People of Labrador, Unite!

As reported in Hansard, in a letter to Bernard Landry, Premier of Quebec, Brian Tobin, then a member of cabinet, wrote the following:

On April 29, 1999 the Newfoundland House of Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing the Governor General of Canada to issue a proclamation amending the Constitution of Canada by changing the name of the Province of Newfoundland, where it occurs in the Terms of Union of Newfoundland with Canada set out in the Schedule to the Newfoundland Act, to “Newfoundland and Labrador”.

And so began the process of officially changing the name of Newfoundland to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Last night I went to write “St. John’s, Newfoundland” in a sentence, and realized that perhaps I should write “St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador” instead. But that seemed an odd thing to write, so I decided to check with the Protocol Officer in the Province of Newfoundland [and Labrador].

This morning I received email confirmation that the proper way to reference St. John’s is, indeed, “St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.” Right now it seems as awkward as “flight attendant” or “people of colour” did when they first came on the scene. And I expect that, like those phrases, “Newfoundland and Labrador” will come to sound normal with time.

In the meantime, perhaps I should be pushing for a constitutional change to recognize the name of our fair province as “Prince Edward Island, and 100 Prince Street?”


marcus's picture
marcus on July 23, 2003 - 18:00 Permalink

Here’s the official provincial names, abbreviations, and acronyms:

You may recall that the entire reason for Newfoundland to include Labrador in its official name goes beyond the current state of political affairs in Labrador — where a neophyte separatist movement has been underway for about as long as they’ve been attached to Newfoundland….

The REAL reason is that Quebec has laid claim to the territory since the Hudson’s Bay Company lands were incorporated into the expansion of Quebec in 1912 (…

Also, not sure if they’re still printed this way but check a Quebec driver’s licence from the mid-90’s during the PQ government’s tenure and notice the map in the background includes ALL of Labrador within the Quebec provincial boundaries.

Schefferville could be our Canadian Gettysburg…

Chris Corrigan's picture
Chris Corrigan on July 23, 2003 - 19:06 Permalink

During the Meech Lake/Charlottetown Accord era, when people were sporting affectionate bumper stickers reading “My Canada includes Quebec” I saw one on a car in Hull that read “My Quebec includes Labrador.”

Made me laugh.

Chris Corrigan's picture
Chris Corrigan on July 23, 2003 - 19:19 Permalink

Oh and here’s one more thing. I steadfastly refuse to use the Americanized abbreviations for Canada’s provinces on mail. For me, it’s Ont., Sask., Alta., PEI etc instead of the demeaning ON, SK, AB, and PE.

Nefoundland and Labrador has become NL? Isn’t is just simpler to put N&L, or Nfld.& Lab.? That way it won’t be confused with Holland.

Well, maybe not simpler…but more CANADIAN.

Having said all that it sounds funny to say “Gander, Nfld & Lab.” Or the really long “Happy Valley/Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.”

It’s like being half pregnant: impossible. A town can’t be on two chunks of land at once. But like you Peter, I’m confident that before long we’ll think of the whole province as one.

And marcus, thanks for the links. It’s amusing to note on the gc site that Nunavut doesn’t have an abbreviation yet although the site says “that will come in time.” That’s a perfectly Northern answer. I can see where “Nun.” is maybe a little misleading. Imagine if Moncton was up there? Then it would be “Monc., Nun.”

Ah…I had too much coffee this morning…

Chris Corrigan's picture
Chris Corrigan on July 23, 2003 - 19:20 Permalink

…two chunks of land at once…except Lloyminster of course. But you know what I mean.

marcus's picture
marcus on July 24, 2003 - 01:53 Permalink

Maybe Labrador would be better off on their own as a territory — they have 50,000 or so residents as opposed to Nunavut’s 20,000 give or take a few, plus a much smaller jurisdiction. The same could be said for Nunavik (northern Quebec), Cape Breton, northeastern NB, eastern townships, northern Ontario, Vancouver Island, northern BC, southwest Ontario, eastern Ontario, TORONTO, and maybe the nation of “Laurentia” too.

Perhaps the feds could just step in and create legislation to double or triple the number of provinces and forget the constitutional crap limiting the creation of such jurisdictions.

I mean after all, Alberta and Saskatchewan were supposed to be 4 or 5 provinces at one time (imagine 2 versions of Ralph Klein out there!?!) — maybe we could even have a sq. km limit to the size of a sub-state jurisdiction.

Oh, and give the Magdalenes to PEI while they’re at it — or at least Entry Island, they’re crying for some additional anglophone influence.

Oliver B's picture
Oliver B on July 24, 2003 - 03:28 Permalink

Um, isn’t “Newfoundland,” among other things, the name of an island? You can talk about places being on or in Borneo or Maui even though the islands belong to or are shared by larger political entities (there’s also the distinction between Hawaii the island and Hawaii the island chain and state). But if Newfoundland is an island and you wanted to leave off the “and Labrador” you might have to start using “on” instead of “in Newfoundland” to be geogrammatically in the clear.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 24, 2003 - 03:45 Permalink

I move back and forth between writing “on Prince Edward Island” and “in Prince Edward Island.” I suppose one is a reference to the land mass, and the other is a reference to the political jurisdiction. So “the weather is fine on Prince Edward Island,” but “the courts in Prince Edward Island meet regularly.”

Chris Corrigan's picture
Chris Corrigan on July 27, 2003 - 19:28 Permalink

That might be a size thing Peter. Here, it’s only “on” Bowen Island. The only thing “in” Bowen Island is the steadily diminshing aquafer.

vhkrfbh's picture
vhkrfbh on April 20, 2004 - 18:58 Permalink

they have allways been nice to me

fvhfvxbnw5trlk's picture
fvhfvxbnw5trlk on April 20, 2004 - 18:58 Permalink

they are nice

dst76dbhne's picture
dst76dbhne on April 20, 2004 - 18:59 Permalink