Society Magazine

Tell The Newfoundlanders

Posted on the 28 February 2013 by Seliharris @seliharris
Tell The NewfoundlandersBack in mid November of last year, I participated in a rally which the People's Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador initiated. It was in response to the 'death of democracy' in this province, mostly regarding the handling of Hydro mega-project Muskrat Falls. After a march from Harbourside Park to the Colonial Building on that cold day, everyone gathered to listen to a few speeches by some well known people. One of those people was Greg Malone, who opened things up with an incredible and passionate speech about state of democracy in Newfoundland throughout history. It was quite a treat. It was later this day that I learned that he was releasing a book on that very topic. One could assume that taking part in this rally was a way to promote said book but, from what I remember, he didn't mention it during the rally. Regardless, it's perhaps no surprise that I immediately added Don't Tell the Newfoundlanders: The True Story of Newfoundland's Confederation with Canada to my list of books to read.   Fast forward a few months to now, where I have the book read. I finished it this past weekend and, though I was anxious to start discussing, I wanted to digest the information that I just input into my brain first. Those who have read it would probably agree that much contemplation takes place while reading this, and perhaps long after for some.
First and foremost I want to thank Greg for bringing this conversation to the forefront. It's an important discussion for us all to have, and without books like these I'm not sure we'd be having it. Whatever one thinks about Newfoundland's joining of Canada, the facts regarding that important event must be known. Sure, Greg does indeed dive into some theory within these pages, but the actual proof that is provided via correspondence between key figures, should be enough to solidify the thought that outside forces conspired to ensure Newfoundland join the dominion of Canada. Those who already knew this information will surely feel encouragement in Malone's work, and those who have never heard this idea before will possibly be outraged. I'm somewhere in the middle.
What I love most about this addition to the history of Newfoundland, is the historic ideas that it puts into our consciousness. I believe it's rare for any of us to really look back at history, and ponder what times were like at different periods. In this book we get to think about a time before being part of Canada, before Newfoundland and Labrador as it stands today. Inserting into the public consciousness words like Responsible Government is nothing but a good thing. Good or bad, having increased thoughts of a time without the centralized government of Canada controlling - some say destroying -  this beautiful Province, Country, is in some ways pushing me into 'Free Newfoundland' mentality. I mean, is it time to really start discussing secession?
Malone doesn't dive into where we go from here in this book though; He sticks to how we got here. To me, I think it's an incredible addition to the public consciousness of our Province. It's a must read, I must say. Tell the Newfoundlanders.


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