The Maritimes Were Better Off Before Confederation



Did anybody ever propose to unite Scotland with Poland or Hungary? Inland countries 800 miles off in the very heart of Europe.

– Joseph Howe

We hear it all the time: “Have noots!” they shout out the rolled-down windows of their shiny Ontario-plated SUVs and midsize luxury sedans. Then they have the nerve to make fun of our accents when they’re the ones who sound like a bunch of oot and abootin’ hosers, eh. (?)

Or maybe it’s just the chip on my shoulder talking, it loves to think in terms of us vs. them.

But it has been a fairly steady downhill slide for the Maritimes since Upper Canada drew us into its confederate fold.

The mid-nineteenth century, that was where it was at.

We made stuff. Lots of stuff. We had the largest steel factory in the country, a thriving shipbuilding industry and a bustling trade with New England and the West Indies. A jewel of the British Empire we were. Then along came Upper Canada, all smiley glad-hands drunk on opportunity.

Confederation put the run to all of it. There was resistance, but that was put to rest with some simple bribery. The federal government in Upper Canada then implemented tariff policies which forced us to alter existing trade routes along newly established confederate lines; Upper Canadian development was the goal, much to the detriment of the Maritimes’ economy and self-sufficiency. But it was their plan in the first place.

Upper Canadian industry promptly got fat off major government contracts and projects which were continually handed them while the industrial heartland of the Maritimes languished into rust-covered obsolescence. But never fear, our new Upper Canadian brethren were there for us, lying in wait to snatch up our factories and mills. And then what did they do? Well, they shut them down and made dependents out of us.

Perhaps they thought it was a transition we would have been genetically predisposed to dealing with, due to the Acadian and Irish bent to the population — potential migrant workers just chomping at the bit to be separated from the land and people they loved.

If I sound bitter, I suppose that’s because I am; not solely because of what happened — there is nothing anyone can do to change history — but because I was never taught any of this in school, despite Maritime Studies’ place in the curriculum. Why? I can only assume that such information would be counterproductive to achieving one of the chief aims of our school system: to mold the unwashed masses into subservient, flag-waving nationalists.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as proud as anyone else to be Canadian. Even if we are also-rans, we are part of an internationally well-regarded country with a lovely flag. Membership has its benefits. I can stick that flag on anything, wear it and people instantly assume me to be unarmed and of no threat to their person.

I can also walk around without fear of stepping on a land mine or being cut down by paramilitaries due to my religious beliefs or colour of skin, but who’s to say it would have been otherwise had we resisted confederation?

Of course, our economy might have fallen flat on its own and we may have been turned into the 51st state, but I don’t know. Read up on it yourself.

The best part of being Canadian?

It lets us move, unhindered by pesky international borders, to Upper and Western Canada whereby one can reap a hefty pay cheque in exchange for long hours, closed Tim Horton’s and cramped living spaces.

Maritime Liberation Front NOW!


3 Responses to “The Maritimes Were Better Off Before Confederation”

  1. 1 Troy

    Totally agree. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were 2 of the four originals with PEI joining in 1871. However, it was a sham cooked by Upper Canada to deplete our resources and then, sadly, to make us dependent. There is no best part of being Canadian, the Maritimes should be a self determining country or a part of the US (The New England states actually like us and we tend to like them in turn)

    Canada is not a country I am proud to call my own. I am now living in Alberduh where a Maritimer is like he was in Terrana, exploited, cast away, not to mention enduring misinformed insults of his homeland.

    This so-called country is nothing but a bunch of regional bigots, except for the good (and also miscast) people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

    When are Maritimers going to wake up? We had Quebec threaten to separate and by default cleave us from the rest of the country. This wouldn’t be a bad thing but I am a Maritimer and have NO desire to join a petulant, snotty and pur laine bigoted Quebec either.

    This is why the Maritimes should separate and we should politely ask our Newfoundland brethren to join us if they wish to and set up a primary trade agreement with the New England states. Bite me Canaduh

  2. Hello. Is anyone coming around to this blog? Kindly visit and possibly we can talk. Thanks for your attention.

  3. 3 priya

    yes i agree completely with troy.. but i guess there is no recent comment being added here.
    Kindly check my entry on The maritimes.

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