germans), who showed up in droves to buy waterfront property for $200,000 an acre in Chester and other tony shore towns west of Halifax.  But those mainland bargains are harder to find now, as prices have risen to $850,000 a waterfront acre for prime locations... Cape Breton today is where Nova Scotia was a decade ago.  Its oceanfront acreage, compared with the mainland's, goes for less than half the price; and a mile or two inland, it's cheaper still.  Lots on the Margaree River are available for $850 an acre... perhaps the most famous early settler was Alexander Graham Bell, who fell in love with Cape Breton because it reminded him of his home country of Scotland.  Weary of telephone patent battles in the U.S., Bell and his wife, Mabel, in 1893 built a 37-room summer home styled after a French chateau.  Beinn Bhreagh (pronounced "ben vreyah", Gaelic for "beautiful mountain") still stands on a promontory that juts into the Bras d'Or Lakes near the village of Baddeck...

Source: Eden at a Discount by Monte Burke, Forbes, 28 November 2005

I have travelled around the globe.  I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty Cape Breton outrivals them all.

Alexander Graham Bell

I have been privileged to travel freely around the world... Few places around the world are still pristine.  None comes close to the Bras d'Or Lakes.

Gilbert Grosvenor, Chairman of the National Geographic Society and great-grandson of A.G. Bell, speaking at the Bell Museum in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, on 18 October 1996.

Cape Breton Island, analogous to the highlands of Scotland, is something of a remote landscape that makes for unforgettable driving routes along the coast.  In addition to the hiking and other recreation at the island's best attraction, the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, there are other sights to check out like the Louisbourg fort, the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site and the Highland Village Museum.

David G. Allan in The New York Times, 18 June 2009

...In 1762, the state (Massachusetts) raised a regiment of men to go to Halifax.  It was commanded by Col. Jonathan Hoar, and Maj. Winslow was Lieut. Colonel under him.  As there was no recruiting officer near him, Col. Winslow persuaded me to enlist once more into the service.  I had orders to enlist what men I could; and having obtained a number of recruits, I proceeded with them to join the Regiment at the Castle, near Boston, and was directed to enter Capt. Abel Cain's company.  Here I was appointed a sergeant.  We shipped for Halifax, arrived there without any occurrence of note, and encamped a little out of the town, in tents.  We were employed in wheeling off the top of Citadel Hill, so called, in order to erect a fort upon it.  Our duty was pretty hard, but then we worked without any apprehensions of being fired upon by an enemy.

There is one thing I would here notice, which shows a specimen of British cruelty without a parallel, I could hope, in the history of that nation.  Three men, for some trifling offence which I do not recollect, were tied up to be whipped.  One of them was to receive eight hundred lashes, the others five hundred apiece.  By the time they had received three hundred lashes, the flesh appeared to be entirely whipped from their shoulders, and they hung as mute and motionless as though they had been long since deprived of life.  But this was not enough. The doctor stood by with a vial of sharp stuff, which he would ever and anon apply to their noses, and finding, by the pain it gave them, that some signs of life remained, he would tell them, "d-mn you, you can bear it yet" – and then the whipping would commence again.  It was the most cruel punishment I ever saw inflicted, or had ever conceived of before – by far worse than death. I felt at the time as though I could have taken summary vengeance on those who were the authors of it, on the spot, had it been in my power to do it.

Recollections of an Old Soldier by Capt. David Perry, born in 1741 in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, and died in 1826 at Ira, Vermont.  Capt. Perry wrote Recollections of An Old Soldier in 1819, at age 78.  It was originally published in 1822 by Republican & Yeoman Printing Office, Windsor, Vermont; reprinted in 1971 by Polyanthos Press Inc., Cottonport, Louisiana.  The above quote is from the 1998 electronic edition by D.G. Jones, Centerville, Utah.

Jonathan Hoar (1719-1771), the commander of Perry's regiment
during his time in Halifax (above), was a large land-owner in
Annapolis County, Nova Scotia; was twice a member (MLA) of
the Nova Scotia Legislature, first representing Annapolis
County 1759-1760, then representing Annapolis Township
1765-1770; a member of the council of war in Halifax in 1762;
and a judge of the Nova Scotia Inferior Court of Common Pleas

"The Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia 1758-1983:
A Biographical Directory" edited and revised by Shirley B. Elliott,
1984, ISBN 088871050X.  This volume was prepared as a
contribution of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia to the
celebration of the bicentenary of the establishment of
representative government in Canada.

#5 – John Lee Seaman belonging to the Falkland, tried on board the said Ship at Halifax by Captain Legge on the 15th of November 1760, for neglect of Duty and contempt to his Officers, sentenced to receive two hundred and fifty Lashes.
#6 – William Read Seaman belonging to the Devonshire, tried on board her at Halifax by Captain Legge on the 15th of November 1760, for Desertion. Sentenced to receive four hundred Lashes.
#7 – John Harris alias Harrison Marine belonging to the Devonshire tried on board her at Halifax by Captain Legge on the 1st of December 1760, for selling stolen Goods, etc. Sentenced to receive four hundred Lashes.
#8 – Robert Smyth Seaman belonging to the Penzance, tried on board the Devonshire at Halifax by Captain Legge on the 17th. of December 1760, for selling stolen Goods, etc., Sentenced to receive three hundred Lashes.
#9 – William Williams Seaman of the Penzance tried on board the Devonshire at Halifax by Captain Legge on the 17th of December 1760, for secreting stolen Money knowing it to be so, Sentenced to receive two hundred Lashes.
#10 – Nicholas Goodinson and Robert Cock Marines belonging to the Falkland tried on board the Devonshire at Halifax by Captain Legge on the 23d. of Jan'ry, for secreting stolen Slops, the first acquitted and the latter Sentenced to receive Fifty Lashes.
#11 – Nicholas Goodinson Marine, and Charles Goosta Seaman, belonging to the Falkland tried on board her at Halifax by Captain Legge on the 7th of February 1761, for selling Slop Cloaths, the first Sentenced to receive three hundred, and the latter fifty Lashes.
#12 – Nathaniel Nanster Marine of the Penzance tried on board the Devonshire at Halifax by Captain Legge on the 27th of February 1761, for Theft, Sentenced to receive five hundred Lashes.
#13 – Nathaniel Levi alias George Cooper belonging to the Devonshire tried on board her at Halifax by Captain Legge on the 27th of February 1761, for Theft, Sentenced to be hanged untill he is Dead.
#14 – Edward Lovely Seaman of the Northumberland tried on board the Devonshire at Halifax by Captain Legge on the 30th of March 1761, for leaving his Duty on Shore, to receive three hundred Lashes.
#15 – Vincent Dunnevan Seaman belonging to the Norwich, tried on board the Northumberland at Halifax by Captain Darby on the 6th of August 1761, for Desertion, Sentenced to receive five hundred Lashes.
#16 – Edward Lovely Seaman belonging to the Northumberland tried on board her at Halifax by Captain Darby on the 6th of August 1761, for absenting himself from his Duty etc., Sentenced to receive six hundred Lashes.
#17 – Thomas Elmore and Thomas Wheeler Seamen belonging to the Bedford, tried on board her in St. John's Harbour by Captain Pallisser on the 28th of September 1762, for Mutinous Behaviour, Sentenced to receive two hundred and fifty Lashes each.
#18 – Matthew Hay Seaman of the Minerva tried on board the Shrewsbury in St. John's Harbour by Captain Pallisser on the 30th of September 1762, for Desertion, Sentenced to receive six hundred Lashes.
#19 – Thomas Lewin Seaman of the Superb tried on board the Shrewsbury in St. John's Harbour by Captain Pallisser on the 30th of September 1762, for Desertion, Sentenced to be Hanged untill he be Dead.
– All these Sentences were carried out, except No. 18 on Matthew Hay belonging to the Minerva...

Source:—  Dispatches of Rear-Admiral, Lord Colville, 1761-1762
The Recapture of Saint John's September 1762

Reference: The Articles of War - 1749
The Articles of War on board a Royal Navy ship assumed the proportions and gravity of holy writ.  The Articles were originally established in the 1650s, amended in 1749 and again in 1757.  It is an amazing document to ponder, especially the number and degree of offenses which were punishable by death...

Reference: Royal Navy Articles of War - 1757
The Articles of War were read publicly at the commissioning of new ships, at least once a month, usually when church was rigged on Sunday, when an offender's punishment warrant was read to the ship's company and at timely intervals by the Captain to the Ship's Company.  In the British Navy during the age of sail, flogging was the most common of all punishments...

Joe Howe in my family was kind of a hero.  It's not a blood connection... but my great-grandfather was a contemporary of Joe Howe, revered Joe Howe and disagreed with Joe about Confederation.  My great-grandfather, who was the pastor of St. Matthew's in Halifax, was a great proponent of Confederation and Mr. Howe was an opponent, but that didn't stop my great-grandfather from writing a very admiring biography of Joe Howe at the end of his life.  Nor did it stop his son, my grandfather, from writing another biography, so we are pretty keen on Joe Howe in my house.

Federal Liberal Leader Michael Grant Ignatieff as quoted in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 12 January 2009.  The two biographies mentioned by Mr. Ignatieff are:

Joseph Howe by George Munro Grant (1835-1902)
published in Halifax, 1904; 2nd edition 1906.

The Tribune of Nova Scotia: A Chronicle of Joseph Howe
by William Lawson Grant (1872-1935), published in Toronto 1915
The Tribune of Nova Scotia: A Chronicle of Joseph Howe (complete text)
Project Gutenberg

(In the early 1870s, Sanford Fleming of Halifax, and a few associates) had the crazy idea of being the first Canadians to journey ocean to ocean.  Prime Minister John A. Macdonald had secured British Columbia's entry into Confederation with the promise of a railway, and Fleming was determined to be the man to build it.  He had got himself appointed as engineer in chief and wanted to survey the line himself... (In those days) crossing Canada was a risky scheme.  Just consider what such a journey involved in the summer of 1872.  You'd begin with a train from Halifax to Pictou on the Northumberland Strait.  From there, a steamer would take you up the St. Lawrence to Trois Rivières.  From there you transferred to the Grand Trunk Railway, which took you to Montreal, then to Toronto and finally to Collingwood on the southern shore of Lake Huron.  That was where Canada ended, at least as far as the railway was concerned.  From Collingwood, a steamer would take you through the Great Lakes to Port Arthur at the western tip of Lake Superior.  At this point, just halfway across the continent, modern forms of transportation gave way to the horse, cart or canoe.  Ahead of you stretched a thousand miles of the Canadian Shield's best swamp, forest and rapids.  After that, the cliff faces of the Rockies barred your way to the ocean.  If you wanted to create a country, this was what you had to conquer...

Michael Ignatieff in True Patriot Love, ISBN 9780670069729, published 2009 by Penguin Group (Canada), Toronto.

I've been going to the south shore of Nova Scotia every summer for more than 35 years... I like to arrive on Canada Day, July first, so that the bands will be playing music for me... I stay until a few days after Labour Day...

Calvin Trillin interviewed on As It Happens, broadcast on CBC Radio One at 6:40pm, 16 January 2009. 

Calvin Trillin

Since I live in Nova Scotia in July and August — one-sixth of the year — I have long maintained that (one-sixth of my books should be counted as Canadian content)...

Calvin Trillin in The New York Times Magazine, 12 July 1998.  Trillin made his reputation as a staff writer for The New Yorker. He has a summer home at Port Medway, Queens County.  He continued:

In making this claim, I've taken the low-key approach that might be expected from a literary figure in Canada.  I've simply laid out the math at the heart of it and said, in effect, 'How about it, guys?'

(Lunenburg sausage from Nova Scotia) is strong on the herb summer savory and can be grilled like a hot dog or eaten with Lunenburg County sauerkraut or crumbled in a pasta dish that has always been called at our house spagatini Lunenburgesa.

Calvin Trillin in his book Feeding a Yen: Local Specialties from Kansas City to Cuzco, as quoted in a review by Stevie Cameron in The Globe & Mail, 24 May 2003, page D4

Canada over the last thirty years has been the best place to live since the dawn of humankind.  The best, of all time, anywhere...

Peter and Terry March, in their weekly Ask a Philosopher column in the Halifax Daily News, 7 June 1999. They continued:

These things are hard to judge, and it all depends upon what you value.  We value a society that provides for the physical and emotional welfare of its citizens.  On that scale Canada is not just the best place in the world right now, it's probably the best place ever... We'll go further: Halifax is among the best cities in Canada in which to live...

Peter March teaches philosophy at Saint Mary's University in Halifax; Terry March is a philosophical counsellor.  Their column this week is titled: "Society Is Not Collapsing, The Evidence Suggests We're Not Going Anywhere in a Handbasket."

I no longer know where I live.

A letter in the Bridgewater Bulletin, 9 December 2008.  The letter is signed as follows:

62 Eisnor/Eisner Loop Road or
62 Old Trunk 3 or
62 Eisner Diversion or
62 Isner Diversion
Italy Cross (we think)
Lunenburg County (as far as anyone can tell)
NS (most likely)
B4V 0P3 (maybe, although it could still be B0J 1V0 as far as we know)

The first sign on our little leftover loop of old Highway 3 in Italy Cross said "Eisnor Loop Road" on one end and "Eisner Loop Road" on the other.  This was later changed to matching signs saying "Old Trunk 3."  (This, incidentally, is where Canada Post seems to think I live, although the only sign within five miles that actually says "Old Trunk 3" any more is to the north of us in Hebbs Cross, identifying what the locals (and Canada Post) call the "Dixie Road.")  The name of our road was then changed one day to "Eisner Diversion," and now I see we have a beautiful, brand-new sign indicating "Isner Diversion."  To recap: the highway sign says "Isner Diversion," Canada Post calls it "Old Trunk 3," my EHS map book still calls it "Eisnor Loop Road."  And, by the way, my assessment forms from the Municipality of Lunenburg call it something else again such as "Old Trunk Highway 3."  All these names are for a little road full of potholes and protruding rocks that has seen no significant maintenance in abut 35 years...

Source:— Mr. Eisener's letter in the Bridgewater Bulletin, 9 December 2008

Wendell Eisener has lived in the same house in Italy Cross for 13 years but isn't quite sure where he lives.  That's because the name of his Lunenburg County road has been changed five times in recent years.  All but one of those names includes the last name of the three Eisener families who live there, but not one of the three variations actually matches how the family spells it.  Not only that, the provincial Transportation Department, municipal assessment records, Canada Post and federal tax department all use different names for the road.  At one point, the road name was spelled differently on the signs at either end of the road... Mr. Eisener said he feels "daft" using two different spellings of his last name every time he has to write down his name and address...

Source:—  "Where's Wendell Live?  He's Not Sure" in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 30 December 2008

Eiseehauer, Eisener, Eisenham, Eisenhaur, Eisenhaurer, Eisenhaver, Eisenor, Eisinor, Eisnenhauer, Eisnenor, Eisner, Eisnor, Eissenhauer, Eysenhouser, Ischauver, Isenhauer, Isenhauffer, Isenhaur, Isenhauser, Iisenhauver, Senhauwer, Isenhoffer, Isenhor, Isner, Isnor, Issenhaur, Ysendha, Ysendhaa

These are 28 spelling variations of the family name EISENHAUER that are found in the history of Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, as reported in Lunenburg Family Names: Spelling Variants.  "...To add to the confusion, many names may be spelled with different first letters.  Upon a closer look these variations do not alter the pronunciation by much..."

Eisener (52), Eisenhaur (6), Eisenor (5)
Eisner (53), Eisnor (119)
Isenor (225), Isner (16), Isnor (101)
These names are currently (January 2009) reported by the Canada 411 telephone directory.  The numbers in parentheses are the number of times each name appears in the Canada 411 directory for Nova Scotia.  Note: The spelling "Isenor" is the most frequent variation reported by Canada 411, but it does not appear in the Lunenburg Family Names: Spelling Variants list.


Stephane Dion

M. Dion, the economy is now the issue in the campaign, and on that issue, you've said that today that Mr. Harper has offered nothing to put Canadians' minds at ease and offers no vision for the country.  We have to act now, you say; doing nothing is not an option.  If you were Prime Minister now, what would you have done about the economy and this crisis that Mr. Harper has not done?

This was one of the questions asked by a CTV journalist during the taping of a television interview – pre-recorded in Halifax in the late afternoon of October 9th, five days before the federal election of 14 October 2008, and broadcast about ninety minutes later – with Stephane Dion, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, as reported in Peter Duffy's regular column in the Halifax Sunday Herald, 26 October 2008.

(1) Text of the Dion interview...
(2) Full Text of Dion-Murphy Interview

This is easily the most famous – some might prefer the adjective
"notorious" – Nova Scotia quote in at least the last decade.
It will be  discussed  by  professional  journalists, and
studied by journalism students, for years to come.

Stéphane Dion

Steve Murphy

As a native English speaker, the question is clear to me.  Dion, however, appeared to have so much trouble understanding the time element involved that it had to be put three times and even then, he never gave a clear answer.

Comment by Peter Duffy in his regular column in the Halifax Sunday Herald, 26 October 2008.

All languages deal with counterfactual statements, especially backward-looking ones, a little differently. The subjunctive mood is a basic requirement for claiming the mastery of a foreign language – but it is usually the last of the basic requirements to be learned, and one of the hardest to acquire, because we all discuss counterfactuals in our own mother tongue without ever consciously considering the ontological complexity behind them.  Close examination of the CTV footage suggests that Stephane Dion was not really the victim of some notional hearing problem or a noisy room; he was asked a question in a way that might seem relatively straightforward to native speakers of English, but which actually presented special dangers for him as a non-native speaker...

Comment by Colby Cosh in "Understanding CTV's Dion-Murphy debacle" in the National Post, 10 October 2008.

Full Text of Colby Cosh's comment

More than two weeks after broadcasting the infamous fumbled interview featuring Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, CTV network news executives are still explaining themselves.  There's a certain cosmic justice in this, as for Coleridge's ancient mariner who was condemned to wander the world relating the terrible curse that resulted from his shooting of the albatross.  Officially, the network stands by its decision to air the interview restarts in which Dion wrestles with a hypothetical question about economic policy from ATV's Halifax news anchor, Steve Murphy... Video of the interview restarts, which occurred a mere five days before the federal election, was quickly posted to YouTube.  The exchange goes on for several awkward minutes but the key part is Murphy's initial question which concluded: "If you were prime minister now, what would you have done about the economy and this crisis that Mr. Harper has not done?"  Dion is confused by the time elements: "If I had been prime minister 2½ years ago?"  Murphy replies: "If you were the prime minister right now."  It gets worse before it gets better.  CTV Atlantic vice-president and general manager Michael Elgie has noted that network executives, in reviewing the tape, considered "whether or not there was a problem with the phrasing of the question."  Oddly, he doesn't tell us what, if anything, they concluded on that point and we are left to wonder whether they fully appreciated the subtle difficulty the question likely posed for Dion, who has learned English as a second language.  The best analysis of the linguistic difficulty is by the National Post's Colby Cosh who notes that the "subjunctive mood," the grammatical gremlin at issue here, is the hardest verb form to master in a second language.  "You almost have to have wrestled with a second language as an adult, or at least studied one in some depth, to see what went wrong," he explains.  Of course, a native English speaker glides over the grammatical complexity and takes a meaning from Murphy's question because in colloquial language we patch things up unconsciously and hardly notice conversational ambiguities.  So it was a question of language for Dion but one of considerable subtlety.  It shows that his English is acquired as opposed to absorbed, which we knew, but not that it's weak by any fair measure.  His mistake was that instead of bulling ahead with some rough interpretation of the question he tried to understand it precisely.  In playback, unfortunately, he looks like a doofus, and few TV viewers would be able to grasp at one viewing (or even several) why he got tied up in knots by a question that to the English ear sounds fairly straightforward even if technically it isn't... (hyperlinks added)

"Dion interview refuses to die"
Editorial in the Cape Breton Post, 29 October 2008

Dictionary: doofus     dufus

...In the interview, which was recorded live to tape*, anchor Steve Murphy asked Dion this question: "If you were prime minister now, what would you have done about the economy and this crisis that Mr. Harper has not done?"...

The tale of the Dion tape The Ottawa Citizen, 16 June 2009

* Recording a performance or interview or other event “live to tape” means that it is shot and recorded in real-time (the tape runs and records continuously even if a mistake occurs, just as if the event were being broadcast live) with no retakes, and is broadcast with no editing other than minor edits to adjust the running time to match the available broadcast time slot.  If a mistake occurs – anything from a verbal slip to a fly buzzing around the interviewee's head to a falling spotlight – it is all captured on the tape for later broadcast without editing.  Of course there are limits, and sometimes an event purported to have been recorded “live to tape” is broadcast after significant editing has been done.   NOTE: The actual recording technology — video tape or rotating hard drive (HDD) or solid state (SSD), whatever — is not relevant to the “live-to-tape” designation.  The relevant distinction is that the event is recorded for later playback or broadcast, but is handled (no retakes) as if it were being done live.

English Grammar Secrets: Second conditional

The subjunctive in Modern English is easily distinguished in a great variety of contexts where the sense is past tense, but the form of the subjunctive verb required is present...  The subjunctive is not uniform in all varieties of spoken English.  However, it is preserved in speech, at least in North American English and in many dialects of British English.  While use of the subjunctive in natural, informal speech is almost universal among educated speakers, its use is becoming very infrequent among large portions of the population...

Source: The subjunctive in English Wikipedia

The usage "If you were..." is not unusual in modern English.  A Google search on the phrase "if you were" (with the quotes as shown) returns millions of hits.


Would you put millions of dollars into a project with no chance of a return if you were a developer?

If you were in an orchestra, what instrument would match your personality?

What would you do for the environment if you were Prime Minister?

If you were selected as an Ontario cabinet minister, which ministry would you want to be responsible for?

If you were to become the head of the whole Civil Service, would you then think there would be any...

Dion's Do-over

Behind the scenes at CTV: the Dion interview

Dion interview shows need to extend clarity to journalism

Steve Murphy CTV asks Stephane Dion a poorly worded question

CJCH-TV (CTV Atlantic) re CTV News at 6 (Stéphane Dion interview)

Was there a problem with
the phrasing of the question?

Five years later,  after  rereading  all  of  the  above  about the
Murphy/Dion interview, one fact stands out – nobody ever quite
got around to suggesting a better way to phrase the question.

      ICS, 3 Dec 2013

Watching the sun rise over Mahone Bay on the hottest day of the year, the last person you would imagine is coming for the weekend is Earl.  The yachts lay moored in this Nova Scotia town's stunning harbour, held fast to moorings marked by orange buoys that look like over-sized balloons.  Over the pewter smooth water comes the sound of wind-chimes stirred by an offshore breeze.  The sign on the wharf still beckons with its offer of either Hemingway or Suzuki – deep-sea fishing or whale watching, your choice.  But there are no customers for boat tours, just a steady stream of tanned men riding out to their sailboats in punts or Zodiacs with small outboard motors for one final look.  They know what this perfect summer day belies – that a Big One is coming and there is only one job before Hurricane Earl arrives in Nova Scotia with the suddenness of an uninvited guest; batten down the hatches.  For two days now, the grocery store has been the busiest place in tourist towns on the South Shore, places like Chester, Lunenburg, and Mahone Bay.  Residents are buying water, candles, tinned goods and batteries – and talking up a storm.  The grocery line chit-chat is a combination of group therapy and handy tips – it probably won't hit us, don't stand near your windows if the wind begins to blow...

Waiting for Earl by Michael Harris in the London Free Press, 4 September 2010

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the Boston Yacht Club (BYC) of Marblehead, Massachusetts, which this year is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race.  The race began in 1905 as an informal competition among sailors from the Boston, Eastern and New York Yacht Clubs.  In 1939, the Boston Yacht Club joined with the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron to formalize this biennial event.  The race is run on alternate years from the Newport Bermuda Race, as one of the preeminent ocean races of the North Atlantic.  The course runs 360 nautical miles from Marblehead through the Gulf of Maine, across the Bay of Fundy and up to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  There are few sailing sights as thrilling as the Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race, which traditionally begins the second week in July.  More than 100 spectator boats look on as over 100 racing yachts maneuver for starting position.  The race committee is assisted by dozens of official boats and by both the United States and Canadian Coast Guard.  The Boston Yacht Club was founded in 1866, and at one time operated from five different locations in Massachusetts and one in Maine.  Today the club operates from a single station in Marblehead, with 400 yachts flying the BYC burgee.  It is appropriate that the House recognize the Boston Yacht Club for continuing the tradition of the Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race, which is part of the rich seafaring history of Marblehead...

“Congratulating Boston Yacht Club,” Speech of Hon. John F. Tierney of Massachusetts in the House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., Friday, 24 June 2005, as recorded in the Congressional Record, 109th Congress (2005-2006)
Complete text of speech

Little systematic attention has been given to the identification of the large number of long-standing and still-bearing fruit trees in Inverness County.  According to the record kept by John McKeen of Clayton Farm nursery in Mabou, more than four thousand apple trees (as well as many hundreds of plum trees and berry bushes and ornamental shrubs and rose bushes) were distributed in the years 1884, 1885 and 1886.  The names of the purchasers and their addresses are listed as well as the names of the varieties.  For instance, J.E. MacFarlane, the railway station agent at Orangedale, purchased twelve trees including three crabs.  Four of those trees, including two of the crabs, bore much fruit this year (2008) one hundred and twenty-three years after their planting...

“Sitting Under the Apple Trees” by Jim St. Clair in his regular weekly column “Then and Now: The Heritage of Inverness County” in The Inverness Oran, 5 November 2008.

To handle the large volumes of fruit produced on Annapolis Valley farms by the late 1800s, farmers began turning some of them into cider and dried apples.  Lakeville (Kings County) is known to have had two evaporators, or three, if you count twice the one that burned down and was rebuilt.  Evaporators were major employers during the late fall and winter.  Their basic function was to dry apples, preserving the fruit for later use... Dried apples required no refrigeration or special care, were comparatively lightweight, and found a ready market in remote logging camps, outports, and in the armed forces... (George Chase's evaporator, in Lakeville), ran five kilns, and a packing crew of six men getting apples ready for the overseas market.  We handled over forty thousand barrels of apples there that...season (1916)... In 1929 the evaporator burned down, as most of them did periodically...

Sheltered by the North Mountain: A History of Lakeville, Kings County, Nova Scotia, 230 pages, by Anne van Arragon Hutten. Published by Anne van Arragon Hutten, Kentville, 1995.

I've been called a fridge magnate.

Scott Brison, MP — elected five times to the House of Commons to represent Kings-Hants, both as a Progressive-Conservative and as a Liberal — in an interview with Jim Nunn on Nunn On One, broadcast on CBC TV Halifax at 1:00am on 19 December 2008.

I started my first business at nineteen.  My first year I had 180 refrigerators rented to students.  In my fourth year at Dal I had a thousand fridges rented...

Scott Brison Wikipedia
Kings-Hants Wikipedia
Nunn On One CBC
Jim Nunn King's Journalism Review

The perception that Nova Scotia is somewhere in the Arctic Circle is wrong.  Summers are warm and there are long, mild autumn months to savour and enjoy...  It may come as a surprise, but the eastern Canadian province of Nova Scotia lies on the same latitude as Milan, enjoys temperatures of up to 29 degrees in summer and is just six hours' flying time from the UK.  But there is one big difference from Europe – here a country estate costs around the same as a one-bedroom apartment in Paris or studio flat in London...  One charming three-bedroom family home set in 25 acres, including a salmon fishing river, meadows and woodland, on the Saltspring estate, 90 minutes from Halifax, is on the market for $249,000 Canadian Dollars (£115,336)...  Nova Scotia has yet to be discovered by British property buyers, but many celebrities reportedly have second homes here, including Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore.  Despite the influx of huge wealth, cottages can still be bought for £30,000 and even at the luxury end of the market, fine coastal homes cost under £750,000.  With a pristine natural environment, the province is perfect for outdoor types.  Nova Scotia has many lakes and rivers, and a dramatic coastline with empty beaches and sheltered bays for sailing and kayaking.  In winter, activities such as snowmobiling, skating and cross-country skiing are popular.  There are also a number of small ski centres...

"Great Green Escape" in the Daily Express, London, 3 October 2007

We can't produce more of what we produced ten years ago.

Lauchie MacLean, president of Glenora Distillery, as quoted in "Glenora benefiting from whiskey shortage" in the Cape Breton Post, 8 November 2008, commenting on the economic opportunity offered by the current worldwide shortage of single malt whiskey.
Complete article:

A good single malt takes time.  "You have to remember we have to age our product for 10-15 years so we are (now selling whiskey) which we produced from 1990 to 2000..."  "We still field calls about once a week from big buyers – big producers – that want to buy our bulk whiskey.  Anything we have extra they will buy it and they want to pay a premium for it.  Obviously we don't have a whole lot of aged stocks because we are small compared to the large guys but anything we have, they will buy."  The worldwide shortage has also created a different type of demand for Glenora.  "We've over the last year and a half had four offers, unsolicited, to purchase us.  We love being an independent going concern on Cape Breton Island and have no desire to sell or anything else.  We want to grow in our community and be a continued success..."

My aunt Joyce Barkhouse of Nova Scotia, who is now ninety-five, tells the following story involving a pawnshop.  When my brother was born, in mid-February 1937 – in the depths of the Great Depression – there was a special Valentine's Day excursion price on the train from Nova Scotia to Montreal.  It cost ten dollars.  My aunt and a girlfriend scraped together the ten dollars each and went to Montreal to help out my mother with her newborn baby.  When they got there, my mother was still in the hospital, because my father hadn't received his monthly paycheque and thus couldn't pay the bill and bail her out, hospitals at that time having a lot in common with debtors' prisons.  My father was finally able to spring my mother, but paying the hospital bill – ninety-nine dollars, as I found from looking in my mother's account book – used up all of the paycheque.  My parents didn't have a bean at that time, so my father had no cash reserves, and he pawned his fountain pen in order to take my aunt out for a thank-you lunch.  (The fact that he felt the need to do this shows that he understood the need for a gift of gratitude in return for a gift of care and service, which was what my aunt had bestowed.)  When my aunt and her friend took the train back to Nova Scotia, they were also given two valuable going-away presents: a bunch of grapes and a small box of Laura Secord chocolates – and this is all they had to eat during the train ride.  They had no berths, so they had to sit up the whole time, and this was uncomfortable; but a man was renting pillows for twenty-five cents each.  Alas, they had only forty-eight cents between the two of them, but they offered the forty-eight cents and two of the chocolates – fluttering their eyelashes, said my aunt – and their offer was accepted.  Thus they slept in comfort.  When I heard this story as a child, I rejoiced at the successful securing of the pillows, and remembered the lesson of the haggling procedure: if you don't offer a deal, you won't get one...

Extract from " Payback" by Margaret Atwood in The Times, London, 26 September 2008

...In Scotland (then a separate kingdom), baronets of Nova Scotia were first created in 1625 to support settlement of that colony, paying 1,000 merks for a theoretical grant of 16,000 acres and 2,000 merks to support six settlers there for two years.  A merk was two thirds of a pound Scots and the rate was 12 pounds Scots to one pound sterling, so they paid £166 13s 4d sterling – perhaps around £20,000 today.  As Nova Scotia was ceded to France in 1631 it was a poor bargain...

Honours for a modest fee
by Hugh Peskett, Scottish Editor, Burkes Peerage & Baronetage
The Times, London, 14 November 2006

Samuel Penhallow, in his History (Boston, 1726), p. 51, speaking of "Port Royal and Nova Scotia," says of the last, that its "first seizure was by Sir Sebastian Cobbet for the crown of Great Britain, in the reign of King Henry VII.; but lay dormant till the year 1621," when Sir William Alexander got a patent of it, and possessed it some years; and afterward Sir David Kirk was proprietor of it, but erelong, "to the surprise of all thinking men, it was given up unto the French."

Henry David Thoreau in his 1865 book Cape Cod
Cape Cod Appendix B: Historical Notes for Chapter 10 (note 12)

Samuel Penhallow in Wikipedia
Samuel Penhallow, chief justice of New Hampshire, wrote History of the War of New England... published in 1726, which probably is Thoreau's source.

Dr. Charles T. Jackson tells me that, in the course of a geological survey in 1827, he discovered a gravestone, a slab of trap rock, on Goat Island, opposite Annapolis (Port Royal), in Nova Scotia, bearing a Masonic coat-of-arms and the date 1606, which is fourteen years earlier than the landing of the Pilgrims.  This was left in the possession of Judge Haliburton, of Nova Scotia...

Henry David Thoreau in his 1865 book Cape Cod
Cape Cod Appendix B: Historical Notes for Chapter 10 (note 5)

Does anyone know if this very early (in North America) European gravestone still exists?

My first stop after sorting was at the Seniors' complex in Mabou, then Northeast Mabou, Mabou Harbour, Mountain Road, Mabou Mines, North of Mabou, Glenora Falls, Highway 19 to Glenville, back through Blackstone to the Mount Young Road, Smithville, Glendyer, and back through the village of Mabou to the crossroads...  The route was a particularly challenging one with some of the worst hills in the area... More than a hundred kilometres a day in all seasons and all kinds of weather...  The mail had to be delivered despite weather conditions or whether you were sick or not...  Murphy started the job back when a number of people on his route still didn't have vehicles.  You might get a grocery list or an order for a bottle or more of liquor and you'd deliver it.  It was different times then, and some of the local people just saw it as part of your job...  Sometimes he found more than mail in the mailbox.  One farmer used to mail his horseshoes to have them prepared for winter...  There was the time he kept finding a stubborn blackbird nesting in a mailbox.  The owner of the mailbox kept putting it out of the box, and it kept coming back.  Murphy knew the blackbird finally won the battle when he found baby birds in the letter box one day.  The owner finally left the birds alone...

"Canada Post rural driver retires after 33 years of service," in The Inverness Oran, 5 December 2007, recalling the rural mail delivery route operated by Danford Murphy from 1974 until his last run on 30 November 2007.

When I phoned to get Maritimes stories of hauntings, it almost seemed like if you didn't have a ghost, your house wasn't much of a home...

Barbara Smith, of British Columbia, author of more than a dozen books of ghost stories, as quoted in a CanWest News Service report of the results of a national survey of 1,000 adults, commissioned by CanWest News Service and Global Television and conducted by pollster Ipsos Reid in December 2007.  The article was printed in the Vancouver Sun and the Calgary Herald on 29 December 2007, and in the Montreal Gazette, the Ottawa Citizen, the Winnipeg Free Press, and the Victoria Times-Colonist on 30 December 2007.


Max Haines

If you're not in by 7:30 pm, I'll lock you out.

The warning given by the warden of the local jail in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, in the early 1930s, who – legend says – often let prisoners out on hot days "as long as you're back by 7:30 pm," as recounted by Max Haines in his book The Spitting Champion of the World: Memories of Antigonish, 288 pages, published in March 2007.  In this book, Max tells of the Nova Scotia of the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, where there were no traffic lights, no mail delivery, and no numbers on doors, and if you wanted to call, Max's family's phone number was simply 9.  Max Haines was born in Antigonish, and is best known for his "Crime Flashback" column, which made its debut in the Toronto Sun in 1972, and ran in the Sun each week until his last column appeared in the 23 July 2006 issue.  His column was syndicated around the world and in more than forty newspapers across Canada.  The column had a weekly readership of more than three million and has been translated into Spanish, French, and Chinese.  Haines is also the author of twenty-seven bestselling anthologies of crime vignettes, including Unnatural Causes, Canadian Crimes, Murder Most Foul, and Instruments of Murder.

Port Williams is in the Annapolis Valley at the mouth of the Cornwallis River.  At one time it was a busy port especially in the fall of the year when loads of apples and potatoes were shipped to far away places.  The Danish vessel Sally Maersk lifted the largest cargo of apples out of the port.  She lifted 32,283 barrels on September 19th, 1935...  This cargo was loaded in 22 hours and consisted of 600 truck loads...  1935 must have been a good apple year.  Following close on the wake of MV Sally Maersk was the second largest vessel to lift apples from Port Williams.  SS Schurbek came complete with her Nazi swastika flying...  In 1975 the German ship Antares the widest ship ever to dock here and with a carrying capacity of 6,000 tons brought a cargo of soybean meal from Chicago...

Source: The Largest Apple Cargo Out of Port Williams, Nova Scotia by Spurgeon G. Roscoe

When I sit down in solitude to the labours of my profession, the only questions I ask myself are:  What is right?  What is just?  What is for the public good?

Joseph Howe as quoted in Town of Canso Governance Study, 2007, written by Gordon MacInnis, vice-president of finance and operations at Cape Breton University.  The quotation appears twice in this report, first at page 4 of Part One, and again at page 37 of Part Two.

The Town of Canso, Nova Scotia, has survived Mi'kmaq raids, plundering by the pirate Black Bart, war with the French and, for the past 20 years, the collapse of the fish stocks that have always been its lifeline.  This week, however, Canso finally ran up the white flag, beaten by a $178,000 budget deficit its dwindling population cannot endure.  On Wednesday, 29 September 2010, the town council submitted its request to the province for dissolution and amalgamation with its neighbouring municipality... One of the oldest fishing communities in mainland North America, the spot on the northeastern tip of mainland Nova Scotia, jutting into the Atlantic, was claimed by French fishermen in 1604... With its strategically located harbour, Canso was fortified by the British and became a focal point for the English-French tug-of-war.  The French razed the fort in 1744.  The next year, Canso was used as the staging ground for the English siege of the fortress at Louisbourg... "The world has changed," said Lloyd Hines, warden of Canso's neighbouring municipality, the District of Guysborough.  "Back then the sea was a highway, where you could walk to Cape Breton by stepping on the fish and back again by walking on the boats..."  The collapse of the East Coast cod stocks in the 1990s, however, devastated the town... A decision on its fate is in provincial hands.  The outcome is expected to be a merger with neighbouring Guysborough, population 4,000, already a sprawling rural municipality administering numerous disparate and often remote communities.  Guysborough has a population density similar to the Arctic...

Adrian Humphreys, in the National Post, 30 September 2010.
— Source: Nova Scotia town calls it quits

...The city (of Halifax) lies upon an even side hill, like an inclined plane, affording natural sewerage in every part; crowning the hill is the citadel, or fortress, a work of great extent, commanding the city and bay... The business part, as might be supposed, is along the wharves and the two or three streets parallel with them.  The better-looking residences are at the south and north ends and west of the citadel.  The heart, or centre, though with a sprinkling of more respectable elements, is squalid and hopeless, beyond description.  Standing at the entrance of one of these long streets, dingy, dusty, arid and endless – Albemarle street, for example – one thinks, involuntarily, that such might be the streets of hell, and wishes for another Dante to take in the scene.  Unpaved, except by a sort of macadamizing, flat from side to side, and without walks, built closely with one and two-storey houses, uniformly the same color with the ground they stand on; the houses without pretence of steps, stoop, plazza or basement, but opening upon a dead level with the roadway, totally devoid of architectural ornament, and without a blade of grass, a shrub or tree, as far as the eye can reach; with squalid children, playing in a kind of helpless manner – nothing more forlorn, more comfortless or hopeless can be conceived.  A kind of diabolic enchantment pervades the scene, under this hot August sun; and when one turns toward the glorious expanse of the bay and catches the vivifying breeze, the juxtaposition seems unnatural and impossible... The residence of the Governor, called the Government House, is exceptional, and is quite an imposing old structure of brick and stone... It is guarded by red-coated sentinels, as all Government property is; and as Government property is everywhere, so red-coats are everywhere... There are three thousand soldiers here...

"From the Provinces, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, The City of Halifax...",
datelined Halifax, 25 August 1867
New York Times, 7 September 1867

As part of our 35th anniversary celebrations, the Heritage Canada Foundation will be launching Heritage 2008: Work that Endures: Careers in Built Heritage.  The online resource will highlight the stories of more than a dozen Canadians whose varied and interesting careers are all connected to heritage conservation and promotion.  Whether tradespeople, educators, professionals or volunteers they have contributed their skills and knowledge to restoring, researching, maintaining and teaching about heritage places.  People featured include Norbert and Helga Sattler, stained glass artisans from West LaHave, Nova Scotia, who restored the twenty-four stained glass windows of the historic St. John's Anglican Church in Lunenburg and established the Maritime Stained Glass Registry – a photographic archives and database for 150 churches; Donald Luxton, Victoria based heritage consultant, author and educator, who is an expert on historic paint colours and technology and Steve Barber, a senior heritage planner in B.C. who helped set up a Tax Incentive Program to encourage investment in the residential conversion of historic properties.  Of the dozens of volunteer groups in the country, Work that Endures chose to focus on the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society, and Les Amis de la residence de Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine...

From an announcement by Heritage Canada Foundation, sent out to the Internet mailing list on 10 January 2008.

The Heritage 2008: Work that Endures: Careers in Built Heritage resource will be available on the Foundation's website in advance of Heritage Day, February 18, 2008.

Heritage Day 2008 Heritage Canada Foundation
Sattler Stained Glass Studio

We're not trying to give them a guilt trip.  We're trying to create wealth the same way they are... How we think today will determine how our kids will grow into adults.  They will either grow into poverty and be angry, or we can create an environment that can foster any kid's dream...

Lawyer Bernd Christmas, former CEO of Membertou First Nation, as quoted in Report on Business, page B7, Globe and Mail, 12 December 2008

Nova Scotia Quotes: Open for Business, Globe and Mail, 12 Dec 2008
"Open for Business," page B7, Report on Business
Globe and Mail, 12 December 2008

Through his fictional character Sam Slick, Thomas Chandler Haliburton coined such phrases as "he drank like a fish," "the early bird gets the worm," "it's raining cats and dogs," "you can't get blood out of a stone," "as quick as a wink," and "six of one and half a dozen of the other."  Haliburton captured the English-speaking world with his wit, humour, and satire.

J.M.S. Careless in his biographical note about Haliburton, a lawyer, judge, author, member of the Nova Scotia Legislature and long-time resident of Windsor, Nova Scotia: "The insightful wit of the Sam Slick series was assembled and published in one well-received volume in 1836, followed by two more series published in two more volumes in 1838 and 1840; by which time the wandering clockmaker (Slick) was known, and quoted, not only in the British North American provinces but also from Boston and New York to London."

I don't know what more you'd ask : almost an island, indented everywhere with harbours, surrounded with fisheries, the key of the St. Lawrence, the Bay of Fundy, and the West Indies ; prime land above, one vast mineral bed beneath, and a climate over all temperate, pleasant and healthy.  If that ain't enough for one place, it's a pity that's all.
—Sam Slick's description of Nova Scotia.

Written by Thomas Chandler Haliburton (1796-1865); quoted in Nova Scotia: The Province That Has Been Passed By by Beckles Willson, London, 1912.

(In the United States) the rapid extension of the telegraph system has no parallel in history.  Since 1844 (twelve years ago), we have erected and put in operation about 35,000 miles [about 56,000 km] of line.  The wires are to be found on almost every traveled road, giving telegraphic communication to some 800 towns and cities.  In fact, every town and city in the United States has telegraphic connection with New York.  Citizens, as a general thing, have no conception of the amount of business daily transacted over the wires.  Contracts to buy and sell, pledges of indebtedness, balancing of accounts, all involving millions of dollars, are entered into freely and without fear.  From morning till night, day in and day out, are the trembling wires busy with the concerns of an entire nation.  How great must be that influence, so quietly, so unobtrusively at work, annihilating time and space, and bringing our distant cities in close relationship for the transaction of business and interchange of the social attentions and courtesies of civil life!  Our longest line is from Halifax to New Orleans, a distance following the wires of about 2,400 miles [about 3,800 km]; and it is over this line the steamships' news is sent to all the principal cities.

In 1856, when this paper was written, the only way to transmit news (any information) across the North Atlantic Ocean was by carrying it across in a ship, a trip that usually took nearly two weeks one way.  That is, any news about European affairs was nearly two weeks old by the time it became available anywhere in North America.  The eastern North American electric telegraph system described in this 1856 paper ensured that within a few hours of any ship from Europe arriving at Halifax, or just about any port in eastern North America, any news carried on that ship would be known everywhere in eastern North America.

—Source:  Marshall Lefferts in his paper The Electric Telegraph; its Influence and Geographical Distribution, read at the meeting of the American Geographical and Statistical Society in New York City on 24 April 1856.  In 1849 Lefferts became president of the New York & New England Telegraph Company, and he remained one of the leading figures in the American telegraph industry until his death on 3 July 1876.
Source: The Electric Telegraph; its Influence and Geographical Distribution
by Marshall Lefferts, April 1856

I hold in my hand a letter from the War Office in London, stating that a message sent from there on the 31st of August, 1858, was delivered the same day at Halifax, which message prevented the embarkation of troops for India; and I have been informed that it saved the English Government over $200,000.  The benefits of an Atlantic cable to England, by enabling the Government to be in daily communication with its Ambassador at Washington, and all the British Consuls in this country (United States), and the Governors of the five North American Provinces, and its naval and military forces in America, can hardly be estimated.

Cyrus Field in his speech on Prospects of the Atlantic Telegraph given at the meeting of the American Geographical and Statistical Society in New York City on 1 May 1862.
Source: Prospects of the Atlantic Telegraph
by Cyrus W. Field, 1 May 1862

Field's reference to "the Governors of the five North American Provinces" meant the Governors of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Canada (Quebec and Ontario).  In 1862, these were five separate colonies, independent of each other.

How much is that $200,000 in today's money?

The telegram from London to Halifax, on 31 August 1858, saved the
British Government more than $200,000.

To help us to understand the true impact of that telegram, we need to try
to estimate how much would be the saving when stated in today's money.
Certainly $200,000 then was worth far more than $200,000 now.

Converting the value of money from one time to another is notoriously
imprecise, especially over long time spans, more than a century, such
as this case.  There are many different ways to make a calculation like
this – based on CPI (Consumer Price Index), or GDP (Gross Domestic
Product), or average wages, or per capita income, etc.

Different methods yield quite different results, but it is helpful to try.

The British Government stated the saving in pounds sterling, but Field
stated the saving in United States dollars (for the benefit of his
New York audience). Staying with Field's choice of currency, that
saving in 1858 of $200,000 would be equivalent in 2010 of at least
$5,000,000, and perhaps as much as $50,000,000.

A reasonable estimate of that saving (stated in 2010 money)
is $20,000,000.

Cyrus Field's Best Argument

The telegram, from London to Halifax on 31 August 1858, was one
of the few messages sent across the Atlantic Ocean by electric telegraph
in the brief interval, just 23 days, during which the 1858 transatlantic
cable was working.  It was a highly dramatic demonstration of the
enormous economic value of an electric telegraph link between Europe
and North America.  While the transatlantic telegraph system was
hugely expensive, this one message demonstrated for all the world
– and especially for the British and United Sates governments –
that it would be well worth the cost.

After working for a brief time, the 1858 cable failed.  It would be
another eight years until a reliable transatlantic telegraph system
was put in operation in 1866.

Field delivered this speech in New York on 1st May 1862. The 1858
transatlantic cable had failed four years before.  The outlook for Field's
cable project was bleak.  The United States government – an essential
partner in the financing of the planned replacement cable – was
distracted by a terrible tragedy, the American Civil War, and had little
time or money to devote to such matters as a telegraph cable across
the Atlantic Ocean.

When Field delivered this speech, eight states – South Carolina,
Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and Virginia –
had seceded from the Union.  A week later, Arkansas seceded.  Seven
weeks after the speech, North Carolina seceded.  These ten states were
determined that they would never again be associated with the United
States of America.  They had taken the enormous decision to get out,
and they fully intended to stay out forever.

When Field spoke, nobody was sure how this turmoil would end.  It was
possible, even likely, that the United States would cease to exist as a
single country.

Very few people thought that the transatlantic telegraph cable would
ever become a working communications link.  Even fewer were willing
to put money into the company, to help keep it going year after year
with nothing coming in and enormous sums already spent with more
enormous sums needed to manufacture and lay a new cable.

The Halifax telegram of 31st August 1858 was by far the best argument
Field had for persuading people that there was any hope for the project.

Just a question, Your Worship: Where has everybody been for the last 86 years?

Bob Harvey, Lower Sackville councillor, speaking to Mayor Walter Fitzgerald during a meeting of the Halifax Regional Municipal Council, as reported in the Halifax Daily News, 20 April 1998.  Now that the movie has made the Titanic fashionable, three levels of government are investing $600,000 in restoring the victims' Halifax graves and maintaining related exhibits, after 86 years of official neglect.

I was churning out the photocopies.  Two historians came over and they started to cry.

Marine historian David Flemming, former director of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, quoted in the Halifax Daily News 24 December 1997, talking about the log handwritten by Marconi operator Robert Hunston in an isolated radio shack in southeastern Newfoundland in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, as radio messages arrived from the sinking Titanic and other ships in the vicinity.  The original log, previously known only to members of the Hunston family, was recently donated to the museum by Molly Russell of Halifax, Hunston's daughter.

How this glorious steamer wallops, and gallops, and flounders along!

Thomas Chandler Haliburton's description, written on board on 3rd April 1839, of the motion of the steamship Great Western at sea, published in Letter-Bag of The Great Western, or Life in a Steamer, William H. Colyer, New York, 1840.  In the Preface, Haliburton mentions "personally suggesting the propriety and discussing the feasibility of establishing a steam connection" between England and Nova Scotia.
Haliburton's full text is available online at

This bit of Canada is a national treasure... The Digby Neck, the thin split of land on the Bay of Fundy that has splintered away from Nova Scotia's southwestern shore, is a place of remarkable contentment, with somewhere around 1,000 year-round residents... At four summers, my own bunch are still very much newcomers here, but we are no less welcome for it.  Maritime hospitality is legendary.  We stay in a charming, working fishing village halfway down the Digby Neck, in this part of Nova Scotia that has been generally overlooked.  It's hard to get to, for a start, and the swells stay down in Chester, Lunenburg and the other pretty villages on the south shore, where New Yorker writers and U.S.-based Canadian broadcasters go.  No such action here.  The Neck is known, by and large, for Fundy's dramatic tides, the whale-watching tours that locals run, and the scallops and lobster you'll find in the bone-chilling waters here, the best in the world and the backbone of the local economy...

Noah Richler in his regular column in the National Post, 1 August 2002.  This also appeared in the Halifax Sunday Herald, 11 August 2002.

Map of Digby Neck Nova Scotia government

Map of Digby Neck Digby Neck Community Development Association

The political equivalent of a spike in global warming comes in the very feebly-disguised straight-out war between the NDP and the Greens, all attended with manifest confusion among the Liberals.  Take last week's so-called "deal" between Elizabeth May and Stephane Dion.  Well, what have we got here, really?  May's decision not to field someone against Stephane in his Montreal riding – while it may be a sweet gesture, the political equivalent of a Valentine's Day card – is, in practical terms, a pure nullity.  It does nothing.  In Central Nova the situation is quite different.  In the last election, in that riding, the Liberals had 24% compared to a mighty tide of two for the Greens.  It's difficult to see the strategy here.  Why does a party with a beachhead of 24, give a pass to the one with two?  It's one of the many puzzlements of the new way of doing politics.  Well, you may characterize the May-Dion pact any way you will, as strange, confusing, novel or charming, but one thing it is not – a matter disturbing the sleep, or wearing the nerves, of Stephen Harper.  The NDP however have gone nuclear on the subject.  It's a cynical backroom deal according to Jack Layton, which comes interestingly from the mouth of one who virtually recrafted a federal budget in a hotel room with Paul Martin present and Buzz Hargrove on a speaker-phone.  Senior NDP statesman Ed Broadbent blasted the enterprise with great vigour last week, and let the country in on the nefarious news that Elizabeth May may even have taken to calling Stephen Lewis to see if some similar arrangement between the Greens and the NDP could be worked out.  The recourse to calling Mr. Lewis – we're given to understand – was only because she couldn't get through to Mr. Layton; he wouldn't call back.  Well save me a planet.  If, as the common wisdom has it, the May-Dion noncompete pact has some Liberals second-guessing their leader, doesn't offer much beyond a token tribute to the Greens, puts May at odds with some in her own party – her chief advisor has resigned, and she's had to put the boot to one prospective candidate – why are the NDP in such a lather?  Well, it's very like the great frictions and factions that tormented the Reform, Alliance, and the now-departed Progressive Conservatives, back in those rosy days when the Liberals and Mr. Chretien owned Canadian politics.  The so-called "right" was a nest of impotent schisms, odd alliances and scorching infighting, which is why these days... Stephen Harper must be enjoying the spectacle of the so-called "left" doing such a perfect impression of what kept his bunch out of office for over a decade.

Rex Murphy on CBC's The National 18 April 2007, commenting on the recent announcement, at a joint news conference held by Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in Stellarton, in the Nova Scotia riding of Central Nova, on Friday, 13 April 2007, that they have agreed not to run a candidate in each other's riding in the next federal election.

In the two days following its publication, the CBC's story on the Stellarton announcement drew an unusually active response, more than 140 citizen comments, and they were (IMO) generally of an unusually high quality.

We're high above the point where the Bay of Fundy runs into the Minas channel and yet, the clifftops of Cape D'Or tower over us.  Winding down and around the jagged cliffs and thick forest, a rough road resembling a logging trail ends at a ledge that juts out into the Bay.  Perched on this ledge, the Lighthouse of Cape D'Or overlooks the hauntingly remote panorama of the Fundy shoreline.  Our arrival at the lighthouse turned bed and breakfast was a scheduled lunch stop on a two-day driving program – a Canadian press launch for General Motors new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks... We'd reached our rest stop via the harrowing forest road, bordered only by a battered guardrail.  Parking our trucks and making our way to the edge of the cliff, more than one person remarked that it could just be the end of the earth...

Source: 2007 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra First Impressions by Lesley Wimbush,, 24 November 2006,view,GMC.spy?artid=72860

The Mi'kmaq knew that they might look about as threatening as a parent-teacher association when they sat down with Georgia-Pacific.  The company boasts of $27-billion (U.S.) in annual revenue and 85,000 employees, making it bigger than the four combined governments of Atlantic Canada... Head office in Atlanta, Georgia had been warned about Canada, not that the people there needed to be told.  For half a century, the company had helped to build America's suburbs with gypsum from Cape Breton.  Getting its way with the Nova Scotia government was seldom a problem.  But this time, as Georgia-Pacific prepared to open its third mine on the island, the Atlanta-based multinational with more annual revenue than all but two African countries was warned of two new realities up north: the Greens and the natives...

Source: How the Mi'kmaq Profit from Fear, by John Stackhouse, in The Globe & Mail, 6 November 2001

Imagine a place two-thirds the size of Scotland, with less than a fifth the number of people.  It has more space and less traffic on the roads.  Imagine the Highlands, with smaller mountains and cheaper hotels.  Nova Scotia in Canada is far more Scottish than over here in many ways...  We looked at Canadian property online back in July, starting in Toronto, where my mother-in-law lives.  Then one of us remembered hearing that Nova Scotia was "nice".  We can't remember where or from whom: It truly was as vague and inconsequential as that.  So we directed the web-browser to Nova Scotia.  It's beautiful!  And cheap as chips!  Actually given the way food prices have shot through the roof, that's not far off the truth.  As a comparison: 500 square metres in Elgin, Scotland, without a house costs you £120,000.  Four acres of coastland in the nicest bit of Nova Scotia costs you half that.  A five-bedroom house with nine acres of land in the country outside Glasgow or Edinburgh will set you back £800,000.  Our version of that house in Nova Scotia cost half again.  So I quit my job at Talk107, got flights for all the family, set up twenty properties to look at and went over there for three weeks.  Which became four weeks because I tried to save money by flying with Zoom airlines...  We came.  We saw.  We bought.  In the space of 19 days.  Every day I spent there felt like I'd come up for air after being underwater for the last ten years...

Source: "Dominik Diamond heading to Nova Scotia" in The Sunday Times, London, 21 September 2008

Dominik Diamond Wikipedia

More about “flying with Zoom airlines”
Funnyman Dominik grounded by Zoom, News of the World 6 September 2008
“It was like something out of the film Planes, Trains And Automobiles... They had been enjoying a break in Halifax, Nova Scotia... They had expected to fly home last Saturday – until Dominik discovered the airline was preparing to go into administration...”

I only got to Nova Scotia a week ago Thursday... Earlier this month, I upped sticks from Scotland to move to Lunenburg County.  Five months ago, I spent a few weeks here with my family, but before then, I could not have picked out Nova Scotia on a map... Let's go back slightly further.  It's July 2008, and I'm moaning to said wife about how cutbacks mean I'm now having to fill four hours a day of speech radio with no producer, researcher or anybody to answer the phone and if I carry on like this, the stress will give me the kind of meltdown that makes Peter Finch in Network look like the Dalai Lama... I'm not naive.  I know it's not perfect in Nova Scotia.  I've been reading this newspaper online for a while now.  You have roads blocked with snow, you have the odd local bad boy, you have a prime minister who shuts down the whole Parliament to stop a vote taking place that would kick him out.  But in the U.K., the whole transport system grinds to a halt over a single snowflake...

Dominik Diamond in the Halifax Sunday Herald 18 January 2009

A Diamond in the N.S. rough

When I told people I was going to Nova Scotia, several said: "Exactly where is that?"  With its engaging blend of cultures, glorious scenery, fine hospitality and value for money, Nova Scotia won't be off anyone's tourist map for much longer... Fancy spending a night in a caboose or spotting a moose?  How about watching eagles swoop or driving for miles along traffic-free coastal roads?  I've just done all that in Nova Scotia (and a caboose, by the way, is a railway guard's van, of which more later).  Nova Scotia is a province on the eastern seaboard of Canada.  It got its name, which means New Scotland, after Highland immigrants landed there more than two centuries ago and saw a landscape amazingly similar to home.  The influence of the auld country is still strong, with shops selling kilts and road signs in both English and Gaelic.  But Nova Scotia is a melting pot of other cultures too – native American, English and French all blending into modern Canadian...  In the World Heritage site of Lunenburg, a perfect example of an early colonial town, we had our first taste of Nova Scotian seafood.  At the trendy Fleur de Sel restaurant, owned by a chef trained in Ireland, the pan-fried scallops were out of this world.  From then on it was lobster, scallops, clams and crab all the way – sometimes with pasta, sometimes in chowder; always good and surprisingly cheap...  Crossing into Cape Breton we drove along the winding Cabot Trail, which circles the island for almost 200 miles and is named after the explorer John Cabot.  From cliff-top viewing areas no binoculars were needed to spot pilot and minke whales frolicking in the waves, so close were they to the shore.  Later, on a bird-watching trip to St Ann's Bay in a boat called Highland Lass, skipper John MacAskill suddenly pointed skywards at a mighty bald eagle.  After circling us a few times it swooped to catch a fish in its great talons – a heart-stopping moment.  As well as these magnificent raptors, puffins, razorbills and kittiwakes are also regularly spotted.  Back on the glorious Cabot Trail, voted one of the world's premier scenic routes, we came across a moose grazing by the side of the road – sightings of the giant beasts are rare, as most confine themselves to forests.  The moose allowed us to take a picture before nonchalantly wandering back into the trees.  I recalled that when my children were small I read them a story about a moose with a loose tooth, who put a rope around it and tied it to a caboose.  In Nova Scotia, I saw both moose and caboose!  The latter was at the Train Station Inn at Tatamagouche, where 13 old goods vans and cabooses awaited their next guests.  Ours had been built for the Grand Trunk Railway, and though the exterior is unchanged, inside is a modern bedroom, sitting room and shower.  We relaxed in an elegant lounge car used 100 years ago by Governor General Earl Grey, of tea fame.  As well as such novelties, Nova Scotia has some of the finest inns I have ever known with some of the comfiest beds...

" Super Nova Scotia" by John Craven, in the Daily Express, London, 9 August 2008

The largest of the so-called "small isles" of the Inner Hebrides, Rum has a history of banishing human beings.  Almost 200 years ago, the then landowner, Maclean of Coll, shipped the entire population to Nova Scotia and replaced them with 8,000 black-faced sheep...

Rum hangs out the welcome banner in The Times, London, 21 May 2008

For nearly 200 years, the people of the remote Scottish island of Rum faced an uncertain future.  They were little more than guests in a rugged, windswept corner of the Inner Hebrides, and were always forced to leave if they quit the employ of the island's owner... After 1826, when the indigenous population of 350 was cleared and packed off to Nova Scotia to make way for a sheep farm, the island was run as a single estate.  Anyone wishing to live there had to work for the overlord...

Rum deal in store for Scots islanders in The Independent, London, 03 January 2009

Four centuries after the debut of the first play written in North America, its portrayal of aboriginals in what is now Nova Scotia has outraged a theatre troupe enough to stage a protest – literally.  Written and first performed on 14 November 1606, the Theatre of Neptune in New France includes the god of the sea and four Tritons as characters, as well as four Mi'kmaq, who are referred to as "savages."  The four natives confirm their allegiance to the French crown and express their joy that the French have returned to the French settlement at Port Royal, now a national historic park in Nova Scotia...

Marc Lescarbot wrote the Theatre of Neptune in New France in 1606.  Lescarbot, a lawyer from Paris, had been put in charge of the French settlement at Port Royal while the leader of the colony searched for a more inviting site for the settlers.  When Governor Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt's ship appeared on the horizon on 14 November 1606, a theatre troupe went out to meet the vessel to perform the play.

It was the first published theatrical script produced in North America.

Source: 400-year-old play stirs controversy in Nova Scotia CBC News, 14 November 2006

Port Royal, 1606 — The settlers were restless.  Even the natives were restless.  Poutrincourt and Champlain, the leaders had been away almost three months exploring the eastern seaboard.  In the only ship, the settler's only link to France.  The previous two winters, more than half the settlers had died of scurvy, and now, a new winter was upon them.

Marc Lescarbot – the settlement's historian, a disillusioned lawyer and passionate writer, had a brainstorm.  Let's put on a play: a surprise reception for the ship's return.  A morale booster.  The rehearsals and set production would keep everyone occupied.

Thus, November 14th, 1606, the history of theatre in Canada began.  Marc Lescarbot's Le Theatre de Neptune en la Nouvelle France / The Theatre of Neptune in New France was mounted, welcoming Poutrincourt.  It was the first written, first performed play in Canada and in the continental North America, north of the Spanish settlements in Mexico.  A signature moment...

Source: Nova Scotia: Birthplace of Canadian Theatre, 1606-2006 by Ken Pinto, Atlantic Fringe Festival

(Marc Lescarbot's) Theatre de a kind of nautical spectacle, organized to celebrate Poutrincourt's return to Port Royal.  The god Neptune comes in a bark to bid the traveller welcome; he is surrounded by a court of Tritons and Indians, who recite in turn, in French, Gascon, and Souriquois verse, the praises of the leaders of the colony, and then sing in chorus the, glory of the king, while trumpets sound and cannon are fired.  This performance, a mixture of barbarism and mythology, in the impressive setting of the Port Royal basin, was the first theatrical presentation, and no ordinary one, in North America.

Excerpted from Marc Lescarbot in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

Nova Scotia Quotes: 400th Anniversary, The Theatre of Neptune in New France, by Marc Lescarbot 2006 marks the four hundredth anniversary of a major theatrical event in the history of North American drama.  The Theatre of Neptune in New France by lawyer, poet and historian Marc Lescarbot was a masque of welcome performed on the Bay of Fundy by members of the tiny French colony of Port Royal on 14 November 1606.  It celebrated the return of the ship bearing the Sieur de Poutrincourt and navigator-explorer Samuel de Champlain from their travels along the coastline as far south as Cape Cod in search of a more temperate site for the colony...

Spectacle of Empire: Marc Lescarbot's Theatre of Neptune in New France (400th Anniversary Commemorative Edition)
by Jerry Wasserman, Professor of Theatre at the University of British Columbia
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Talonbooks, Vancouver (2006)
ISBN: 0889225478

Less than three per cent of Canada's population lives in Nova Scotia, but more than 16 per cent of Canada's soldiers killed in Afghanistan came from this province.  Seven of the 42 Canadian soldiers killed in the war-torn country since 2002 came from this province.  Only Ontario, with more than 13 times the population, has seen a higher death toll.

Page A1, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 23 October 2006

In Windsor, one of the great dreams of my life – to serve as a soldier in a Jewish Unit to fight for the liberation of the Land of Israel (as we always called Palestine) – became a reality, and I will never forget Windsor, where I received my first training as a soldier and where I became a corporal.

David Green, a.k.a. David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973), in a hand-written letter – now held by the West Hants Historical Society – addressed to "Mayor, Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada" and dated at Haifa "3 7 66" (1966) when Ben-Gurion was eighty years old, as described in The Valley Today (daily newspaper) 12 January 2007.  Ben-Gurion was Prime Minister of Israel 1949 to 1963, except for a period of two years 1954-1955.  Israel's largest airport, Ben Gurion International is named in his honour.  During World War One, 1914-1918, the British Army used Fort Edward in Windsor for training Jewish men to fight in Palestine against the Ottoman Turks, then fighting in the war on the German side.  Photographs and first-hand accounts of the time indicate that the men lived in tents on the hillside below the Fort Edward blockhouse.  More than a thousand non-commissioned officers were trained in Windsor.

Glace Bay?  A little fishing village.  My father had Simon's Dairy, a grocery with a candy counter.  In the back he cut kosher meat.  As a family, five kids, we all worked in the store, and my father taught us work ethics, how to treat people and work with people.  My father, he was probably not a good businessman, but I've seen him with people who owed him money – he'd give credit, and if we didn't have milk in the store that evening, he would take money out of the cash register, because they had young kids, so they could go to another store to buy milk.  On the other hand, I would look at my father as a businessman, and I'd say, "Why aren't you doing this, why aren't you expanding, why aren't you...?"  Even at 13, 14 years old.  But my father wasn't a risk taker, and that held him back.  You know, if anything, today I think taking a risk is always something I'm willing to do, and that's probably from seeing what my father didn't do in life.  He was a loved man, but there were times when I was a kid and I made $2,000 in the summer, cutting grass – in Glace Bay it wasn't a long summer.  I would have to help my father out with that couple thousand dollars when he was overdrawn at the bank... At 17 I'm off to school in Halifax, St. Mary's University, and I wanted to go there because it was good and it was small.  I could be effective, and just like in high school I was a B and C student but very involved – student council, senate, ran for president.  I was paying for my schooling with campus-police jobs and desk-clerk jobs and I became a don in residence, in charge of a dorm, so that was free housing, and being a don, the Moosehead Brewery rep used to give me like ten cases of beer each week to give out as samples.  I said, "Wait a minute, I can't give this away..."

Irwin Simon Chairman and CEO of Hain Celestial Group Inc., as quoted in The Apprenticeship of Irwin Simon by Hesh Kestin, Inc magazine, March 2002

"...the same Irwin Simon who was stocking bottles of Heinz ketchup at age ten in his father's 900-square-foot grocery, in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia..."

— Source: The Apprenticeship of Irwin Simon

...Simon looks away, and at once you know that he is back in Glace Bay, carefully arranging those bottles of Heinz ketchup, and his father is in the back cutting meat for the Passover rush, and outside the Nova Scotian wind is whipping up off the North Atlantic, and little Irwin is thinking about growth and risk...

Now, admit it.  A good 57.9 percent of you didn't know your Nova Scotia from your focaccia until the Penguins lucked out and landed the hockey player of the millennium, Sidney Crosby of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.  If you're geographically handicapped, Nova Scotia is a beautiful island northeast of Maine...

The Morning File by Peter Leo in the Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 25 August 2005

I imagine that the good people of Nova Scotia will be rather surprised to find that their province is an island (except for those from Cape Breton, which IS an island.) It would appear that being 'geographically handicapped' is an ironic condition.

Kent A. Harries Ph.D, letter in the Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 26 August 2005

With his criss-crossing of narratives and careful research, Kimber has given Haligonians, Nova Scotians and all Canadians a history of events as they can finally be agreed upon.

David Bentley, in his review in the National Post, 12 October 2002, of Stephen Kimber's book Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs: Halifax at War, published in October 2002 by Doubleday Canada, a history of Halifax during the Second World War.

The war was over.  They'd done all anyone had asked of them, and more.  They'd won the Battle of the Atlantic.  They's seen friends die.  And now, on the very day when they should have been celebrating with their comrades and thanking whatever gods there are for Allied victory and their own survival, the ungrateful, narrow-minded, mean-spirited burghers of this godforsaken city had shut down the liquor stores, shuttered the movie theatres, boarded up the shops, stopped serving dinner.

Stephen Kimber, commenting on the Halifax VE-Day riots of May 1945 in his book Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs: Halifax at War, quoted with approval by Brian Flemming in his review of Kimber's book in the Halifax Daily News, 16 October 2002.

Q:   What's your favorite rail trip?
A:   I'd have to say from Port Hawkesbury on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia to Inverness, on Canadian National, CNR.  When I was a kid, I used to ride with the conductor, a friend of the family, who would take me on the overnight trip.  We'd go to Inverness and spend the night; I'd sleep in the caboose, get up in the morning, and come back.  I guess that's probably the start of all this.
Q:   Are you retired for good this time?
A:   Who knows?  I still love trains: It's my life.

David Gunn, former President and CEO of Amtrak, in an interview with Carolyn Kleiner Butler, by telephone from his family home in Nova Scotia, published as "Still In Love With Railroads", in U.S. News and World Report, 5 December 2005.

David Gunn served as President and CEO of Amtrak
for 1243 days, from 15 May 2002 to 9 November 2005.

What is Amtrak?
The U.S. Congress created Amtrak – National Railroad Passenger Corporation is the official name of the company – in 1971 to provide intercity passenger railroad service.  During Mr. Gunn's time, Amtrak carried about two million passengers each month, to more than 500 destinations in 46 states over a system covering about 22,000 miles [35,000 km].  Amtrak owns about 730 route miles of track in the Northeast Corridor (Washington - Baltimore - Philadelphia - New York - Boston, including the Corridor branches to Springfield, Atlantic City, and Harrisburg); the remainder of the track used by Amtrak trains is owned by various freight railroads.  Like most passenger carriers around the world, Amtrak is unable to pay its way wholly from fares, and requires financial assistance each year, partly from states but mostly from the federal government, to cover operating losses and capital investment.  Amtrak spent close to $60 million each week during Mr. Gunn's time in charge.

Amtrak in Wikipedia

David L. Gunn in Wikipedia

(Congress) put Amtrak on this fanciful search for self-sufficiency.  There's not a rail passenger system in the world that doesn't require government subsidy for either capital or operating or both... I believe in this thing (Amtrak).  I didn't come from Nova Scotia to Washington (to preside over the closure of Amtrak)...

David Gunn, President and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) in response to a question from Jim Lehrer on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, aired at 7:40pm ADT, 13 June 2002, from WGBH, the PBS (Public Broadcasting System) television station in Boston.  Mr. Gunn told Mr. Lehrer that Amtrak operates 265 trains each day, carrying 60,000 passengers.  The complete transcript of the interview is available at

Amtrak Board Chairman John Robert Smith today (26 April 2002) announced the appointment of David L. Gunn as President and CEO of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) effective May 15, 2002.  Gunn has previously headed up both the largest transit system in the United States and in Canada, serving as President of the New York City Transit Agency from 1984 to 1990 and as Chief General Manager of the Toronto Transit Commission from 1995 to 1999...
Source: National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) press release, 26 April 2002

...Gunn also said he will propose a massive reorganization of Amtrak management today to the Amtrak board of directors, reducing the number of "vice president" titles in the company from 84 to about 20 and eliminating three business units while concentrating management in Washington in a "traditional railroad structure."  As a part of the process, he said he is establishing a policy of total openness on Amtrak's finances, with detailed monthly updates that will be open to the public... Gunn's rapid and sweeping moves – and his candor – are consistent with a management philosophy which in the past has created trouble for him in political circles.  But he said bold moves are necessary to put Amtrak back on a sound footing, and if the political system decides that it doesn't like what he's doing, he can return to retirement in Nova Scotia.

News item in the Washington Post, 6 June 2002

I'm excited to join.  This is the most exciting job I've ever had.  I have every incentive to tell the truth.  If they can't handle it, well – I'll just return to my home in Nova Scotia.  Here's how we're organizing planning at Amtrak: Short Term and Long Term.  Everything Short Term is before July 1, 2002.  Everything long term is after July 1, 2002...

David Gunn, President and CEO of Amtrak, speaking at the APTA (American Public Transportation Association) Commuter Rail Conference in Baltimore, 12  June, 2002.

David L. Gunn's Nova Scotia home is at St. Georges Channel,
Richmond County, on Cape Breton Island.
Online map:

I want to dispel any notion...that I can just shut down our operations and happily return home to Cape Breton.  You can depend on me to do everything possible to keep our operations going – that's my commitment to you.  I did not take this job to shut down our railroad.

David Gunn, President and CEO of Amtrak — on the job for all of five weeks — in his fifth letter to Amtrak employees, distributed by e-mail and fax on June 24th, 2002.

Oh, no.  I'm not going to resign.  You've got to fire me.

David Gunn, President and CEO of Amtrak — during a meeting in Washington at 8:30am, 9 November 2005, with David Laney, Chairman of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), and Floyd Hall, a member of Amtrak's Board of Directors, as quoted in "Throw David Gunn From The Trains: His Amtrak Sack" by Matthew Schuerman, in The New York Observer, 12 December 2005.

Mr. Schuerman's article continues:
...So at age 68, Mr. Gunn, who has run the Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C., transportation systems and received praise on all fronts, was cut loose in the wilderness – the wilderness of Nova Scotia, where he is living on his ancestral farm, splitting kindling and taking calls from the occasional reporter... Mr. Gunn will remain primarily in Cape Breton, though he will also have an office in Washington, D.C...

[The plaintiff's position was that] the flats in question were and are part of an arm of the sea called Annapolis Basin, which was and is a common and public and navigable arm of the sea in which the tides and waters of the sea flow and reflow, and therefore all the King's subjects had and have a right to fish therein and to carry away the fish taken, and the plaintiff, a British subject, in the exercise of such right, did on or about the 30th of August, 1904, and at other times, fish for and dig clams on said flats between high and low water mark and carry a quantity of them away, doing no injury to the soil of said flats and remaining no longer than was necessary for the purpose aforesaid.

[The judge wrote:] The distance between high and low water mark on the flats is apparently in the neighbourhood of three hundred yards [three hundred metres] or more.  The clams were dug by the plaintiff about two hundred feet [sixty metres] from low water mark, and from there to the line of ordinary high tides is upwards of three hundred feet [one hundred metres].  In an average tide there is twenty to thirty feet [six to nine metres] of water, when the tide is in, at the 200 feet [60 metres] line mentioned.

[The judge quoted a standard legal reference:] Although, prima facie, every subject is entitled to fish in the sea and tidal waters yet, prior to Magna Carta, the Crown could, by its prerogative, exclude the public from such prima facie right and grant the exclusive right of fishery to a private individual... The Great Charter restrained this prerogative for the future, but left untouched all fisheries which were made several to the exclusion of the public by act of the Crown not later than the reign of Henry II...

[The judge wrote:] I assess the value of the clams taken by the defendants at the sum of two dollars.

From the decision, January 4th, 1907, of Justice Meagher in Nova Scotia court in the case of Donnelly versus Vroom, which dealt with such questions as the public right to take shell fish from the mud flats between high and low tide, and who owns these flats, as reported on pages 358-364 of the Eastern Law Reporter, volume II number 8, 1 March 1907, published by the Carswell Company, Toronto.

I could not resist this — it isn't often that one finds an
authoritative quote that includes an explicit application of
the Magna Carta (signed by King John on 15 June 1215),
not to mention King Henry II (reigned 1154-1189),
to a court case in Nova Scotia.

To hell with that, we'll get our own.

Vice-Admiral Percy Nelles, Chief of the Naval Staff of the Royal Canadian Navy, 28 April 1942, responding to an acute shortage of oil on Canada's east coast – stocks of fuel at Halifax and St. John's had dwindled to a meagre 45,000 tons, only fifteen days supply, a serious threat to operations of Allied warships, including transatlantic convoys, at the height of World War Two.

— Source: "We'll Get Our Own": Canada and the Oil Shipping Crisis of 1942 by Robert C. Fisher

By any measure the Canadian oil convoys (of 1942) enjoyed great success.  Some 2.5 million barrels of petroleum were shipped to the refineries of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and Montreal for domestic consumption.  Another 1.5 million barrels arrived in Canada for trans-shipment to Britain.  The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) escorted fourteen convoys, including seventy-six tankers, between Halifax and the West Indies without the loss of a single vessel, despite the heavy concentration of U-boats in these waters.  During the months from May to August 1942, when U-boats ravaged the waters of the western Atlantic mercilessly, the Canadian oil convoys escaped attack.  Given the high number of independent ships sunk in these waters, it is clear that without these convoys several Canadian tankers would have been lost...

— Source: "We'll Get Our Own": Canada and the Oil Shipping Crisis of 1942 by Robert C. Fisher

When Admiral Doenitz launched Operation Paukenschlag (Drumbeat) in December of 1941, the five U-boats – U-125, U-123, U-66, U-130, U-109 – of the initial wave sent against the United States found the east coast, for all practical purposes, undefended.  This was a vast area extending from the St. Lawrence River down to North Carolina.  The Paukenschlag boats arriving on the United States east coast in January 1942 found the merchant fleet sailing unescorted and with lights on at night.  There was no radio discipline; ship and shore stations operated as if in peace time, broadcasting time signals and weather reports.  Shoreside cities blazed with lights at night.  The U-boats, hardly believing the bonanza offered them, rampaged up and down the coast with impunity, sinking everything in sight.  Operation Paukenschlag lasted but ten days, during which 25 ships totaling about 200,000 tons were sunk.  Not a U-boat was damaged much less sunk.  Those five boats were only about 12 percent of the U-boats at sea but they accounted for 70 percent of the Allied shipping sunk in January 1942.

Excerpted from the website operated by Gudmundur Helgason of Iceland.

Source: Operation Paukenschlag – U-boats off the East Coast of the U.S.

Early in 1942, Admiral King made the decision not to request blackouts on the United States eastern seaboard and not to convoy ships.  As a result of this, the attack by the German U-boats on U.S. costal shipping during the Second Battle of the Atlantic became known by the U-boat crews as the "second happy time".  It was not until convoys were introduced in May 1942 that the "second happy time" came to an end, with the loss of seven U-boats.

Excerpted from the and websites.

King, Ernest Joseph
King, Ernest

Within recent months German submarines have been very active on the Atlantic seaboard, in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.  Occasional figures have been published covering shipping losses generally, but little information about tanker losses has been made public.  I regret to say these losses have been colossal.  At one period, the submarine situation was so grave that all tankers were held in port for twelve consecutive days.  There were times when we had no crude oil at all in storage at either Halifax or Portland, Maine, a most alarming situation.  We were so hard-pressed that we had to use every available railway tank car to haul fuel oil from Sarnia and Montreal to Halifax, in order to keep our navy and the convoys operating.

Munitions Minister C.D. Howe, in a speech carried over the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) national radio network on 17 September 1942, as reported in the Toronto Globe & Mail, 18 September 1942.

Dönitz:  For instance, I had suggested that mines be laid before Halifax, the British port of Nova Scotia, and before Reykjavik, both bases being important for war ships and merchant shipping. The political leaders, the Fuehrer, rejected this because he wanted to avoid every possibility of friction with the United States.

Flottenrichter Kranzbuhler:  May I formulate the question this way: that you, from the orders for the treatment of U.S. ships, in no way had the impression that opportunism or cynicism prevailed here, but that everything was done with the greatest restraint in order to avoid a conflict with the United States?

Dönitz:  Yes.  This went so far, in fact, that when the American destroyers in the summer of 1941 received orders to attack German submarines, that is, before war started, when they were still neutral and I was forbidden to fight back, I was then forced to forbid the submarines in this area to attack even British destroyers, in order to avoid having a submarine mistake an American for a British ship.

—Source: Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Volume 13, 8 May 1946

A lot of the boys were hurt leaving the ship.  Some had broken legs and arms.  Others had chunks of flesh actually torn from their bodies by the suction of the ship going down.  Men went down with the ship and came up again cut to pieces.  Most of the injured men soon became weak and drowned.  They drowned right in front of us, but there was little we could do.  It was all we could do to keep ourselves out of danger.  We were all covered in oil, and half blind with it in our eyes.  Most of us soon became seasick and swallowed a lot of salt water, which didn't help much...

Private Bill Marks of Amherst, Nova Scotia, who served in the British Army during World War Two, describing the conditions he endured after his ship was torpedoed in mid-September 1944 in the South China Sea, as told in "For Days, He Clung to a Raft in the Sea" in the Halifax Daily News, 5 November 2007.

Tonto is the Lone Ranger's partner and friend.  He is clean-cut and well-groomed and, although he speaks a form of broken English, he is neither dumb nor stupid.  For the most part, other native Americans in the series are treated in a demeaning and disrespectful manner.  While Tonto is sometimes so treated by others, he is never so treated by the Lone Ranger.

Justice David Chipman of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, writing in a 6 October 2004 summary of the ruling of an independent Board of Inquiry set up by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, as reported on page A1 (the front page) of the National Post, 2 November 2004.  The Board was investigating a complaint dating back to October 1999, that the repeated use of the term "kemosabe" – Tonto's word for his white friend the Lone Ranger – by a white employer in Sydney, Cape Breton, when speaking to a Mi'kmaq employee, was offensive.  The Board of Inquiry spent a whole day watching Lone Ranger episodes before deciding that being called kemosabe did not demean the Mi'kmaq woman, a resident of Membertou, Nova Scotia.  Several Mi'kmaq witnesses who testified about the word's meaning were divided on whether it was offensive.  The Board's conclusions, handed down on 17 February 2004, were upheld by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

What does Kemo Sabe mean?

It is quite plausible that 'giimoozaabi' means something like 'scout'.
'Giimoozaabi' is pronounced pretty much the same as 'kemosabe'...

The Lone Ranger started as a radio series in Detroit in January 1933.  The long-running radio series is said to have extended to 2,596 episodes.  Beginning in 1937 a series of short films were made to be shown in movie theatres before the main feature.  The Lone Ranger came to television as a series of half-hour shows on the ABC TV network – episode 1 ran on 15 September 1949, and the final episode 221 ran on 6 June 1957.  Another Lone Ranger series of 30 episodes ran on CBS TV from September 1966 to March 1968.  From the 1930s to the 1960s there were many newspaper strips and comic books, and a series of books.  There was a feature film in 1981... (There was even a series of bank commercials whose central character was the Loan Arranger.)

Nova Scotia Quotes: Kemosabe racist, hurtful: Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission
National Post, page A10, 23 December 2004

One perspective on "kemosabe" can be found in The Far Side, Gary Larson's series of cartoons that often features Western themes.  In one memorable cartoon, the Lone Ranger discovered the true meaning of "kemosabe".  Tonto had always intimated that it was a term of endearment and great respect.  In the end, though, it actually described the south end of a northbound horse...

Letter in The Globe & Mail, 28 December 2004

The acquaintance who first told me the story said, "Governor Griffin invited the survivors to recuperate on Jekyll Island, but the last man out was black."  I was instantly captivated – a black miner?  Insulted by white supremacist Georgia Governor Marvin Griffin?  When I learned the disaster had occurred in a Nova Scotia coal mine, my esthetic interest was piqued even more: if I understood correctly, a black man, an Afro-Canadian coal-miner, had been treated as an equal by his white comrades during the disaster, in the coal-black pure darkness of the pit; but, when rescued, and treated to a vacation on the sunniest spot on earth, whites saw him again as a Negro, a "mulatto," or worse, and he was segregated.

Black/white, darkness/light, inner light/inner darkness.  Where men were blinded by darkness, they behaved as if Maurice Ruddick were their equal; where sunlight lit up the scene, they allowed race politics to isolate him.  A friend of mine, who happens to be a federal judge, imagined what Griffin would have said: "Boy," he imagined him drawling, [pronouncing it "Bwa"], "Boy, you thought being in that PIT was bad..."

Melissa Fay Greene, author of Last Man Out: The Story of the Springhill Mine Disaster, the compelling story of a group of men who spent nine days trapped inside a coal mine at Springhill, Nova Scotia, that collapsed on 23 Octover 1958, trapping 174 miners underground; 75 died.

Source: Melissa Fay Greene Etude: New Voices in Literary Nonfiction

Reference: Last Man Out: The Story of the Springhill Mine Disaster by Melissa Fay Greene

...The story gets interesting after the rescue of 19 men, who are subsequently exploited by various factions, including the media and the public relations aide to a segregationist U.S. governor, who arranges to fly the survivors and their families to a beach resort the governor's state is looking to promote.  The presumed PR goes horribly awry when it's learned that one miner is black, as are his 12 children...

Excerpted from a book review in Publishers Weekly

I name this ship Queen Mary 2.  May God bless her and all who sail in her.

Queen Elizabeth II as she officially launched Queen Mary 2, the world's longest, widest, highest and largest cruise liner, on 8 January 2004 in Southampton, England.  The Queen blessed the ship in the traditional way by breaking a bottle of champagne against its hull.  QM2 was built in France for the historic Cunard Line, founded in 1839 by Samuel Cunard of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  It was the first time in more than thirty years that a new trans-Atlantic liner had been launched and the first time since 1967 that the Queen had christened a ship.  About 2000 invited guests attended the ceremony.  Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen toured the 150,000-tonne liner that stands as tall as a 23-storey building.  It is twice the size of her predecessor, the Queen Elizabeth II, which was launched in 1967.  QM2 carries 2620 passengers.  It has six restaurants, five swimming pools, a theatre, a cinema and a swimming pool.  Cunard Line Limited is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carnival Corporation, the world's biggest cruise line.  Carnival Corp. is incorporated in Panama, with its head office in Miami, Florida.

No transoceanic navigational undertaking has been conducted with more ability, no business dealings have been crowned with greater success.  In twenty-six years Cunard ships have made 2,000 Atlantic crossings without so much as a voyage canceled, a delay recorded, a man, a craft, or even a letter lost.

Jules Verne in Chapter One, 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas, published 1869.  Translated from the original French by Frederick P. Walter.

No one is unaware of the name of that famous English shipowner, Cunard.  In 1840 this shrewd industrialist founded a postal service between Liverpool and Halifax, featuring three wooden ships with 400-horsepower paddle wheels and a burden of 1,162 metric tons.  Eight years later, the company's assets were increased by four 650-horsepower ships at 1,820 metric tons, and in two more years, by two other vessels of still greater power and tonnage.  In 1853 the Cunard Company, whose mail-carrying charter had just been renewed, successively added to its assets the Arabia, the Persia, the China, the Scotia, the Java, and the Russia, all ships of top speed and, after the Great Eastern, the biggest ever to plow the seas.  So in 1867 this company owned twelve ships, eight with paddle wheels and four with propellers.

Throughout its existence, the Blue Riband was won by a total of 35 ocean liners, of these, twenty-five were British, three were American, five were German, one was Italian and one was French.  Of all the shipping companies whose ships won the Blue Riband, the highest total was 14 ships, belonging to the Cunard line.

Queens of the Sea: The Golden Age of Ocean Liners by Shahan Cheong of Melbourne, Australia.

Source: Queens of the Sea: The Golden Age of Ocean Liners

Slide #24
Nova Scotia Quotes: Major North Atlantic steamship disasters before 1912
Major North Atlantic steamship disasters before 1912

Source— Slide 24: Disaster List

Here's a ledger the accountants didn't keep.  I've listed only the major deaths on Atlantic steamship lines, to capital ships, or we'd be here all night.  The question of safety of design was really the least of it – a lot of these ships were lost in disasters like going onto rocks, that no design would have survived.  Speed was a major competitive advantage, and also a matter of great pride, so they often went at full speed in bad weather.  Everyone wanted to fly the coveted Blue Riband, signifying the current record-holder for the crossing.

You will note that the Cunard line is not mentioned here.  They are the good guys in this story: Samuel Cunard, (born in Halifax, Canada, in 1790) and all his successors were adamant that speed was important, but could be sacrificed to safety – it's all in the nuance of how you instruct your captains.  They were the classic Victorian British: stodgy, careful, conservative.  The line (which started operating in 1840) survives to this day, and has yet to lose a passenger to a wreck in peacetime. (boldface emphasis added)

An American line run by Edward Knight Collins in the 1850s was the opposite.  They briefly seized half of Cunard's business by beating them with glamour and speed.  They drove their ships near to breakdown, wasting fuel to cut half a day off the trip.  Newspapers lionized them and made fun of stodgy old Cunard.  In 1854, the Collins steamer Arctic had a collision running at full speed in the fog, and only 52 of 330 on board survived.  Among the dead were Collins' wife, son and daughter...

Source— Risk Management by Roy Brander, presented to the National Defense Industrial Association Conference, Vancouver, 29 February 2000

We are entirely unacquainted with the cost of a steamboat, and would not like to embark in a business of which we are quite ignorant.

Samuel Cunard, in a letter dated at Halifax, October 28th, 1829.  The letter, declining an offer to participate in a steamship enterprise, addressed to Messrs. Ross and Primrose of Pictou, Nova Scotia, and signed S. Cunard and Company, as quoted in Spanning the Atlantic, (a history of the Cunard Steamhip Company) by F. Lawrence Babcock, published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1931.  Ten years later, in 1839, Samuel Cunard established the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company — usually known as the Cunard Line — principally to carry the Royal Mail to Canada and the USA.  Cunard's company operated independently and continuously for 131 years, until 1971, when it was taken over by Trafalgar House PLC.  In 1996, Trafalgar House, parent company of Cunard, was bought by the Norwegian business group Kvaerner for £850,000,000.  In 1998, it was taken over by Carnival Cruise Lines of Miami.

The Cunard Steamship Company is planning to place orders in the United States for 114 passenger steam ships, at a cost of $120,000,000, according to an announcement by the company's agents in Philadelphia on April 1st, 1917.  The new ships, it was said, will mostly be from 8,000 to 17,000 tons in size.

Flashback (25 Years Ago) in The Halifax Herald, 1 April 1942.

Work started in a French shipyard yesterday [16 January 2002] on the world's biggest cruise liner — Queen Mary 2, a345-metre-long behemoth that will cocoon 2,620 passengers in 1930s luxury with modern high-tech underpinnings.  Pamela Conover, president of Miami-based Cunard Line, was on hand as the keel of the 150,000-tonne vessel was laid by Chantiers de l'Atlantique workers in the port city of St. Nazaire, western France.  The new $1,200,000,000 ship is Cunard's first luxury liner to be built in a generation.  She will be the fourth in the dynasty launched by the British company in the 1930s, with the first Queen Mary, and continued with Queen Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth 2. But her origins go even further back to Britannia, built in 1840 for Canadian businessman Samuel Cunard to carry mail between Britain and North America.  When finished, Queen Mary 2 will be the height of a 23-storey building and will contain some of the most luxurious accomodations ever seen afloat... There will be 1,250 crew members...

News item: "Construction Begins on World's Largest Luxury Cruise Ship," in the National Post, 17 January 2002.  (Boldfaced emphasis added)

Cunard is a luxury brand (in the cruise-ship business) with new ships worth US$1.2-billion on order, including Queen Mary 2, which will be the largest passenger vessel ever built... When it enters service in January 2004, Queen Mary 2 will be the first transatlantic liner built in more than three decades, (with accomodations for) 2,620 passengers...

News item in the National Post, 28 May 2002

Carnival's Cunard Line is a unique, global, internationally recognized premium and luxury cruise operator that provides a sophisticated, upscale cruise experience aboard its vessels, Caronia and the world famous Queen Elizabeth 2.  Cunard currently has under construction two new vessels; the 150,000 gross-registered-ton Queen Mary 2, which will be the world's largest passenger ship and the first transatlantic liner constructed in more than three decades, scheduled to enter service in January 2004, and an as-yet-unnamed 85,000-ton ship scheduled for delivery in January 2005.  These two vessels represent a $1,200,000,000 investment in the future of Cunard Line and demonstrate Carnival's full commitment to growing this world recognized brand...

Carnival Corporation press release, 27 May 2002
(see archive below)

Cunard Line Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carnival Corporation, the world's biggest cruise line.  Carnival Corp. is incorporated in Panama, with its head office in Miami, Florida.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this webpage:
Cunard Heritage: Sir Samuel Cunard

Archived: 2001 April 11

Archived: 2001 December 25

Archived: 2002 June 15

Archived: 2002 December 18

Archived: 2003 June 24

These links were accessed and found to be valid on 26 February 2010.


Charles Dickens

It was like looking at Westminster through the wrong end of a telescope... the Government party said there never was such a good speech; the opposition declared there never was such a bad one...

Charles Dickens' description of the official ceremonies marking the opening of the Nova Scotia Legislature in Halifax on 20th January 1842.  Dickens was travelling from Liverpool, England, to the United States on Samuel Cunard's steamship Britannia.  Under the terms of the Admiralty contract, each trip of Cunard's transatlantic steamship service between England and the United States stopped at Halifax briefly, to refuel and to drop and pick up passengers and mail.  On this trip, Britannia happened to be in Halifax for a few hours just at the time when the Nova Scotia Legislature was starting its annual session, and Dickens seized the opportunity to go ashore and look around.  The Legislature met in Province House, only a couple of blocks from the Cunard wharf.  The complete paragraph reads as follows:

It happened to be the opening of the Legislative Council and General Assembly, at which ceremonial the forms observed on the commencement of a new Session of Parliament in England were so closely copied, and so gravely presented on a small scale, that it was like looking at Westminster through the wrong end of a telescope.  The Governor, as her Majesty's representative, delivered what may be called the Speech from the Throne.  He said what he had to say manfully and well.  The military band outside the building struck up "God Save the Queen" with great vigour before his Excellency had quite finished; the people shouted; the in's rubbed their hands; the out's shook their heads; the Government party said there never was such a good speech; the opposition declared there never was such a bad one; the Speaker and members of the House of Assembly withdrew from the bar to say a great deal among themselves and do a little: and, in short, everything went on, and promised to go on, just as it does at home upon the like occasions.

Complete text of chapter 2 of American Notes, by Charles Dickens, which contains this paragraph on the Nova Scotia Legislature.
Thanks to J. Murray Beck, who located this piece and quoted it in his book The Government of Nova Scotia, University of Toronto Press, 1957.

It is a frozen country down here — drab and desolate; a country of scrub and second growth; of rock — rock — relentless, hard, cruel-hard.  It is against rock of this sort that miners for the past week have fought and fought, grim-lipped, determined.  And they're winning their fight — inch by inch the rock is retreating...

Excerpted from the transcript of one of the live radio broadcasts made by J. Frank Willis in April 1936, from the site of the Moose River Gold Mine in Halifax County, Nova Scotia.  This was rebroadcast on 25 July 2003 by NPR (United States National Public Radio) in an audio documentary titled People in Holes.  "History tells us that the public will always respond to stories about people trapped in holes..." People in Holes is available online, in RealAudio format.  The above excerpt, recorded live as Frank Willis delivered it, appears 2 minutes 35 seconds into this audio documentary.  A second clip, by Willis, appears 3 minutes 10 seconds in.  These clips, especially the first, give us an idea why Frank Willis' special reporting style turned the Moose River disaster into the biggest radio story in North America before 1940.

Source: People in Holes   Broadcast: 25 July 2003

The Frank Willis clips also appear in: Baby Jessica Anniversary   Broadcast: 18 October 2002

The most memorable CRBC program achievement was the coverage of the Moose River
Mine Disaster in April 1936 in Nova Scotia... The CRBC made Frank Willis's reports
available to all Canadian radio stations and over 650 stations in the U. S. as well
as the BBC in Great Britain...

Source: The Birth and Death of The Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (1932-1936)

Reporting live from the scene of Nova Scotia's Moose River mine disaster
in April 1936, J. Frank Willis was the CRBC's only employee east of Montreal
at the time.  Willis did 99 consecutive live five-minute radio broadcasts from
the mine site, that were carried live on 58 Canadian and 650 US radio stations.

The Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC) was the predecessor
of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (today's CBC).

Frank Willis' hourly updates jump-started the Canadian radio industry.  And his reporting style turned the Moose River disaster into the biggest radio story of the first half of the twentieth century...

Shirley Collingridge in Ten Days in Hell: The 1936 Moose River Mine Disaster

Source: Ten Days in Hell: The 1936 Moose River Mine Disaster by Shirley Collingridge

Moose River Gold Mine memorial

J. Frank Willis: biography

Many Canadians think Nova Scotia is an island and Cape Breton is a province.  Many Canadians don't know how to pronounce the words Newfoundland and Dartmouth...

Letter to the Editor, written by a resident of Oshawa, Ontario, in The Globe & Mail, 11 August 2003

Other pronunciation challenges are: Ardoise, Antigonish, Kejimkujik, Musquodoboit, Tatamagouche and Whycocomagh.

The only indication that you're any closer to your destination, a village sitting on the northernmost point of Cape Breton Island, is a sign that inspires excitement and just a little nausea: "Paved Road Ends," followed by "Meat Cove 8 km"...

As you push on that extra kilometre to the end of the road, pause atop the hill to take in the campground.  You'll see a small section of land, attached to the rest by only a thread of rock.  Sheer stone and pounding surf come skyward to meet it.  Your eyes are not deceived.  It's one of the daring campsites by the sea you have to choose from... In Meat Cove, one misstep in the night and you could know the secrets of the sea... There are no fences separating this place from the Cabot Strait, and no flat campsites either.  This is where the Appalachian Mountain chain takes its last breath before sliding into the Atlantic Ocean.  Everything is on a gradual slope.  You may wonder just what's keeping those RVs from rolling over the precipice...

Greg Bonnell writing for the Canadian Press, 22 May 2001

— Beyond the Cabot Trail: Nova Scotia's Meat Cove offers a little something different

Map showing the location of Meat Cove

View Larger Map
To adjust the map, use the pan and zoom controls in the upper left corner.

In Nova Scotia, two septuagenarians own most of Oak Island, a slice of land that has been stealing lives and millions of dollars in fruitless searches for hidden riches since 1795.  Last month, they said they would give up their treasure hunt if they found a suitable taker... (The asking price) of Oak Island: $7 million.  But island resident and co-owner Dan Blankenship, who began searching for buried treasure in 1965, said the property is worth $50 million if the buried booty — rumoured to be Captain Kidd's gold, William Shakespeare's manuscripts or France's missing crown jewels — is taken into account.  That doesn't factor in the opportunity for a new owner to die in the dig.  Six have already perished, but local lore says seven must croak before the island will cough up its secret...

Unsigned editorial in The Globe & Mail, 11 January 2003

The story of this "long trek" of two hundred miles in those days before well-developed roads, before motels, before restaurants, before insect repellants, before exact maps and before most people had wheeled vehicles and the animals to pull them, is one that needs to be celebrated to be recalled.

"The MacLeans and Their Long Walk" by Jim St. Clair in his regular weekly column "Then and Now: The Heritage of Inverness County " in The Inverness Oran, 20 October 2003.

Online source::

The "long trek" was a journey made in 1807 by some (and perhaps in 1808 by others) from the Cumberland County communities of Cape d'Or, Advocate Harbour and Fraserville to the western coast of Cape Breton. Take out your map of Nova Scotia and look for Cape d'Or, two hundred miles west from Port Hastings, at the point of land almost directly across the Minas Channel from Grand Pre and Cape Blomidon. It is at the place where Route 209 makes a sharp right angle swing in a northerly direction towards Amherst... More research needs to be done about the route followed and the circumstances of the migration. But certainly, we know that many followed the present routes which are numbered 2 and 209 along the shore. This is indeed a drive through much of Nova Scotia cultural and natural history. But it is as well the route of a great adventure for many ancestors of people now living in Inverness County. "The Long Trek" is one of the great stories of Nova Scotia, as are the stories of the journeys to New Zealand and the wanderings of the Acadians – all parts of our heritage...

Stewart:...Where's your next stand-up performance going to be?
Newhart: I go to Halifax, Canada.
Stewart: Big comedy town.
Newhart: Big comedy town.
Stewart: You know, it's always nice to go to a comedy whaling town.
Newhart: This will be my first whaling town.
Stewart: Oh really?
Newhart: So I'm a little nervous.
Stewart: I think you're going to be great.
Newhart: Yeah – and the whales will like it, I'm sure.  I'm not worried about the whales.
Stewart: It'll be tremendous.  And from there it's off to...
Newhart: To Toronto and then White Plains, New York...

Part of a conversation between Bob Newhart and Jon Stewart on Stewart's regular half-hour television program The Daily Show produced on 5 November 2003, and broadcast that evening on the Comedy Network, a cable television channel.  This exchange was seen in Nova Scotia at 12:20am and 4:20am on 6 November 2003.

Stewart:...Let me ask you this – this was the first implementation of a new doctrine of pre-emptive attacks, so, I guess this has lowered the standard of that – the standard for this pre-emptive attack should be "imminent danger".
Colbert: Jon, all standards accomplish is to set limits on what we [the United States] as a nation can do.  What really excites me about this revelation is that it actually lowers the standard for the next invasion...
Stewart:...Stephen, I don't think the international community is going to stand for that.
Colbert: Well, you know what they say, Jon – the first unjustified military action is always the hardest.  This time there was a lot of outrage, but next time the world will just say "there they go again".  And by the time we're carpet-bombing Nova Scotia, it'll seem kinda cute.  We'll be like the world's crazy uncle...

Part of a conversation between Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert on Stewart's regular half-hour television program The Daily Show produced on 29 January 2004, and broadcast that evening.  With "Senior Nuclear and Biochemical Weapons Analyst" Colbert, Stewart was discussing the testimony of David Kay, CIA former Chief U.S. Weapons Inspector, before the United States Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington, D.C., on 28 January 2004, that, after searching Iraq for months, he concluded it had no WMD (weapons of mass destruction).  This exchange was seen in Nova Scotia three times on the Comedy Network, a cable television channel, at 12:10am, 4:10am, and 6:10pm on 30 January 2004.  It was also broadcast at 12:10am on 30 January on the over-the-air television station ATV (Atlantic Television Network), the Halifax station of CanWest Global, a Canadian television network.

In Senate testimony Wednesday (January 28th), Kay said that his months of searching in Iraq had convinced him that Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction immediately before the war, and he called for an independent inquiry into why U.S. intelligence agencies were so far off the mark.
— Front page of The Washington Post, 30 January 2004

Middleton (population 1744) is a two-hour drive from Halifax.  The highway runs north through lakes and forest, then makes a sharp left, stretching west along the red mud flats of the Bay of Fundy.  Apple orchards and fields dotted with hay bales appear as the highway unfolds.  Across the valley, new metal barns, hog and poultry operations, glint in the morning sun while old wooden barns sag.  Apples in baskets and pyramids of pumpkins are stacked at roadside stands...

113 Marathon Runners, One Horse by Meg Federico, in the Personal Life column in the National Post, 2 December 2002, describing how she "entered the St. Andrew's Half Marathon in Middleton, Nova Scotia."  She quoted one of the event organizers:

"We've had up to 113 runners, well, 114 counting the horse that joined us a few years back."
The horse?
"He jumped a fence and ran pretty well in the middle of the pack.  Some fellow grabbed him around the neck.  But the horse was determined.  He broke away and ran the first eight miles.  We had to call the farmer, who took him home in a truck..."

One doesn't see from the highway the vastness of farming in the Annapolis Valley.  Ralph Stirling, whose family is one of the biggest farm operators in Nova Scotia, once took us on a tour of his apple orchards, and we drove along a single row that extended for a mile [1.6km].  And we saw acres and acres of ripened tomatoes.  During the corn harvest this year, we saw 100-acre fields being handled by machinery, with a little human help.  The carrot acreages in Kings County reach almost to the horizon.  They, too, are reaped by machinery.  Nor a shovel or pitchfork in sight.  We tried to pick carrots by hand, but they broke from the top, so firmly were they embedded in the earth.  Mobile machinery, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, moved along the rows loosening the soil and carrying the carrots along conveyor belts.  The carrots were topped by computerized machinery and dumped into huge hoppers, then driven to mammoth trucks and readied for transportation to Oxford, Cumberland County, where they would be washed and packaged for the big food chains.  It was a sight truly remarkable to me...

"Harvesting Farm Crops has Changed" by Glen Hancock, in the Kings County Advertiser, 27 November 2007.

There are few more stirring views in all of Nova Scotia than those offered after coming up from the Annapolis Valley over the North Mountain and down toward the Fundy shore on a sunny day.  As you descend, the blue of sky meeting the deeper blue of sea delights the eyes.  There are a number of roads in Kings County alone that climb out of the Valley and then fall seaward to small communities along the Bay of Fundy, places such as Scots Bay, Halls Harbour, Baxters Harbour, Canada Creek, and Morden.  But none offer a more stunning panorama than the road leading north from Berwick to Harbourville...

Scott Milsom in Harbourville: A Great Place to Run out of Gas,
Coastal Communities News, volume 8, issue 3, Jan-Feb 2003

The Wayback Machine has an archived copy of this document:
Harbourville: A Great Place to Run out of Gas
Coastal Communities News Jan-Feb 2003

Archived: 2003 February 02

Reference: Website: Harbourville, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Quotes: View northwest from Harbourville, across the Bay of Fundy
View northwest from Harbourville, across the Bay of Fundy.
Beyond Isle Haut, the New Brunswick shoreline is seen.

Photographed 9 October 2002

I've known since the day I first set foot on Canadian soil that I was home at last.  I knew it when I discovered that an old friend I'd come to visit in Nova Scotia literally had no way to lock his home from the outside.  "Lock my door?" he said, astounded.  "Suppose somebody came by while I was away: How would they get in?"

Spider Robinson, describing how he came to the decision to apply for Canadian citizenship, in his "I'm Canajun now, says Citizen Keen," in The Globe & Mail, 7 September 2002; reprinted in the Halifax Sunday Herald, 27 October 2002.

"Citizen Keen" is derived from Orson Welles' great film "Citizen Kane".

Two generations ago, I suspect there wouldn't have been a locked door in the village, and that's even when people went away for the weekend.  I'm afraid those days are numbered.

Philip Milo, a member of the Annapolis County Municipal Council, as quoted in The Valley Today (daily newspaper) 2 January 2007 in a story about the murder on 23 December 2006 of the bartender at the Royal Canadian Legion in Lawrencetown, Annapolis County.

We're going to have to start locking our doors...

Annette Dumbrell, president of the Royal Canadian Legion in Lawrencetown, Annapolis County, as quoted in The Valley Today (daily newspaper) 2 January 2007 in a story about the murder on 23 December 2006 of the Legion bartender.

I expect some morning to open my windows at Versailles and see the walls of Louisbourg rising above the western horizon.

Louis XV, King of France from September 1715 to May 1774, commenting on the enormous expense of the ambitious fortress being built at his command on an island off the east coast of North America.  In the 1700s the best — fastest, easiest, lowest cost — route between Europe and central North America was along the St. Lawrence River, and Louisbourg, the largest fortress in North America in the 1750s, commanded the approach through the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  There is little doubt that this is the most famous Nova Scotia quotation of all time.  It has appeared many times in many places, including the National Post, 13 December 2000.

On the southeast side of Cape Breton Island, in a very commanding position, was a small town which had been known as English Harbour, but which in the many vicissitudes of Acadia had passed into the hands of the French and had been by them christened Louisburg, after the king.  After the treaty of Utrecht, the French refused to surrender Cape Breton Island on the ground that the name "Acadia" applied only to Nova Scotia in the strictest sense, excluding the adjacent islands.  About 1720 the French began fortifying this place, and went on until they had spent a sum equivalent to more than $10,000,000 of our modern (1902) money, and had made it one of the strongest places in the world, scarcely surpassed by Quebec or Gibraltar.  With reference to Canada, France, and the West Indies, this place occupied a central position.  It blocked the way to any English ascent of the St. Lawrence, such as had been attempted in 1690 and 1711, and it afforded an admirable base of supplies from which a powerful French squadron might threaten Boston or any other English city upon the Atlantic coast...

Chapter VII of New France and New England by John Fiske, published in 1902 by Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, Boston and New York.

Source: Classics of American Colonial History
Dinsmore Documentation, Westfield, Massachusetts

John Fiske (1842-1901) graduated from Harvard in 1863, and from Harvard law school in 1865. He was made lecturer on philosophy at Harvard in 1869, and instructor in history in 1870.

Some twenty-five years ago [about 1878-1880], when we were rebuilding the eastern transept of Harvard College Library, I discovered in a gloomy corner an iron cross about thirty inches in height, which had stood in the market-place at Louisburg and was brought to Cambridge [Massachusetts] as a trophy. I thought it a pity to hide such a thing, so I had it gilded and set up over the southern entrance to the library, where it remained several years, until one night some silly vandals, presumed to be students, succeeded in detaching this heavy mass of iron and carrying it away. Fortunately it has since been returned, and is now in the library.

Before the treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, which resulted in the cession of all of Acadia by the French Government to England, the present Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and at least all of that part of Maine that was east of the Kennebec River [Bangor] were collectively called Acadia.  Article XII of this treaty declared that the most Christian King of France ceded to the Queen of England in perpetuity Acadia or Nova Scotia entire, according to its "ancient boundaries"...

No one concerned in the making of this treaty appears to have had any intelligent conception of what the "ancient boundaries" of Acadia were, and from the indefiniteness regarding them disputed questions of boundary immediately arose. The two governments once agreed to settle the contentions by commissioners of the two powers, but their meetings were delayed from time to time for forty years, and then their discussion ended in the Seven Years War...

The fact that ancient Acadia, by treaty and conquest, passed nine times between England and France in the period of 127 years, and that none of these events conclusively decided what were its actual boundary lines, would seem to clearly demonstrate the general confusion and misunderstanding that existed during all of Sebastian Rale's time [1657-1724] regarding the whereabouts of these lines...

John Francis Sprague in his book Sebastian Rale: A Maine Tragedy of the Eighteenth Century, Heintzemann Press, Boston, 1906

Source: Sebastian Rale: A Maine Tragedy of the Eighteenth Century
Androscoggin Historical Society

THAT the most Christian King shall take care to have delivered to the Queen of Great Britain, on the Same Day that the Ratifications of this Treaty shall be exchanged, Solemn and authentic Letters and Instruments, by Virtue whereof it shall appear, that the Island of St. Christophers is to be possessed alone hereafter by British Subjects; Likewise all Nova Scotia or Acadia with its ancient Boundries; as also the City of Port Royal, now called Annapolis-Royal, and all other Things in those Parts which depend on the said Lands and Islands; together with the Dominion, Property, and Possession of the said Islands, Lands and Places, and all Right whatsoever by Treaties, or by any other way obtained, which the Most Christian King, the Crown of France or any the Subjects thereof have hitherto had to the said Islands, Lands and Places, and the Inhabitants of the same are yielded and made over to the Queen of Great Britain and to her Crown forever as the most Christian King does at present yield and make over all the Particulars abovesaid, and that in such Ample Manner and Form, that the Subjects of the most Christian King shall hereafter be excluded from all Kinds of Fishing in the Seas, Bays and other Places on the Coast of Nova Scotia, that is to say, on those which lie towards the East within thirty Leagues, beginning from the Island Commonly called Sable inclusively, and thence stretching along towards South-West.

Article XII of the Treaty of Utrecht, signed on 11 April 1713

Although the Treaty of Breda restored Acadie to France in 1667, there was still a dispute over just what territory was involved... In 1676, the Dutch named Cornelius Steenwyck governor of the "coasts and countries of Nova Scotia and Acadie," but nothing ever came of it...

Jim Bradshaw in "Treaty of Breda gave no definition of 'Acadie'",
Lafayette, Louisiana, Daily Advertiser, 23 February 1999

Source: Treaty of Breda gave no definition of 'Acadie'
Lafayette, Louisiana Daily Advertiser, 23 February 1999

The same quote appears here: Treaty of Breda gave no definition of 'Acadie'

And here: Treaty of Breda gave no definition of 'Acadie'

Cornelius van Steenwyck was Mayor of New York for three
one-year terms, 1668-1670. When he died in 1688, he was
one of the richest men in New York.  The inventory of his
estate takes fourteen pages to list the properties he owned
and sixteen pages to list the people who owed him money.

The Dutch in August 1674 with a ship under Captain Jurriaen Aernoutsz attacked the French fort and military headquarters of Pentagouet in Penobscot bay (Acadia) which surrendered to them after a two hours siege, then they sailed to the Saint John River were they conquered another French fort (Jemseg), this conquest was short-lived, Aernoutsz claimed all Acadia as a Dutch colony, but when he left the forts in search of reinforcements, the Dutch garrison was routed by an expedition of New Englanders.

In 1676 the Dutch Government... named Cornelis Steenwyck Governor of the Coasts and Countries of Nova Scotia and Acadia, but at that time he had only the title and not the land.

Source: Acadia was also Dutch! This is a curious history
The Dutch and Swedish settlements in North America

In America, under the terms of the Peace of Paris in 1763, Britain secured Canada, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, and the adjoining islands, and the right to navigate the Mississippi, important for Red Indian trade.  In the West Indies, Grenada, St. Vincent, Dominica, and Tobago were acquired.  From Spain she received Florida.

A History of the English Speaking Peoples, Volume Three: The Age of Revolution, by Winston S. Churchill, McClelland & Stewart, 1957.

His Majesty... has thought it proper that the Province of Nova Scotia should be divided into two parts...

King George III in Council at the Court at St. James's, the 18th day of June, 1784

...a great Number of your Majesty's loyal Subjects who have been driven from their Habitations within the revolted Colonies having taken refuge in the Province of Nova Scotia, and settled upon the Banks of the Rivers St. John and St. Croix, and the country adjacent, with a considerable Body of disbanded soldiers who must of course be put to great inconvenience in having recourse to the Courts of Justice by their distance from the present Seat of Government at Halifax, and His Majesty having taken the same into His Royal Consideration has thought it proper that the Province of Nova Scotia should be divided into two parts...

...That the part of the Province of Nova Scotia remaining, should have annexed to it the Islands of Cape Breton and St. John...

Complete text of the Order in Council Separating New Brunswick from Nova Scotia, 18 June 1784

No law of the Nova Scotia Legislature passed prior to the erection of the Province of New Brunswick has any force in the province of New Brunswick.

Section 6 of The Interpretation Act (of New Brunswick)

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
Interpretation Act, New Brunswick

Archived: 1999 February 22

Archived: 2001 February 9

Archived: 2001 November 17

I, Benjamin Franklin, of Philadelphia, printer, late Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America to the Court of France, now President of the State of Pennsylvania, do make and declare my last will and testament as follows: — To my son, William Franklin, late Governor of the Jerseys, I give and devise all the lands I hold or have a right to, in the province of Nova Scotia, to hold to him, his heirs, and assigns forever. I also give to him all my books and papers, which he has in his possession, and all debts standing against him on my account books, willing that no payment for, nor restitution of, the same be required of him, by my executors. The part he acted against me in the late war, which is of public notoriety, will account for my leaving him no more of an estate he endeavoured to deprive me of...

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this twenty-third day of June, Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
B. Franklin.

The Last Will and Testament of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

January 1st, 1765 — An agreement was signed by Benjamin Franklin to have four Townships in Nova Scotia alloted to him and his partners. His agent, Anthony Wayne, set sail for Nova Scotia to acquire the grant. (Nova Scotia then included the region now known as New Brunswick.) It was up to Franklin to acquire settlers to develop these lands.
Online source

William Franklin was the last royal governor of New Jersey.

Planters were not the first privateers in Nova Scotia, as the trade had deep roots, going back to French privateers operating from Port Royal as early as the 1690s and later from Louisbourg. Halifax also fielded a considerable number of privateers in the Seven Years War. It is, however, the Planter families who settled in Liverpool in the 1760s who produced the most successful privateers in the British North American colonies... In the peak years, the scale of privateering was impressive as Liverpool, Nova Scotia, became a hive of supply, organization, and dispersal for private sea warfare. Small squadrons of privateers, sometimes with as many as three ships and 250 men, put to sea to scour the Caribbean for up to six months. They attacked four Spanish forts, fought sharp battles with French privateers, chased enemy crews and cargoes on land into jungles, and established island repair bases thousands of miles from home. To feed their large crews, cattle drives crossed the province from the Annapolis Valley. Bakeries in Shelburne, Lunenburg, Halifax, and even as far away as New York and Quebec City were put to work making bread.

Large amounts of gunpowder, scores of cannons, and hundreds of muskets and cutlasses flowed into the town. Indeed, so many sword blades were imported to Liverpool that Halifax customs officials in 1798 briefly held up their shipment, alarmed that something nasty might be brewing. Privateer ships and their prizes seriously crowded the port of Liverpool, requiring new wharves and warehouses. Auctions of captured ships attracted schooner-loads of Halifax's wealthiest merchants...

Excerpted from They Plundered Well: Planters as Privateers, 1793-1805, by Daniel Conlin, Curator of Marine History, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and published in Planter Links: Culture and Community in Colonial Nova Scotia, edited by Margaret Conrad and Barry Moody and published by Acadiensis Press, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton.

...On the eighth of August 1776, the president of Congress personally presented a commission to me as captain in the U. S. Navy. It was the first that the Congress had granted since the Declaration of Independence on the preceding fourth of July.

Congress had ordered the construction of 13 frigates, but because none of them was ready, I was ordered to put to sea alone and to engage the enemy in the manner I judged most favorable to the interests of the United States. The Providence was a lightly armed ship carrying only 70 men and 12 small cannon.

Near the Bermuda Islands I encountered the frigate Solebay of 32 guns with a convoy. She was part of Admiral Parker's squadron which had been defeated and driven from Charleston; she was bound for New York. I wanted to avoid an engagement with such a superior force but my officers and crew stubbornly insisted that it was the fleet from Jamaica, and as it was necessary at this point in the war to command by persuasion, the result was a serious engagement lasting six hours, which at the end was carried out at pistol range. An audacious maneuver being my only recourse, I tried it with success and disengaged myself.

Soon thereafter I took some important prizes and afterward sailed toward the coast of Acadia [Nova Scotia] to destroy the whale and cod fisheries there.

Near Sable Island I encountered the Milford, an enemy frigate of 32 guns, with which it was impossible to avoid an engagement. We cannonaded each other from 10 o'clock in the morning until sunset, but the battle was neither as close nor as hot as that with the Solebay. At length I disengaged by passing the flats of the island, and the next day I entered the port of Canso where I did indeed destroy fisheries and shipping.

The morning of the following day I set sail for Isle de Madame where I made two raids, destroying the fisheries and burning all of the vessels that I could not carry away. This expedition took place during stormy weather and on a dangerous coast, heavily populated with residents and in a ready state of defense, but I had the good fortune to succeed despite all of these obstacles.

From there I sailed to Rhode Island, where I arrived six weeks and five days after my departure from the Delaware. During that time I had taken 16 prizes, not counting the vessels that were destroyed.

The commander in chief, who had not put to sea since the expedition of the Providence, then adopted a plan which I had proposed to him. This was, first, to destroy the enemy's coal vessels and fisheries at Isle Royale [Cape Breton Island]. Second, to release more than 300 American citizens who were imprisoned in the coal mines. Three vessels were designated for this service, the Alfred, the Hampden, and the Providence; but the Hampden, damaged when grounding on a rock, could not accompany me.

On November 2, 1776, I continued on my route with the Alfred, which I commanded, accompanied only by the Providence. Off the coast of Acadia I captured a vessel from Liverpool and immediately after, on the latitude of Louisbourg, I took the Mellish, a large armed vessel, having on board two English naval officers and an army captain with a company of soldiers. The Mellish was carrying 2,000 complete sets of uniforms to Canada for the army posted there under the command of Generals Carleton and Burgoyne.

The Providence then became separated from the Alfred during the night for no reason whatsoever. I was left alone, and during the bad season, on the enemy coast; but despite being embarrassed by my prizes and prisoners, I did not want to abandon my project. I made one raid on the coast of Acadia and burned a transport vessel of great value that the enemy had run aground on the beach. I also burned the warehouses and some whaling and codfishing vessels; there was a great quantity of oil consumed, too, with the warehouses.

I then captured, near Isle Royale, three transports and a fourth transport loaded with codfish and furs. I learned from one of these ships that the harbors of Isle Royale were closed by ice, which made the expedition I was planning impractical. These prizes had been escorted by the frigate Flora, then close by but hidden from view by fog. The next day I captured a privateer from Liverpool carrying 16 cannon; I then made sail to bring my prizes to some United States port...

From Extracts from the Journals of my Campaigns by Paul Jones, (usually known as John Paul Jones) written in 1785 and first published in French; translated to English and published in the United States in the early 1800s.

Online source: Extracts from the Journals of my Campaigns

Gentlemen of the Council and House of Assembly: I Have the Satisfaction of acquainting you, that, since your last meeting, the Success which has attended the King's Forces, affords a Prospect of Peace being soon restored to his Majesty's American Dominions, and that those unhappy People, who deluded and misled, have been contending for certain Slavery and Oppression, will be relieved from a Train of Miseries, which they have brought on themselves during this obstinate Contest.

As to this Province, I have in general, received many Testimonies from the Inhabitants of their Disposition to continue in Duty and Allegiance to the King, and every Thing has remained quiet, except at Cumberland, where an Insurrection has been excited by a few desperate People, who sollicited and gained Assistance from New England, and were joined by some Indians from St. John's River, but their attempts were soon frustrated, and themselves dispersed, by the timely Aid sent from the Commanders of the King's Forces in this province; most of the Inhabitants who had been concerned in this daring Enterprize soon laid down their Arms and submitted, and from the Reliance I have on the loyal and firm Attachment of the Settlers from Yorkshire, and some other well disposed Persons, every Thing will remain Quiet...

Marriott Arbuthnot, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, addressing the House of Assembly in Halifax on Friday June 6th, 1777, as reported in the Journals and Votes of the House of Assembly for the Province of Nova Scotia, 1777, (spelling and capitalization as printed).
— Source: Early Canadiana Online (formerly CIHM)

The "obstinate Contest" was the war we know as the American Revolution (1775-1783).  Arbuthnot's view that there was "a Prospect of Peace being soon restored to his Majesty's American Dominions" turned out to be overly optimistic.  The "Insurrection" in Cumberland refers to the Eddy Rebellion in November 1776 at Fort Beausejour, a couple of miles north of present-day Amherst, Nova Scotia.  His reference to "some Indians from St. John's River" refers to the area now known as Baie Verte, on the Northumberland Strait shore of the Isthmus of Chignecto.

Many cases could be given of the lower beds of a formation having been upraised, denuded, submerged, and then re-covered by the upper beds of the same formation, facts, showing what wide, yet easily overlooked, intervals have occurred in its accumulation.  In other cases we have the plainest evidence in great fossilised trees, still standing upright as they grew, of many long intervals of time and changes of level during the process of deposition, which would never even have been suspected, had not the trees chanced to have been preserved: thus, Messrs Lyell and Dawson found carboniferous beds 1400 feet 430m thick in Nova Scotia, with ancient root-bearing strata, one above the other, at no less than sixty-eight different levels.  Hence, when the same species occur at the bottom, middle, and top of a formation, the probability is that they have not lived on the same spot during the whole period of deposition, but have disappeared and reappeared, perhaps many times, during the same geological period...

On the Imperfection of the Geological Record, a chapter in the book "Origin of Species," by Charles Darwin, original edition published in November 1859 by John Murray, Albemarle Street, London, England.

There are numerous online sources – some noted below – which supply the text, including the above quote, of On the Imperfection of the Geological Record (Chapter 9 or 10, depending on the edition)

"Messrs Lyell and Dawson"
Darwin referred to Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875) of England and
Sir John William Dawson (1820-1899) of Pictou, Nova Scotia.

See John William Dawson (1820-1899).

Also see: John William Dawson (1820-1899)

...the finest example in the world of a natural exposure in a continuous section ten miles [about fifteen kilometres] long, occurs in the sea-cliffs bordering a branch of the Bay of Fundy, in Nova Scotia.  These cliffs, called the "South Joggins," which I first examined in 1842, and afterwards with Dr. Dawson in 1845, have lately been admirably described by the last-mentioned geologist in detail, and his evidence is most valuable as showing how large a portion of this dense mass was formed on land, or in swamps where terrestrial vegetation flourished, or in fresh-water lagoons.  (Acadian Geology second edition 1868.)  His computation of the thickness of the whole series of carboniferous strata as exceeding three miles [5 km], agrees with the measurement made independently by Sir William Logan in his survey of this coast...

Sir Charles Lyell in his 1871 book The Student's Elements of Geology

There are numerous online sources – some noted below – which supply the text, including the above quote, of The Student's Elements of Geology:

After Charles Lyell visited the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, his impressions influenced a young Charles Darwin.  The place where the fossil record documents evolution in action has since been dubbed a "coal age Galapagos."  Now the site is inspiring a current genration of geologists, architects and community leaders who have made the world take notice, once again...  A few days after the Joggins Fossil Cliffs were named a UNESCO world heritage was just the four of us stumbling over the rocky shoreline on the beach below the fossil cliffs.  Our eyes were peeled down at our sneakers and at the soaring, terracotta cliffs for evidence of life 360 to 300 million years ago.  The 13-year-old amongst us was the most eagle-eyed, spotting fossils where I only saw rocks: one with bark from the Lepidodendron tree that looked like dragon's skin and a chunk of fossilized tree root called Stigmaria.  With a cry of delight, he drew our attention to the delicate outline of a pair of ferns – Alethoperis – etched into a massive boulder where we had paused for a breather.  UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) hails the 14-kilometre stretch of sea cliffs, low bluffs and wave-cut platforms as a unique recoed of the Carboniferous period, when coal deposits were formed from the lush, abundant wegetation.  Today, the place is chilly and windswept even in summer, but waaaaaay back then, when the Earth had one big continent and Nova Scotia sidled up to Morocco near the equator, it was hot and humid...  Joggins is unique in the world because it lays out an entire ancient landscape and the creatures that inhabited it: Arthropleura, the largest terrestrial invertebrate in our world's history; Hylonomus lyelli, the first reptile; and Dendropupa vetusta, the earliest land snail, the discovery of which Charles Darwin would later describe in The Origin of Species.  Joggins represents an evolutionary milestone, documenting when vertebrates, such as Hylonomus lyelli, emerged from the water to live on land.  Unlike its amphibian cousins, reptiles no longer need to return to the water to breed...

"Fossil Record" by Marilyn Smulders in Dalhousie magazine, v25 n2 Fall 2008

Joggins Fossil Cliffs Wikipedia

The reptile fossil Hylonomus lyelli is declared to be the Provincial Fossil of the Province.

Provincial Fossil Act chapter 11 of the 2002 Acts of the Nova Scotia Legislature

Nova Scotia's provincial fossil, Hylonomus lyelli is the oldest known reptile in the world.

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs, a 689 ha palaeontological site along the coast of Nova Scotia (eastern Canada), have been described as the "coal age Galapagos" due to their wealth of fossils from the Carboniferous period (354 to 290 million years ago).  The rocks of this site are considered to be iconic for this period of the history of Earth and are the world's thickest and most comprehensive record of the Pennsylvanian strata (dating back 318 to 303 million years) with the most complete known fossil record of terrestrial life from that time.  These include the remains and tracks of very early animals and the rainforest in which they lived, left in situ, intact and undisturbed.  With its 14.7 km of sea cliffs, low bluffs, rock platforms and beach, the site groups remains of three ecosystems: estuarine bay, floodplain rainforest and fire prone forested alluvial plain with freshwater pools.  It offers the richest assemblage known of the fossil life in these three ecosystems with 96 genera and 148 species of fossils and 20 footprint groups.  The site is listed as containing outstanding examples representing major stages in the history of Earth.

UNESCO press release, 7 July 2008


Last season was by far the hardest ever to buy steer oxen.  I looked for a long time for this team.  The demand is now for the ones without horns, so soon these animals will all be gone.  I don't think you will see any in ten years' time.

Annapolis County farmer Fred McGill, as quoted in The Regional, 21 May 2002 (reprinted in the Halifax Sunday Herald, 30 June 2002).  Mr. McGill, a keeper and trainer of oxen for 25 years, bought a pair of oxen last fall for his brother, and says he was lucky to find them.  He said this particular breed of animal is dying off, because farmers are now breeding oxen without their characteristic large wide-span horns.  McGill's team is seven years old and together they weigh 1450 kilograms 3200 pounds.  They are named Bright and Lyon.  Mr. McGill, whose farm is on McGill Road just east of Middleton in Annapolis County, isn't sure why those names stuck but it has been a tradition in western Nova Scotia for generations.  The going price for a pair of oxen is about $3500 to $5000.

In 2002 (and continuing until mid-2005) The Regional was a weekly newspaper published by Kentville Publishing – a division of Cameron Publications, New Minas – and distributed as an enclosure in the Kentville Advertiser, the Windsor Hants Journal, the Berwick Register, the Middleton Mirror-Examiner, the Bridgetown Monitor, the Annapolis Spectator, and the Digby Courier. Mr. McGill said:

Ninety-nine percent of oxen's names are the same.  If you ask ten different farmers they'll all have Bright and Lyon.  Mine are named Bright and Lyon too...

Nova Scotia Quotes: William Meisner with Lion and Bright, oxen, 1945
William "Willie" Meisner with Lion and Bright, circa 1945
Source: The Blandford and Area Historical Society
Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia

Most families in our community owned a pair of oxen or a single ox.  Lion and Bright were the favourite names for a team...

Beasts of Burden, The Days of Oxen in Blandford written in August 1999 by Lily M. Zinck, Blandford.

You'd think after eighty years of going to the South Shore Exhibition that Lawrence Wentzell would have had enough.  But no.  The retired Auburndale lumberjack, who's never missed a year since 1922, is as keen about being at Bridgewater's annual fair this week as he was as a young lad when he made the trip to town with his father and a team of oxen.  "We walked in those days.  There were no trucks or trailers," Mr. Wentzell, 86, said Monday [22 July 2002] as he sat on a bench in the dairy barn.  The seven-kilometre trek from Auburndale with Bright and Lion took almost two hours.  The oxen hauled a wagon loaded with hay to last the four days of what was then the Lunenburg County Exhibition and enough food for Nicholas Wentzell and his six-year-old son.  In the 1920s, farmers and their children never left the exhibition grounds and used to sleep in wooden bunkhouses by the barns.

Page A1, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 23 July 2002

The bright-eyed team was quiet but attentive.  Each one weighs about 1200 pounds (545 kilograms).  Their names, like the names of practically every other team of oxen in the province, are Lion and Bright...

Ox-driving newbie learns how to hoof it,
Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 1 February 2012

It seems upon their arrival in Halifax, many of the [troops] were obliged to Incamp, although the ground was covered deep with Snow; and the [civilian Loyalists] to pay Six dollars a week for sorry upper Rooms, and stow in them Men, Women, & Children as thick (comparatively) as the hair upon their heads.

Excerpted from a four-page letter written by George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, on 9 May 1776 to Charles Lee, his third-in-command.  The remarkably detailed letter discusses the British evacuation of Boston, a successful campaign in Charleston and the aftermath of the battle of White Plains, the controversial resignations of Continental Generals Artemas Ward and Joseph Frye, and the harsh treatment received by Boston Loyalists when they arrived in Halifax.  The letter, with other historic documents, was sold at auction on 22 January 2005 by Sotheby's in New York.  The hammer price, including the premium to cover the auctioneer's fee, was US$174,000 for this letter alone.  Washington's comment, paraphrased in modern language, said that Haligonians confined the British troops to outdoor camps in winter weather, and packed the civilian Loyalist refugees into overcrowded and shabby accomodations rented at exorbitant rates.

The National Post, 14 January 2005
The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 15 January 2005
The Halifax Daily News, 15 January 2005

Nova Scotia Quotes: National Post, 14 January 2005, George Washington's wrath at Halifax
George Washington's wrath at Halifax
National Post, 14 January 2005

One is reminded of the expression used by the American revolutionaries — "Hell, Hull, and Halifax."  They being happy to send the British troops and their sympathizers to any one of these three places.  I'm sure that the troops and the families that came in to Halifax that April of 1776 would have preferred Hull, and likely would have easily equated the other two places.

Peter Landry in his
History of Nova Scotia, Book #2: The Awakening of English Nova Scotia (1760-1815)
Part #2, Revolution And The 14th Colony (1760-1783)
Chapter 11 – "The Events of 1776"

Source: Footnote 5

There is a Proverbe, and a prayer withall,
That we may not to these strange places fall,
From Hull, from Halifax, from Hell, 'tis thus,
From all these three, good Lord, deliver us...

Thieves Litany by John Taylor (1580-1654)

Hell needs no explanation; Hull and Halifax were the last places in Yorkshire to have a gibbet. Halifax is small rural town in West Yorkshire, England.  The allusion is to the Halifax Gibbet Law, that the theft of goods to the value of 13 pence subjected the thief to immediate execution "by a jyn" (engine, meaning the notorious Halifax Gibbet).  John Taylor's poem, which was phrased as a thief's prayer, expressed the fervent hope of Yorkshire thieves to avoid Halifax and the acute danger of swift and severe punishment.


The phrase "Hell, Hull, and Halifax" was well-known in Yorkshire, England, in the early 1600s.  Originally, it had nothing to do with Halifax, Nova Scotia, (first settled in 1749, more than a century after the phrase entered the language).  During the American Revolution (1775-1783), when Halifax, Nova Scotia, was the North American base for the British government's military effort to defeat the revolutionaries in the breakaway Thirteen Colonies, the phrase was taken up by the revolutionaries as a way to heap scorn on their opponents.

The first Loyalists to land on Nova Scotia soil were refugees from Boston in March of 1776.  Forced to leave Boston as the British evacuated the city in the face of an invasion by General George Washington and his troops, a thousand or so of the British merchants, customs and government people hastily boarded the waiting transport ships in Boston Harbour on a blustery early spring morning in March 1776 and left for Halifax, the only British port left on the Atlantic seaboard.

Halifax, a military garrison settlement, was not prepared to receive so many civilians, and so the Loyalists were more or less left to their own devices for shelter and food.  Many stayed on board the ships, although some ventured forth and lived in a tent city which had been set up by the military on one of the many parade grounds used by the military to practice drill...

Elizabeth Barclay-Lapointe U.E., B.A. in Nova Scotia Loyalists

(Note: The quotation next below is the context in which the above appears.)

Writers such as Canada's genealogist, Angus Baxter, have stated in their works that the Loyalist exodus from New York Province in 1783 to Nova Scotia was one of the six all-time great migrations which took place on the North American continent, rivalling even the huge migration of Irish to the continent in the mid-1800's during the infamous Irish Potato Famine.

What made the Loyalist event so important to Canada is they were the first great influx of British settlement to the country, which before then had been mainly French in character.  Also, the Loyalists brought with them the American system of representative government, British laws, and a mixture of British-American social ethic which was so unlike the French system already in place.  It could be said that the Loyalists were the English counterpart of the French settlers of the seventeenth century sent to colonize the North American continent.

The first Loyalists to land on Nova Scotia soil were refugees from Boston in March of 1776.  Forced to leave Boston as the British evacuated the city in the face of an invasion by General George Washington and his troops, a thousand or so of the British merchants, customs and government people hastily boarded the waiting transport ships in Boston Harbour on a blustery early spring morning in March 1776 and left for Halifax, the only British port left on the Atlantic seaboard.

Halifax, a military garrison settlement, was not prepared to receive so many civilians, and so the Loyalists were more or less left to their own devices for shelter and food.  Many stayed on board the ships, although some ventured forth and lived in a tent city which had been set up by the military on one of the many parade grounds used by the military to practice drill.

Their stay in Halifax was short lived, for in June 1776, a message came through that the British had plans to go back to the American colonies, this time to New York City, where they would regain control of the city, and set up a centre of British government there.  The Loyalists in Halifax were given a choice – to return to their homes in England, stay in Halifax, or go to the transport ships once again and sail on to New York.  Most of them went to New York City where they made up the basis of British settlement for the next seven years, when once again, they were forced to flee back to Nova Scotia in the fear of an attack from General George Washington and his troops, the same as had happened in Boston...

The final Loyalist left New York in December of 1783...  It is estimated that 60,000 went to the colony of Nova Scotia, and 10,000 went to the colony of Quebec.

Canadians who can prove, through their ancestry, that they are directly descendant from an original Loyalist are entitled, under law in Canada, to place the letters U.E. after their name.  It is the only hereditary title in Canada...

Elizabeth Barclay-Lapointe U.E., B.A. in Nova Scotia Loyalists

The disruption of colonial society resulting from the expulsion of the Loyalists was far graver than we commonly assume.  Shiploads of excellent gentlemen, and among them the most cultivated minds in America, were driven from their firesides and sent forth to seek new homes, whether in "Hell, Hull or Halifax" mattered little to the victors.  Upward of forty thousand sought refuge in Canada; thousands more went to the Bahamas; and still other thousands returned to the old home (in Europe).

Main Currents in American Thought, 1620-1800
Book 1: American Mind 1763-1783
Chapter I: Imperial Sovereignty and Home Rule
by Vernon L. Parrington, published 1927


The United Empire Loyalists have suffered a strange fate at the hands of historians.  It is not too much to say that for nearly a century their history was written by their enemies.  English writers, for obvious reasons, took little pleasure in dwelling on the American Revolution, and most of the early accounts were therefore American in their origin.  Any one who takes the trouble to read these early accounts will be struck by the amazing manner in which the Loyalists are treated.  They are either ignored entirely or else they are painted in the blackest colours...

Within recent years, however, there has been a change...  In the United States and in England, the pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other.  In Canada it has remained stationary.  There, in the country where they settled, the United Empire Loyalists are still regarded with an uncritical veneration which has in it something of the spirit of primitive ancestor-worship.

The interest which Canadians have taken in the Loyalists has been either patriotic or genealogical; and few attempts have been made to tell their story in the cold light of impartial history, or to estimate the results which have flowed from their migration.  Yet such an attempt is worth while making – an attempt to do the United Empire Loyalists the honour of painting them as they were, and of describing the profound and far-reaching influences which they exerted on the history of both Canada and the United States.  In the history of the United States the exodus of the Loyalists is an event comparable only to the expulsion of the Huguenots from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes...

The effect of this immigration was to create two new English-speaking provinces, New Brunswick and Upper Canada (Ontario), and to strengthen the English element in two other provinces, Lower Canada (Quebec) and Nova Scotia, so that ultimately the French population in Canada was outnumbered by the English population surrounding it.  Nor should the character of this English immigration escape notice.  It was not only English; but it was also filled with a passionate loyalty to the British crown.  This fact serves to explain a great deal in later Canadian history.

Before 1783 the continuance of Canada in the British Empire was by no means assured: after 1783 the Imperial tie was well-knit...

The United Empire Loyalists: A Chronicle of the Great Migration
by W. Stewart Wallace, Toronto, 1914


The American Revolution precipitated one of the great migrations in human history, as literally tens of thousands of United Empire Loyalists fled from the United States of America into what is now Canada.  Approximately 35,000 Loyalists went to Nova Scotia, including entire Ferris families, and some 9,000 entered Quebec.  The impact was immense.  The population of peninsular (mainland) Nova Scotia was doubled; north of the Bay of Fundy, where there had been fewer than 1,750 people of European descent in 1780, 14,000 to 15,000 Loyalists dominated the new colony of New Brunswick.  Perhaps 1,000 more settled on the still sparsely peopled islands of Saint John, which became Prince Edward Island after 1798, and Cape Breton, which became a separate colony in 1784 and remained so until 1820 when it rejoined Nova Scotia.  In Upper Canada, approximately 7,000 Loyalists occupied hitherto almost empty territory at the head of Lake Erie, in the Niagara peninsula, around the Bay of Quinte and along the north shore of the St. Lawrence.

Dennis Bell in his genealogical essay The Ferris/Ferrers/Ferrieres Family
Source: The Ferris/Ferrers/Ferrieres Family

In all proceedings in any court, Sable Island shall be held to be within the County of Halifax and St. Paul Island to be within the County of Victoria, in the Province of Nova Scotia, and any person charged with committing any offence on those Islands, or on the shores, banks or bars thereof, may be proceeded against and tried as if those Islands were actually within those counties respectively.

Section 525 of the Canada Shipping Act

To go — or not to go — is that the question? / Whether 'tis best to trust the inclemency / That scowls indignant o'er the dreary Bay / Of Fundy and Cape Sable's rock and shoals, / And seek our new domains in Scotia's wilds / Barren and bare; or stay among the rebels...

From the New York Morning Post, 7 November 1783, as quoted by Carl Carmer in chapter 12 of The Hudson, published by Farrar and Rinehart, New York, 1939, (one of a series of books on the rivers of the United States).  Chapter 12 deals with the "Removal of the Hudson River Toryes to Nova Scotia".  In the early 1780s, when it had become clear to everyone that the Thirteen Colonies had succeeded in breaking away from Great Britain, the choices facing Loyalists living along the Hudson River valley were fully as bleak as described in this adaptation of Hamlet's soliloquy.

It sounds like the plot for a mystery novel.  A medal goes missing in 1910.  As wars, revolution and repression sweep Russia in its turbulent twentieth century, the medal is forgotten.  Then, ninety years later, the medal and its original mould are found in the basement of the State Mint in Moscow.  Attached is a piece of paper, stating the medal is the property of the St. Petersburg Society of Naturalists.  But the society, founded in 1868 and still in existence, disavows any knowledge of the Alexander Kowalevsky Medal — except to say it is named after Russia's leading nineteenth-century experimental biologist, a founder of modern comparative and evolutionary embryology.  The society's officers investigate, realize the medal was never awarded and decide to make up for lost time.  They seek nominations from the world's most distinguished scientists in comparative zoology and evolutionary embryology.  And, 100 years after Kowalevsky's death, the society awards the medal to eight scientists around the world.  In that small group is one Canadian – Brian Hall, a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The award recipients receive a diploma and a bronze medal cast from the original mould.  The award bears the profile of Alexander Kowalevsky on one side.  The other side depicts images of animals he worked on.

"Russian Medal an Honour and a Mystery," by Mary Somers, in Dalhousie University's The Alumni Magazine, v19 n1, Spring 2002.

Kowalevsky was extremely prominent.  His discovery, soon after Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, of the notochord in animals that had been regarded as invertebrates laid the foundation for an entirely new theory of the origin of the vertebrates.

Brian Hall, the George S. Campbell Professor of Biology at Dalhousie University, Halifax, in The Alumni Magazine, v19 n1, Spring 2002.
Biologist wins the Kowalevsky Medal

Nova Scotia Quotes: Kowalevsky Medal, front Nova Scotia Quotes: Kowalevsky Medal, back
Kowalevsky Medal, front Kowalevsky Medal, back

Alexander Kowalevsky medal
Source: St. Petersburg Society of Naturalists

The Kowalevsky Medal will be awarded for extraordinary achievements in comparative zoology and embryology to the scientists who have contributed greatly to the modern understanding of evolutionary relations between major groups of animal kingdom, the evolutionary biology of development, and modern approaches in comparative zoology.  This project of a new international award will be implemented by the Society in two stages.

First, by the end of the year 2001 the St. Petersburg Society of Naturalists intends to award several medals to honor the most distinguished scientists of the twentieth century in the field of evolutionary embryology and comparative zoology research whose life and work spanned over many years of the century.  The Society will select these most distinguished individuals based on the international nominations – over twenty nominators from different countries and diverse set of institutions will ensure a broad range of names of nominated scientists.  The final selection for the award will be based on a full list of names ranked according the number of nominations.

Second, from the year 2002 the Society intends to make this award an annual one, giving every year one medal to a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the modern understanding of evolutionary relations between major groups of animal kingdom, evolutionary developmental biology and/or modern approaches in comparative zoology.  Again, selection will be based on the international nominations.

St. Petersburg Society of Naturalists

The modern rendition of his name in English is
Aleksandr Onufrievich Kovalevskii.


It's lots of fun to blow bubbles but it's wiser to prick them yourself before someone else tries to.

Oswald Theodore Avery (1877-1955), physician, medical researcher and early molecular biologist.  He was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but the major part of his career was spent in the United States at the Rockefeller Institute Hospital, New York City.  Avery was one of the first molecular biologists and was a pioneer in immunochemistry, but he is best known for his discovery in 1944 with his co-worker Maclyn McCarty that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the material of which genes and chromosomes are made.  Previously, heredity information (genes) was thought to be stored in cells in protein molecules.  Avery's work paved the way for Watson and Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA, and thus the birth of modern genetics and molecular biology.  Nobel laureate Joshua Lederberg stated that Avery and his laboratory provided "the historical platform of modern DNA research".

Oswald Theodore Avery Wikipedia

Dr. Oswald Theodore Avery Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

The Oswald T. Avery Collection U.S. National Library of Medicine

Oswald T. Avery DNA from the Beginning (DNAFTB), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

This was a key development.  Until then, DNA had been thought to be a relatively unimportant adjunct of the proteins that served as the basis of genetics.  Now it seemed that it was DNA that was the real thing.  This led directly to a new assault on DNA and the discovery of its structure and its mode of replication by Crick and Watson.

Isaac Asimov in Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology: The Lives and Achievements of 1510 Great Scientists from Ancient Times to the Present, second revised edition, 1982, Doubleday and Company.  Dr. Asimov was describing the significance of the experiment done in New York in 1944 by Oswald Avery and his associates, that showed "that the factor was pure deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and that no protein was present."

The medical research work by Avery, McCarty and MacLeod conducted at Rockefeller University during World War Two changed the course of the world, reduced suffering and contributed immeasurably to the quality of life as we know it.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, United States Senator, in the Congressional Record, 2 February 1994

Even if nothing else had been done at this great university, this extraordinary discovery has, in my judgment, more than justified – all by itself – the great hope and aspiration of my grandfather and father when they established this institution in 1901.  It has given to the world what they hoped for: the beginning of the understanding of the inner mysteries of life and disease.

David Rockefeller, Honorary Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Rockefeller University, speaking in 1994 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Avery's 1944 experiment.
(David Rockefeller's grandfather was John Davison Rockefeller, of Standard Oil fame.)
This quote appeared in the Halifax Daily News, 28 December 2004.

Source: When Was DNA Proved to be the Chemical Basis of Heredity? Rockefeller University

Rockefeller Institute in New York showed that hereditary traits could be transmitted from one bacterial cell to another by purified DNA molecules.  Given the fact that DNA was known to occur in the chromosomes of all cells, Avery's experiments strongly suggested that future experiments would show that all genes were composed of DNA.

James Dewey Watson, in The Double Helix.  The 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded (one-third each) to Francis Harry Compton Crick, James Dewey Watson, and Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins.

Dr. Watson Kirkconnell's analysis showed that of those listed in American Men of Science, twice as many took their first degrees under Professor Horace G. Perry as under any other professor in North America.

Wolfville Civic Memorial Book, page 22.  Dr. Horace Greeley Perry (1872-1953) taught at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

The Sun is not going to change substantially for the next 200,000 years.

Dr. Arthur McDonald as reported in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 27 April 2007.  Dr. McDonald was awarded the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics on 25 April 2007, at a ceremony at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.  He is Director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Institute, and holds the Gordon and Patricia Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics at Queen's University, Ontario.  Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Dr. McDonald earned his undergraduate (1964) and master's (1965) degrees in physics from Dalhousie University in Halifax.  He graduated from Cal Tech with his Ph.D. in nuclear physics in 1969.  He worked on nuclear physics experiments at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories of Atomic Energy of Canada until 1982, when he became a professor at Princeton.  In 1989 he moved back to Canada to teach at Queen's University and to direct the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.
      Dr. McDonald is the author of more than 120 papers and his awards include: the Bonner Prize of the American Physical Society (2003), the Canadian Association of Physicists Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics (2003), the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering (2003), the Sigma Xi Fund of Canada Award for Scientific Achievement (2004), and the Bruno Pontecorvo Prize in Particle Physics (2005). 
      Dr. McDonald and his collaborators are among the pioneers in neutrino research.  They are largely responsible for the construction and research results of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, the device that "solved" the solar neutrino problem in the 1990s by successfully detecting all three different types of neutrinos for the first time and confirming that the Sun's core meets with the predictions of the theory of nuclear fusion.  Their article "Solving the Solar Neutrino Problem" in Scientific American Frontiers of Physics, Special Edition March 2005, describes this work.
      The 2007 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics was presented to Yoji Totsuka and Arthur McDonald for discovering that the three known types of elementary particles called neutrinos change into one another when traveling over sufficiently long distances, and that neutrinos have mass.
  Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics Previous winners include:
  • 1935 Albert Einstein
  • 1947 Enrico Fermi
  • 1951 James Chadwick
  • 1952 Wolfgang Pauli
  • 1959 Hans Albrecht Bethe

It bothers me when members of the media carelessly use the term "49th parallel" when referring to the dividing line between Canada and the United States.  In fact, the 49th parallel forms the border only between the U.S. and Canada's four western provinces...  More Canadians live below (south of) the 49th parallel than above it.

Tom Estabrooks, Dartmouth, letter in the Halifax Daily News, 28 December 2004

The Maritime Provinces lie far south from
latitude 49° – often called the 49th parallel.

In fact, all of the Maritime Provinces lie
south of latitude 48°.

All of Nova Scotia lies south of 47°,
except for a tiny sliver at the far north end
of Cape Breton Island.

If the most useless article, by the most useless member, of the most useless Department in the Faculty of Arts – can be justified; then it follows that ALL research done elsewhere in the Faculty is worthwhile...

Ralph Stewart in Marginal Scholarship: Lesser-known aspects of Presbyterian and Episcopalian relations in Scotland in the early 1690s, voice 4 Vol. 13.1 - Fall 2005, published by the Department of English, Acadia University.
— Source:


Michael Moore

I met with Michael Donovan in a cafe in Manhattan, and before I finished telling him about the film I wanted to make, he said, "I want to do it.  I'll raise the money and fund it."

Flint, Michigan, film-maker Michael Moore, as quoted in the Halifax Daily News, 17 September 2002.  Moore was telling how Halifax producer Michael Donovan and Salter Street Films had provided crucial support for Bowling for Columbine, Moore's first feature film in five years.  This 122-minute documentary had its world premiere at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, winning the 55th Anniversary Prize, and was the only film the jury agreed on unanimously.  This was the only documentary in 45 years to be accepted by the Cannes Film Festival.  After the screening at Cannes, France, the audience gave Moore a record-breaking 13-minute standing ovation.  Donovan has deep roots in Nova Scotia, his grandfather having been the publisher of the Antigonish Casket, the local weekly newspaper, between 1890 and 1919.
Bowling for Columbine
Alliance Atlantis, A Salter Street Films and Dog Eat Dog Films production
Writer-director: Michael Moore
Producers: Michael Moore, Kathleen Glynn, Michael Donovan, Charles Bishop, Jim Czarnecki
Executive producer: Wolfram Ticky
Director of photography: Brian Danitz
Music: Jeff Gibbs
Animation: Harold Moss
Editor/co-producer: Kurt Engfehr
Running time: 122 minutes

No.  You have to understand.  It's not a "contribution" that we're talking about.  If it hadn't been for Michael Donovan, this film would not have gotten made.

Flint, Michigan, film-maker Michael Moore, as quoted in the Halifax Daily News, 10 December 2004.  Moore was telling how Halifax producer Michael Donovan and Salter Street Films had provided crucial support for Bowling for Columbine, Moore's first feature film in five years.

Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine has been named the best documentary of all time.  The International Documentary Association (IDA) judged Moore's controversial film about American gun culture to be the best documentary... The IDA is a forum for documentary filmmakers and has 2,700 members in 50 countries.

RTE Guide 13 December 2002

Source: RTE Guide
(".ie" is the Internet TLD Country Code for Ireland.)
Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) is the Irish Public Service Broadcasting Organisation

To get a standing ovation, and then hear the booing.  I just knew the box office was going to go through the roof.  It sounds philistine, but I could hear the cash register ringing in my head.

Michael Donovan of Halifax, as quoted in The Globe & Mail, 31 January 2004, describing his feelings as he stood on the stage at the Oscar Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on 23 March 2003 as a standing ovation and a handful of jeers from Hollywood's elite greeted filmmaker Michael Moore when he criticized President Bush and the U.S.-led war in Iraq during his acceptance speech after winning the documentary feature Oscar for Bowling for Columbine.

Halfway through my remarks, some in the audience started to cheer.  That immediately set off a group of people in the balcony who started to boo.  Then those supporting my remarks started to shout down the booers.  The L.A. Times reported that the director of the show started screaming at the orchestra "Music! Music!" in order to cut me off, so the band dutifully struck up a tune and my time was up.

Michael Moore's description of the circumstances during the delivery of his speech accepting the Documentary Film Oscar at the Oscar Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on 23 March 2003.  Michael Donovan was standing with Moore during the speech.

Source: Article by Michael Moore, published 7 April 2003

For only the second time in the history of the Academy Awards, an Oscar has been won by a Nova Scotian.  Halifax producer Michael Donovan of Salter Street Films captured the prestigious statuette on Sunday night [23 March 2003] in Los Angeles for Bowling for Columbine, which was voted movie of the year in the documentary category.  The movie features the controversial Michael Moore, previously best known for the film Roger and Me and the television show TV Nation.  The stairical look at the gun culture in the United States was named because of the reports that the two Columbine killers went bowling on the morning of the massacre, before heading to their school and killing 12 students and one teacher before turning their weapons on themselves.  The movie, seen so far by 15 million Americans and five million Canadians, has been both a critical and commercial success that had already garnered awards worldwide before Sunday night's ceremonies.  But because of Mr. Moore's anti-war tirade during his acceptance speech, Mr. Donovan was unable to get a word in edge-wise before the international television audience.  Mr. Donovan, who wore a small peace symbol on the front of his tuxedo, said he could not hear the speech because of all the excitement and the noise around him.  But he defended Mr. Moore's right to free speech.  The victory for the relatively small Halifax-based production company is a triumphant achievement...

"Oscar lands on Salter Street," page B1 in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 25 March 2003

Salter Street Films Wikipedia
Bowling for Columbine Wikipedia
Film Footnotes: Bowling for Columbine

The year is 1458.  Christopher Columbus has yet to discover the New World.  The Holy Wars are looming.  In Rome, 27-year-old Spanish-born Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia is launching his political career and his long campaign for the throne of St. Peter.

"A Touch of the Vatican on Halifax waterfront" by Richard Foote in the National Post, 26 January 2005.

An impressive piece of 15th century Rome has taken shape on the gritty south side of the Halifax waterfront, one of the most audacious acts of set-building ever attempted in Canada's film business.  Inside a former electric generating plant — converted years ago into a cavernous film studio and renamed Electropolis — producer Paul Donovan has conjured up some of the finest rooms of the Vatican, complete with sculpted pillars, faux-marble floors and an extraordinary collection of newly painted frescoes.  Mr. Donovan, better known as co-founder of Salter Street Films — This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Bowling for Columbine — is shooting The Conclave, a made-for-TV movie about the rise to power of Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI.  Mr. Donovan has written a thousand-page script titled Alexander Sextus, a series of seven films on the life and times of the Borgia family... Part I, The Conclave, will be broadcast as a pilot on German public television and CHUM-owned television stations at an unspecified date...

...His first album, Live at the Candlelight (1968), featured a photograph of the Halifax nightclub on the cover but was recorded at a local high school.  The band received a bucket of chicken as payment...

Dutch Mason
The Sunday Times, London, 5 Jan 2007

We are the last generation in the history of mankind to not have grown up with a computer since birth.

Jim Carroll, as quoted in the Halifax Daily News, 31 May 2002.  Mr. Carroll, born in Halifax in 1959, was a chartered accountant in Halifax in 1982, when he plugged in a Radio Shack TRS 80 computer and connected with a computer bulletin board for the first time.  He laughs now when he thinks about how primitive the TRS 80 technology was with its archaic 300 baud modem (300 bits per second).  For more than a decade, Mr. Carroll, who now lives in Toronto, has been acknowledged as Canada's foremost Internet guru.
Jim Carroll, international futurist, trends, and innovation expert, said the rapid rate of change in cable telecommunications is going from fast to furious in a stirring keynote address today (11 January 2006) to a sold-out Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Conference on Emerging Technologies 2006 in Tampa...

The transformation of education is occurring through the use of computer technology.  I think we all know this in the House, even those of us like myself who sometimes see themselves as Luddites.

Ms. Jane Purves, Minister of Education, speaking on the floor of the Nova Scotia Legislature, as recorded in Hansard, 15 May 2001, page 3477.  The complete text of Ms. Purves' comment is available in Hansard.

An information revolution is sweeping across educational institutions around the world, threatening a powerful old guard of established school systems and universities.  All of the world's information is potentially available to anyone, anywhere, at any time, thanks to the Internet.  This remarkable fact threatens the traditional power base of school systems and universities, bringing fierce competition as the old order disintegrates and a new, fast-paced order takes shape.  Fear of this change has led to an outcry from educators trying to convince the public that technology will ruin education.  The reality is exactly the opposite — the information technology revolution will liberate us in terms of knowledge, information, and education and training opportunities...

Kelvin Ogilvie, President and Vice-chancellor of Acadia University, Wolfville, in The Globe and Mail, 31 October 2000.

Kelvin Ogilvie

One of Canada's best examples of a fully wired campus is Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, a relatively small institution with about 3,600 full-time students.  Back in 1996, notebook computers were introduced to 375 students under a program known as "Acadia Advantage"...

The Globe and Mail, 19 June 2000

When I went to school, it was, 'Open up your head and I'll pour this in and test you on it'.

Jennifer Bolt, director of the Acadia Institute for Teaching and Technology, in The Globe and Mail, 3 February 2000.  Now with instant Net access and software tools that enhance learning and collaboration, things are very different.  The Acadia Advantage program, now in its fourth year, has resulted in a campus wired with fibre-optic cable, 5,000 jacks and laptops in the hands of almost every teacher and student.  You can't plug in from the bathroom, but nearly anywhere else at Acadia University, you can go on-line on your laptop.

Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, has recently become the benchmark; the model for other universities to follow.  Acadia has dared to change and will come out well ahead in that constant thrust for continuous improvement.

G. Yves Landry, President, CEO, and Chairman of Chrysler Canada, commenting on The Acadia Advantage, a recent innovation undertaken by Acadia University, quoted in a full-page advertisement inserted by Acadia U. in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 10 November 1997.

It's hard to believe, but fourteen years ago we didn't have any computers in libraries.  It's really astounding to think of the way computer technology has completely changed the way libraries operate — from the way things are processed, the way people find information, the whole impact of e-mail.

Darlene Beck, manager of the Spring Garden Road Branch of the Halifax Public Library system, on the occasion of the Spring Garden Road Branch celebrating its 50th anniversary, November 20-24, 2001, as reported in Space, computer access biggest challenges for library at 50 by Rhia Perkins in NovaNewsNet, 14 November 2001.  NovaNewsNet is a regular electronic publication of the School of Journalism at the University of King's College in Halifax.

It's hard to believe that much has changed in just fourteen years.  It makes you wonder what the next fourteen years will be like.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this news story:
Space, computer access biggest challenges
for library at 50

NovaNewsNet, 16 November 2001

Archived: 2002 April 08

Archived: 2002 August 03

Archived: 2002 October 04

Archived: 2003 July 25

The reality is it is a wired world today.  That is what it is.  The reality is... that we can do pretty much anything.

From my home on Saturday I called up Debates from the previous Parliament on the Internet.  I was amazed that I could actually do it.  It also means that my constituents can do it.  I can buy car insurance.  I can find out where I want to shop.  I can book a holiday anywhere in the world.  I can find out what temperature it is on a beach down on the west coast of Florida.

The world is wired.  It is the new wave.  Anybody who thinks they are able to keep off the Internet the provision of leisure gaming services is crazy.  It is already there.

Today in my office — I did not know you could do this — I sat down, worked around for bit and hooked up with the Liechtenstein Gaming Corporation in Liechtenstein.  It is a city, a mountain, a river, and that is it.  That is what the place is.  I was in the Liechtenstein Gaming Corporation casino... If I won, it automatically went into my bank account in Canada just like that, an instantaneous transaction.

Ron MacDonald, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth, speaking in the House of Commons on 13 February 1997, during the debate on Private Member's Bill C-353.  The purpose of this bill is to put the Internet Lottery industry "under some kind of regulatory authority".  The complete text of Mr. MacDonald's speech is available in Hansard.

It is quite amazing because I am not one of those people who are not (sic, double negative) terribly technologically proficient.  I fumble around on my little computer at home.  Most times my five-year old son Stephen or Matthew is able to browse me through where I want to go a little easier than I can do it.

Ron MacDonald

It is important that we all learn about the Internet, and get the most benefits from it... The Internet is rapidly becoming a part of everyday life, and, used properly, it opens the door to a huge range of knowledge which has no national boundaries.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, speaking at the official ceremony launching The British Monarchy web site on 6 March 1997.  Her Majesty's official representative in Nova Scotia, in 1997, was Lieutenant Governor J.J. Kinley.  The Lieutenant Governor's signature is required before Nova Scotia government decisions, officially known as Orders In Council, become legally effective.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Official Website of the British Monarchy


Brian Flemming

Political establishments in advanced democracies are cowering like cobras before mongooses as this spectre speeds toward them like some ancient asteroid...

Brian Flemming in Beware, Politicians in the Halifax Daily News 22 September 1999.

The Internet is the "apple of knowledge" that will drive political establishments from their comfy Gardens of Eden where deference to authority was routinely demanded, and given... As information technologies truncate time, most citizens instinctively know it's absurd to leave a handful of randomly-chosen citizens, a.k.a. parliamentarians, completely in charge of the political system for years... The idea of handing total power for five years at a time to a less-than-respected political class is already perceived by voters to be as nonsensical as shopping for one's groceries only two days every decade... The greatest coming challenge for political institutions — in Canada and elsewhere — will be to transform the very nature of democracy itself.  Creating a new means for citizens to be involved in decision-making may be the only way to stem voter cynicism...

The way democratic institutions were run in 2000 will amuse our descendants.  Democracy's development was unfortunately retarded by communism and fascism.  The Internet will free it.  Conventional politicians will be disintermediated as effectively as any other cyber-society middlemen.  Voting, now a quaint quadrennial event, will be a regular fixture of future life.

Brian Flemming in his regular weekly column in the Halifax Daily News 8 March 2000.

The way we get information now will make future citizens chortle.  ("Tell me again, grandpa, about how your computer connected to the Net over copper phone wires...")

Welcome to the double-oughts.

Brian Flemming, in his regular weekly column in the Halifax Daily News, 3 November 1999.  This is the first use (that I know of) in print in Nova Scotia, of a term to identify the decade 2000-2009.  We are familiar with such terms as "the twenties" to identify the decade 1920-1929, or "the sixties" for 1960-1969, but recently there has been an occasional debate about what term might be suitable for the coming decade 2000-2009.  Mr. Flemming's column on this day became the first I've seen to use an identifying term for this decade as part of an ordinary sentence (other than a discussion of what term might be suitable).  Other suggestions have been "the double naughts", "the double zeroes", "the double ohs", "the oh-ohs", "the naught-naughts", and even "the naughties".

Ought and naught both mean zero.
For example, the year 1907 is sometimes
read aloud as “nineteen ought seven.”

When the victorious Ulysses S. Grant, leader of the world's largest standing army in 1864, hinted it might be time to march north (to conquer Canada), the Fathers of Confederation scooted to Charlottetown... to decide how the British North America colonies could come together to prevent that imminent invasion...

Brian Flemming, in his regular weekly column in the Halifax Daily News, 12 July 2000

Ulysses Grant took over as commander of
the Army of the Potomac in March of 1864.

It is required reading for anyone seeking clues to why Nova Scotia moved from its 19th-century culture of risk-taking entrepreneurship to a 20th-century culture of "have not" dependency.

Brian Flemming in his column "Nova Scotia Needs Confidence Boost" in the Halifax Daily News, 6 May 1998, discussing the recent book The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some Are So Poor, by Harvard economist David Landes.  Flemming wrote:

Nova Scotia today has far more surplus capital than it ever had in the days of wooden ships and iron men.  It is being harvested regularly in the form of pension money, bank savings, RRSPs, insurance premiums, and other hidden out-transfers of wealth... Finding the cultural key to economic growth is too important to be left to government... Flemming's Axiom provides the slogan for this campaign: It's the culture, stupid!

Brian Flemming
Macdonald-Laurier Institute

Brian Flemming
OGEL: Oil, Gas & Energy Law

I found myself standing, a few days ago, at the front of a room in the Museum of Industry in Stellarton, Nova Scotia.  Yes, it was a financial seminar and I was busy telling a few hundred people about my vision of the future — one in which technology plays such a big part and will help support at least a decade of sharply rising financial markets.  A few feet away were the carefully preserved artifacts of another technological revolution — giant steam-powered shovels and engines used to mine the coal that made this part of the country so important a century ago.

Today the mines are shut.  The old technology of steel, gears and belts has been replaced by the microprocessor, the modem and the Web.

And I think this new digital age being ushered in will create more wealth than any before it.  As I wrote here last week, we are in the early years of an up-wave that will give us a burgeoning economy and sharply rising stock and mutual fund values for ten, twelve or fifteen years to come.

The Internet will go from being a curious way of sending messages to the very platform on which services like banking, mass media and personal shopping are built.  E-commerce is the single most important concept since the credit and debit card.

This will change the face of life as we live it — for the better...

Garth Turner, nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist and broadcaster, and former Minister of National Revenue, in his regular weekly column, September 20th 1999.
Printed in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald 26 September 1999.

Garth Turner


Arnie Patterson

Going online is like travel by magic carpet.

Arnie Patterson, in the Halifax Sunday Daily News, 1 June 1997.

I would suspect that within twenty years, the users of the Internet will be as common as indoor plumbing today... I am both fascinated and overwhelmed by all this new magic world offers.  And while I'm among the slim five per cent of seniors who travel on the Internet, I highly recommend it.  It's not too late to learn.  Ever.

I am on the verge of being a computer junkie.

Senior citizen Arnie Patterson, in the Halifax Sunday Daily News, 2 November 1997.

What would be more fun than being a kid locked in a candy store overnight?  Or how about being an adolescent hiding behind a sand dune on a nude beach?  I would be stretching it if I said a whirl on the WWW, or World Wide Web.  But it does offer thrills of a different kind... I am spending half of my off-golf hours on the Internet...

Broadcaster Arnie Patterson...
CBC News

When Patrick Watson was making Heritage Minutes, he concluded Vince Coleman was the great Canadian.  No, I'd never heard of Coleman, either.  He was a railroad telegrapher in Halifax.  Amid Halifax's explosion in December, 1917, he got out a warning that saved scores of lives.  He died at his post.  Mr. Watson thought that Coleman was the kind of hero we most identify with: Just an ordinary Canadian getting the job done in an extreme circumstance.

"Nation Builders: Part Six," by Christopher Moore, a writer on historical subjects, in The Globe and Mail, 22 June 2002, page A17.  Born in Britain in 1950, Christopher Moore was raised in Nelson and Vancouver, British Columbia, and studied at UBC and the University of Ottawa.  He is a historian who specializes in presenting historical topics to non-specialist audiences, and has been self-employed in that field since 1978.  He won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction, for Louisbourg Portraits, 1982.

See: Vincent Coleman's tombstone

Coleman was thinking about the passenger trains speeding towards the threatened harbour.  He had to stop them.  In that moment of pure and selfless action, Coleman telegraphed his urgent warning.  At precisely 9:06 on December 6, 1917, the worst man-made explosion ever [before the atomic bomb on Hiroshima] tore through Halifax, claiming 2,000 lives, including the life of Vince Coleman... Coleman knew what was at stake when he ran back to tap out his crucial message.  In the worst catastrophe in Canadian history, one man sacrificed his life to save 700 others.

From the script for Heritage Minute Halifax Explosion.  The Heritage Project has produced dozens of one-minute micro-movies – Heritage Minutes, by scriptwriter Patrick Watson – depicting Canada's heritage and heroes.  Canada's three television networks, most independent broadcasters, and specialty cable networks run the Heritage Minutes between commercials and regular programming.  The vignettes also were shown in Cineplex-Odeon and Empire chain theatres across Canada.  Halifax Explosion, one of the Heritage Minutes, dramatizes one man's heroism during this 1917 disaster in Halifax Harbour, which killed or injured thousands of people.
The script for Heritage Minute Halifax Explosion

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
Heritage Minute: Vince Coleman

Archived: 2001 January 24

Archived: 2001 June 22

Archived: 2001 November 1

On a chilly, late-winter afternoon, the third floor of a simple brick building at the foot of storied Citadel Hill resembles a house of horrors.  A glance in any direction delivers an eyeful of bloodied stumps that were at one time arms and legs, as well as singed hair and flesh, and grisly, wounded heads.  Hospital beds have been rolled out, awaiting the injured.  Some already sport white sheets stained crimson.  Crutches and stretchers, pillows and bedpans litter the room.  A man strolls by carrying a mangled woman's calf and severed foot.

Thankfully, it is all latex and makeup and gooey red paint — art meets war, 2003 meets 1917... For the next six weeks or so, Halifax will be home to the filming of Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion, a two-part miniseries scheduled to air on CBC later this year, and produced by Salter Street Films and Tapestry Pictures...

"Reliving Halifax's Horror" by Shawna Richer in The Globe and Mail, 8 April 2003, page R1.

Shattered City is an enormous project, featuring a cast of 135, plus 1,500 extras — all of them locals and all skinny enough to pass for inhabitants of a pre-fast-food world during the First World War.

Shattered City is a drama but it is based on a real historical event involving real people and it takes extreme license with historical fact.  The film does convey with some visual power the effect of the blast and the destruction and suffering of the people of Halifax.  The production values are quite high in terms of historically appropriate costumes and settings.  However the film is full of falsehoods, distortions and errors from start to finish.  While the drama has unquestionably raised awareness, one must question its validity and not rely on it as an educational resource.  It is unfortunate that CBC Television has in this case shown such low standards when it comes to historical fiction...

Well-known Nova Scotia historian Dan Conlin.

Source: Historical Distortions and Errors in the Film Shattered City

Sadly, I am embarrassed to say that I was not aware of this tragedy.  I have been in the library business for 29 years, 26 in academia, and never has anyone requested information about this occurance, nor do I recall ever seeing it in a history book; nor in all the history classes of which I was in attendance, was it ever taught.  When I performed a "search" I was mortified with regard to the entire situation...

Barbara Elsie Feist Stienstra, Librarian, Certified Archivist Records Manager, writing about the Halifax Explosion of 6 December 1917, in a comment posted on 10 December 2003 to the Halifax Explosion Memorial section of

We think we're living in a civilized world.  But I couldn't agree more with Jane Jacobs' view that we're living in the new dark ages.

Alex Colville as quoted in The Toronto Star, 13 June 2004

An Alex Colville painting is creepy.  Not overtly creepy, in the gruesome manner that makes the skin crawl, but in the eerie and ominous way that makes the mind crawl...

Shawna Richer in The Globe and Mail, 4 November 2003, page R1
Alex Colville lives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

Allan J. MacEachen — a good man fallen among Liberals.

When I first saw Allan J. MacEachen in action, he was the Minister of Labour.  I was a student watching the debate from the gallery.  I was philosophically and politically inclined to support another political party at that time, as I still am today.  But, I must say, watching Allan J. give a political speech in the House of Commons was something that I will never forget.

Some years ago somebody was asking me who I thought were the greatest speakers in the House of Commons that I had listened to?  Was it Mr. Trudeau, was it Mr. Diefenbaker, was it others that I had listened to, and I said, no, certainly not.

The best speaker I ever heard in the House of Commons, the best analyst, the best person who could give a range of speeches, was Allan MacEachen, without hesitation and without qualification.

In Defence of Politics by The Honourable Bob Rae, Premier of Ontario 1990-1995, speaking at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, 17 April 1997.
Complete text of Bob Rae's speech

The Honourable Allan J. MacEachen: His Life and Times

Allan MacEachen and Bob Rae, the two politicians who conspired to topple Canada's last Tory minority government, are together again.  The 84-year-old MacEachen, a legendary Liberal fixer, Machiavellian tactician and minister in both the Pearson and Trudeau eras, signed on Friday (May 12th) as the honorary chairman of Rae's Liberal leadership campaign... The Cape Bretoner, first elected in 1953, became known as the godfather of Nova Scotia and was the country's first deputy prime minister.  Over the years, he was elected to the Commons ten times, held all the major cabinet posts and went on to become Liberal leader in the Senate...

MacEachen backs Rae, Canadian Press item, 12 May 2006, about the current contest to choose a new leader for the Liberal Party of Canada.

Allan MacEachen


Amor de Cosmos
a.k.a. William Alexander Smith

Drunk, rowdy and eccentric de Cosmos may have been, but he was also the man who, more than any other, brought British Columbia into Confederation.

George Woodcock (1912-1995), in his biography Amor de Cosmos: Journalist and Reformer, Toronto, Oxford University Press, 1975

Amor de Cosmos (1825-1897)

George Woodcock (1912-1995)

It's our birthday today (11 December 2013).  It's been 155 years since Amor De Cosmos launched the four-page British Colonist.  The newspaper you are holding in your hands – or reading online, or on your mobile device – is a direct descendant of his first issue, on Dec. 11, 1858.  The Times Colonist is the oldest newspaper in Western Canada.  We were here before Canada was a nation and before British Columbia was a province...

At 155 years, we offer a fresh look at the past in the Victoria Times-Colonist, 11 December 2013.

20 July 2013
Clipping from the Vancouver Sun, 20 July 2013
This Day in History: July 20, 1871
Clipping from the Vancouver Sun, July 20, 2013

You can find a scan of the July 20, 1871 paper online.

Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Nauss

Amor de Cosmos was premier of British Columbia 23 December 1872 to 9 February 1874.  Born William Alexander Smith in 1825 in Windsor, Nova Scotia, into a family who had come to Nova Scotia from the American colonies after the American Revolutionary War, he lived in Nova Scotia until he was 27 years old.  He went to the California gold fields in 1853.  While in California he somehow persuaded the California Legislature to pass a special act changing his name to Amor de Cosmos.  He went to British Columbia in June 1858, and figured prominently in the early politics of the province.  He began with a newspaper, The British Colonist, in Victoria, the capital of B.C., which was very critical of the current political leaders.  He went on to become the second premier of British Columbia, and served as a Member of Parliament for British Columbia for eleven years.  In 2014 de Cosmos' newspaper continues publication as the Victoria Times-Colonist.

11 December 1858
Clipping from the front page of the first issue of the British Colonist, 11 December 1858
Two Nova Scotia items on the front page
of the first issue of The British Colonist

December 11, 1858
A. De Cosmos, editor and publisher
(No doubt the  selection  of these items
for prominent placement was influenced
by his  deep  roots  in Nova Scotia)

You can find a scan of the December 11, 1858 paper online.

This clipping mentions four prominent Nova Scotians:
C. Tupper
R.B. Dickey
W.A. Henry
S. Cunard


Amor de Cosmos has often been ridiculed as a mad figure.  In fact, he was a brilliant leader.  It was only towards the end, long after he left power, that he had a mental breakdown.  I've always felt that he was unfairly ridiculed by those belonging to a political and historical tradition which in the East we would call the anti-democratic Family Compact.  In British Columbia, this was called the Family Company Compact, the word company referring to the Hudson's Bay Company.  Amor de Cosmos was a disciple of Joseph Howe and was the leader of the Howites in British Columbia.  He always referred to "the great principle of public education".  He and his friends understood that in a country as poor and under-populated as Canada, so dependent on immigration, universal public education equalled democracy...

John Ralston Saul in his Inaugural Joseph Howe Lecture, University of King's College School of Journalism, Halifax, 20 March 2004
—Source: Note about this link

John Ralston Saul
GG website

John Ralston Saul
Canadian Encyclopdia

John Ralston Saul

Hon. members, in the gallery today are six very distinguished visitors helping us celebrate the 100-year anniversary of our building.  We have a young Queen Victoria; Governor James Douglas; Francis Rattenbury; Hamish, the Scottish stonemason; Nellie Cashman; and I believe Amor de Cosmos is also there.  Would the House make them welcome.

The Speaker of the Legislature of British Columbia, 30 July 1998, as recorded in Hansard, July 30, 1998, Afternoon, Volume 12, Number 13

It is too late in the day to stop men thinking.  If allowed to think they will speak.  If they speak they will write, and what they write will be printed and published.  A newspaper is only a thought-throwing machine, a reflex of the popular mind.  If it is not, it cannot live.  We are not disposed to send out proof-sheets to anyone to correct.

Amor de Cosmos, journalist, in an editorial in the Victoria British Colonist in 1859, when the governor of British Columbia, Sir James Douglas, failed in his attempt to suppress the newspaper.  Quoted by Roland Wilde in Amor de Cosmos 1958, and in Colombo's Concise Canadian Quotations, edited by John Robert Colombo, Hurtig Publishers, 1976.

William Alexander Smith (1825-1897), a.k.a. Amor De Cosmos, grew up in Windsor, Nova Scotia.

Amor de Cosmos British Columbia Legislature

Amor de Cosmos Masonic Biographies

Amor De Cosmos Dictionary of Canadian Biography

The Daily British Colonist, Victoria, British Columbia
The impression has been given in historical accounts that the missing April 2, 1859, issue of the Colonist was never made up because De Cosmos could not afford the bonds.  In fact, copies of the Colonist for that day were printed as usual, but apparently never distributed...

With a bow to the spirit that inspired British Columbia's second premier to change his name from William Alexander Smith to Amor de Cosmos (lover of the universe), let us suggest it may be time for Glen Clark to rechristen himself.  Our suggestion: Amor de Chaos.

Unsigned editorial in The Globe and Mail, Tuesday, 24 August 1999, referring to Glen Clark, premier of British Columbia until last Saturday, when he resigned under heavy pressure.

New England's ties to Nova Scotia and Canada's other Atlantic provinces have run very deep for a very long time.  It is therefore reassuring to discover that Halifax, Nova Scotia's largest city, has launched a major effort to expand economic links with Boston and the rest of the region...

Editorial Our Canadian Cousins in The Boston Globe, 21 July 1996

When the bank was founded here in 1832, the first thing the merchants did was to set up an agent in New York.  Not in Toronto, not in Montreal — New York.  They went down the coast.  We were in Boston before the turn of the century.  We were in Jamaica, we were in Cuba, only then did we start to make the move into Upper Canada... We've been making money abroad for over a hundred years... We took the railroads across the United States, so we opened up in Minneapolis and Chicago, and then we went up to Winnipeg... There were truly remarkable people who sat in Halifax and created this organization.

Peter Godsoe, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada's fourth-largest financial institution, which made a profit of $1,069,000,000 in 1996.  Mr. Godsoe, whose salary in 1996 was $900,000 with a bonus of $1,200,000, was in Halifax for the company's annual meeting.  His remarks were reported in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald of 11 February 1997.  ScotiaBank's operations outside of Canada are larger than is commonly realized; Mr. Godsoe said that by the year 2000 ScotiaBank will have about 17,000 employees whose first language is Spanish.

If Ottawa does approve bank mergers, one thing is certain: There will be no marriage between the two banks from Halifax that have succeeded by trying to undercut each other for 141 years.

John Turley-Ewart in "Scotiabank's Royal Triumph,", page FP11, in the Financial Post, (published daily as a special section of the National Post) 7 January 2005; he included a brief history of "two banks from Halifax," now known as the Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) and the Royal Bank of Canada.

A battle that began more than a century ago on the streets of Halifax continued on Bay Street, Toronto, on January 4th, 2005, when the 173-year-old Bank of Nova Scotia emerged as Canada's biggest bank by market value, its capitalization reaching $41.6-billion, $400-million more than its opponent, Royal Bank of Canada.

The "market value" or "capitalization" of a company
or corporation is simply the value of one of its shares
multiplied by the number of shares issued.

The calculation goes like this:

    Number of common shares issued = 1,008,505,580
(Source: Bank of Nova Scotia Annual Financial Statement, 20 Dec 2004, on SEDAR)
    Value of one common share = $40.80
(Toronto Stock Exchange close, 5 January 2005)
    Market value of common shares = $41,147,028,000

    Number of preferred shares issued = 12,250,000
(Source: Bank of Nova Scotia Annual Financial Statement, 20 Dec 2004, on SEDAR)
    Value of one preferred share (series 12) = $27.28
(Toronto Stock Exchange close, 5 January 2005)
    Market value of preferred shares = $334,180,000

Total market value of common plus preferred shares = $41,481,208,000
Capitalization of the Bank of Nova Scotia at 5:00pm Jan. 5th = $41.5 billion

(This calculation comes out to $41.5 billion, slightly less than the $41.6 billion stated
in the quote. I used the Jan. 5 price, he used the Jan. 4 price. Also, my information is
not quite as detailed as that available to Mr. Turley-Ewart.  There are several series of
preferred shares with slightly different prices — this demonstration calculation was
done using the price of the series 12 preferred for all the preferred shares.
Mr. Turley-Ewart's figure is correct — my calculation here is a demonstration only,
to show how the market value of a corporation like BNS is obtained.)
[ICS, 6 January 2005]

Scotia's executives have snatched banking's brass ring from the upstart Royal, a bank that opened its doors 32 years after The Bank of Nova Scotia in a dreary three-storey Halifax office building... Their business rivalry has shaped and continues to shape the financial history of this country.  Nova Scotia quickly became too small for Royal and Scotiabank, pushing them to the frontiers of a new Canada, building branches in Ontario and Quebec and the burgeoning West, and bringing stability to regions where bank failures were scaring people away from banks.  Both helped make banking safer and more competitive in 19th-century Canada...

In the early 20th century... the Bank of Nova Scotia bought the influential Bank of New Brunswick, the Toronto-based Metropolitan Bank, and the Bank of Ottawa, all within a 13-year period... (Earlier, Henry McLeod, the bank's CEO, saw and seized upon) the opportunities to be had in Minneapolis and Chicago in the 1880s: His vision subsequently helped make possible the Bank of Nova Scotia's expansion west to Toronto, the Prairies and British Columbia...

An editorial, page FP15, by John Turley-Ewart, in the Financial Post, (published daily as a special section of the National Post) 8 April 2003

I think that Halifax is one of the most astonishing cities in the country.  In the last quarter century, after many difficulties, this city has reactivated itself and its role regionally and nationally.  It has now become, once again, a real, national centre in a great variety of ways.  It is a real centre for all of Canada in the arts, in thought, in teaching and in urban planning... Halifax has been for a very long time and in a very intense way one of the key building sites for Canadian democracy, for the building of freedom of speech and for the enunciation of the idea of freedom of the press...

The first time I came to Halifax, my primary destination was the library inside the Nova Scotia Legislature.  In 1835, as Haligonians know, that library in that small beautiful building, was the site of the high court.  It was there that Joseph Howe gave his six and one quarter hour defence against charges of criminal libel.  Please note that he defended himself without a lawyer.  These charges, as you know, were designed to ruin him personally, to destroy him financially and to force the collapse of his newspaper, The Nova Scotian.  This situation resembled strangely the more current phenomenon of libel chill which, beginning some fifteen years ago, was used against writers in Canada for precisely the same reasons.  Many believe, including myself, that in the process of winning his acquittal, Howe established the fundamental ideas, principles and shapes of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Canada...

One thing which is little understood in the rest of Canada – to some extent it is not understood in Nova Scotia either – is Joseph Howe's influence on the country as a whole.  I think you could argue that his influence on the creation of Canada and the idea of Canada goes far beyond the question of freedom of speech in Nova Scotia and the work that he did in Nova Scotia...

The historic link between Joseph Howe's defence and the ninth and tenth lines of our Charter of Rights is about as straight and as clear as an historic link can possibly be.  It's worth emphasizing this detail – freedom of speech is to be found on the ninth and tenth lines of the Charter of Rights.  In other words, the guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of the press is not something added on or rated low in the body of the Charter of Rights.  This is the second of the four fundamental guarantees in the Charter and it comes right at the beginning of the text...

Joseph Howe's influence was essential to the way in which Canada conceived of itself.  There is, for example, his role in establishing not simply public education, but public education as the keystone of an egalitarian approach towards democracy in Canada.  Howe said: "If you were my brother I would not permit your interests to weigh a feather against a trust so sacred as I believe our public school system to be..."

The incapacity of our country to stick with the moderate position put forward by Nova Scotians (Joseph Howe and Charles Tupper) and our weakness at giving into the immoderate position of the Protestant extremists in Ontario, led to a first great division which almost destroyed Canada...

John Ralston Saul in his Inaugural Joseph Howe Lecture, University of King's College School of Journalism, Halifax, 20 March 2004

A wise nation preserves its records, gathers up its historic documents, decorates the tombs of its illustrious dead, repairs its great public structures, and fosters national pride and love of country by perpetual reference to the sacrifices and glories of the past...

Joseph Howe, speaking to a gathering of the Howe family at Framingham, Massachusetts, on 1 September 1871.  Adapted from Joe's Advice Timely for 21st Century, by Lorna Inness, in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 1 September 1999.

The quotation above is slightly different
from Howe's actual words on that occasion.
Ms. Inness quoted Howe correctly, as follows:

A wise nation preserves its records, gathers up its muniments, decorates the tombs of its illustrious dead, repairs its great public structures, and fosters national pride and love of country by perpetual reference to the sacrifices and glories of the past...

The difficulty with the correct quote is that it contains one word,
"muniments" which is unknown today.  This creates a puzzle for modern
readers.  What did Howe mean by "gathers up its muniments"?

The easy way to avoid this puzzle is to replace that word with its
current equivalent.  Modern renditions of Howe's words often do just
that, but slip up by not bothering to look up the meaning of "muniments".
Instead they wing it and use "monuments".  That is truly quick and easy,
and even appears to be a reasonable modification (only two letters
changed) of the word, but the phrase then becomes "gathers up
its monuments", which sounds strange.

What did Howe mean by "A wise nation... gathers up its monuments"?
One can look at a monument.  One can restore a monument.
One can decorate a monument.  One can do various things with
monuments, but what is meant by "gathering up" its monuments?

This rendering gets rid of an unknown word but replaces it with an
incomprehensible phrase.  Not much improvement.  The solution is
to look up the real meaning of "muniments".  Instantly, Howe's advice
becomes clear.

"Muniments" has nothing to do with monuments.
In Howe's context, "muniments" means historic documents.

Howe meant "A wise nation... gathers up its historic documents",
which makes excellent sense, and perfectly fits the context.

That is the background supporting the rendition above.

Note (ICS, 16 June 2001): Here's a quotation that has
some connection to Nova Scotia, and is an example of
the use of "muniments" as meaning "historical documents":

...A series of transcripts from the French archives
relating mainly to the French and Indian wars, made for
the State (of Massachusetts) by Ben. Perley Poore, is
the only accession of this nature to her muniments.
New Hampshire has set Massachusetts a good example
by the assiduity with which she is printing her records,
though it must be borne in mind that the lesser extent of
those in New Hampshire renders the task a much easier
one.  Such of the Revolutionary papers of New Hampshire
as were carried off to Nova Scotia by her last royal governor,
and are now at Halifax, she has, I believe, taken measures
to have copied.  Rhode Island and Connecticut are also
printing what they have with commendable fulness...

Manuscript Sources of American History, The Conspicuous
Collections Extant
by Justin Winsor,
President of the American Historical Association, 1886-87
Published in Papers of the American Historical Association,
vol. III, no 1. (1888), pp. 9-27

Note 2: An Internet search done on 16 June 2001 — using Google,
the best search engine now publicly available — turned up
about 1590 webpages containing "muniments".

Given Canada's record on climate change, I thought that Dr. Doolittle was already in charge of our climate-change negotiations. It's time to call upon Dr. Dosomething.

Larry Hughes, in The Globe and Mail, 17 May 2002, commenting on a letter to the editor that appeared in the Globe May 16th suggesting Dr. Doolittle should be called on "to solicit the opinion of Canada's polar bears in light of climate change in the Arctic."  The letter was a response to "Climate Puts Polar Bears at Risk – Polar bears are fast losing habitat as temperatures climb and Arctic sea ice disappears, a sign of the dramatic impacts global warming is having around the world", May 15th.  The article was reporting on "Polar Bears at Risk," a World Wildlife Fund study released May 14th.  Dr. Hughes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has a cross appointment with the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University and is an Honourary Research Associate in the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of New Brunswick. His PhD in Computing Science is from the Computing Laboratory of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in northern England.

Too often the world leaders are just a bunch of adults talking, listening to big businesses who don't care about the environment.  They tell lies like: the environment is getting better, that they're not polluting, or that there is no such thing as climate change — when we know this isn't true...

Justin Friesen, age eleven, in Take it from The Eco-Kid: You Can Save Earth in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 31 August 2002.
Go To:   Justin's website

They were the world's first two radio stations.

Dr. Francesco Paresce, speaking in conversation during the "sumptuous dinner party" held early in December 2001 "in the ornate library of Columbia University" in New York City to commemorate "the 100th anniversary of the first wireless transmission to Newfoundland from Britain by Guglielmo Marconi," as reported in the National Post, 13 December 2001.  The celebration was given by the Marconi Foundation, administered by Columbia's Engineering School, to present the 2001 Marconi Award in Telecommunications, given annually for work that has revolutionized modern telecommunications.  Dr. Paresce, grandson of Guglielmo Marconi, was referring to Marconi's two radio stations put into operation in 1902: one at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, and the other in the United Kingdom.  Dr. Paresce said:

Grandfather owed a great deal to Canada, particularly Nova Scotia, where he had his first and most important financial backing.  That's where he established the first radio station in the western hemisphere — in Glace Bay near Sydney, Nova Scotia.  He also established another in the U.K. at the same time.  They were the world's first two radio stations.

Grandfather was always fond of Canada for helping him get his start in Glace Bay.  The first transmission was placed to Signal Hill in Newfoundland, but it was through the efforts of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia that he got financing to start his venture... He was very grateful to Canada for his start.

On the 20th inst. [December 1901], I received from Ottawa, the following telegram from Mr. W.S. Fielding, Minister of Finance, Canadian Government.

"Much pleased to learn that you contemplated coming to Nova Scotia to continue your experiments in wireless telegraphy.  I assure you of a cordial welcome, and the co-operation of any of the Government officials whose knowledge would be useful to you.  There are no difficulties whatever in the way of your carrying out your operations there."

I replied to this:

"Best thanks to Canadian Government and you for very kind message, and offer of assistance.  Hope to be able to go to Nova Scotia or Ottawa next week.  Shall cable again today."

Gugleilmo Marconi in a letter written about 20 December 1901, in Saint John's, Newfoundland, quoted in In Marconi's Footsteps, 1894 to 1920: Early Radio (book) by Peter R. Jensen, Kangaroo Press Proprietary Ltd. (Australia) 1994 ISBN 0864176074.  Fielding's telegram led directly to the establishment of Marconi's very large radio transmitter at Table Head in Glace Bay, which sent the first trans-Atlantic wireless message in December 1902.

W.S. Fielding holds the all-time record as longest-serving
finance minister in Canadian history, nearly nineteen years
served in two periods between 1896 and 1925.
[The Globe and Mail, 11 December 2001]

William Stevens Fielding (1848-1929) was reporter and later
managing editor of the Halifax Chronicle, 1864-1884;
Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) representing
Halifax County, 1882-1896; Premier and Provincial Secretary
of Nova Scotia, July 1884 - July 1896; resigned as MLA and
elected as Member of the House of Commons (MP) in
August 1896 representing Shelburne-Queens;
federal Minister of Finance and Receiver General,
July 1896 - October 1911, December 1921 - September 1925.
He served 6908 days as Minister of Finance.

January 1903 — On a barren headland on the eastern shores of Cape Breton, Canada, a few days before Christmas, Guglielmo Marconi exchanged messages of congratulation by wireless telegraph with some of the crowned heads of Europe.  That the brilliant young Anglo-Italian should stand today prepared to transmit commercial messages across the Atlantic, must be regarded as certainly the most remarkable scientific achievement of the year.

"100 Years Ago" in Scientific American, January 2003, page 16


Leon Trotsky

Toward the end of December 1916, I embarked with my family at Barcelona for New York and arrived there early in January 1917.  There I was active in the Socialist Party, mainly in its Russian and German sections, campaigning against the intervention of the United States in the war (World War One) and contributing to the American press.  These activities were brought to a sudden end by the news of the revolution of March 1917, terminating the despotic monarchy of Russia and the career of the Czar.  I left for Europe with my family, on the first Norwegian liner.

At Halifax the British military authorities seized me, together with five comrades, and put me in a Canadian camp for war prisoners as an agitator dangerous to the Allied cause.  After a month of confinement in the company of German workmen and sailors I was released on the demand of the Petrograd Soviet, conveyed through the Provisional Government and its foreign minister, Milyukov.

Lev Davidovich Bronstein, a.k.a. Leon Trotsky, as quoted in the Bridgewater Bulletin, 3 April 1923.  The Bulletin, a weekly newspaper published in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, was quoting from one of his published works, not named. Trotsky (1879-1940) was leader, with V.I. Lenin, of the Russian Revolution, and architect of the Red Army. He was Soviet Commissar of Foreign Affairs 1917-1918 and Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs 1918-1924. The Provisional Government, which Trotsky referred to, was the short-lived Russian government led by A.F. Kerensky.  P.N. Milyukov was foreign minister in the Provisional Government, March-May 1917.

The police left my wife and children in Halifax; the rest of us were taken by train to Amherst, Nova Scotia, a camp for German prisoners.  And there, in the office, we were put through an examination the like of which I had never before experienced, even in the Peter-Paul fortress.  For in the Czar's fortress the police stripped me and searched me in privacy, whereas here our democratic allies subjected us to this shameful humiliation before a dozen men.  I can remember Sergeant Olsen, a Swedish-Canadian with a red head of the criminal-police type, who was the leader of the search.  The riffraff who had arranged all this from a distance knew well enough that we were irreproachable Russian revolutionaries returning to our country, liberated by the revolution.  Not until the next morning did the camp commander, Colonel Morris, in answer to our repeated demands and protests, tell us the official reason for the arrest.  "You are dangerous to the present Russian government," he said briefly... The Amherst concentration camp was located in an old and very dilapidated iron foundry that had been confiscated from its German owner.  The sleeping bunks were arranged in three tiers, two deep, on each side of the hall.  About eight hundred of us lived in these conditions.  The air in this improvised dormitory at night can be imagined.  Men hopelessly dogged the passages, elbowed their way through, lay down or got up, played cards or chess.  Many of them practised crafts, some with extraordinary skill.  I still have, stored in Moscow, some things made by Amherst prisoners.  And yet, in spite of the heroic efforts of the prisoners to keep themselves physically and morally fit, five of them had gone insane.  We had to eat and sleep in the same room with these madmen...

Excerpted from Chapter 23, "In a Concentration Camp"
My Life by Leon Trotsky, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1930
Complete text of Chapter 23, "In a Concentration Camp"

In the mid-1980s, Ireland was an economic wasteland, with a per-capita GDP forty percent that of Canada's.  Then, Ireland dramatically cut taxes, particularly corporate taxes.  Its economy has surpassed Canada's and is now ten percent wealthier on a per capita basis.  It is notable that, even after eliminating federal corporate taxes in Atlantic Canada, the region's provincial corporate taxes would, by themselves, approximate the effective rates of Ireland.

Ireland is a nation of about 2.5 million people hanging off the second most prosperous market in the world, Europe.  Atlantic Canada is a region of almost 2.5 million people hanging off the most prosperous market in the world, the United States.  The same tax-cut magic (that has worked so well in Ireland) can work in Atlantic Canada...

There is a role for federal transfers, but the Irish example suggests that how these transfers are used is important...

"An Irish Model for Growth in Atlantic Canada," by Scott Brison, Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants, Nova Scotia, in the National Post, 17 August 2002, page A17; the same article appeared under the head "New East Needs New Approach to Prosperity" in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 17 August 2002, page C4.

I started my first business when I was 19, renting fridges to students... They were bar fridges.  I had two different sets of pamphlets printed up.  The one for parents had pictures of the fridges filled with milk, orange juice and yogurt.  The one for students had the fridges filled with Keith's Moosehead and Labatt.

Scott Brison, Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants, Nova Scotia, as quoted by Paul Wells in his regular column in the National Post, 13 February 2003, page A14.

I have no interest in being part of a right-wing debating club where we get together at conventions and debate how to privatize sidewalks.

Scott Brison, Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants, Nova Scotia, during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Paul Martin on 10 December 2003 in Ottawa, explaining why he decided to join the federal Liberal Party (after having been elected to parliament in November 2000 as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party).

This comment was reported in various newspapers on 11 December 2003, the following day, including:
— The National Post
— The Halifax Daily News
— The London Free Press

Mr. Brison's phrase "right-wing debating club" referred to the new Conservative Party of Canada, formed on 7 December 2003 by a merger between the Canadian Alliance Party (which then had 66 MPs, mostly elected in districts in Alberta and British Columbia) and the Progressive Conservative Party (which then had 12 MPs – including Mr. Brison – mostly elected in districts in the Atlantic Provinces)

The PC Party, the party I grew up in, no longer exists.

My father thinks you're an idiot.

An anonymous "young boy at a Kingsport, Nova Scotia, parade," conversing with candidate Scott Brison during the June 2004 general election campaign, as reported by Jane Taber in her "Ottawa Notebook" column in The Globe and Mail, 24 July 2004, page A5.  Brison told this story on Thursday, July 22, two days after being sworn in as a federal cabinet member, to about 1,200 public servants at a meeting held to acquaint employees of his Public Works Department with the new Minister.  "Mr. Brison told his staff that over the next few months they will be able to form their own opinion."

As fer as I'm concerned, thems that builds the ship should gets to sails 'er.

Preston Manning, former leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, Ottawa, quoted in the National Post, 10 & 14 June 2000.  Mr. Manning made this remark while in Halifax for the second debate, 6 June 2000, among the candidates for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance, a political party.  Some Maritimers, including the Halifax Chronicle-Herald editorial writers, were not amused by what they termed Mr. Manning's patronizing attitude.

The countries of the world have never been more accessible, physically and politically.  Greater prosperity has brought shorter working hours and more time for leisure.  This has been matched by the increasingly sophisticated capability of travel operators to find ways of disposing of our disposable incomes.  If you want to go on an ironing holiday in Tierra Del Fuego, a toad-sexing weekend in Nova Scotia, or hop naked across the Matto Grosso whilst being flicked with wet lettuce, there will be a company somewhere that will oblige...

Michael Palin, commenting on "the almost indecent popularity of travel writing," page D15, The Globe and Mail, 4 March 2000.  Michael Palin's comic reputation was firmly established by Monty Python's Flying Circus, a BBC television series.  Mr. Palin has indulged his wanderlust in three huge adventures: Around the World in Eighty Days, Pole to Pole, and Full Circle, which were enormously successful television series and books.

Canada now stands to the United States the way Nova Scotia and New Brunswick stood to the Province of Canada in 1860.  If it made sense to submerge provincial loyalties into a greater vision in the 1860s, it may be that either as a result of a crisis or just as the result of evolution, people will, in the next 20 to 25 years say, "Well, why not have a confederation of all of North America?"

There would be a lot of Canadians for whom this idea ia anathema, and certainly right now, it would be political suicide and it's an idea judged to be on the margins of Canadian political discourse.  But what strikes me is that we are becoming more similar to the Americans in our culture and in our values.  If there are reasons for maintaining a separate country these will need to be better articulated than anybody has been able to do in the last twenty years or so.

I'm not advocating that Canada be swallowed up into the United States.  I'm not advocating that Canada join the United States.  What I am saying is that the way Canadian history has evolved, and is evolving, this is eventually going to become an issue.

Michael Bliss, professor of history at the University of Toronto, in "The Case for a United North America," the National Post, 18 January 2003, page B1.

Number of Commonwealth countries whose citizens can vote in a Nova Scotia election without possessing Canadian citizenship: 53.

By The Numbers: The Nova Scotia Election by Christopher Michael and James Cudmore, in the National Post, 28 July 1999.

I like Canada because it keeps its civil war civil.  French and English, east and west, Canadians seethe and posture and express outrage, stomp on each other's flags, draw a thousand lines in the sand and pass or fail to pass referendums.  The Canadian Civil War has lasted a century and then some, but nobody torpedoes boats, moves troops across borders or gets shot.  Surely, this is the right way to conduct a civil war.

Phil Milner in the Halifax Sunday Herald 29 June 2003, making a comparison with the American Civil War 1861-1865.  Mr. Milner grew up in the United States but now lives in Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.

...As for becoming a "true Antigonisher," I can forget about that.  Everyone knows it takes three generations minimum.

The decision by the Supreme Court of Canada on Quebec's right to secede seems to have been applauded on all sides, without much appreciation for its legal significance.  So perhaps a primer is in order... The judgment contains a brief political history of the country.  The one fact that stands out is that secessionists won 18 of Nova Scotia's 19 seats in the first federal election after Confederation and 36 of 38 seats in a concurrent provincial election.  There may be an important lesson in the fact that this was not enough.  Nova Scotia was not permitted to leave on the basis it had already assumed obligations to people in other provinces...

Paul Groarke, a lawyer, in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner, 28 August 1998


The people of Nova Scotia were tricked into this scheme.

Joseph Howe, MP (Member of Parliament) representing Hants constituency in Nova Scotia, speaking on the floor of the House of Commons in Ottawa on the evening of 8 November 1867, during the First Session of the First Parliament, as recorded in Hansard.  Provincial elections held in Nova Scotia in 1867 had swept the government of pro-confederate Premier Charles Tupper out of office.  Anti-confederates not only won 35 of 38 seats in the provincial legislative assembly, but also 18 of 19 Nova Scotia ridings in the federal election of 1867.  Howe was one of those elected as MP at this time, and this statement was part of his speech vehemently explaining his objections to Confederation ("this scheme") made in response to the Speech from the Throne.

A motion passed by the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1868 refusing to recognize the legitimacy of Confederation has never been rescinded.  Repeal, as anti-confederation became known, would rear its head again in the 1880s, and transform into the Maritime Rights Movement in the 1920s.  Some Nova Scotia flags flew at half mast on Canada Day as late as that time.

Source: Nova Scotia in Wikipedia

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the gratification expressed by His Excellency, it will not be shared by the people of my province.  They feel they have been legislated out of the Empire by being legislated into this Dominion.  They will read His Excellency's speech with sorrow and humiliation, and not gratification.  The bill was passed in the face of a petition of 31,000 of the people of Nova Scotia.  They did not ask to throw out the bill, merely to delay it until the Nova Scotians had time to pronounce upon it at the hustings.  There is, therefore, on the part of Nova Scotia certainly no room for congratulation for the manner in which it has been treated by the Mother country...

Joseph Howe, MP for Hants, speaking on the floor of the House of Commons in Ottawa, at 7:30pm, Friday, 8 November 1867
— Source:   Nova Scotia Separatists (1867), by Lloyd Duhaime

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CANLii, Poulin and the Future of Legal Information
Duhaime's LawMag, 28 October 2007

Duhaime's LawMag
A great blog monitoring and deciphering legal and justice system news
and providing honest, candid commentary thereon.

In stark contrast to the glowing accounts of the process leading to Confederation found in most school textbooks, the simple truth is that the vast majority of Nova Scotians were violently opposed to the concept.  Citizens of a strong, proud and debt free province, they astutely saw it for what it was: an attempt by the British government to free itself from the onerous cost of maintaining the bankrupt colonies of Upper and Lower Canada by mating them to the vibrant maritime economy.  And mate them they would, regardless of public outcry and oblivious to democratic process.  If this meant that no election or other popular vote would be held on the issue, so be it.

Public displeasure at this treatment was both widespread and imaginative.  July 1, 1867, saw hundreds of homes and public buildings draped in funereal black, while several newspapers in the province published the obituary of "Her Majesty's loyal province of Nova Scotia" and announced the birth of "the infant monster, Confederation".

While the average Nova Scotian may have felt helpless to prevent the proclamation of the British North America Act and the creation of the Dominion of Canada, many of them remained confident that the fight was not yet lost.  Surely, once the democratic will of the people had been demonstrated, the British government would see the error of its ways and rescind the act.  When the results of the first federal election for seats in the new Canadian House of Commons were tabulated, the sentiments of Nova Scotian voters could not have been more clear.  Eighteen of the 19 ridings returned anti-confederate members.  Only Charles Tupper defied the trend, and even then by the slimmest of margins.  The 1867 provincial election showed an identical result, with 36 of the 38 seats in the House of Assembly being captured by anti-confederates.  In both cases, more than sixty per cent of the popular vote was cast in support of candidates opposing the union...

From "Nova Scotia, Cradle of Separatism" by Brian Rafuse, in The Regional Magazine, 25 February 2003.  The weekly Regional Magazine is published by Kentville Publishing – a division of Optipress Publishing Limited, Dartmouth – and distributed as a supplement in the Windsor Hants Journal, the Kentville Advertiser, the Berwick Register, the Middleton Mirror-Examiner, the Bridgetown Monitor, the Annapolis Spectator, and the Digby Courier.

Canada's first separatist was not from Quebec, but from Nova Scotia.  Joseph Howe's pulverizing election victory over Charles Tupper in 1868 was a referendum on a single issue, Confederation.  Howe spent the first year of his administration petitioning the British Colonial Secretary in London to let Nova Scotia out of the 1867 deal.

Bob Rae in the National Post, 10 July 1999.
Complete text of Bob Rae's essay

Robert Keith Rae was Premier of Ontario
from 1 October 1990 to 28 June 1995.

I trust Bob will brush up on Nova Scotia history before writing further on such matters.

Like a vast number of Canadians, I like and respect Bob Rae, so I am commenting with sorrow rather than malice when I express astonishment at his lack of knowledge of Nova Scotia history... It is indicative that even eminent Upper Canadians do not know the history of the Maritimes or understand what we are about... The only administration that Joseph Howe headed as premier was from 1860 to 1863...

Gerald A. Regan in the National Post, 15 July 1999.

Gerald Augustine Regan was Premier of Nova Scotia
from 28 October 1970 to 5 October 1978.


Our leaders are busy spending $10 million to mark 250 years of democracy in Nova Scotia and its subsequent spread across this great land of ours, correct?  And part of this celebration is an emphasis on getting the rest of us, especially young people, more involved in the process, true?  Yet this month’s federal election and the HRM municipal election attracted record low voter turnouts?  Maybe that money would’ve been better spent bribing us to go to the polls.  Sometimes, the old ways work best.

Comment by Peter Duffy in his regular column in the Halifax Sunday Herald, 26 October 2008.

In other British North American colonies, self-government arrived far more quietly than in an ethnically divided Province of Canada.  Nova Scotia, as Joseph Howe himself declared, "achieved a Revolution without bloodshed."  There Howe out-talked and out-manoeuvred both Tory opponents and governors alike, as he shaped the solidly popular Reform party; even bringing over John Boyle Uniacke, a formidable Tory leader who became a powerful friend and party colleague instead.  Reformers swept the Nova Scotian elections of late 1847.  Consequently, in January, 1848, a Liberal party cabinet was called into office: actually, the first responsible colonial government in the British Empire (or any other, for that matter).  Uniacke officially became premier, Howe Provincial Secretary, though the key inspiration and achievement remained Howe's throughout.

James Maurice Stockford Careless "Chapter 7: Self-Government and Federal Union: 1841-1867", in Canada: A Celebration of Our Heritage, Heritage Publishing House, Mississauga, Ontario, 1997

The Natural World, Greatest Tides: The greatest tides in the world occur in the Bay of Fundy, which separates Nova Scotia, Canada, from the United States' north-easternmost state of Maine and the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Burncoat Head in the Minas Basin, Nova Scotia, has the greatest mean spring range with 14.5 metres 47.5 feet and an extreme range of 16.3 metres 53.5 feet.

Guinness Book of Records, 1975, ISBN 0900424265. Burncoat Head is roughly halfway between Truro and Windsor.  It lies across Cobequid Bay from Economy Point.  By automobile, it is reached along a loop of road which connects with highway 215 at Noel, Hants County.  The official Nova Scotia provincial map book (1979) shows the spelling to be "Burncoat Head" (one "t") located near the hamlet of "Burntcoat" (two "t"s).

This is a land where 100 billion tonnes of sea water roll in every 12 hours and 25 minutes, at times the height of a four-storey building.

Jeremy Ferguson, writing about the Bay of Fundy in The Globe and Mail 30 March 1996.

Twelve human generations ago, within sight of this campus, the hands of sturdy French colonists built dykes to reclaim from the muddy tides of Minas the fertile reaches of the "Big Meadow" — Grand Pre.  Twice a day for three centuries the shouldering sea has measured its strength against these humble barricades of sod and earth, and twice a day it has fallen back in baffled retreat.  Cattle still graze peacefully in the fields... But the sea is not weary.  Its vast impersonal force moves tirelessly to destroy the work of men's hands; and if the dykes are neglected, chaos will come again.

The first five sentences of the address delivered by Dr. Watson Kirkconnell on the occasion of his installation as President of Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, 22 October 1948, as recorded in the Acadia Bulletin, volume XXXIV number 7, November 1948.

..I now beg leave to the state, with regard to 1869, that at seven a.m., on October 5, the moon will be at that part of her orbit which is nearest to the earth.  Her attraction will, therefore, be at its maximum force.  At noon of the same day the moon will be on the earth's equator, a circumstance which never occurs without mark atmospheric disturbance, and at two p.m. of the same day lines drawn from the earth center would cut the sun and moon in the same arc of right ascension (the moon's attraction and the sun's attraction will therefore be acting in the same direction); in other words, the new moon will be on the earth's equator when in perigee, and nothing more threatening can, I say, occur without miracle...

From a letter written by Lieutenant Stephen Martin Saxby and published in Issue No. 13,851 of The Standard, London England, on 25 December 1868, nine months before.  A great storm, now known as the Saxby Gale, swept up the Bay of Fundy on the night of 4-5 October 1869.

Online source:
Weather Prediction in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries: A Canadian Perspective by John D. Reid

My attention has been drawn to a letter of Capt. Saxby, R.N. (Royal Navy), to the Standard of London in which a remarkable atmospheric disturbance is predicted for the coming 5th of October, as the result of the relative positions of the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon, on that day.  It may be remembered that a similar prediction of weather likely to occur about the same period, based on similar reasoning, was given to the world some months ago, by an observer in one of the West Indian Islands.  Other calculations from district sources point to like conclusions... I believe that a heavy gale will be encountered here on Tuesday next, the 5th Oct...

From a letter written by Frederick Allison and published in The Evening Express, Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 1 October 1869, four days before.

Online source:
Weather Prediction in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries: A Canadian Perspective by John D. Reid

Not to be greedy, but we will take all of it.

David Tibbets, Economic Development Director for Massachusetts, after Nova Scotia Premier Russell MacLellan made his presentation on Sable Island natural gas at the annual conference of New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on 8 June 1998, reported by Dale Madill in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, the next day.  Madill's report continued: Premiers and governors are all but climbing over each other to get on the Sable natural gas bandwagon.  "We will take all you can send us," said Mr. Tibbets, who was representing Paul Cellucci, Governor of Massachusetts (and later the United States ambassador to Canada), who did not attend because he was electioneering.  "The more the merrier," Mr. MacLellan said after his presentation. "The more who jump on the bandwagon the better."

New England's energy future leads to this down-at-the-heels village, a place so rural that people stop what they're doing to watch a passing car and whose only store closed years ago.  Cable TV and the Internet haven't reached here...

Scott Allen, writing about Goldboro, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, in The Boston Globe, 21 April 1997.  Allen's article continues:

One of the largest untapped natural gas deposits in North America sits beneath the Atlantic 100 miles offshore and, by 1999, much of it could start flowing to New England... The strategic value of the Sable project is huge.  It would provide a third gas pipeline into New England, as well as a supply much closer than the current sources in Western Canada and the Gulf of Mexico.  In addition, the pipeline would deliver natural gas for the first time to most of Maine...

On the isolated, far eastern shore of mainland Nova Scotia, a gas flare burns brightly atop a tower rising from a sprawling new petroleum plant.  Here in the sleepy village of Goldboro, a community founded on a long-forgotten gold rush, Canada's only offshore natural gas harvest arrives onshore for processing before entering a 1,000-kilometre pipeline to New England.

Less than five years ago, the people of Goldboro and residents in the wider Municipal District of Guysborough, population: 5,000, lived in a blank spot on the map — a place bypassed by highways and by industry, known as the forgotten corner of Nova Scotia.  Today, they are considered the "Sheiks of Nova Scotia," the lucky subjects of a Beverly-Hillbillies-like transformation based on a 1998 decision to bring natural gas from the subsea fields near Sable Island on to Guysborough's turf.  Since 2000, the municipality of Guysborough has been collecting millions of dollars in annual property taxes from the gas plant at Goldboro and the pipeline that threads through the district...

Ricard Foote in the National Post, 5 March 2003

I'm very enthusiastic about Atlantic Canada.  I think its time has come.

Harvey Smith, president of Hibernia Management and Development Company, quoted in the National Post, 4 September 1999.  Mr. Smith was commenting about the economic effects of petroleum developments along the Atlantic coast.  The Hibernia oilfield is jointly owned by Mobil Canada, 33%; Chevron Canada Resources Ltd., 27%; Petro-Canada, 20%; Canada Hibernia Holding Corp., 8.5%; Murphy Oil Ltd., 6.5%; and Norsk Hydro Canada Oil and Gas Ltd., 5%.

This is a project that comes along once in a career... Here you have the birth of an industry.

Ralph Mayer, manager of construction for the Canadian section of the natural gas pipeline built in 1999 from Goldboro, Nova Scotia, through New Brunswick and Maine to Dracut, Massachusetts.  Mr. Mayer was quoted in the National Post, 4 September 1999.

In ten years we'll produce more conventional oil than western Canada.

Gary Bruce, vice-president of offshore development and operations for Petro-Canada, which has a stake in most of the major discoveries on the East Coast.  Mr. Bruce was quoted in the National Post, 4 September 1999.

It's a world-class petroleum sedimentary basin being administered by hillbilly governments.

A Canadian regulatory official "who did not want to be indentified" commenting on "an intractable boundary dispute" between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on the location of the boundary between the two provincial jurisdictions in the proposed issuance of drilling permits in the Laurentian sub-basin off Cape Breton Island, quoted in the Halifax Daily News, the National Post, and the Globe and Mail, 6 December 1999.

There is a tremendous demand for natural gas in the Northeastern United States and the closest potential new source now known is the Laurentian sub-basin, located about 150km from the nearest landfall near Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island.  This basin is the focus of the boundary dispute between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.  Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm has said his government is not going to budge on the imaginary boundary line that divides offshore resources between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.  Newfoundland is contesting the location of the existing boundary line, drawn in 1986, which gives the greater share of the ocean floor to Nova Scotia.
[Cape Breton Post, 30 Nov. & 7 Dec. 1999]

The amount of gas off Nova Scotia is simply immense — perhaps the equivalent of the energy needs for all of Canada for six years.

Editorial in the Halifax Daily News, 29 October 1997.

One is left with the impression we'll be not just hewers of wood and drawers of water but passers of gas.

John Reynolds said to laughter from a large crowd at a public meeting in Halifax on 3 December 1996, as reported in the Halifax Daily News the next day.  Reynolds explained that proponents of a Nova Scotia-New England natural gas pipeline have given local markets little attention, and Eastern Canada's natural gas markets may be forgotten in a rush to service the U.S.  The $1,000,000,000 proposal would move as much as 16 million cubic metres a day of natural gas from six fields near Sable Island and ship it to New England markets by December 1999.  Reynolds told a joint federal-provincial panel, chaired by Bob Fournier, the main Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline proposal includes no lines to large Maritimes users.

Among the great resources with which Canada has been so amply endowed are its vast water powers.  While our mineral resources are enormous, nevertheless the supplies of coal, however great, must eventually become exhausted; but water powers are inexhaustible and they can be developed and utilized for the advantage of all the people without any serious difficulties in organization or distribution.  The use is manifold, ranging from the operation of great transportation systems to detail work on small farms...

Sir Robert Laird Borden, Speech at the Directors' Luncheon, Central Canada Exhibition, Ottawa, September 9, 1918


When Boys Mined Coal

The children were most numerous in 1908, when no fewer than 302 boys found work in the Cumberland coal mines – 176 underground and 44 on the surface in Springhill, 66 underground and 16 on the surface in the various small mines of the Joggins coalfield.  Childhood was shortened, and the transition to manhood drastically reduced to a year or so, a fact dramatized by the coal miners' stories of boys starting work still believing in Santa Claus... It is hard, in the end, to imagine a more savage and inhuman industrial environment.  Anyone who worked in a coal mine lived and worked on the margin.  The least mistake, the least weakness or inattention, could result in death.  Percy Hyatt, 13 years old, acting on a whim which tempts today's children in supermarkets, met his death on the bankhead: here was the coal conveyor, used for conveying coal to the boilers, and the boy balanced himself on the chain and allowed it to carry him along.  While doing so he caught one of his feet in a link of the chain and was dragged along through a very small hole in the boiler house wall and torn to pieces.  After the Explosion of 1891, rescuers discovered, in the midst of the smoke and debris, lost children, bewildered, crying out for mother...

The Realm of Uncertainty: The Experience of Work in the Cumberland Coal Mines, 1873-1927 by Ian McKay
Source: Acadiensis

For the boy fresh to the mine, a coal mine would be a very dark and black place.  The lighting would have been minimal.  You would have carried your own lantern in desperate hope that the light in your lantern would not go out.  Mines would have had their own peculiar set of noises — the noise of the steam pumps, the noise of the hoist, the noise of the intermittent explosions as miners set an explosive charge to break some coal off at the coal face.  Rats were commonly found in mines, so the boy would hear the scurrying of these rats.

I think especially with trapper boys, they would spend time very much alone and that is what they found most difficult — those first weeks in the mine, they were very much alone.  They were put alongside this door in the mine and they might have somebody come along and have to open the door only once every 15 or 20 minutes.  It would have been frightening for them.  That is what most boys remember — how intimidating they found the mine in the first weeks.  What you have to bear in mind, too, is that they are taken into the mine, they are put on this elevator hoist and then they are dropped onto the earth.  In large mines it might take five or ten minutes or more for people to actually get to the bottom of the hoist, you know, at which point they get off into the dark and are brought to some point along the underground road and left all by themselves...

When Boys Mined Coal, interview with Robert McIntosh, Ph.D.,
Cochran Entertainment Incorporated website
Robert McIntosh, an historian with The National Archives of Canada, has written and been published extensively on labour history, including such topics as the work of seamstress in the textile trade. With Del Muise, he was co-author of Coal Mining in Canada published by the National Museum of Science and Technology. His research on boy miners formed his doctoral dissertation at Carleton University.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
When Boys Mined Coal
Robert McIntosh interview

Archived: 1999 May 6

Archived: 1999 October 12

Archived: 2000 June 19

Archived: 2002 January 6

After four months of listening to Mr. Shannon's numbers, which have changed several times, it would take a giant leap of faith to blindly give credibility to any of Devco's present numbers without detailed financial data to back up the speculative projections they have made.

Senator Bill Rompkey, Chair of the Special Senate Committee on the Cape Breton Development Corporation, speaking in Ottawa, Tuesday, May 28, 1996, during a meeting of the Committee, which was studying the annual report and corporate plan of the Cape Breton Development Corporation (DEVCO) and related matters.  Mr. Joe Shannon was President of DEVCO, and Chairman of the DEVCO Board of Directors.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
Proceedings of the Special Senate Committee
on the Cape Breton Development Corporation

Ottawa, 28 May 1996

Archived: 2000 December 16

Archived: 2001 March 8

A ship from the 21st Century...

This sounds like a phrase from some science-fiction story about time-travelling tourists from the future coming to 1998 to see what things looked like in the old days.  Instead, it is a direct quote from an official document signed by Angus S. King, Governor of Maine, in Augusta, the state capital, on 21 May 1998, declaring 1998 to be "The Year of The Cat" in Maine.  The Cat was a ferry owned and operated by Bay Ferries Limited, a Canadian company.

Information about The Cat was available
in 1998 at
and in 1999-2000 at

Information about Bay Ferries Limited was available
in 1998 at
and in 1999-2000 at

The Cat has a capacity of 900 people, 240 cars, and 4 buses, and develops 38,000 horsepower 28 megawatts of propulsion power.  It cruises at 90 km/h 48.5 knots or 56 miles per hour daily both ways between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and Bar Harbor, Maine.  The phrase is a tribute to the new high-tech ferry, the fastest car ferry in North America.  The final sentence of the proclamation reads: "Now, therefore, I, Angus S. King Jr., Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby proclaim 1998 as The Year of the Cat in the State of Maine, and urge all citizens and visitors to join in celebrating the arrival of The Cat, a ship from the 21st Century and a vital link for the continued growth of tourism here in Maine and Nova Scotia into the next Millennium."  The complete text of the proclamation, and details of the ferry's schedule and design, are available online.
[From the Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Vanguard, 9 June 1998]

A few weeks ago I was living with two roommates in a flat, sharing a living room couch.  I'm still busy being a little overwhelmed.

Paul Gauthier, quoted in Fortune magazine, 27 September 1999.  Gauthier, who grew up in Cole Harbour, a suburb of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, at 26 was the youngest of Fortune's list of America's Forty Richest Under Forty, "the first ever ranking of the wired generation's wealthiest."  There were two requirements: They had to be under 40 years old as of 1 September 1999, and they had to have earned their wealth, not got it through inheritance.  The wealth of these men (they turned out to be all men) often consisted mainly of shares in high-technology companies, a category characterized by volatility of stock market prices.  As Fortune noted, this "volatility shifted our list daily."  Fortune chose Friday, 13 August 1999 as the day for which the wealth assessments would be made.  Gauthier, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Inktomi, came in at number 21 on the list, with a personal fortune of $418,000,000.  (Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Computer, was number one with $21,490,000,000.  Bill Gates had more money than Dell, but at age 43 was too old for this list.) In 1995, Gauthier, then 23 years old, was a grad student in computer science at the University of California at Berkeley.  His graduate advisor was Eric Brewer, an assistant professor.  Gauthier's master's thesis explored the idea of stringing together regular PCs (personal computers) and workstations to make them function like high-powered supercomputers.  To test the new computer architecture in action, they built an Internet search engine — a laboratory exercise that, except for the gathering Internet mania, might have produced no more than a few white papers.  Brewer and Gauthier were aware that the world didn't exactly need another search engine — there were already six up and running — but they felt that their technology was better.  Since it was based on clustered computers, it was faster, more reliable, and more scalable than the competition's.  Their search engine became the foundation of Inktomi, a $6 billion company, named for a Lakota Indian legend about a spider who subdues larger enemies with its superior cunning.  It was released for the first time as Wired's HotBot search site.  Gauthier's passion for computing began with the Commodore 64 his family bought when he was eleven. In the 1990 Cole Harbour high school yearbook, a classmate wrote, "We think Paul will be a computer genius."  No kidding.  Rumor is Gauthier made several school chums rich by giving them Inktomi shares, but they won't say how much they got.
[The Globe and Mail, 15 September 1999]
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 5 November 1999]

No Nova Scotian fell harder and farther than former high-tech wunderkind Paul Gauthier of Cole Harbour.  Gauthier was co-founder of Inktomi, a California company that supplied search engines to some of the World Wide Web's major players, including Yahoo, a contract the company has since lost.  Because Gauthier's wealth, estimated in 2000 to exceed $1.25 billion, was tied up in company stock, as the stock fell so did his worth.  Most recent estimates put him at between ten and twenty million dollars.

A story in the Money section in the Halifax Daily News, 10 December 2002, about the four Nova Scotian names on the 2002 list of Canada's 100 richest persons or families.  Mr. Gauthier, who ranked 27th on the 1999 list of Canada's 100 richest, came nowhere close to making the cutoff for the 2002 list. The list includes all Canadian citizens, regardless of where they live.

He (Gauthier) dropped completely off the radar.  That was the most skocking of the drops that I saw.

Jason Kirby as quoted in the Halifax Daily News, 10 December 2002.  Mr. Kirby is the investment editor of Canadian Business magazine, which compiled the 2002 listing of Canada's 100 richest persons or families that formed the basis of the Daily News story on Nova Scotia's richest people.  There were four Nova Scotian family names on the list: Sobey (62nd), Risley (74th), Bragg (87th), and Jodrey (95th).

The embattled railroad at the centre of the recent deadly train derailment at Lac-Megantic, Quebec, has filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the U.S. amid a flurry of lawsuits and growing cleanup costs the company estimates will surpass $200 million.  The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway initiated proceedings Wednesday (7 August 2013) for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court, while its sister firm in Canada (Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Canada Company — “a Nova Scotia company” per the Petition §62) presented a petition in Quebec Superior Court seeking relief from its creditors under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act...

Railroad files for bankruptcy after Lac-Megantic tragedyGlobal News, 7 August 2013, 11:45pm

Incorporated: 2002 May 06

Registered Office:
800 - 1959 Upper Water St
Halifax NS Canada B3J 2X2

RJSC Nova Scotia
Registry ID: 3066766
Type: Nova Scotia Unlimited Liability

Edward A. Burkhardt, Chairman
6400 Shafer Ct. Suite 275
Rosemont, Illinois

Robert C. Grindrod, President & Chief Executive Officer
15 Iron Road, Hermon, Maine

What's an inch?

M. Allan Gibson in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 24 December 1998, quoting some teenagers. In an article The Christmas Tree, Rev. Mr. Gibson, recalled some Christmas customs:

Not long ago, our youth group decided to have an old-fashioned Christmas.  The tree was to be decorated in the manner of their grandparents.  It turned out that what they had in mind coincided with my own experience when I was their age.  In those days, when we provided our own entertainment, we made paper chains.  In preparation, I told the young folk to cut the red and green tissue paper into pieces measuring one by six inches and from those strips we would make the links of a chain.  The young people simply stared at one another.  "Come on," I urged, "Let's get busy."  Then came the question, "What's an inch?"

It's an awful lot of fun. It's a way of legitimizing thinking like a seven or eight year old.

Andrew Cochran, 45, in The Peter Pan of Theodore Tugboat, the Halifax Daily News, 27 October 1997.  Cochran, the owner of Cochran Communications Inc. and several subsidiary companies, has made a career out of combining youth and television.  His latest coup is having his children's show, Theodore Tugboat, picked up by the PBS network for daily distribution across North America.  He has also produced a 26-episode documentary series, Life on the Internet. Big Harbour, the set used for Theodore Tugboat, is based closely on Halifax Harbour and includes a mockup of Purdy's Wharf, a large building located on the shore of Halifax Harbour in downtown Halifax, where Cochran has ground floor offices overlooking the water.

Halifax harbour is probably one of the most explosives-littered harbours in all of North America.

Lieutenant Commander Jim Hewitt, commander of the Atlantic Fleet Diving Unit, commenting on the two old bombs accidentally scooped up by a dredging company from the bottom of Bedford Basin, quoted in the National Post, 26 April 1999.  The consensus among experts seemed to be they were left over from the First World War.  The discovery of the bombs in the dredged material led to the evacuation of homes and businesses within a one-kilometre radius of the site, and the closure of the busy Bedford Highway for several hours.

One of these old bombs has been identified as an 1860 British artillery shell.  Lieutenant Commander Jim Hewitt said: "It took us a month to track it down."  Citadel Hill historian Ron McDonald said the shell could have been meant for use in large muzzle-loading cannons developed to sink iron-clad ships from forts at McNab's Island, York Redoubt, or George's Island.
The Halifax Daily News, 10 June 1999

To decide to remain ignorant and then parade that ignorance is a racist xenophobic slimy ferret-faced weasel kind of a thing to do.

A columnist in the Halifax Sunday Daily News, 12 September 1999, commenting on a paragraph in a column that appeared in the Halifax Sunday Herald, 5 September 1999.  Some people interpret these words as an indication that the Sunday Daily News columnist disagreed with the Sunday Herald columnist.

On the way back from the airport, I told the cab driver I'd been to Nova Scotia.  His reply?  "Ah, wonderful place, New England."  Yes, I'm sure it is, I nodded, before politely pointing out that the maritime province is in Eastern Canada and not the US.  Even I, who grew up in Montreal, had set off with only the haziest idea of what the province might offer.  Seafood and lighthouses, for sure – Nova Scotia has over 7000 km of coastline – but what else?  From my (hated) school history lessons I knew a bit about its turbulent past: the Mi'kmaq people got there first, but in the 18th century Nova Scotia was the site of raging battles between the British and the French...  All riveting if you're a history buff, but maybe a little – whisper it – dull – otherwise?  As it happens, below the clean-scrubbed Canadian-ness of the place, lurks an endearing eccentricity: every town, village and cove seems to harbour a resident ghost, prone to playing peek-a-boo in the Victorian bed and breakfasts; only in Nova Scotia can you walk into a McDonalds and order a McLobster (in season, of course); the most popular of blueberry desserts is called a 'Grunt'...

"Is this it?" I said to the boatman, as we set off on an inflatable boat down the sluggish Shubenacadie River, north of Halifax.  I spoke too soon.  Thirty minutes later, the tides from the Bay of Fundy (the world's highest) were upon us, churning up ten foot waves that turned the boat into a roller coaster-cum-washing machine.  Cue a solid hour of screams and spluttering.  Let's just say if you like white water rafting, you'll love this...

You want striking architecture and history?  It's all in Lunenberg, a Unesco world heritage site on the South Shore.  Settled by hard working European immigrants – a ship-building trade is their legacy – it's popular with daytrippers from Halifax, and film crews.  Whatever you do, don't miss the one hour walking tour: first stop is the Lunenberg Academy.  Officially it's an architectural gem.  Unofficially, it's a pretty grim place to hone your arithmetic.  The children who study here (poor lambs) use the buddy system when venturing to the loo in the basement.  Why?  Because, silly, they used to hang people down there...  Dolores Clairborne, the Stephen King horror film starring Kathy Bates was filmed here.  Somehow that didn't surprise me...

Source: " Ten reasons to visit Nova Scotia" by Jini Reddy in The Times, London, 18 April 2007

The 1760 treaty does affirm the right of the Mi'kmaq people to continue to provide for their own sustenance by taking the products of their hunting, fishing and other gathering activities, and trading for what in 1760 was termed "necessaries"...

Nothing less would uphold the honour and integrity of the Crown in its dealings with the Mi'kmaq people to secure their peace and friendship — as best the content of those treaty promises can now be ascertained...

Justice Ian Binnie writing for the 5-2 majority of the Supreme Court of Canada, 17 September 1999, in acquitting Nova Scotian Donald Marshall Jr. on three counts of illegally catching eels.  Mr. Marshall, 45, a Mi'kmaq Indian, was charged in 1993 with three offences set out in the federal fishery regulations: the selling of eels without a licence, fishing without a licence and fishing during the closed season with illegal nets.  He admitted that he had caught and sold 463 pounds of eels without a licence and with a prohibited net within close times.  The only issue at trial was whether he possessed a treaty right to catch and sell fish under the treaties of 1760-61 that exempted him from compliance with the regulations.  His acquittal by the Supreme Court has the important legal effect of affirming the continuing validity of the terms of the treaty between the Mi'kmaq and King George II, signed in 1760.
The Globe and Mail, 18 September 1999,
the National Post, 18 September 1999, and

The starting point for the analysis of the alleged treaty right must be an examination of the specific words used in any written memorandum of its terms.  In this case, the task is complicated by the fact the British signed a series of agreements with individual Mi'kmaq communities in 1760 and 1761 intending to have them consolidated into a comprehensive Mi'kmaq treaty that was never in fact brought into existence.  The trial judge, Provincial Court Justice Embree, found that by the end of 1761 all of the Mi'kmaq villages in Nova Scotia had entered into separate but similar treaties.  Some of these documents are missing.  Despite some variations among some of the documents, Provincial Court Justice Embree was satisfied that the written terms applicable to this dispute were contained in a Treaty of Peace and Friendship entered into by Governor Charles Lawrence on March 10, 1760...

Complete text of the Supreme Court decision

They were not people to be trifled with.

Justice Ian Binnie writing for the 5-2 majority of the Supreme Court of Canada, 17 September 1999, in acquitting Nova Scotian Donald Marshall Jr. on three counts of illegally catching eels.  The complete paragraph reads as follows:

The Mi'kmaq, according to the evidence, had seized in the order of 100 European sailing vessels in the years prior to 1760.  There are recorded Mi'kmaq sailings in the 18th century between Nova Scotia, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Newfoundland.  They were not people to be trifled with.  However, by 1760, the British and Mi'kmaq had a mutual self-interest in terminating hostilities and establishing the basis for a stable peace.  (boldface emphasis added)

Complete text of the Supreme Court decision

I think (the Supreme Court judges) feel that they've stepped in a bit of a cow patty here and are trying as delicately as they can to get their foot out of it.

Someone, identified only as a "court observer who asked to remain anonymous," commenting on the publication by the Supreme Court of Canada of a lengthy clarification to the recent Marshall decision, described by some legal experts as "an unprecedented response to the havoc created in the East Coast fishery by the original ruling," quoted in the National Post, 18 November 1999, in a story datelined at Halifax.

There can be no real peace in Canada until the nation assumes responsibility for its past crimes against humanity and makes amends to the Micmac and other Canadian Tribes for the indescribable horrors it subjected them to.  The physical and psychological torment the Micmac suffered started shortly after significant European intrusions began in approximately 1598 and has continued to a certain degree right up to the present time... Any qualms the Europeans may have had regarding their racist attitudes toward the Micmac were soon obscured by their drive to satisfy one of their societies' worst traits: greed.  The plundering of the Americas for gold and other riches soon became their top priority.  To justify the horrors that would soon commence, they conveniently branded the Micmac "coloured and heathen savages," so no conscience need be disturbed when the slaughter of the Tribe and the theft of its property began...

Dr. Daniel N. Paul, in the Foreword on page vii of his book We Were Not the Savages: A Micmac Perspective on the Collision of European and Aboriginal Civilization, Nimbus Publishing Ltd., Halifax, 1993, ISBN 1-55109-056-2

The arrogance of the British towards other civilizations was globally evident.  Smug in their perceptions of themselves as a superior race destined to dictate the correct mode of civilization to the world, British colonial leaders had superiority complexes that make those of other egotists of the day pale by comparison.  For instance, they accepted as Divine Providence that British law applied wherever in the world a British citizen hung his hat.  This attitdue caused indescribable suffering, humiliation, and degradation to millions of people subjected to British imperialism... (Many people now believe that) Great Britain is a nation where democracy and justice has long prevailed, but, the truth is that both concepts are relatively new to British thinking and practice...

Dr. Daniel N. Paul, on page 78 of his book We Were Not the Savages: A Micmac Perspective on the Collision of European and Aboriginal Civilization

Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden, a great internationalist, was the chief architect of Canada's independence.

Heath Macquarrie, emeritus senator, in a letter to the editor printed in The Globe and Mail on 4 January 2000.

Robert Laird Borden, Prime Minister of Canada 1911-1920, was born at Grand Pre, Kings County, Nova Scotia, on 26 June 1854; he died at Ottawa on 10 June 1937.  He was a leading figure in the achievement of Dominion Status, and in the transition from the British Empire to the British Commonwealth of Nations.  His leadership during World War One was remarkable...
[The Canadian Encyclopedia, Year 2000 Edition, McClelland & Stewart Inc., Toronto, 1999]

We make $200, on j-u-n-k.

Fran Merryweather, "in her barn in Middle Musquodoboit," commenting on the annual Musquodoboit Fifty-Mile Yard Sale, held 11-12 September 1999.

This past weekend was the ninth year for an event that draws thousands of people into the heart of Nova Scotia.  The sale begins — or ends, depending on your point of view — up beyond Upper Musquodoboit, and runs through Middle Musquodoboit, eventually petering out in Musquodoboit Harbour.

Reported in Hagglers and Hoarders Feast on Junk in 50-Mile Yard Sale, in The Globe and Mail, 13 September 1999.

Open bars, illegal as they were, were a facet of life in New Glasgow until 1910.  For another twenty years the were "semi-open".  Thereafter the liquor sellers were classified by the unlovely term of "bootlegger" and sold their wares in assorted dives, blind pigs, joints, and from under the counter in places of business masquerading as legitimate enterprises.  The Scott Act (Canada Temperance Act that became law in 1878) had made the sale of liquor illegal in the period 1878-1910.  The Nova Scotia Temperance Act, 1910-1930, put the liquor traffic underground.  Neither Act stopped the illegal sale of liquor, or more properly expressed, the scope of enforcement of both acts failed to keep liquor from being sold. The rum was distilled in the West Indies, came aboard ship to Nova Scotia ports in five and ten gallon kegs, and, when rum was classified in the public mind as a staple, from the wharves it was hauled openly to the general stores and hotels and taverns.  It was sold openly to consumers, who bought it by the keg-full, or in jugs, in jars, in bottles, in buckets, and dippers.

James M. Cameron in his book About New Glasgow, 1962, Hector Publishing Company, New Glasgow

At Halifax, Dartmouth and on Cape Breton Island, thirsty Nova Scotians queued up on the sidewalk while shutters came down, doors were opened and government liquor stores began to operate for the first time since Nova Scotia formally abandoned Prohibition (in November 1929). Nova Scotia's drought did not pass bloodlessly. At Truro...

"Wet Acadia" in Time magazine, 1 September 1930

In 1915 a schooner, the Gypsum Queen, sank off the Irish Coast during a storm.  The crew took to boats, were picked up by a freighter without loss of life.  Fifteen years later the owner and captain, Freeman Hatfield of Nova Scotia, bobbed up with the story that the Gypsum Queen had been torpedoed by a German submarine.  He claimed indemnity and in 1931 finally got from the Canadian Government $71,276.72.  A year later Captain Hatfield abandoned the sea, went to the U.S., opened a small chicken farm in Candia, New Hampshire... In December 1934 police officers marched up to the door of Captain Hatfield's chicken farm, and arrested him.  The Canadian Government had at long last discovered that the Gypsum Queen was not torpedoed but had foundered in heavy seas.  It charged Captain Hatfield with larceny and obtaining money under false pretenses, and asked for his extradition.  For more than two years Hatfield was held in jail at Manchester while he fought extradition...

Time magazine, 31 May 1937


Captain Freeman Hatfield, former skipper of the Nova Scotia schooner Gypsum Queen, is charged with having obtained from the Reparations Commission...

Winnipeg Free Press 17 September 1937

Capt. Hatfield of Parrsboro, N.S., skipper of the vessel Gypsum Queen, found guilty of defrauding the Reparations Commission, and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

St. John's, Newfoundland, Daily News, 22 September 1937

In Canada, where villages like Swastika, Ontario have been taking patriotic names like Winston (for Churchill), the citizens of New Germany, Nova Scotia, declined to change....

Time magazine, 3 February 1941

The sad-faced, spindly little Negro boy was broke, cold and hungry that winter day in Boston in 1902. He did not even know how old he was (he guessed maybe 16), but he knew well enough why he and his dog had run away from their Weymouth, Nova Scotia home...

"The Tar Baby" in Time magazine, 23 January 1956

I say bravo, Evan Brown.

Wendy Elliott, in her regular weekly column in the Kentville Advertiser, 22 August 2000, commenting on the incident in Charlottetown, P.E.I., on August 16th, when Evan Brown pushed a cream pie into Prime Minister Jean Chretien's face.  Brown was a graduate, about 1997, of Horton District High School in New Minas, Kings County, Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia Quotes: E.W. Brown, 16 August 2000

...Here in the Annapolis Valley those of us who know Evan Wade Brown were not surprised at all (by his action in Charlottetown)... I first met Evan at the high school drama festival.  He wrote a brilliant play about the tragedy of drugs with strong Shakesperian overtones.  His maturity and intelligence were evident in his script and his behaviour.  Later I discovered that Evan was one of five students in Wolfville living precariously on their own with some financial support from municipal authorities.  I interviewed two of them for a column about living on $250 a month for ten months of the year... Who better to humble the Prime Minister than someone with Evan Brown's background?  He is no milk-fed middle class kid.  The boy has learned the hard way how much government bureaucracy cares about ordinary Canadians.  Why should he be respectful and who better to belt than an arrogant head of government?...

Canada's best-known political protester... Those who know him paint a portrait of a responsible, knowledgeable and possibly talented young man, with a keen interest in politics and protest.

Jack MacAndrew, about Evan Brown, in The Globe and Mail 18 August 2000. Mr. Brown is originally from Sackville, Nova Scotia, and spent about five years in Wolfville. He attended Horton Academy and Acadia University where he studied English, but left without graduating.

Mr. Aaron Koleszar, an experienced political activist, is Mr. Brown's closest friend on Prince Edward Island.  Mr. Koleszar is a veteran of the Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization and ended up on the cover of Time magazine with the foot of a Seattle policeman planted firmly on his neck. He was thrown in jail and charged in that incident, but the charges against him were later dropped.  Mr. Brown had planned to accompany him to a later protest in Washington, but was unable to make the trip.  Mr. Koleszar was conspicuously present when the pie was launched at Mr. Chretien and Mr. Brown was dragged away by the RCMP...

Postscript: The man convicted of assault for shoving a pie in the face of Prime Minister Chretien, has won his appeal against a 30-day jail sentence.  Evan Wade Brown, 24, of Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, who served eight days in custody before being released pending appeal, was sentenced to time he had already served.
[National Post, 15 December 2001]

It was great. I managed to find tarabish, forty-fives, intervale, and dairy — meaning a convenience store — in one reading of your newspaper.

Katherine Barber, editor-in-chief of the new Canadian Oxford Dictionary, said she took a look at the Cape Breton Post on her plane trip to Sydney Thursday and quickly spotted four Cape Bretonisms.  The Cape Breton Post, Friday, 6 November 1998, reported that Barber was in Cape Breton to deliver the keynote address that evening at the opening session of the annual conference of the Atlantic Provinces Linguistics Association.  She spoke at the Royal Bank Lecture Theatre at University College of Cape Breton. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary is the country's only dictionary of Canadian English, a 1,728 page volume containing 130,000 words, including 2,000 Canadian words and senses.

...That's what it was like here in the last century (late 1800s).  Not only would newspapers conduct trials in their pages but people were freely defamed, libeled, slandered, labeled as scoundrels, swindlers, drunkards, and so on... No details were spared...

1886 Killing - Trial by Newspaper by Ed Coleman, 12 May 2000, one of his regular weekly columns in the Kentville Advertiser.

(In 1966, when he was working in his native England) David Bentley sent letters to every single newspaper in the U.S.A. and Canada and received two replies – one from The Witchita Beacon in Kansas and one from The Halifax Herald Limited in some backwater called Nova Scotia... The next thing you know, David is on the Cunard Line's Sylvania heading to Pier 21 in Halifax... Of course Halifax in the 1960s wasn't all moose meat and blueberries... In late 1968, David quit the Herald when they refused to publish a story about a government scandal in Sackville about people who had inside information buying land at a profit... David hunkered down, lived cheaply and saved his money for a comeback, which came in 1975 in the form of the Bedford Sackville News, or the BS News as it was affectionately known... The weekly paper... was in your face and brash, but it helped create spirit in a new community just developing and identity... In 1976 David bought a press, a huge undertaking... In 1979... the Bedford Sackville News went daily, becoming The Daily News, a tabloid which created a niche in the city. The circulation grew to 20,000... Then Harry Steele made David and his wife and business partner offer they couldn't refuse... Most would assume a non-competition clause with The Daily News preventing the sale of advertising would keep David out of the news business. But David is nothing if not wily. So along came Frank Magazine... as an experiment to see if a media product could be supported solely by circulation...

The Incredible Mr. Bentley, pages 16-17 in Frank 591, 4-17 August 2010.

Centerfold, Atlantic Canada Frank #591
Centerfold (pages 16-17) Atlantic Canada Frank #591

When I buy Frank magazine and pass it around, I am doing evil for I am sharing in the sin of detraction and/or calumny [slander]...

Colin Campbell, Roman Catholic Bishop of Antigonish, in his regular column in the Antigonish Casket, 26 December 2001, as quoted in the National Post, 18 January 2002.  The Casket is a weekly newspaper which has been published in Antigonish since 1852.  (The name means "jewel box" or "treasure chest".)

The Atlantic version of Frank – as described in its masthead – "is a magazine of news, satire, opinion, comment and humour published every two weeks" by Coltsfoot Publishing Company in Halifax.
The Ontario edition of Frank is published in Ottawa

The National Post explained that Bishop Campbell's anti-Frank column began as a discussion of John Walker Lindh, the United States man found fighting with Taliban forces in Afghanistan in December 2001.  Bishop Campbell asked whether Mr. Walker's parents are morally responsible for their son's choices.  After reviewing the Church's teaching on "co-operation" – how people can sin by participating, even vaguely, in the wrongful acts of others – Bishop Campbell turned his attention to Frank magazine: "When I gossip about what's (in) there, the degree of participation can vary greatly," he wrote.  "So what's the degree of participation of John's parents in his journey?"

What Frank magazine has got to do with a nut-bar who hung out in some cave in Afghanistan is beyond me.

The response in Atlantic Frank, 9-22 January 2002 (#368), as quoted in the National Post, 18 January 2002.

So what could be behind Bishop Campbell's edict that reading Frank magazine – let alone buying it and passing it around – makes one participate in the "sin of detraction and/or calumny"?  That's libel and slander in the real world, and in Frank's fifteen years there has been but one lawsuit...

Atlantic Frank, 23 January - 5 February 2002 (#369)

Nothing better expresses resistance to arbitrary authority than the persistence of what grammarians have denounced for centuries as "errors". In the common speech of English-speaking peoples — Americans, Englishmen, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and others — these usages persist, despite rising literacy and wider education.  We hear them every day:

Double negative : "I don't want none of that."

Double comparative: "Don't make that any more heavier!"

Wrong verb: "Will you learn me to read?"

These "errors" have been with us for at least four hundred years, because you can find each of them in Shakespeare...

I find it very interesting that these forms will not go away and lie down.  They were vigorous and acceptable in Shakespeare's time; they are far more vigorous today, although not acceptable as standard English.  Regarded as error by grammarians, they are nevertheless in daily use all over the world...

Robert MacNeil in Wordstruck, Penguin Books, 1989.

A charming memoir... In its best pages one can almost whiff the salty tang of fog descending on proud, poky Halifax as winter comes.  MacNeil recalls being amazed, on a rare trip aboard his father's corvette, that sailing terms derived from Viking days (coxswain, starboard) still have a defining role in modern navies...

Time, 24 April 1989, reviewing Wordstruck, by Robert MacNeil.
Time's review

The book draws us into an appreciation of language that seems rare in this crass and overbearing age....

New York Times, 26 March 1989, reviewing Wordstruck, by Robert MacNeil.
New York Times' review

...We are the beneficiaries of the standards laid down by Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer.  I mean, we literally stand on the shoulders of giants.  It was they who demanded and insisted upon a standard of civility in dialogue which permeates this whole show and has been the gold standard, in my judgment...

Syndicated columnist Mark Shields, responding to the announcement that he and New York Times columnist David Brooks were awarded the first ever Prize for Civility in Public Life from Allegheny College in western Pennsylvania.  In announcing the award on the air on 24 February 2012, PBS Newshour moderator Judy Woodruff said, "as the college president, James Mullen, said in giving you the award – quote – 'It is the hope of today that through this award and our college's focus on civility, we might empower young people across the nation, that we might help them, help all of us find the faith and the courage to engage in the public arena with civility and respect.' "
Source: Transcript of the PBS Newshour program, 24 February 2012

Responsible for conducting consolidated pretrial proceedings in the Multidistrict Litigation arising from the crash of Swissair Flight No. 111 near Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, on September 2, 1998, the court now considers the motion of defendants The Boeing Company and McDonnell Douglas Corporation, joined by all other defendants, to dismiss all claims for punitive damages as precluded by the Death on the High Seas by Wrongful Act, as amended, 46 U.S.C. app. §§ 761-767 ("DOHSA").  They argue that DOHSA is the exclusive avenue open to plaintiffs for any monetary recovery.  For the reasons that follow, defendants' motion is granted and judgment is entered in favor of the defendants as to all claims for punitive damages.

Decision, dated 27 February 2002, by Federal Judge James T. Giles, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in Re Air Crash Disaster, Multidistrict Litigation MDL No. 1269, near Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, on September 2, 1998

A federal judge has dismissed claims for punitive damages for families of victims of the 1998 crash of Swissair Flight 111 off Nova Scotia.  The two rulings by U.S. District Judge James T. Giles, who was assigned to preside over all the lawsuits filed on behalf of some 220 crash victims in federal courts across the U.S., mark a legal setback for the remaining plaintiffs in the case...

News item in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 6 March 2002.  The two rulings are available on the Internet at

I was in Halifax in 1939 for two weeks before our unit sailed for England and my stay was not a pleasant experience.  I have carried an image for the last fifty years of a dirty, down-at-the-heels town I had no interest in ever seeing again.

Jim Coleman, "one of Canada's most gifted writers, who continues to file a weekly column for the Vancouver Province at age 87" quoted by Pat Connolly in the Halifax Daily News, 22 July 2000.  Connolly described how a strongly negative image of Halifax acquired during the years 1939-45 by many servicemen "lingered well beyond the end of the war — memories of an ugly, overcrowded, inhospitable burg passed on from soldier-fathers to sons and succeeding generations."  The above comment by Mr. Coleman was an example of this persistent negative image.  Connolly continued:

Sir James did return (in 1989) to find something he didn't expect.  "It's astonishing," he said, "I've been getting up early and walking around what has become one of the most beautiful cities in Canada — the waterfront development, the historic sites, the college campuses, blending of old and new and everything wrapped into an intelligent pace of living.

"I was so wrong for so long about Halifax."

I shipped overseas from this town and vowed never to return to the ugliest, most inhospitable place I had ever seen.  Now, after over fifty years, I'm back to marvel at the beauty, character and friendly faces I've seen walking around for the last couple of days.

The late Jim Coleman, quoted by Pat Connolly in the Halifax Daily News, 20 May 2005.  Connolly described how Coleman, "arguably the most humourous sports columnist of the 1900s (twentieth century)... spent some time in Halifax awaiting an overseas posting in 1943, and thought it a dreadful place he would never visit voluntarily."  Coleman returned decades later to find a place that was far more hospitable than he recalled from wartime days.

If it's not worth doing, it's not worth doing well.

Donald O. Hebb

A large brain, like large government, may not be able to do simple things in a simple way.

Donald O. Hebb
Donald Olding Hebb (1904-1985) was, during his lifetime, an extraordinarily influential figure for the discipline of psychology. His principled opposition to radical behaviorism and emphasis on understanding what goes on between stimulus and response (perception, learning, thinking) helped clear the way for the cognitive revolution. His view of psychology as a biological science and his neuropsychological cell-assembly proposal rejuvenated interest in physiological psychology. Since his death, Hebb's seminal ideas exert an ever-growing influence on those interested in mind (cognitive science), brain (neuroscience), and how brains implement mind (cognitive neuroscience).  Raised in Marriott's Cove, near Chester, Nova Scotia, Hebb graduated from Dalhousie University in 1925, and in 1936 completed his PhD at Harvard.  Some believe that the stature of Hebb's ideas within psychology and behavioral neuroscience will grow to match the stature of Darwin's ideas within biology.  During his lifetime, Hebb won many honours and awards and held many positions of leadership.  Among these, he was named Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and of the Royal Society (London), he won the APA Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution (1961), and he served as President of the Canadian and American Psychological Associations. Hebb, a Canadian, was the only APA President (1960) who was not a citizen of the United States. Hebb's book The Organization of Behavior constructed a system of behavior that was based on the physiology of the organism but extended to learning, motivation, perception, affect, and cognition.  Hebb's specific contributions as well as his direct and indirect influences have been frequently recognized in many review articles, symposia and books, and in professorships and prizes which bear his name. In Canada, for example, both the Canadian Psychological Association and the Canadian Society for Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Science award prizes for outstanding contributions to psychological science that are named in Hebb's honour.
Also see: The Mind and Donald O. Hebb by Peter M. Milner,
      Scientific American, January 1993, pages 124-129

Perhaps the most significant memorial in Canada is the Sir Sandford Fleming Memorial Tower in Fleming Park, across the North West Arm from peninsular Halifax.  This striking monument was unveiled in 1912.  It commemorates the establishment in 1758 of representative government in Nova Scotia and what was later to be the Dominion of Canada.  It reminds us of the part Nova Scotia played in the constitutional and political history of Canada.  The constitutional act which conferred representative institutions upon what were to become Ontario and Quebec dates only from 1791...

Duncan Fraser, in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald 6 July 1996.

Nova Scotia (which, till 1784, included what is now New Brunswick) was the first part of Canada to secure representative government. In 1758, it was given an assembly, elected by the people. Prince Edward Island followed in 1773; New Brunswick at its creation in 1784; Upper and Lower Canada (the predecessors of the present Ontario and Quebec) in 1791; and Newfoundland in 1832.

Nova Scotia was also the first part of Canada to win responsible government: government by a Cabinet answerable to, and removable by, a majority of the assembly. New Brunswick followed a month later, in February 1848; the Province of Canada (a merger of Upper and Lower Canada formed in 1840) in March 1848; Prince Edward Island in 1851; and Newfoundland in 1855.

Eugene A. Forsey in How Canadians Govern Themselves, published by the Government of Canada, Ottawa, 1980, ISBN 0662518322

The first court of judicature, administering English common law, within what is now the Dominion of Canada, was established at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, on the 20th day of April, 1721...  to administer justice "by the same manner and proceedings as the general court" in Virginia...  For several decades of that century the "lawes of Virginia" were the model and pattern for the new court in Nova Scotia...  Probably no other town in North America was so long and so often the prize for which the forces of two great nations contended.  The little town of Annapolis Royal, known as Port Royal in the days of French occupation, is situate at the northeastern end of Annapolis Basin, a beautiful sheet of water some eighteen miles in length and three or four miles wide...  The brave De Monts with his little flotilla entered the basin in 1604 to put into effect his great scheme to colonize Acadia, by which name Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the greater part of the State of Maine were for a long time known...

Virginia and Nova Scotia: An Historical Note by Hon. Justice Chisholm of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, The Virginia Law Register, New Series v6 n10 February 1921, page 744

...Canada's oldest town street...

Queen Anne's town: Annapolis Royal anchors Nova Scotia's colonial history; in the Calgary Herald, 5 August 2006, referring to St. George Street, in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.

The argument can be made that the Valley is the birthplace of Canada, with the French settling Port Royal in 1605 and the region being a battle-ground in the numerous wars between the French and English for colonial supremacy.

Mike Parker, author of Historic Annapolis Valley: Rural Life Remembered, 162 pages, Nimbus Publishing, Halifax, 2006, as quoted in Jeffrey Simpson's review of that book in the NovaScotian, a section in the Halifax Sunday Herald, 24 December 2006.

There are many valleys in Nova Scotia but there is only one Valley.  It is widely known that when one speaks of the Valley or goes to the Valley or is from the Valley, it is the Annapolis Valley.  No other valley in Nova Scotia can lay claim to that.

The British conquest of Acadia in 1710 is not an event that figures largely in standard histories of Canada.  Historically, it has not been considered significant either for Acadia (today's Nova Scotia) or for Canada as a whole, being regarded as simply a stepping stone to the decisive 1760 conquest, when Canada became part of the British Empire.  The authors of the nine studies that make up this book think otherwise... The British takeover was not well organized and was marked by inaction and a laissez-faire attitude.  In the midst of imperial rivalries and administrative ineptitude, private commercial ventures expanded rapidly, mostly from New England... the result was that Acadia devolved into being neither entirely a colony nor entirely a commercial outpost...

Review in The American Historical Review, February 2005, of (book) The 'Conquest' of Acadia, 1710: Imperial, Colonial, and Aboriginal Constructions, by John G. Reid, William Wicken, Geoffrey Plank, Barry Moody, Maurice Basque, Elizabeth Mancke, University of Toronto Press, 2003, 297 pages.

My kin got run out of this place sometime in the 1700s.

High-profile American political consultant James Carville, an outspoken political junkie from Louisiana, referring to the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755 by the British government.  Mr. Carville was in Halifax on 25 January 2007 to deliver a speech before a meeting of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, as reported in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald the next day.  Mr. Carville, the legendary "ragin' Cajun" who ran William Jefferson Clinton's election campaigns, said he had never before been to Nova Scotia – his "ancestral homeland."  (Cajun is a Louisiana variation of Acadian.)

1890: Fifteen seconds, London to New York

Perhaps some of our readers may remember having read in the newspapers of the result of last year's (1890) Derby (horse race) having been sent from Epsom (Epsom Downs Racecourse near London, England) to New York in fifteen seconds, and may be interested to know how it was done.  A telegraph wire was laid from near the winning-post on the racecourse to the cable company's office in London, and a telegraph operator was at the instrument ready to signal the two or three letters previously arranged upon for each horse immediately the winner had passed the post.  When the race began, the cable company suspended work on all the telegraph lines from London to New York and kept operators at the Irish and Nova Scotian Stations ready to transmit the letters representing the winning horse immediately, and without having the message written out in the usual way.  When the race was finished, the operator at Epsom at once sent the letters representing the winner, and before he had finished the third letter, the operator in London had started the first one to Ireland.  The clerk in Ireland immediately on hearing the first signal from London passed it on to (Hazel Hill, Guysborough County) Nova Scotia, from whence it was again passed on to New York.  The result being that the name of the winner was actually known in New York before the horses had pulled up after passing the judge.  It seems almost incredible that such information could be transmitted such a great distance in fifteen seconds, but when we get behind the scenes and see exactly how it is accomplished, and see how the labour and time of signalling can be economised, we can easily realise the fact...

Hardwicke's science-gossip : an illustrated medium of interchange and gossip for students and lovers of nature, volume XXVII, 1891. Published annually.
Printed by William Clowes and Sons Limited, London, England

In 1758, the first elected assembly in British North America met in Halifax.  In 1774, Nova Scotia sent four delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, but the huge British military presence in Halifax kept them neutral (during the American Revolution)...

Robert MacNeil in Wordstruck, Penguin Books, 1989.  In 1758, "British North America" included Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, St. John Island (now named Prince Edward Island), New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.  However, it appears that Mr. MacNeil meant that the first elected assembly in what is now Canada met in Halifax in 1758, because there were earlier elected assemblies in Virginia and perhaps some other British colonies which are now part of the United States.

Nova Scotia... had not, except for an ineffectual rising or two, joined the revolting colonies (in 1775-1782).  Overawed by British sea power and by the fortress of Halifax, Nova Scotians at first kept quiet, and later many of them even made fortunes privateering against American commerce (during the American Revolution)...

William Lewis Morton, in his article Canada, History of in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, 1975.

The committee, to whom was referred the memorial of Alexander McNutt and others, agents for several townships in Nova Scotia, brought in a report; Whereupon,

The Committee to whom was referred the memorial of Alexander McNutt and others, Agents for several Townships in Nova Scotia, beg leave to report,

That in their opinion it is greatly interesting to the United States of America that Nova Scotia should not remain subjected to the Government of Great Britain, to be used as an instrument to check their growth or molest their tranquillity. That the people in general of that Province have been thoroughly well disposed towards the United States from the beginning of the present war. That they made early application to Congress for direction how they might be serviceable to the Continental cause, offering to raise 3000 men in 10 days. That they have since repeatedly applied for countenance and aid to enable them to assert their Independence. That they have as often received friendly assurances from Congress, tho' circumstances prevented any vigorous efforts in their favor. That they begin now to apprehend the United States will rest satisfied with their own Independence and leave Nova Scotia under British Despotism.

That the Memorialists were sent forward by the people to obtain if possible from Congress some assurance to the contrary, hoping they may not be reduced to seek for ammunition and a guarantee of their freedom in France or Holland. That it wound tend greatly to animate the well disposed in Nova Scotia and to secure the Indians to the United States, as well as to promote desertion from the enemy and facilitate supplies of live stock to the Eastern parts of the Union, if a road was opened through the Country from Penobscot to St. Johns River. That for such a work a body of faithful men strongly interested to accomplish it might be found among those who have been driven by the hand of oppression from Nova Scotia. Your Committee therefore propose the following Resolutions:

Resolved, That Lieutenant Colonel Phineas Nevers and Captain Samuel Rogers be employed to lay out, mark and clear a road from Penobscot river to St. John's river in the most commodious line and in the most prudent manner.

That they be empowered to enlist for such service a body of men, not to exceed 1500.

That fifteen thousand dollars be advanced to them for carrying on the work, for the faithful expenditure of which they shall become bound to the United States in a bond to be given to the continental treasurer.

Nova Scotia Quotes: Part of page 428, Journals of the Continental Congress, April 7, 1779

Journals of the Continental Congress, pages 428-429, April 7, 1779

Note: In 1779, Nova Scotia covered a much larger geographic area than it now does.  At that time, Nova Scotia included all of what is now New Brunswick and some of what is now eastern Maine. The proposed road "from Penobscot river to St. John's river" would reach deep into Nova Scotia's territory.

Here lies the body of Bathiah Douglass, wife to Samuel Douglass, who departed this life Octo the 1st 1720 in the 37 year of her age.

Inscription on the oldest English gravestone in Canada, in the Garrison Graveyard at Annapolis Royal.

Here lies Ezekiel Aikle / Age 102 / The Good Die Young

Said to be the inscription on a tombstone in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Kings County, Nova Scotia.

In January 2004, Google reported that this item appears in more than 200 Internet sites.

August ye 16, 1755 — I went with a Small party of men over a Large River Tatmagoush where I Burnt 12 Buildings one of which was a Storehouse with Rum and molasas and Iron ware and another of Rum sugar & molasas & wine and a masshouse I ordered the men to Draw as much Rum as they had Bottles to Cary which they Did and sot fire to the Rest burnt all their vessels and Cannoos Except a Sloop of 70 tuns and a schoner of aboute 30 Loaded for Louisburge with cattle and sheep & Hoggs which was sent to the Bay of verts.

An excerpt from the journal of Abijah Willard ( -1807) an officer in the expedition which captured Fort Beausejour in 1755. In 1930, this journal was transcribed and published in the Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society from a photographic copy of the originals held in the Nery E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California. The diary covers the period from April 9, 1755 to January 5, 1756. The spelling is phonetic...
Source: "A discussion of diaries and journals, Part II" by Sandra Devlin
The Global Gazette, 1 February 1999

MacLeod piensa pasar más tiempo en Cape Breton
MacLeod thinks to spend more time in Castrates Breton

Alistair MacLeod... had exceeded the forty years when she was solved to publish his first book... In spite of its shortage, its work was of so exceptional quality, that it did not happen inadvertent in literary circles... In all the culture, the oral narrative precedes to the use of the written word.  Before there was Literature, people outside had necessity that they told stories him, in Africa, in America, or Eastern Europe.  The literate can be allowed to tricks and luxuries that are not allowed to the oral narrator.  If you are seated at the top of a rock, in front of people who have let fish or cut firewood to hear what you must say to them, more is worth to you to have something truely interesting that to count, otherwise the public will leave you with two handspans of noses... For being good, a history does not have why to be true.  The truth can be mortally boring.  The important thing is that when arrives at the reader, history is credible... Now which is has reached the celebrity and it is on the verge of retiring of his university race, MacLeod thinks to spend more time in Castrates Breton, with the people who live in the places of her childhood.  'I will continue writing, I do not know well what.  Probably another book of stories.' It says it as if it spoke of a very vague and distant project.  It is evident that it is not in any hurry.

Born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, in 1936, Alistair MacLeod moved as a child with his family to Inverness, on Cape Breton Island.  In his best-selling, award-winning novel No Great Mischief, MacLeod focuses his narrative on the rather ordinary family history of one branch of the Scottish clann Chalum Ruaidh who settled in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in 1779.  On 28 April 2001, the National Post reported that No Great Mischief had just been published in Spain, and had been reviewed by El Pais, their newspaper of record.  According to the National Post item, a copy of the Spanish review was sent to McClelland & Stewart, MacLeod's Canadian publisher.  It was translated into English by a machine, rendering interesting results.  The above is excerpted verbatim from this machine translation.

Reference: El (the El Pais website)

The review, 7 April 2001, in Spanish, of MacLeod's No Great Mischief,
published in Spain under the title Sangre de mi sangre

... Sangre de mi sangre es una novela extraordinaria, que ha constituido un éxito internacional, de crítica y de público.  En España acaba de aparecer, editada por la editorial RBA.  Alistair MacLeod es un hombre de familia, padre de seis hijos, que desde hace 30 años pasa los inviernos dedicado a la docencia, y durante los veranos o cuando goza de un año sabático, se recluye en Cape Breton, la isla donde transcurrió su infancia, y en la que, hace doscientos años, se instalaron sus ancestros.  Canadiense de sexta generación, en sus libros evoca el presente y el pasado de los clanes que constituyen su comunidad, un grupo humano que durante siglos mantuvo vivas en el Nuevo Mundo las tradiciones de las Tierras Altas de Escocia, cuando la oligarquía terrateniente puso en marcha una operación de limpieza que obligó a miles de campesinos a abandonar su país de origen.  "No eran limpiezas étnicas, sino que obedecían a factores de orden económico.  Había un exceso de población, y sobraban trabajadores en el campo.  Los terratenientes necesitaban librarse de ellos para dedicarse a otras actividades, como la ganadería lanar y otras industrias agrícolas.  En muchos casos, los propietarios ofrecieron costear los gastos de desplazamiento a quienes vivían en sus tierras.  Muchos emigraron a lugares como Australia, Nueva Zelanda o Canadá.  Las limpiezas alcanzaron el clímax en torno a 1820.  Mi familia llegó a Nueva Escocia en 1791.  Lo interesante es que cuando las primeras oleadas de gente llegaron a la isla, se encontraron con que la tierra estaba muy escasamente poblada, de modo que en un cierto sentido, en medio de aquellos parajes tan recónditos y solitarios, les resultó posible reproducir un modo de vida prácticamente idéntico al que llevaban en Escocia.  Una de las señas de identidad principales se constituyó en torno a la fuerza viva del habla gaélica.  En realidad, los habitantes de Cape Breton lograron mantenerse al margen de lo que ocurría en el mundo hasta que estalló la Segunda Guerra Mundial"...

Ahora que ha alcanzado la celebridad y está a punto de retirarse de su carrera universitaria, MacLeod piensa pasar más tiempo en Cape Breton, con la gente que vive en los parajes de su infancia.  "Seguiré escribiendo, no sé bien qué.  Probablemente otro libro de relatos".  Lo dice como si hablara de un proyecto vago y muy lejano.  Es evidente que no tiene ninguna prisa.  Jamás la había tenido en 65 años, y nada indica que eso vaya a cambiar precisamente ahora.

(Boldface emphasis added)

The story of how I encouraged Alistair MacLeod to finish the novel that became No Great Mischief has taken many turns.  In Nova Scotia, local legend has me flying to Halifax then driving to Cape Breton (soon, presumably, it will be in a storm, with the closed Canso causeway under water proving no obstacle to a wild-eyed publisher) and then rushing on foot to Alistair's writing cabin to wrest the manuscript from his grasp.

Douglas Gibson, McClelland & Stewart's publisher, in the National Post, 16 June 2001, the same day Alistair MacLeod received the International IM-PAC Dublin Literary Award in Ireland.  The $172,000 prize is the world's largest literary award given for a single book.  MacLeod won for his novel No Great Mischief. Mr. Gibson's article was mostly a description of his decade-long struggle to try to persuade Mr. MacLeod to finish his novel.

I try to counter a couple of misconceptions.  One is that people who work with their hands are not as clever as people who work in cubicles.  The other is that people who do not speak a lot are not as clever as people who do.

Alistair MacLeod, as quoted in the Halifax Daily News, 27 September 2002

Celtic music entered the mainstream of popular entertainment when the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem came to prominence some forty years ago.  But we still pronounced it "Seltic" and nobody had ever heard of Cape Breton.  Then John Allen Cameron from Glencoe Station decided to leap over the seminary wall and try for a career in showbiz.  I don't know if this was much of a loss for the priesthood but it certainly was a great gain for the performerhood.  The acknowledged godfather of Cape Breton Celtic music, John Allen inspired legions of successors, many of them Gaelic speakers, to achieve nationwide prominence.  For years we've been hearing Gaelic songs on CBC Radio several times per week sung by the likes of the Rankin Family, the Barra MacNeils and the superb Cape Breton adoptee, Mary Jane Lamond...

"Do you say Seltic or Keltic?" by Robert Nicholson in The Globe & Mail, 21 May 2003, page A18

Nova Scotia, the only place outside Scotland where Gaelic is still in use, is looking to recruit a Scot to help it keep the language alive.  A century ago, up to 100,000 people in the Canadian province spoke Gaelic, but by the early 20th century teachers were punishing pupils to stop them speaking the tongue of their forefathers in class and the playground.  Today, the number of native speakers totals about 500 in a population of just under one million, although about 2,000 more have some knowledge of Gaelic...  Angus MacIsaac, the minister responsible for Gaelic affairs, set up the office because of the intense efforts of the Gaelic-speaking community, descended from exiles from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and the wider Nova Scotia community, who value the language as an important part of their heritage.  The links to Scotland stretch back centuries and remain strong today.  New Scotland, or Nova Scotia, was founded by Sir William Alexander in the late 1620s with a band of Scots settlers.  In 1773, nearly 200 Highlanders who left home due to high rents and famine arrived in Nova Scotia aboard the ship Hector, attracted by the offer of free passage and a free farm.  They named the communities they founded after places back home, such as Gairloch, Glengarry and Arisaig...

" 400 years on, Nova Scotia seeks a Scots settler to keep Gaelic alive"
in The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 23 January 2007

The English language will be found sufficient unless the tourist desires to visit the more remote districts of Cape Breton, or the Acadian settlements.  The Gaelic is probably the predominant language on Cape Breton, but English is also spoken in the chief villages and fishing communities.  In the more secluded farming districts among the highlands the Gaelic tongue is more generally used, and the tourist may sometimes find whole families, not one of whom can speak English...

Moses Foster Sweetser in The Maritime Provinces: A handbook for travellers. A guide to the chief cities, coasts, and islands of the Maritime Provinces... fifth edition, Ticknor and Company, Boston, 1887
Google Books

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, has long nurtured vigorous fiddle, pipe and dance traditions which have attracted keen and sometimes astonished interest from musicians back in Scotland...  The Celtic Colours festival is rooted in scattered communities, sometimes as far as 100 miles apart.  So Unusual Suspects premiered amid the 1920s rococo splendour of the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay, a former mining town that has declined in a manner all too familiar to towns in central Scotland.  The Savoy has hosted many things, including boxing, but it never experienced anything quite like the Unusual Suspects.  There was the old strathspey Tullochgorum, played with characteristic Cape Breton vigour by Kyle MacNeil, its brisk variations punctuated by blasts from the Suspects' horn section.  There was a wonderfully elephantine strathspey on double bass, a pair of frontliners laying down their fiddles to break into a step dance, or give a brazen yell of syncopated exultation...  Back in the 1970s, a CBC documentary, The Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler, so infuriated island musicians that they organised themselves and started educating.  The documentary acted as a wake-up call, added Foulds, and some of the emerging generation – the likes of Ashley MacIsaac, Natalie MacMaster, the Rankins and the up-and-coming Kimberley Fraser – helped project Cape Breton music on to a world stage.  But it never forgets its roots.  Take fiddler Sandy McIntyre, 69, Toronto-based but raised in Inverness, Cape Breton, who returns to teach fiddle at the Gaelic College.  He has played with Cape Breton fiddle statesmen such as Buddy MacMaster and Angus Chisholm, and is convinced their approach reflects Scottish playing two centuries back.  "One of the great Niel Gow's strong points was his strong, updriven bow.  That's the style I play and teach.  It was the music that had been brought over and handed down, generation to generation, and we just played what we were taught."  And those rumbustious, driving strathspeys?  "In Cape Breton we round out our dotted notes in strathspeys to make them more danceable.  Scottish fiddlers put a strong emphasis on the dotted note but to try step-dance that would be difficult.  When I play a strathspey I'm thinking of someone step-dancing.  Cape Breton music still has that dirt and roughage in it," he laughs.  "Like the roughage in whole-grain bread, it's that extra that makes you want to get up and dance..."

" Reeling in Nova Scotia" in The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 30 October 2004

It's not the Alps, it's not the Rockies, it's not even the Cabot Trail, but the North Mountain of the Annapolis Valley is very accessible but often missed by the many bicycle tourists from the "Boston States" who come this way via the Yarmouth ferries.  No bike trip to the Annapolis Valley is complete without at least one crossing of the North Mountain to a fishing village on the Bay of Fundy...

Is there an easy way over the mountain?  No.  There is always a climb, some harder than others.  The Middleton to Margaretville road is the least difficult.  In general the harder the climb the better the scenery...

The biggest: Central Clarence to Port Lorne (Mount Rose).
Paved for 8km.  Highest point 250 metres.
This is the tallest climb of any paved road on mainland Nova Scotia.  On Cape Breton only two climbs are bigger.  It also has the killer kilometre.  The first km climbs 130 m (i.e. averages 13%) so I think this is the steepest kilometre in Nova Scotia.  There are two switchbacks.  Going south down this is scary.  There is no runout leading to the stop sign at a T junction!  At the fields on the top there is a great view of the Bay of Fundy.

Excerpted from David Dermott's notes for people planning a bicycle trip around Nova Scotia.  These routes were originally described in news-group rec.bicycles.rides in early 1994. (Some details may now be out of date.)

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
North Mountain of the Annapolis Valley
Bicycle tour notes

Archived: 1998 December 3

Archived: 1999 October 12

Archived: 2000 September 19

Archived: 2001 August 23

I must ask how these two departments (of Transportation and Public Works, and Environment) ensure that they are "fully accountable to the public" if the public has no access to the information?

Darce Fardy, Review officer under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, in his Report FI-96-84 dated February 18, 1997, In the Matter of a Request for Review, by Mr. David Farrar of a Decision of the Department of Transportation and Public Works to Disclose Certain Documents. Mr. David Farrar, representing Atlantic Highways Corporation, was opposing the earlier decision of the Department of Transportation and Public Works to disclose to the public the construction specifications for the Highway 104 Western Alignment, which will bypass the existing Highway 104 section commonly known as Death Valley.

Five zero five seven five nine point three eight.

The opening bid, by Halifax real-estate developer George Armoyan in the Bridgewater Court House on 20 February 1997, at the auction of the bankrupt SeaSpa Nova Scotia, which had spent more than $20,000,000 on the construction of a partially-completed luxurious spa on 90 hectares of Atlantic Ocean waterfront property at Aspotogan Peninsula in Chester Municipality, Lunenburg County.  The auction, reported in The Chronicle-Herald the next day, was conducted by Sheriff Bob Brogan.  The bid is remarkable for its precision; it is unusual for a half-million-dollar auction bid to be stated to the precise cent.  This opening bid turned out to be the only bid, and the property was sold for $505,759.38, the amount owing in back property taxes and court fees.

I collapsed in helpless silent laughter one night as I listened to Robert Stanfield on the radio from Nova Scotia.  There had been an election in that province that day, and when the results of the poll were known, Stanfield expressed his satisfaction over the result: the Tories had scored a big advance — they were now the Opposition to the Liberal Government! (The CCF, with a handful of members, had been the Opposition)... Years afterward, I told him how unutterably funny I had thought his modest boast was that night.

Joseph R. Smallwood in his book I Chose Canada Macmillan, 1973, commenting on his reaction to the Nova Scotia general election of June 9, 1949, when the Conservatives under Stanfield elected 8 MLAs, the Liberals 27, and the CCF 2 (37 seats total).  In the previous election, on October 23, 1945, the Conservatives elected no MLAs, the Liberals 28, and the CCF 2, with the CCF (Cooperative Commonwealth Federation) being the official Opposition (30 seats total).  A bill passed in 1948 had increased the number of MLAs from 30 to 37.

There are mines of coal through the whole extent of my concession near the seacoast, of a quality equal to the Scotch, which I have proved at various times on the spot, and also in France, where I brought them for trial.

This, the first printed report of the existence of coal in North America, appears in the book Description Geographique et Historique des Côtés de l'Amérique Septentrionale, (Description and Natural History of the Coasts of North America) by Nicholas Denys, published in Paris in 1672, as quoted (in English translation) on page 162 of Cape Breton, Canada, at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century, by C.W. Vernon, Nation Publishing Company, Toronto, 1903.  Vernon's source was The Coal Fields and Coal Trade of the Island of Cape Breton, by Richard Brown, published in London, 1871, by Sampson, Low, Marston, Low & Searle.  Brown was the general manager from 1828 to 1864 of the General Mining Association, the dominant force in Nova Scotia coal from 1828 to 1900.

Denys (1598-1688), who for several years was Governor of the eastern part of the territory then known as Acadie (Acadia), obtained in 1654 a concession of the whole island now known as Cape Breton from King Louis XIV, with full power to search for and work all minerals, paying one-tenth of the profit to the King.  Denys made no attempt to work the coal seams beyond the taking of small samples, probably for want of a market.

Cape Breton is the first place in North America to be mentioned in the historical record as having deposits of coal, a valuable mineral.  The first report of coal on the North American mainland appears in Description de la Louisiane, nouvellement découverte au sud'ouest de la Nouvelle France, (Description of Louisiana, Newly Discovered to the Southeast of New France) by Father Louis Hennepin, Paris, 1683. Hennepin mentioned a coal mine at Fort Crevecoeur, near what is now Peoria, Illinois.

Nicolas Denys
Dictionary of Canadian Biography

If you look at the map of Canada and study the mineral portion, you will see that between Winnipeg and Nova Scotia there is apparently very little, if any, coal.

Sir Henry Thornton, President of Canadian National Railways, in a speech before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto, 11 December 1922.

Sir Henry Thornton: speech at Toronto, 11 December 1922

Reference: Sir Henry Thornton plaque Halifax


Harry Rogers

In all the governments I have dealt with, and I've worked for five Prime Ministers, the activities or the manner in which the Prime Minister's Office represents itself is uniformly the same.  It is — never say no.  I mean you do not want to author an opinion that the Prime Minister said no, when he has had no involvement, where there has been no basis for suggesting that that was his position.  You can say “maybe”, you can say “tomorrow”, you can say “not as much”, “over a longer period of time”, “let's review it further”, but you simply don't declare yourself as saying that, somehow, an opinion was associated with anybody at the bureaucratic level that the Prime Minister has said no, because he is hectored by everybody, all the time — his ministers, and special interests who are pleading for support — and if he begins to be portrayed as favouring some ministers or some interests over others, you can imagine what rabbits you would send running on all sorts of issues, and what issues there would be in terms of cabinet solidarity and cabinet confidences.  So Prime Ministers remain studiously above the fray... I sat there, at the top, and was aware of this very very careful position that the Prime Minister's staff and the Prime Minister himself took, and he's no different than other Prime Ministers.

Harry Rogers, former Deputy Minister of the Department of Regional Economic Expansion, Ottawa, in testimony during Day 61 of the Westray Mine Public Inquiry Commission, 21 May 1996, at Stellarton, as recorded in the official transcript.

This part of Mr. Rogers' testimony is found on
pages 13364 and 13365 of the official transcript.

Harry Rogers' complete testimony

Nova Scotians do not live in a resource-based economy — far from it.  Only a shrinking six per cent of Nova Scotia's economy is based on fishing, farming, mining and forestry.  Most Nova Scotians think our economy is the way it was when Angus L. was premier.  Don't be fooled.  It isn't.

Brian Flemming in the Halifax Daily News 28 July 1999.

Angus Lewis Macdonald was Premier of Nova Scotia
5 September 1933 to 10 July 1940,
and again 8 September 1945 to 13 April 1954.

In Nova Scotia, natural resources, including the highly profitable fishery, represent considerably less than ten per cent of economic activity, while such sectors as manufacturing, information technology, the Port of Halifax, and knowledge-based industries, are more important.

Brian Lee Crowley, president of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, an economic and social-policy think-tank based in Halifax, in his regular twice-a-month column on the Commentary Page of The Globe and Mail, 20 August 1999.

Mr. Crowley's article was cached in the Google search engine at

The nicest man who ever axed an entire workforce.

The Times of London, referring to Sir Graham Day, as reported by MacLean's, 1 July 2001.  Graham Day grew up in Halifax and now (2001) lives in Hantsport, Nova Scotia.  In 1983, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher "lured him back to London to privatize ailing British Shipbuilders.  After massive layoffs, he turned the company around, a feat he repeated three years later at auto manufacturer British Leyland", according to MacLean's.

Born in Halifax, Sir Graham graduated from Dalhousie University Law School in 1956. He is the former chairman of Cadbury Schweppes, PowerGen, British Aerospace, British Shipbuilders and British Leyland.  In 1993, he retired as chairman of Cadbury Schweppes and PowerGen, both Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 companies. As chairman of PowerGen, he led the company's privatization. From 1983 to 1986, he was chairman and chief executive officer of British Shipbuilders and from 1986 until 1991, he was chairman of the Rover Group. He led restructuring and privatization moves for both these companies.  He has served the United Kingdom government on the policy board of the National Health Service set up to help introduce reforms and as the first chairman of the School Teachers' Review Body which recommends pay and conditions for 450,000 teachers in England and Wales. He was knighted in 1989 by Queen Elizabeth II.

Given the turn of events and lack of confidence of the government, we feel we have no option but to resign.

Sir Graham Day, of Hantsport, speaking on behalf of the board of directors of Hydro One, as reported on 5 June 2002 in the National Post and the Halifax Daily News. Until June 4th, Sir Graham was the Chairman of Hydro One Incorporated, a large electric utility company owned by the Ontario Government.  The National Post article: "What was supposed to be the largest privatization and initial public offering (of company shares) in Canadian corporate history has turned into corporate soap opera..."

Hydro One Inc. is one of the ten largest electric utilities in North America.  With 28,500 kilometres of transmission lines and 113,000 kilometres of distribution lines, Hydro One Networks, a subsidiary of Hydro One Inc., delivers electricity to almost one million retail customers, over 100 direct industrial customers and over 200 municipal utilities throughout the province of Ontario.

The Ontario Government forced the resignation of Hydro One's Board of Directors yesterday [June 4th] in a bitter showdown over executive salaries.  The move effectively killed the largest share offering in Canadian history.  The twelve directors quit during a conference call less than an hour after Ontario Energy minister Chris Stockwell introduced legislation to fire the Board and renegotiate executive compensation...

The Hydro One directors... quit before they were fired.

The Globe and Mail, 5 June 2002

Members of the board of Hydro One, a distinguished group of business executives and conscientious professionals headed by international business heavyweight Sir Graham Day, took the only noble action they could under the circumstances.  They quit before the bill firing them could pass... Sir Graham Day, paid $250,000 a year, will move on to his duties at other boards, no doubt contemplating the difference of dealing with a politician of principle – he headed privatized companies in England under Margaret Thatcher – and the sorry collection of wimps he was dealt in Ontario... There is no scandal, no malfeasance, no crime, no wrongdoing, no evidence of misconduct, no signs of incompetence, no deception, no breach of any rule, no contravention of any law or regulation.  Nothing.  But the government (of Ontario) is treating it like an Enron...

The lead editorial, page FP15, by Terence Corcoran, in the Financial Post, (published daily as a special section of the National Post) 6 June 2002

Sir Graham Day lives in Hantsport, Nova Scotia.

Hon. Mr. McKinnon asked to be excused from voting; he had voted last year without understanding the question and if he voted this year he would be compelled to contradict himself.  The hon. gentleman was excused.  The bill then passed.

Mr. McKinnon made this request on 16 April 1885, while speaking on the floor of Nova Scotia's Legislative Council, commonly known as the provincial senate.  It is recorded on page 80 of the 1885 section, in Debates and Proceedings of the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia, 1883-90, the printed official transcript (Hansard) of debates there.  (I have no information on Senator McKinnon, and do not know what district he represented.) In the 1880s, the official transcript of debates in this chamber were written in the third person, in contrast to the modern practice of writing Hansard in the first person.  On May 31st, 1928, Nova Scotia's Legislative Council was abolished.

Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas "Bu, shi shi" means, "No, thank you" in Mandarin Chinese and "La, shukren" means, "No, thank you" in Arabic; and

Whereas "No, thank you" is "Nie, Dzienkuje" in Polish, "Nee, dyaku yu" in Ukrainian and "Nyet, spasibo" in Russian; and

Whereas "Chan eil tapadh, leat" means "No, thank you" in Gaelic, according to the honourable member for Victoria;

Therefore be it resolved that this resolution establishes in six well-known languages other than English the appropriate response to Tory meowings for votes that may be expected in the near future, shortly after the mail brings the $155 cheque.

Paul MacEwan, MLA representing Cape Breton Nova, presenting Resolution #460 in the Nova Scotia Legislature on 8 April 2003, as reported in Hansard at page 626.  In effect, Mr. MacEwan was commenting on the recent proposal by the government to mail a rebate cheque for $155 to each person who had paid Nova Scotia Income Tax for the year 2002.

Source: Hansard for 8 April 2003

Hansard did not attempt to reproduce the Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Polish, Ukranian, and Russian characters that Mr. MacEwan thoughtfully included in his resolution as presented in the Legislature (see below).

Nova Scotia Quotes: Resolution 460 complete (including the non-English characters)
Resolution 460 complete (including the non-English characters)

Under Scots law, there was a special category of murder known as "murder under trust", which was considered even more heinous than ordinary murder.

A letter in the Halifax Daily News, 23 April 2007, commenting adversely on the federal government's recent budget and "Prime Minister Stephen Harper's broken promise to remove natural resource revenue from the equalization formula", that the author considered to be "akin" to the "famous massacre at Glencoe" in the still dark early morning of 13 February 1692.

To try and understand the formula of equalization, the previous minister (of Finance, Bernard Boudreau) spent a lot of time on this and after three years he confessed to me that he still didn't understand the equalization formula and I would defy anybody over there to do the same.  It is an intensely complicated one that depends upon the prosperity of the three main provinces and the incomes that happen in this province... How it will drop and when it will drop will be based upon the formula that I believe only one person in Ottawa, who is an Executive Director of some department that nobody even knows, is able to produce...

John Savage, Premier of Nova Scotia, explaining the Equalization Formula to the Legislature on 27 November 1996, in response to an oral question asked during Question Period by Robert Chisholm, leader of the NDP.  The complete text appears in Hansard at[Page 2485]

Politics is the art of doing the impossible, with the unwilling, for the ungrateful.

Mark Parent, Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Nova Scotia, representing the district of Kings North, quoted in the Halifax Daily News, 2 October 1999.

In Dr. Hamm, the Tories presented someone who looked and sounded like a mixture of television's Marcus Welby and Robert Stanfield, the former Nova Scotia premier and national Tory leader who elevated laconic speaking to an art form. Dr. Hamm could deflate immediately the most uplifting political text, but therein, perhaps, lay part of the secret of his political success...

Jeffrey Simpson in The Globe and Mail, 29 July 1999, commenting on the result of the provincial general election of June 1999 that put the Nova Scotia Conservative Party in control of the government, with Dr. John Hamm as the new Premier.

More than any other province, Nova Scotia is governed by an establishment, an old-money, old boys' network, comprised mostly of lawyers... On the whole, Nova Scotia is governed with little flair or imagination, and quite possibly is governed more ineptly, although in a sedate way, than any other province but British Columbia...

Syndicated columnist Richard Gwyn in the Halifax Sunday Herald 1 August 1999.

If the public wants to get the information — it may be cumbersome, or it may be hard for them to get — but it's not that it's not accessible.

An elected member of the Halifax Regional School Board, quoted in the Halifax Daily News, 31 October 2001, explaining why she voted against a proposal to make School Board members' expense accounts available to the public.

Expensive, distasteful, and occasionally criminal...

Description of Nova Scotia's system of political patronage, by Stephen Kimber, in his regular column in the Halifax Daily News, 11 July 1997.

The outstanding instance of family connection was the Gerrish - Brenton - Halliburton - Stewart - Cochran - Hill - George - Collins group which contributed eleven (or about one-fifth) of the Councillors appointed prior to 1830, and was the closest Nova Scotia came to having a family compact. Its most distinguished member, Brenton Halliburton, belonged to a Council in which his father, two uncles, two brothers-in-law, his father-in-law, son-in-law, aunt's brother-in-law, brother-in-law's father-in-law, and the latter's brother-in-law, all held seats at one time or another, and five of whom were members at the same time.

J. Murray Beck's description, in his book The Government of Nova Scotia, University of Toronto Press, 1957, of the membership of the Council, an influential part of the government of Nova Scotia for many years beginning in the 1750s.  The Governor, in many matters, was legally required to act by and with the advice of the Council (which meant that the Council made many of the decisions and the Governor was bound to do what the Council wanted — the Council was, in effect, the Government much of the time).  In addition to its capacity as advisor to the Governor, the Council acted as the Upper House of the Legislature.

A genealogist could, with two or three exceptions, link together (by family relationships) all the Councillors between 1760 and 1830.

We're importing a lot of brains and some goes and lives in the United States and other come to Canada, but there's less now than there was years ago.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien speaking in Halifax on Monday, 16 August 1999, quoted in The Globe and Mail on Saturday, 21 August.  The Prime Minister was in Halifax that week for the Liberal Party's annual summer caucus retreat, and was responding to a reporter's question about the "brain drain," or flow of skilled workers out of the country, particularly to the United States.  Paul Adams, the Globe's reporter at the scene, wrote: "Mr. Chretien has — how can I say it — his own special way with words ... his grammar and syntax are often so fractured that he is difficult to understand, even unintelligible, at times."  Mr. Chretien's statement was quoted "as nearly as I can render it in print."

The same quote — word for word — appeared in Peter C. Newman's New Year column 2000: The Year the Music Died in the National Post, 30 December 2000.

He didn't know how to work a mouse.

Peter C. Newman in the National Post on 20 November 1999, describing Prime Minister Jean Chretien's behaviour in Halifax on 27 May 1997.  Mr. Newman's paragraph read as follows:

...Seldom was Mr. Chretien's own alienation from modern paradigms and their technologies more evident than on the morning of May 27, 1997, just ten days before the last general election, when he was in Halifax, at a recently-completed virtual-reality laboratory.  The idea was that the PM would sit behind a computer, move his pointer to a pre-programmed icon, click, and that would officially inaugurate the high-tech installation.  Small problem.  The Prime Minister didn't know how to work a mouse.


Alex Neron, candidate for election as a Member of Parliament in the Nova Scotia constituency of Kings-Hants, quoted in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 9 September 2000, two days before the election.  This was Mr. Neron's entire reply to the question "How can you protect the future of the riding's agriculture sector?"  This question was number six in a list of ten questions the newspaper sent to each of the five candidates in this byelection; their responses were published in this issue.  The other replies to this question were less succinct.

First indication I've seen that Mad Cow disease has had an effect in Nova Scotia.

Al Hollingsworth on MITV's Critics Corner 25 March 1996, commenting on Premier John Savage's decision to appoint Gerry O'Malley as Minister of Science and Technology in the Nova Scotia government.  At the time, the office of the Minister of Science and Technology had a webpage, installed and maintained by civil servants (there being some doubt that Mr. O'Malley knew what a website was) at

Very simply, you in Nova Scotia had the worst government I have ever witnessed in this country.

Frank McKenna, Premier of New Brunswick, speaking at a Nova Scotia Liberal Party fund-raising event, as reported in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 2 December 1996.  The same quote appeared again on page A1, the front page, of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 17 April 2006.  McKenna, a Liberal, was referring to the government of (later Senator 1990-2006) John Buchanan, a Conservative, who was Premier of Nova Scotia 1978-1990.  The 1996 article continued:

He said the Buchanan years — marked by high unemployment, a single-year defecit of $617,000,000, and piling up of an $8,000,000,000 debt — were an example of "an abject abdication of responsibility".


David Swick

Our electoral history is packed with all kinds of weirdness.  Cape Bretoners, for example, were once denied the vote — for 67 years.  This may seem funny now, but it wasn't at the time.  It's one of many examples where Canadians were forbidden to vote because of race, religion, mother tongue or gender.  Women were granted the vote in Canada only in 1921.  Race remained a restriction for Japanese until 1948, and for natives until 1960 (until then, natives were allowed to vote only if they gave up their treaty rights and Indian status).  The last people to be denied because of religion were Doukhobors, in 1955.

At the time of the founding of Halifax, in 1749, the only people who could vote were white Protestant men who owned land.  An oath denouncing Catholicism disenfranchised Catholics.  Jews were excluded by an oath including the phrase "upon the true faith of a Christian."  When Cape Breton became part of Nova Scotia in 1763, the vast majority of its population was Catholic, Gaelic-speaking Scottish settlers, and Catholic, French-speaking Acadians.  White, Protestant Halifax was in no rush to give them the vote.  Cape Breton was ignored until 1820.  Catholics did not receive the vote until 1829, and Jews waited longer...

At the time of Confederation in 1867, voting was not by ballot at all — you named your choice aloud (in public).  This prompted all kinds of abuse, and the secret ballot was introduced in 1874.  It was vastly improved in 1900, by the perforated stub and serial number.  For the last 100 years, poll captains in federal elections have verified that the ballot they gave you was to one you gave back.  Before that — and long afterwards in some provincial campaigns — votes were commonly sold.  Here's how it worked: A party hack outside a polling place would make contact with a voter.  The hack would hand the voter a ballot already marked for a candidate.  The voter would then go inside, be handed a blank ballot, enter the voting booth, do nothing, and emerge to hand the poll captain the marked ballot.  Back outside, the blank ballot would be handed to the party hack, in exchange for promised goods.  The hack would then mark the ballot, and find another sucker...

David Swick, in the Halifax Daily News, 17 November 2000

David Swick

Shortly after winning responsible government, the Nova Scotia Assembly (Legislature) passed franchise acts that excluded from voting aboriginal peoples, males without property, and women.  Other British North American colonies did likewise.  It would take more than a century for these exclusionary franchise policies to be abolished in Canada, and, at the rate we are going, it will be at least another century before these groups are fully represented in our formal political structures...

Margaret Conrad, Canada Research Chair in Atlantic Canada Studies at the University of New Brunswick, in The Globe and Mail, 10 March 2003

Poor Herb continues to flounder on the issue...

Pierre Bourque, commenting on federal Fisheries Minister Herb Daliwhal's continuing problems in dealing with the ramifications of the Supreme Court's Marshall Decision on the fisheries in the Maritime Provinces.  Mr. Bourque's commentary was emailed to the subscribers of his daily NewsWatch service:
    Date: 22 Sep. 2000 00:15:20 -0000
    Message-ID: <969581720.23450.qmail@ech>
    Mailing-List: ListBot mailing list contact
    From: "Bourque HotNews" <>
    Delivered-To: mailing list
    Subject: Bourque Evening News 9.21.2000

Legend has it the name Bluenose was given to Nova Scotians because local fishermen would rub their noses on their blue-dyed sweaters.

Part of the commentary during Sunday Morning's six-minute segment on the last trip of the ferry Bluenose between Bar Harbour, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, broadcast on CNN [Cable News Network, based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.] at 9:50am AST, 2 November 1997.

That theory is wiped out.  Traditionally, fishermen's mittens and sweaters were knitted with plain, greyish-white wool.  Blue was considered an unlucky colour at sea.

Ralph Getson, curator at the Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg, as reported in Bruce Nunn's weekly column on Nova Scotia history, Mr. Nova Scotia Know-it-all, in the Halifax Daily News, 20 May 2002.  Mr. Nunn continued:

Most Bluenose researchers agree, it is most likely that the word "Bluenose" came from our Blue potatoes, a spud species dating back to the 1700s, sometimes called the MacIntyre potato, known for its bluish hue.  These Irish spuds, many shaped more or less like noses, were apparently dubbed "blue nose" by folks in New England and the Carolinas who bought them from Nova Scotia ships; the name transferred to the crewmen.

The name Bluenose is believed by many to emanate from the MacIntyre Blue potatoes, the shipments of which, to places like the New England States, were invoiced as "blue noses."

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham, the Government Deputy Leader in the Senate, Ottawa, speaking in the Senate on 2 October 1996, on the occasion of the introduction of a new Senator, Hon. Wilfred P. Moore, of Chester, Nova Scotia, as recorded in Hansard.  The complete text of Senator Graham's speech is available in Hansard.

I was surprised when I first came to Ottawa to find a general lack of understanding of the fishing and fish processing industries and their problems.

Many Canadians do not realize that Nova Scotia is the leading fishing province in Canada.  We lead all other provinces in terms of landed weight and value.  Moreover, fish and fish products are the number one export commodity of the province of Nova Scotia.

My riding of South Shore is the most active fishing riding in Canada.  I have a strong inshore fishery and a vibrant lobster, scallop and tuna fishery, among others.  In fact, the Minister (of Fisheries) recently announced an increase in the groundfish quota for cod and haddock in areas adjacent to my riding, the only such increase recommended in Atlantic Canada.  There are more than 100 fish processing plants located in communities spanning the entire length of my South Shore riding.  I have the largest plant in Canada, National Sea Products, which employs approximately 615 people...

Derek Wells, Member of Parliament for the South Shore riding, speaking in the House of Commons on 9 October 1996.  The complete text of his statement is recorded in Hansard.

The Associated Press article in Sunday's (May 23, 1999) Standard-Times about Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci supporting oil drilling on Georges Bank is no surprise to me. It was his Republican Party that gave Georges Bank up to Canada by simply agreeing to allow the question of who owned Georges Bank to go to arbitration before the International Court of Justice at The Hague.  To cinch the deal, the Reagan/Bush team sent a Washington super-lawyer, who, according to one observer, "Couldn't, on a clear day, tell a capelin from a cape scallop" as chief U.S. negotiator.  The decision in favor of Canada was made by the World Court in 1984. Canada pushed for equidistance between Cape Sable and Cape Cod as the true dividing line between the United States and Canada, thus leaving the State of Maine without any say in the matter.  The World Court moved the line a little bit closer to Canada to make it look good. Canada got the northern edge of Georges Bank, which under the present Law of the Sea Convention is part of the U.S. continental shelf. The LOS was signed by the United States on July 28, 1994, and now supersedes the Hague Line...

Frank Cyganowski, (October 8, 1921 - February 16, 2011) of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, in the New Bedford Standard-Times, 2 June 1999

Canada is an island.  Or maybe it's that Nova Scotia is an island.  It could be Halifax.  Anyway, there's a lot of water.  There's a very pretty lighthouse too.  This muddle of half-assed information was gleaned from watching CNN yesterday morning, in the on-air chatter after live coverage of George W. Bush's speech in Halifax.  And CNN calls itself the most trusted name in news...

John Doyle, in The Globe & Mail, 2 December 2004, commenting on the geographic knowledge displayed by CNN (Cable News Network, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A) at the time of the speech delivered in Halifax on 1 December by George W. Bush (Bush 43) President of the United States.

Nova Scotia is the world's largest exporter of lobster, Christmas trees, and wild blueberries.

The Globe & Mail, 30 August 1995

(Q.) What was Canada's first feature film, and when did it premier?

(A.) Evangeline premiered in Halifax in 1913.

Canada Day quiz in The Toronto Star, 1 July 2002

For generations people thought they knew everything Mozart had written and now a few things have come to light.

Stanley Sadie, British musicologist and Mozart specialist who edits the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, commenting on the discovery by Dorothea Link of a previously-unknown recitative by Mozart, which precedes the aria Vado, ma dove? K583 in the obscure opera Il Burbero di buon cuore The Surly Benefactor, by Vincente Martin y Soler.  Mr. Sadie was quoted in the story Canadian Musicologist Discovers Long-Lost Work by Mozart, carried in The New York Times, 29 August 1999, and with a four-column colour photograph above the fold on the front page of the National Post, 30 August 1999.  Ms. Link has spent the last year teaching at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Oh, Mademoiselle from Armentières, Parlez-vous,
Oh, Mademoiselle from Armentières, Parlez-vous,
She hasn't been kissed in forty years,
Hinky-dinky, par-lee-voo.

Gitz Rice, Nova Scotian sergeant in the Canadian army, sat down at a little cafe in Armentières, a small French town near Lille, in 1915, and watched a chic barmaid serve drinks.  He composed the words then and there of the world-famous "Mademoiselle from Armentières"; he performed his composition a few days later before the Fifth Battery, Montreal, stationed in France. Colombo's Concise Canadian Quotations, edited by John Robert Colombo, Hurtig Publishers, 1976.

Where is the son of the Minister of Militia?

Sir Frederick Borden, Canada's Liberal Minister of Militia, pleaded with his son not to enter the Boer War, and pro-war newspapers protested his absence from the first shipload of soldiers bound for South Africa.  "Where is the son of the Minister of Militia?" asked the Halifax Herald. Harold Borden, 23, volunteered with the second contingent, commanding a mounted troop of Royal Canadian Dragoons.  At the battle of Coetzee's Drift he swam a river under fire to attack the enemy on the far side.  In July 1900, at Witpoor Pass, Harold Borden was shot at close range.  Sir Frederick learned of his son's death in the House of Commons.
[National Post, 9 October 1999]

Harold Borden monument Canning

It is necessary that our institutions should be placed on a stable basis, if we are to have that security for life and property, and personal liberty, which is so desirable in every country.

Charles Tupper, speaking in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly on 10 April 1865, quoted in the National Post, 14 July 2000.  At the time, Tupper was an MPP (Member of the Provincial Parliament); he went on to become an MP (Member of Parliament) in Ottawa after Confederation in 1867, and later Prime Minister of Canada.

For a long time nothing but Gaelic was spoken in Cape Breton Island until they gradually learned English from the handful of New England Loyalists who came to Nova Scotia after the American Revolution.

Hugh MacLennan, in the Author's Note of Each Man's Son, 1951, Little, Brown and Company, Boston

The first time I saw her from my Dartmouth home, I was bug-eyed.  At about three o'clock in the morning, I awoke to the roar of loud, throaty engines, a guttural cacophony from somewhere outside.  It sounded like a half-dozen fire trucks out there on our street fully revved up.

Jack Wilcox, in The Chronicle-Herald, 7 May 1997, describing the airship Hindenburg passing over Nova Scotia, during one of the 11 trips it made in 1936 between Berlin and New York.  Hindenburg's usual cruising altitude was 200 metres 650 feet, and the usual route followed the Atlantic coastline of Nova Scotia.  These trips ceased abruptly on May 6, 1937, when Hindenburg burned at Lakehurst, New Jersey.  Wilcox continued:

Hindenburg seemed to be hanging there above Lake Banook, but she was, in fact, at full throttle, moving slowly in the Moon's light...

Hindenburg's cruising speed was 135 km/h 84 mph.

Robert Jamison Leslie was a Member of the Quebec Legislature at the time (1906), representing Gaspe and the Magdalens, although he lived in Halifax.  I guess he was probably the only Nova Scotian ever to live in Halifax and also be a Quebec MLA. Apparently he was elected while he was over in Europe opening up markets for Magdalen Island fish — in those days Canada didn't have any Department of Trade and Commerce to do these things for us...

Rosaleen Dickson, <>, granddaughter of R.J. Leslie, in a message posted to the Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia genealogy discussion list <> on 7 Dec. 1996.

We received yesterday a file of Newfoundland newspapers, the latest five weeks old and some of them dated last October.

A note in the Halifax weekly Novascotian of 30 January 1840, describing the latest news then available in Halifax, from Newfoundland.  This speed of transmission of news was typical of that time, but it seems unbelievably slow to us who live in an age when news goes around the world in less than one second.

The automobile fever is catching ... One prominent horseman is so attacked with the disease that he is said to be quietly disposing of his stable outfit and spends his spare moments studying auto catalogues. The horsemen need not get alarmed that the motor car will injure their business in our country.

The New Glasgow Eastern Chronicle, 19 April 1907

Far too many cars are driven at an excessive speed about our streets.  They whiz by with little regard for the pedestrian...

The New Glasgow Eastern Chronicle, 19 June 1923

Road Vehicles, Longest Tow: The longest tow on record was one of 7658 km 4759 miles from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Canada's Pacific coast, when Frank J. Elliott and George A. Scott of Amherst persuaded 168 passing motorists in 89 days to tow their Model T Ford (in fact engineless) to win a $1,000 bet on 15 October 1927.

Guinness Book of Records, 1975, ISBN 0900424265.

One in every 150 Americans is behind bars, as is one in every 900 Canadians. In Nova Scotia, one in every 1,600 people is in prison.

Coastal Communities Network "Did you know?" 2004

One bad sign of domestic matters in old Halifax in 1785 may be noted.  In the course of twelve months, no fewer than twenty criminals were hanged, mostly for minor offences and petty robberies; three were negro slaves, who had only lately arrived from New York with Loyalist families.  One suffered death for theft of a bag of potatoes.  The cruelty of the age and indifference to the taking of a human life for so slight an offence, as it was proved the poor wretch was starving, was a stain on the humanity of our so called Christian people.  The process of justification in the light of mercy or compassion must have been a curious one with judge and jury.  They were no doubt honest men, acting up to their lights.  In looking back to-day, we can only regret that the men were dull, and the lights dim.

Memoir of Governor John Parr by James S. MacDonald, a book published in 1909 by the Nova Scotia Historical Society.  John Parr was Governor of Nova Scotia 1782-1791.

John Parr, the future Governor of Nova Scotia, was born at Dublin, 20th December, 1725, and, after a moderate course of study at Trinity High School, he was on the 26th May, 1744, gazetted Ensign of the 20th Regiment of Foot (Kingsley's and Wolfe's Regiment).  Parr was then in his nineteenth year, early in life, to enter upon a career of military activity, when the great powers of Europe were at war, and when a soldier's life was one of arduous and uninterrupted service...

John Parr's experience as a young subaltern in the 20th Regiment was arduous.  It was a regiment continually in revolt and trouble.  When it had the chance, it fought brilliantly, but at times had the misfortune of bad handling by incompetent officers.  It was a mutiny in this particular regiment, which brought the hero Wolfe to the front.  While encamped at Fort Augustus in the Scotch Highlands in 1747, a mutiny broke out, in which the majority of the rank and file took part.  Wolfe was selected to bring the regiment to reason.  Our founder Cornwallis had to abandon his position in the regiment, to make way for Wolfe, who by judicious handling, the exercise of diplomacy, and common sense, as well as the summary execution of over twenty of the ringleaders speedily suppressed the revolt, and brought the regiment to reason.  Wolfe's success won the admiration of Pitt, and resulted in his appointment to the command of the forces then mustering or the operations America.

In 1745, Parr was present with his regiment at Fontenoy, and in that obstinate and terribly contested conflict, received his baptism of fire.  In 1746, he was at Culloden with the British forces, under the "Butcher" Cumberland, and was there severely wounded.  For several years in the north of Scotland, he served in what was then called, the pacification of the Highlands, in which there was no glory, and much needless cruelty.  For a time, he was adjutant to Wolfe then in command of the 20th Foot, and from letters still preserved by the Parr family, appears to have been on intimate terms with him.  In those days when the professional attainments of most of the officers of the Army, were exceedingly meagre, and the standard of morals and manners in the service very low, it must indeed have been a very great advantage to a young subaltern, to be brought into close contact, with so cultivated and zealous a soldier, and so broad-minded and honourable a gentleman as Wolfe.  With the 20th Regiment, Parr served for eleven years, in various garrisons abroad and, on the 4th of January 1756, he was promoted to the rank of Captain, and with his corps was ordered to the relief of Minorca...


It was a common thing to buy and sell slaves in Halifax in the early days.  The following advertisement in the Halifax Gazette of November 1, 1760, is a sample:

To be sold at public auction, on Monday, the 3rd of November at the house of John Rider, two slaves, viz: a boy and girl, about eleven years of age; likewise a puncheon of choice old cherry brandy with sundry other articles.

William Coates Borrett in East Coast Port and Other Tales Told Under the Old Town Clock, The Imperial Publishing Company, Halifax, 1946.  (On Aug. 23, 1797, at an auction in Montreal, Emanuel Allen became the last slave to be sold in Canada.)

William Borrett has done much to keep alive the storied romance of Nova Scotia.  Since none of us know as much as we might of the intimate history of this province we call home, the author (Borrett) performs a useful public service by reminding us in simple, sometimes whimsical prose, of those who came before us.  As a Nova Scotian, proud of my citizenship, I commend this and similar efforts, for we do well to remind ourselves of the history of Nova Scotia and her people.

Harold Connolly, Minister of Industry and Publicity in the Government of Nova Scotia (and later, Premier), in a dustcover blurb for Down East, the fourth volume in the series of "Tales Told Under the Old Town Clock", a companion book to East Coast Port.

On March 29, 1841, an act was passed by the Nova Scotia Legislature making it unlawful to punish people by setting them in the pillory, by publicly whipping them, by nailing their ears to the pillory, or by cutting off their ears.  Such punishment thereafter was to be changed to imprisonment, solitary imprisonment if necessary, with hard labour if the Court should so decree.  It is not known that the pillory was ever used in King's County, or that people there were publicly whipped, but in Halifax, in April 1821, a man convicted of forgery was sentenced to have one ear cut off, to stand in the pillory an hour, and to be imprisoned for a year.

The History of Kings County, Nova Scotia, 1604 - 1910 by Dr. A.W.H. Eaton, The Salem Press Company, Salem, Massachusetts, 1910.

Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council and Assembly, that, from and after the passing of this Act, judgement or sentence shall not be given and awarded against any person or persons convicted of any offence whatsoever, that such person or persons do suffer the punishment of being set in the Pillory, or of having his or their ears nailed thereto, or cut off, or do suffer the punishment of being whipped — any Law, Statute or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.

And be it enacted that in all cases where the punishment of being set in the Pillory, or of having the offender's ears nailed to the Pillory, or cut off, or of being publicly or privately whipped, has hitherto formed the whole or part of the judgement or sentence to be pronounced, or has in any other case been inflicted, it shall and may be lawful for the Court, before whom any such offender shall be tried or convicted, to pass sentence of imprisonment, or imprisonment with hard labor, in the Common Gaol, Bridewell or House of Correction, in the County where such conviction shall take place, or in any Public Penitentiary, Bridewell or House of Correction, which may be hereafter established in any part of this Province; and also, to direct that the offender shall be kept in solitary confinement for any portion or portions of such imprisonment, or of such imprisonment with hard labor — such solitary confinement not exceeding one month at any one time, and not exceeding three months in any one year, as to the Court, in its discretion, shall seem meet.

The above is the full, complete text of 4 Victoria, chapter 8 — An Act to abolish the punishment of Pillory, Cutting the Ears of Offenders, and Whipping, and to substitute Imprisonment in lieu thereof, passed the 29th day of March, A.D. 1841, Nova Scotia Provincial Parliament, Halifax.

Slavery existed in Loyalist Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton.  In certain parts of Nova Scotia, such as the Annapolis Valley, some farms benefited from slave labor.  Clearly, the growth of black freedom had been accompanied by the growth of black slavery.  Slave owners tended to be respectable individuals who settled throughout Nova Scotia.  In a study published over a century ago, T.W. Smith noted that several Loyalists arrived with large numbers of slaves.  For example, Stephen Shakespeare arrived in Nova Scotia with twenty "servants", and Charles Oliver Breuff of New York settled at Liverpool with fifteen slaves and numerous indentured blacks.  Captain Andrew Barclay's Company of 104 people also arrived with 57 slaves.  James and Alexander Robertson, publishers in New York, later settled at Shelburne with twenty slaves.  Several other Loyalists only brought two or three slaves with them, but the numbers of bondspeople certainly lend credence to Barry Cahill's contention that in some fashion Loyalist Nova Scotia can be understood as a "colonial slave society".

Slaves of the Loyal Americans by Harvey A. Whitfield, University of Vermont

The best thing to do is to take the bastards to court and sue.

Halifax lawyer William Leahey commenting on the legal options now open to victims of abuse within institutions operated by the Government of Nova Scotia, quoted in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 8 November 1997.  Ten of Mr. Leahey's clients are already suing the government, and he has a list of fifty others wanting to do the same.  The way to get both compensation and accountability, Leahey says, is a class-action lawsuit.

The provincial Justice Department has blown it.

The lead editorial, titled "Justice for None," in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 8 November 1997 continues:

A process that was intended to rightly compensate individuals who were abused while they lived in provincial youth centres has become so distorted it is difficult to see how it can reasonably continue...

...At this time, Mr. Speaker, formally and publicly, I want to apologize to the victims.  They were in no way responsible for what happened to them.  On a personal level, and on behalf of the Government of Nova Scotia, I want to say sincerely, I am sorry.  Also, I will be conveying my apologies to the victims in writing...

Hon. William Gillis, Minister of Justice, speaking in the Nova Scotia Legislature on 3 May 1996.

Mr. Speaker, the statement by the Minister of Justice is a most welcome one... we join with the Minister of Justice in extending a sincere and deep apology to those who were victimized during that time, if any of those events, and I know that some of them did, took place during the years when some of us here today on Opposition benches were on the government benches.  Circumstances occurred which just simply should never have occurred, should never have been allowed to occur, and the tragedy that has befallen so many — and it is astounding to hear the Minister of Justice today talk in terms of as many as 350 people — has tremendous impact to say the least.  I join him in expressing deep regret and accepting what responsibility those of us should during our time on the watch...

Mr. Terence Donahoe, who spoke immediately following Mr. Gillis' statement.

Mr. Speaker... I am very pleased to see the apology that was provided by the minister on behalf of the government because it is important that it be recognized that those who were the victims were not the perpetrators or the cause of what happened to them.  Very often victims are made to feel responsible for what has happened to them, so I am very pleased to see the minister announce quite clearly and unequivocally that the government apologizes to those individuals and acknowledges that they were not in any way responsible for the actions that happened to them...

Mr. John Holm, who spoke immediately following Mr. Donahoe's statement.

The complete text of all three speeches appears in Hansard.[Page%201335]

There was no jury in this case to muddle the matter with an improper verdict.

Justice Russell in a Nova Scotia court decision dated 18 June 1913, on the appeal of Pickels versus Lane, as reported on page 277 of the Eastern Law Reporter, volume XIII number 4, 10 November 1913, published by the Carswell Company, Toronto.

As the autumn darkness descends on the Annapolis Valley town of Kentville, so do thousands of black forms with beating wings.  Like a scene out of Alfred Hitchcock's movie The Birds, crows swoop down on the large groves of trees that line the downtown and surrounding residential areas...

Kevin Cox, in The Globe and Mail, 4 November 2000, writing about the annual appearance of thousnads of crows in Kentville, Nova Scotia.

Clive Brook, as the Marquis of Gleneyre:
I'm sorry about your father.  I liked Louis.

Kirk Douglas, as George Brougham:
Well, if you want me to fill you in on him, he — well he lost the fifty thousand you gave him in a three-day poker session on the train between Halifax and Moose Jaw.

Walter Anthony Huston, as Derek Bruttenholm:
Moose Jaw?

From the 1963 movie The List of Adrian Messenger, directed by John Huston, with Kirk Douglas, George C. Scott, Dana Wynter, Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster (in drag), Clive Brook, Herbert Marshall, and Walter Anthony Huston.

The Fences Arbitration Committee is the most difficult committee in government to fill.  It is not one that anybody covets or lobbies to get.

George Archibald, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Kings North, acting as Chairman of the Nova Scotia Legislature's Standing Committee on Human Resources at the Committee meeting in Halifax on 24 November 1998, as recorded in Hansard, page 3477.  The complete text of Mr. Archibald's comment is available in Hansard.

A is for Agencies.  B is for Boards.  C is for Commissions.  And the government of Nova Scotia is bloated with them.  So bloated that they've lost track of how many there actually are.  Seriously, ask anyone in government who should know, and they won't be able to tell you.  The latest rough guess puts the number of ABCs anywhere between 125-175 of them — or more... Some of the ABCs may be largely volunteer in nature, but nothing is costless.  If the public actually knew there were so many ABCs out there, it could reasonably question the taxpayer benefit of any number of them.  A small scratch at a huge surface finds that there is a Fences Arbitration Board for every single county in Nova Scotia...

Nancy Faraday-Smith, in The ABCs of Nova Scotia Government, (no date).  Ms. Faraday-Smith is a Policy Analyst at the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, a public policy think tank based in Halifax.
Source: Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS)

It occurred to Larson that lying involves an effort that telling the truth does not, and that the fear of being caught lying ought to elicit an involuntary flow of adrenaline that could be detectable by the changes in body properties it brought about.  He therefore devised a machine, the "polygraph", which could simultaneously and continuously record the pulse rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and perspiration secretion.  Such changes would, or should, be greater when a lie was told than when the truth was told.  The instrument was promptly named a "lie detector".  It is not infallible, but it has proved useful.

Isaac Asimov in Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science & Technology Second Revised Edition, Doubleday & Company, 1982, about John A. Larson, born 11 December 1892 in Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

If Sir Charles Tupper was noted for anything in electioneering, it was for vitriolic, rancorous attacks on opponents...

"A Political Bayard: Hon. G. H. Murray, Premier of Nova Scotia," by John Daniel Logan, Canadian Magazine of Politics, Science, Art and Literature, volume LIII, May-October 1919

John Ralston Saul points to Thomas Jefferson's analysis that men are divided into two groups: on the one hand there are those who fear and distrust the people; on the other hand there are those who identify with the people and have confidence in them.  Our civilization has increasingly put those who fear and distrust, in power over the people.  We must stop this, we must listen to the people and we must stop seeking simplistic answers to complex problems...

Donald Chard, MLA representing Dartmouth South, speaking in the Nova Scotia Legislature on 29 May 1998.  The complete record of his speech is available in Hansard, page 501 The quotation appears at Hansard, page 507.

On the voyage to America 12 children were born, of which all but one died.  Of the above 262 souls embarked, 53 died on the ocean and the remaining 221 landed safely at Halifax.  There were 183 freights and 53 bedplaces.  From the 8th of July 1752 to the 28th of February 1753, 83 persons from the above-mentioned ship died in Halifax.  We were 14 days travelling down the Rhine and 14 weeks on the ocean, not counting the time we were on board the ship in Rotterdam and again in Halifax before we were put to ashore, all of which amounted to 22 weeks.

Excerpt from Johann Michael Schmitt's Bible, as translated by Winthrop Pickard Bell. A "freight" was a full-fare passenger — everyone over a certain stipulated age, which varied from time to time or ship to ship, but was frequently 14 years.  Infants (usually under the age of 4) were carried free and no space allocation was made for them.  Children between those ages were accounted "half-freights."  Thus: Mr Schmitt meant by the numbers of adults and of children (on the GALE from Rotterdam leaving Leymen for America on 9 May 1752 and docking in Halifax on 8 June 1752) were such that the 262 "souls" amounted to 183 "freights".  The still extant ship's manifest shows that there were actually 249 "souls" and 183 "freights".  The "bedplaces" were subdivisions of the 'tween decks space in the ship, to which the emigrants were assigned.  There were certain regulations with respect to these.  The minimum "bedplace" size was supposed to be 6 feet 183 cm square, and no more than 4 "freights" were to be assigned to any one "bedplace."  On John Dick's ships the "bedplace" sizes were somewhat larger than the legal minimum.  Mr. Schmitt's statement means that the GALE's emigrants had somewhat more room than they would have had the ship been filled.

From a posting by Cathy Di Pietro, <> Sussex, NJ, 25 Aug 1996, to Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia genealogy discussion list <>

Winthrop Bell received his PhD from the university at Gottingen, Germany in 1914.  Because he had traveled extensively there while taking lots of photographs and was still in the country at the outbreak of World War One, he was interned for the duration as a British spy.  Bell's Ph.D. dissertation was Eine kritische Untersuchung der Erkenntnistheorie Josiah Royce's, 1922, Gottingen University, Germany.  In the 1940s, Bell lived in Chester, Nova Scotia.

For most of the past 200 years, the relationship between Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia has been characterized by a culture of colonization... The conjoining of Cape Breton and the mainland into one province was not amicably received on both sides.  But the mainland needed resources, the king's brother needed royalties to cover his gambling debts, and Cape Breton had coal, fish, and timber.  From its founding days, it was clear the "royal reserve"... stamped the relationship between the two into a colonial pattern.  From the 1820s to well after the Second World War, most of Nova Scotia's provincial tax revenues derived from Cape Breton mineral royalties...

University College of Cape Breton President Dr. Jacquelyn Thayer Scott in testimony before the Legislature's standing Committee on Economic Development on 20 April 1999; quoted in the Halifax Daily News, 25 April 1999.
The complete official transcript of President Scott's testimony

...When I first moved to Cape Breton, I vowed I wouldn't fall into the trap of blaming so much of the status quo on Halifax.  That is a vow I haven't been able to keep because the evidence of the historical conflict continues to infect almost every current transaction...

We expect to be expanding into Russia...

Kenneth C. Rowe Chairman and CEO of I.M.P. Group International Inc., of Halifax, quoted in The Financial Post Magazine, November 1996, page 56.  Rowe began his business career in 1956 working for the improbably-named Great Grimsby Coal, Salt & Tanning Company Limited in the United Kingdom, and was sent to Halifax in 1964 as general manager of Grimsby's North American operations.  Rowe built I.M.P., which now manages a four-star hotel in Moscow, from the 1967 remnants of a bankrupt foundry in Amherst, Nova Scotia.
[I.M.P. is derived from Industrial and Marine Products.]

I said at that time, I'm just from Meteghan, I don't understand what this is all about.

Louis Comeau commenting about the time, in August 1992, when he signed a cheque for $5,000,000,000 as part of the payment when Nova Scotia Power Inc. bought the provincial government-owned electric utility Nova Scotia Power Corporation.  Quoted in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald 20 April 1996.

April 30, 1994 — The Nova Scotia Legislature is closed to the public on the day the budget is to be read, following a clash with demonstrators the previous day.  The chamber is sealed from the public, press, television technicians and pages, and there is no Hansard taken.  The House reopens forty minutes after the budget speech has been read.

Source: A Chronicle of Freedom of Expression in Canada, 1914-1994

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this webpage:
A Chronicle of Freedom of Expression in Canada, 1914-1994

Archived: 1997 July 12

Archived: 1999 January 17

Archived: 2000 February 29

Archived: 2001 June 04

Archived: 2002 December 16

I'll share some responses to a recent “Good Morning” column in which I wrote I've been dreaming of going to Nova Scotia to enjoy the cool climate and escape our recent spate of miserably hot weather... (One person wrote) "My husband and I leave for Halifax later this month to participate in our only son's wedding there... Jen (the bride) was born in Halifax but grew up in the States and returned to Halifax to get her undergraduate degree.  Her parents live in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, that features the Bay of Fundy whose famous tides can be seen on many YouTube clips... The one thing that you wish you could bring back to Hoosierdom is the air.  Our son hasn't had any allergy medicine since living in the marine Atlantic.  You forget what air is supposed to smell like...

“Fishing villages one bright spot of Nova Scotia” by Garret Mathews in the Evansville Courier & Press, Evansville, Indiana, 9 August 2010
—  Source:

It shall be the duty of every (school) teacher...

(5) To inculcate by precept and example a respect for religion and the principles of christian morality, and the highest regard to truth, justice, love of country, loyalty, humanity, benevolence, sobriety, industry, frugality, chastity, temperance, and all other virtues...

(8) To reimburse the trustees for any destruction of school property by the pupils which is clearly chargeable to gross neglect or failure to enforce proper discipline on the part of the teacher...

Chapter 29, Section 74, The Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1884.

The duties of the (school) trustees shall be as follows...

(3) To lease or rent lands or buildings if necessary for school purposes for a period of not less than five months, or if the section be poor not less than three months...

(5) To provide school privileges free of charge for all persons in the section five years of age and upwards who may wish to attend school, and, when authorized by the school meeting (of local ratepayers), improved school accomodations; such accomodations to be provided as far as possible in accordance with the following arrangements:
(a) For any section having fifty pupils or under, a (school)house with comfortable sittings for the same, with one teacher,
(b) For any section having from fifty to eighty pupils, a (school)house with comfortable sittings for the same, with one teacher and an assistant,
(c) For any section having from eighty to one hundred pupils, a (school)house with comfortable sittings for the same and two good class-rooms, with one teacher and two assistants...
(f) And generally, for any section having two hundred pupils and upwards, a (school)house or houses, with sufficient accomodations for different grades of elementary and preparatory schools, so that in sections having six hundred pupils and upwards the ratios of pupils in elementary, preparatory, and high school departments shall be respectively about eight, three, and one.

Chapter 29, Section 27, The Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1884.

(It shall be the duty of the school trustees) to ascertain as soon as possible after the close of the school year how many of the children (between the ages of seven and twelve years) of the section have not been at school during the school year for the period of eighty full days, and to impose upon the parents or guardians of such children a fine of two dollars for each child who has attended school no portion of the year, and pro rata in the case of each child who has attended school but has not reached the period of eighty full days.

Chapter 29, Section 78, The Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1884.

In imposing fines for failure to attend the required minimum period of eighty full days, trustees shall exempt such parents or guardians as can show that their children are being properly educated otherwise than in the public schools, or whose children are by reason of delicate health, or being distant over two miles from a school, or other sufficient causes, prevented from attendance.

Chapter 29, Section 81, The Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1884.

No minor under the age of sixteen years shall be admitted at any time to, or permitted to remain in, any saloon or place of entertainment where any spirituous liquors or wines or intoxicating or malt liquors are sold, exchanged, or given away, or in any of the places of amusement known as dance houses, billiard rooms, cippi rooms, dancing classes, clubs, or concert saloons, unless accompanied by his or her parent or guardian, nor into any bawdy house or house of ill fame under any circumstances whatever...

Chapter 95, Section 1, The Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1884.

Note by ICS (written 16 February 2002):   I have no idea what a "cippi room" was.  A search of the Internet on the keyword cippi turns up hundreds of hits, but few that seem relevant to this Nova Scotia law.  However, this item did turn up, from the diary of Dougald Robert Boyle, a resident of the West Arichat/Arichat area on Isle Madame in Nova Scotia:

August 25, 1878: Hart made things lively playing Cippi with us at Marman's last night when gas was turned out.


The business of one half of the town is to sell rum, and the other half to drink it.

Rev. Dr. Ezra Stiles (1727-1795), President of Yale College 1778-1795, referring to Halifax, as quoted in History of Nova Scotia by Thomas Chandler Haliburton, published in Halifax in 1829.

On 2 July 1866, a bill was introduced in the United States Congress, calling for the admission or annexation of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Lower and Upper Canada.

Halifax Daily News, 2 July 2001

To aid the construction of a railway from Truro, in Nova Scotia, to Riviere du Loup, in Canada East... the United States will grant lands along the lines of said roads to the amount of twenty sections, or twelve thousand eight hundred acres, per mile, to be selected and sold in the manner prescribed in the act to aid the construction of the Northern Pacific railroad, approved July two, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, and acts amendatory thereof; and in addition to said grants of lands, the United States will further guarantee dividends of five per centum upon the stock of the company or companies which may be authorized by Congress to undertake the construction of said railways: Provided, That such guarantee of stock shall not exceed the sum of thirty thousand dollars per mile, and Congress shall regulate the securities for advances on account thereof.

Article IX of A Bill for the admission of the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and for the organization of the Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia (Annexation Bill) introduced by General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks and passed in the United States House of Representatives in July 1866.  The intent was that the United States would acquire all of what is now Canada.

Mr. Banks, on leave, introduced the following bill: A Bill For the admission of the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and for the organization of the Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia.

Source: United States Library of Congress
Historical Collections for the U.S. National Digital Library

Nathaniel Prentiss Banks (1816-1894), Representative from Massachusetts

For the purpose of representation in the U.S. Congress
Prince Edward Island shall be part of Nova Scotia

Newfoundland will be part of Canada East (Quebec)

Nova Scotia Quotes: July 2, 1866: HR 754, page one
United States Congress, July 2nd, 1866
Source: Bill HR 754, page 1
Historical Collections for the U.S. National Digital Library

Nova Scotia Quotes: July 2, 1866: HR 754, page two
United States Congress, July 2nd, 1866
Source: Bill HR 754, page 2
Historical Collections for the U.S. National Digital Library

Nova Scotia Quotes: July 2, 1866: HR 754, page three
United States Congress, July 2nd, 1866
Source: Bill HR 754, page 3
Historical Collections for the U.S. National Digital Library

Nova Scotia Quotes: July 2, 1866: HR 754, page four
United States Congress, July 2nd, 1866
Source: Bill HR 754, page 4
Historical Collections for the U.S. National Digital Library

Nova Scotia Quotes: July 2, 1866: HR 754, page five
United States Congress, July 2nd, 1866
Source: Bill HR 754, page 5
Historical Collections for the U.S. National Digital Library

Nova Scotia Quotes: July 2, 1866: HR 754, page six
United States Congress, July 2nd, 1866
Source: Bill HR 754, page 6
Historical Collections for the U.S. National Digital Library

Nova Scotia Quotes: July 2, 1866: HR 754, page seven
United States Congress, July 2nd, 1866
Source: Bill HR 754, page 7
Historical Collections for the U.S. National Digital Library

Nova Scotia Quotes: July 2, 1866: HR 754, page eight
United States Congress, July 2nd, 1866
Source: Bill HR 754, page 8
Historical Collections for the U.S. National Digital Library

Nova Scotia Quotes: July 2, 1866: Congressional Globe, page 3548
United States Congress, July 2nd, 1866
Source: Congressional Globe, page 3548
Historical Collections for the U.S. National Digital Library

Annexation of British America

Mr. Banks, by unanimous consent, submitted a bill (H. R. 754) establishing conditions for the admission of the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East and Canada West, and for the organization of territorial governments; which was read a first and second time, ordered to be printed, and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Page 3548 of The Congressional Globe, Monday, 2 July 1866
Historical Collections for the U.S. National Digital Library

More than 12 tons of gold, 935 tons of silver buried beneath WTC rubble.  Bank of Nova Scotia had it stored in vaults under 4 World Trade Center.

This was one of the items in the continuous crawl of brief news items across the bottom of the television screen, broadcast by CNN, the Cable News Network, from Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., in the evening of Saturday, 22 September 2001, eleven days after the terrorist attack which brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.  The crawl, broadcast 24 hours a day along with the regular news videos, usually contained fifty to seventy items running in a continuous loop.  This item appeared several times at intervals of about twenty minutes.

On 23 September 2001, the Halifax Sunday Daily News reported that, according to the New York Mercantile Exchange, Scotia Mocatta — the bullion and metals division of the Bank of Nova Scotia — was storing 379,036 ounces of gold and 29,942,619 ounces of silver there.
     379,036 Troy ounces   =   11,791 kg   =   11.79 metric tonnes
     29,942,619 Troy ounces   =   931,455 kg   =   931.45 metric tonnes

      When the vaults were locked at the close of business on Monday, September 10th (the day before the attack) the gold was worth U$272.30 (C$427.81) per ounce, or U$103,211,503 (C$162,155,590).
      By September 21st, its value — wherever it is — had soared 7.6 percent to U$292.90 (C$460.18) per ounce, or U$111,019,644 (C$174,422,962).
      And the silver rose 10.3 percent in value from U$4.19 (C$6.58) per ounce, or U$129,063,811 (C$202,772,154), to U$4.62 (C$7.26) per ounce, or U$142,114,861 (C$223,276,663).

Precious metals buried under debris,, 22 September 2001

with C$ (Canadian currency) values calculated at U$1.00 = C$1.5711, the exchange rate at the close of business on Friday, 21 September 2001.

Scotia-Mocatta is the global bullion banking division of the Bank of Nova Scotia, formed in 1997 by the bank's acquisition of Mocatta Bullion from Standard Chartered Bank in London.  Scotia-Mocatta has seven offices around the world with primary centres in London, New York, Toronto and Hong Kong.  It is a market making member of the London Bullion Market Association and one of the five members of the London gold "fixing".
— Source:
PAMP (Produits Artistiques de Metaux Precieux Societe Anonyme)

Scotia Mocatta Limited


Full  Text  of  Colby  Cosh’s  comment
“Understanding CTV’s Dion-Murphy debacle”
in the National Post, 10 October 2008

...a Martian-talks-to-Earthling vaudeville sketch...

              Because I have so little expertise in anything, it is always an exciting moment for me when, as a columnist, I have relevant experience to contribute to an urgent matter of public interest.  In the case of Stéphane Dion's disastrous Thursday interview with Steve Murphy of CTV Atlantic, which is currently being subject to a dozen different interpretations by commentators all over the spectrum, there is a group amongst us, a group to which I belong, that has access to special insight.  So pardon me while I presume to speak for all those who were once inept, frustrated students of foreign languages.

              All languages deal with counterfactual statements, especially backward-looking ones, a little differently.  The subjunctive mood is a basic requirement for claiming the mastery of a foreign language — but it is usually the last of the basic requirements to be learned, and one of the hardest to acquire, because we all discuss counterfactuals in our own mother tongue without ever consciously considering the ontological complexity behind them.  Close examination of the CTV footage suggests that Stéphane Dion was not really the victim of some notional hearing problem or a noisy room; he was asked a question in a way that might seem relatively straightforward to native speakers of English, but which actually presented special dangers for him as a non-native speaker.

              Murphy's original question to Dion was God-awful English on its own merits.  He asked: "If you were prime minister now, what would you have done about the economy and this crisis that Mr. Harper has not done?"  Because of the clumsily juggled verb moods, the intended meaning of the question is clear to an Anglophone only by the sort of automatic inference one masters in toddlerhood.  In the interview, Dion begins to answer the question as if Murphy had asked "What would you do, going forward, if you were made prime minister immediately?"

              Off-camera, Murphy pulls a face because Dion has misunderstood his mangled question, and he then makes matters much worse by saying "I'm saying if you hypothetically were prime minister TODAY, what would you have done that Mr. Harper hasn't?"  The emphasis on "today" confuses Dion further, he tries again to answer the question according to what he thinks is Murphy's meaning, Murphy again apparently displays some off-camera sign of frustration, Dion puts the brakes on the interview, and the process is repeated, with the whole thing ending up as a Martian-talks-to-Earthling vaudeville sketch.

              This strange dynamic may not be obvious to lifelong monoglots, or even to those who have successfully learned a second language by means of immersion.  You almost have to have wrestled with a second language as an adult, or at least studied one in some depth, to see what went wrong.  To me, the foregoing is the only plausible linguistic interpretation of the Dion-Murphy fiasco.  But it is for voters as individuals to answer the questions that depend upon a correct interpretation of the incident.  Dion deserves sympathy for being misled by Murphy's unfortunate "today", but he did seize carelessly on Murphy's accentual cue like a starving dog snatching a steak, and perhaps should have recognized that Murphy was saying "has done" and "have done", attempting to steer his attention in the direction of the past-up-until-now.

              Just how good the second-language comprehension of a prime minister ought to be is a fine and sensitive question with no clear, objective answer.  If you and I have differing opinions about it, there is almost no way for us to have a useful argument about it.  What we can agree on is that being able to hear and understand the other official language is virtually a non-negotiable requirement of the prime ministership — and, frankly, conveniently-timed just-so stories about hearing problems don't really change that.  If Mr. Dion is congenitally condemned to permanent struggles with English comprehension, someone should have brought it up when the Official Opposition was choosing a leader, not the day the federal election writs were dropped.  It would not be fair for Dion to escape Conservative criticism by playing the disability card here, and it is not really very "mean-spirited" of them to call a train wreck by its proper name.

              CTV News also appears to have screwed up ethically by assuring Dion that the raw footage of his floundering would never appear.  Once they stopped to consider that the public is entitled to pass judgment on the candidate's language abilities, which are a valid election issue, they had no other appropriate choice but to go back on their word and make the evidence available.  Since they were forced to contradict themselves, there is not much sense in blaming either the Liberals or the Conservatives for insisting on one pole of the contradiction.  It's not always easy for a reporter, editor, or producer to apply the ethical principles of journalism on the fly, but the CTV must wear some egg on its face for this preposterous October Surprise.

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