You have to hand it to Nova Scotians. On this date in 1848 responsible government was achieved in the future Canadian province. Prior to this point, the legislative branch of government was elected, but the executive branch (which later became known as the cabinet) was appointed by the Governor General and was responsible to the sovereign’s representative rather than the elected assembly. In reducing the powers of the Crown, history was made – and I mean big history – as Nova Scotia had become the first colony in the mighty British Empire to achieve self and responsible government.
In the decades and centuries since, Nova Scotia has never looked back, even, for example, sending three of their number – Sir John Thompson, Sir Charles Tupper and Sir Robert Borden – to become Canada’s Prime Minister.
So happy Responsible Government Day to all my friends from Nova Scotia!
Arthur Milnes is an accomplished public historian and award-winning journalist. He was research assistant on The Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney’s best-selling Memoirs and also served as a speechwriter to then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper and as a Fellow of the Queen’s Centre for the Study of Democracy under the leadership of Tom Axworthy. A resident of Kingston, Ontario, Milnes serves as the in-house historian at the 175 year-old Frontenac Club Hotel.