Page 34 - The Separatist Movement in Cape Breton
ISSUE : Issue 27
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/12/1
it was considered the population was too small and too poor to support one. That was the excuse. They didn't think the col? ony could support a House of Assembly in passing laws to make roads and bridges and so on--there wasn't the money to do it. (If the House of Assembly had been called, what kind of decisions would it make? What would it do in a kind of benign way that would be good for the people of Cape Bret? on Island?) As to the benign influences-- a local Assembly would be more cognizant of the local problems--what roads and bridges were needed, what economic relief was needed, assistance to farmers, changes in land grant system. And they would be there to handle problems more immediately. Their representatives would go to Sydney, to the House of Assembly, if it were called. (Well, what were tHe threats and reasons that clearly Halifax did not want Cape Breton to have this House of Assem? bly?) Well, Halifax officials didn't want Cape Breton to be a separate colony at all. I have looked for evidence--for example, you don't see anybody coming out in the House of Assembly in Halifax saying Cape Breton should be annexed--they are very careful about this. Besides, the MLAs on the mainland were worried about their own local areas. You have to look at what the officials are saying, what the Lieutenant- Governors are saying--and the Lieutenant- Governors like Wentworth are definitely op? posed to Cape Breton being separate. And they are writing to the Colonial Office. And other officials of the Halifax govern? ment. Chief Justices and like that, are op? posed. When there were arguments in Cape Breton between the Executive Council and the Governor, they would often go off to Halifax with their complaints. And Halifax would use this opportunity to write to the Colonial Office in England and say, Look, this place is falling apart, they should be annexed back to us, the mainland. (But what was the threat to mainland Nova Scotia of Cape Breton remaining a separate colony? What did they think they'd lose?) It was more what they wanted from Cape Breton. And there's no doubt in my mind that it's the coal mines that they really wanted. It comes up again and again. Went? worth writes to Henry Dundas, the Colonial Officer,- saying that timber is disappear? ing from the shores for fuel, and the only cheap and easy source is coal from the mines. The Nova Scotia government tries to open up mines at Pictou--and they can't, they're not economical, and it collapses. So you have the only important source of fuel on the whole east coast, and it's in this little colony separate from them. But the supply was never certain from Cape Breton, because there was very, very lit? tle invested in the mines. Britain was Discover The Place To Eat In Cape Breton SYDNEY AIRPORT RESTAURANT Open Daily • 11 a.m. A Fully Licensed Dining Room, featuring a Complete Menu, including the Finest in Steaks and Seafood. SUNDAY BRUNCH 11 A M to 3 P M 539-1318 :EMTRAI AND EASTERN J1iy$T CX>MP'NY t SENIOR VJP PUN If you're 60 or over this card entitles you to some extra privilege CENTRAL AND EASTERN TRUST COMPANY 225 Charlotte Street, Sydney 639-9210 D. GOLDMAN & SONS LTD. GALLANT STREET GLACE BAY, NOVA SCOTIA. CANADA THE HOME OF FINE SEAFOOD, we have a pickup booth at the SYDNEY AIRPORT. Call us. Coast To Coast Air Shipping - Ask For Our Price I:ist Phone: Plant (902) 849-5505. Night (902) 849-2705 Write: P. O. Box 160, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, BIA 5V2 Telex: 019-35241 CHARGEX - MASTER CHARGE - VISA Qualified Dispensers Always in Attendance OWL DRUG STORE Daniel T. McKeough, Proprietor Convalescent and Sick Room Supplies Sales & Rental Drug Sundries and Cosmetics Located on Commercial Street, or write to P.O.Box 125 794-3611 North Sydney ALWAYS AX tOim SBE • ir (34)
Cape Breton's Magazine