Would they have ranted and roared like true Newfoundlanders?

The Vancouver Sun featured a fascinating trip into Newfoundland (and Canadian) history over the weekend, with a comprehensive article on the controversial days prior to Newfoundland’s joining of Confederation.

The article titled “A shot in the Darkâ€

Cashin and Smallwood would probably switch sides if the debate were held today.

Newfoundland’s tax base is all federal.  In hindsight, not joining Canada would have meant Churchill Falls, IOC, the Cod Fishery, and most importantly, the offshore oil resources would have been controlled by Newfoundland alone.

I doubt there would have been any violence on the scale imagined in the article.  This is 1940s Newfoundland – the country had given more (per capita) to the war effort than most of the Allies, it was exhausted but deeply patriotic.  The nation voted to give up democracy, there wasn’t any doubt that Newfoundlanders weren’t about to start a civil war in response to losing or winning a vote.

So I think the article is more about a misunderstanding of Newfoundland and its people than any threat of violence.  Not much has changed in the battle lines, by the way, it’s still St. John’s versus the rest of the province.  You’ll see a lot of people flying the old Newfoundland flag instead of the current flag (or the Canadian one).

I think the article was indicating more the mindset of Macdonald at the time of the vote, he comes across a little out of touch it seems with the process that the territory was undergoing at the moment (not the first time I’m sure that a British Governor might not have had a clue as to what was going on).

At any rate, it made for a pretty good read I thought, and certainly provides a bit of background to the feelings on both sides of the debate at the time and as you mentioned as to how some may still feel today.

The thought of a British Gunboat appearing out of the legendary Grand Banks Fog though just seems like the thing of a pretty bad Grade B movie… :smiley:

Well, since American, Canadian and British gunboats had made Newfoundland their home in the 1940s, it wouldn’t have been out of place.

In fact, there were probably more American servicemen in Newfoundland in 1949 than Canadians, Brits and Newfoundlanders combined.

They should have asked the Americans for help.

LOL, well you do have oil so the place would surely be on the radar if the situation were taking place today!!! :laughing: