14 September 2008

Full moon and a call to arms

Justice minister Jerome Kennedy took time to call the Sunday evening talk show at the voice of the cabinet minister to lambaste Stephen Harper and the federal Conservatives.  He insisted, among other things, that the Family Feud was embraced by all Provincial Conservatives including him.

Fair enough.

It is a family feud, after all and Kennedy is part of one branch of the family doing the feuding.

In the course of his lengthy rant, Kennedy hit on a litany of supposed injustices done to Newfoundland and Labrador by Uncle Ottawa over the years.  Included among the old chestnuts was a reference to something that supposedly took place in 1931. 

Kennedy didn't elaborate.

The whole thing sounded like a call to the barricades.

But 1931?

How about Blaine-Bond, anyone?

If the Airing of Grievances is going back to 1931  - 18 years before Newfoundland and Labrador was a Canadian province - it's likely only a matter of time before the minister of justice finds some Great Injustice in a time before Canada even really existed.

And when was the last time d'Iberville's campaign in Newfoundland used for political purposes around these parts?

Generally, there had been little friction between French and English fishermen in the 1600s. There was growing friction, however, in that century between France and England, and the hostility between the two countries often spilled into Newfoundland. The winter campaign of Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville in 1696-1697, which resulted in the destruction of almost all of the English settlements in Newfoundland, was simply the most sensational demonstration of this fact. Eventually, because of military and strategic successes elsewhere in North America and around the world, the French agreed to recognize British sovereignty over Newfoundland.

There's an interesting connection in that story, by the way.  D'Iberville raided along the coast of Newfoundland until he reached Carbonear - in the district Kennedy represents - only to find the residents had taken refuge on a nearby island which they had fortified sufficiently to defend against D'Iberville's attacks.