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web posted July 23, 2007

Re: Regionalism and nationalism in Canada - Part 1 by Mark Wegierski (July 16, 2007)

I feel the need to respond to Mark Wegierski's article, "Regionalism and nationalism in Canada – Part 1" which appeared on this site July 16, 2007.

The article included a number of factual errors. I won't go into all of them but the most obvious is his reference to Newfoundland and Labrador being a Maritime province. By definition any province connected to the sea is a maritime province however his use of the term, in the Canadian context was completely incorrect.

Newfoundland and Labrador is not considered one of the Maritime Provinces in Canada as Mr. Wegierski stated. That designation belongs to NS, NB and PEI only. NL is not a part of the "Maritimes" as it's called but the province, along with the 3 Maritime Provinces, form what is referred to as the Atlantic provinces. This may sound unimportant to anyone west of the Atlantic region but it is an important distinction that needs to be remembered when discussing political issues in Canada.

In addition his article states that Newfoundland was a British colony until it joined confederation in 1949. This is totally incorrect and something that any "historical researcher" which Mr. Weireski is identified as being, should know that.

Newfoundland was essentially a British Colony at the time of confederation because it was being ruled directly from England but this was not always so.

Both Newfoundland and Canada were colonies until the mid 1800's however this ended around the 1850's and both became separate and independent Dominions.

For Newfoundland this independence lasted from 1854 – 1933, the better part of a century. It wasn't until 1934, just 15 years before entering confederation, that British rule was introduced. At the time this was referred to by the people of Newfoundland as "Commission of Government".

Prior to 1934 the Dominion of Newfoundland was as independent as Canada itself. It had an elected government, printed its own currency, postage stamps, had its own laws, police force, etc. It was, for all intents and purposes a separate nation, not a colony.

Mr. Wegierski is identified in his credits as a "historical researcher" but if this particular article is any indication perhaps he ought to rethink his occupation.

Myles Higgins

 

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