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Inventing Atlantic Canada

Inventing Atlantic Canada: Regionalism and the Maritime Reaction to Newfoundland's Entry into Canadian Confederation

Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 224
  • Book Info
    Inventing Atlantic Canada
    Book Description:

    Inventing Atlantic Canadais the first book to analyse the reaction of the Maritime provinces to Newfoundland's entry into Confederation.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9506-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-19)

    Growing up in small-town Ontario, I was only dimly aware of the ‘Maritimes’ and ‘Atlantic Canada,’ and what little I knew of these terms and these regions reflected well-worn stereotypes. For me, the Maritimes and Atlantic Canada were synonymous with each other: both referred to the poorer provinces clustered along Canada’s eastern seaboard – places that received wealthy tourists during the warm summer months and that sent their youth ‘down the road’ in search of employment in the industrial cities of Central Canada. It was only later, while taking classes on Atlantic Canadian history at university, that the differences in meaning...

  5. 1 Newfoundland–Maritime Connections from Colonization to Confederation
    (pp. 20-37)

    When Newfoundland entered Canadian Confederation in 1949, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) held a ‘welcoming broadcast,’ which featured ‘a specially arranged fantasia of Newfoundland folk music which had its origin among the fishermen, loggers, miners and farmers of the region.’ This broadcast, to be directed by J. Frank Willis, former Halifax supervisor of feature broadcasts for the CBC, also had a political purpose. It was designed to ‘point up the similarities in the traditions of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, [and] Prince Edward Island … symbolising the new province’s natural ties with Canada’s older eastern provinces.’¹ In doing so, the...

  6. 2 A Province Divided: Nova Scotia and Newfoundland’s Entry into Confederation
    (pp. 38-66)

    For the students of Halifax’s Mount Saint Vincent College, the union of Newfoundland and Canada was cause for celebration. Long a destination for female Newfoundland Roman Catholics seeking higher education, the college staged a pageant to welcome its Newfoundland students as Canadians shortly after Newfoundland’s entry into Confederation. As theAntigonish Casketdescribed it:

    The infant country was depicted through its long struggle for independence, with Great Britain, Canada and the United States always ready to hold out an invited hand. The hard choice being made, the new province was welcomed by Mother Canada who called in the nine provinces...

  7. 3 ‘... both islands would benefit’: Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland’s Entry into Confederation
    (pp. 67-84)

    On 4 April 1949, just four days after Newfoundland joined Canada, an editorial published in theSummerside Journalsummarized Prince Edward Island’s position on the union: ‘The natural resources of Newfoundland are limited, and the population is small. Extensive agricultural development has not been possible due to the generally unfavourable soil and climatic conditions: Newfoundland, twenty times as large as Prince Edward Island, has only one-fifth of the croplands of this small province.’ This, coupled with the new province’s lack of industrialization, meant that ‘for the bulk of its food and consumer goods, Newfoundland depends upon imports … with Canada...

  8. 4 ‘... for the general expansion of the economy’: New Brunswick and Newfoundland’s Entry into Confederation
    (pp. 85-107)

    The 1 April 1949 edition of theNorth Shore Leader, a small community newspaper in Newcastle, New Brunswick, contained no mention of Newfoundland’s entry into Confederation. Instead, the paper gave prominent front-page coverage to the coming of wireless communications to northern New Brunswick. On that day, CKMR 1340 took to the airwaves, bringing the residents of the Miramichi their very own radio station.¹ This indicates New Brunswick’s reaction to Newfoundland’s Confederation: it was, in large measure, a non-event for New Brunswickers, with many provincial newspapers generally ignoring the subject. In the postwar period, with New Brunswick striving to improve its...

  9. 5 ‘... preaching a dangerous gospel’: Regional Union and Newfoundland in the 1940s
    (pp. 108-124)

    The preceding three chapters have examined the reactions of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia to Newfoundland’s entry into Confederation in isolation, focusing largely on the perceived ways in which union would benefit or harm each province financially and the ways each province attempted to use the union to further provincial development programs. This chapter adopts a different approach, shifting the focus from provincial economies to regional politics with an examination of the arguments that were put forward in the late 1940s for Maritime union – arguments that would be expanded to include union with Newfoundland once it entered...

  10. Epilogue: Term 29 and the Atlantic Revolution
    (pp. 125-134)

    During the late 1940s, as Newfoundland contemplated entering Confederation, Maritime politicians hoped that the pending merger could improve the regional situation by alleviating underdevelopment. Yet despite the existence of a Maritimes-wide rhetoric that connected Newfoundland’s Confederation with improved economic and political prospects, differing assessments of provincial self-interest prevented the emergence of a regional front in response to the new province’s entry and blunted efforts to alter the region’s depressed position in Confederation. In large measure, the lack of regional purpose at the time of Newfoundland’s Confederation stemmed from events of the previous few decades – events that had gradually eroded Maritime...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 135-180)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 181-194)
  13. Index
    (pp. 195-202)