Historical Errors in
The Dominion Institute's
Great Questions
The Federalist Experiment in Living

Started Long Before
Quebec Separatism

by Bob Rae

Complete text of Bob Rae's essay
as published in the National Post, 10 July 1999

The Dominion Institute's website

Bob Rae served as Premier of Ontario
from 1 October 1990 to 28 June 1995.

Robert Keith Rae by Wikipedia

Bob Rae's essay Founding Concepts, Part 2: Regional Splits, as displayed on the WWW July 1999 to June 2009 and continuing, in the Dominion Institute's website
This is the part with the three big mistakes about Nova Scotia's history.

Bob Rae's essay Founding Concepts, Part 2: Regional Splits
as displayed on the WWW from July 1999 to June 2009, at

Bob Rae's essay appeared in The National Post
on Saturday, 10 July 1999.  Five days later,
on Thursday, 15 July, the following letter to
the editor was printed in The National Post:

Re: The Federalist Experiment in Living, July 10.

      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.

      He writes of Joseph Howe pulverizing Charles Tupper in the 1868 election and that the first act of Howe's administration was to try to get Nova Scotia out of Confederation.

      None of this is correct, but it is indicative that even eminent Upper Canadians do not know the history of the Maritimes or understand what we are about.

      Actually, Charles Tupper, who had been premier from 1864 to 1867, resigned and went into the federal Parliament on July 1, 1867.  He was succeeded as premier by Hiram Blanchard and in September of 1867, it was Mr. Blanchard who was pulverized by Bill Annand, an esteemed journalist, who then served as anti-confederate and Liberal premier until 1875.

      The only administration that Joseph Howe headed as premier was from 1860 to 1863.  In 1867, Charles Tupper was elected to the new federal Parliament by 97 votes from Cumberland County and Joseph Howe was elected to Ottawa from my native County of Hants by 574 votes.  Thus, Mr. Howe's overtures to Westminster were made as a federal MP and not as the leader of a provincial administration.

      As to 1868, there was no electoral activity in Nova Scotia that year, but the province's unsuccessful efforts to get out of Confederation or to get revised terms did not end then.  Even in the years of the premiership of W.S. Fielding between 1884 and 1896, efforts were still being made in that direction.

      Why were these efforts made?  Primarily, because the high tariff policy that may have been good for Ontario was punitive for Nova Scotia with a location that depended on international trade for its existence then as it does today.

      That "national policy" built Ontario, but ruined Nova Scotia.  Thank God for free trade today; but in the meantime, Ontario has had a head start of more than 100 years.

      I trust Bob Rae will brush up on Nova Scotia history before writing further on such matters.

Gerald A. Regan, Halifax

Gerald Augustine Regan was Premier of Nova Scotia
from 28 October 1970 to 5 October 1978.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of the Dominion Institute website:
Dominion Institute's Great Questions Debate
Regionalism Started Long Before Quebec Separatism
by Bob Rae

Archived: 2002 March 05

Archived: 2003 August 19

Archived: 2004 May 09

Archived: 2005 October 28

Archived: 2006 October 31

Archived: 2007 October 27

Archived: 2008 September 17

Archived: 2009 February 15

Bob Rae's medley of mistakes no longer appears in the Dominion Institute's website, but they were displayed there continuously and prominently for ten years, 1999-2009.  During that ten years, neither Mr. Rae nor the Dominion Institute saw fit even to acknowledge that these mistakes existed, let alone to publish a suitable correction statement.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this webpage:
Dominion Institute's Great Questions
Historical Errors

Archived: 2000 August 16

Archived: 2000 October 16

Archived: 2001 April 18

Archived: 2001 June 16

Archived: 2002 February 10

Archived: 2004 December 07

Archived: 2007 March 12

Archived: 2008 February 21

Archived: 2009 February 12

Archived: 2010 June 19

Archived: 2011 July 18

Go To:   Nova Scotia History, Chapter One

Go To:   Nova Scotia Historical Biographies

Go To:   Home Page

First uploaded to the WWW:   1999 August 05
Script upgraded to HTML 4.0:   2002 January 18
Moved to new hosting service:   2002 January 19
Moved to new hosting service:   2006 October 17
Latest update:   2012 October 22