Greg Malone has long been fired up by history and politics. In the 1980s and 90s, he channeled his passion and critique into his work with the comedy troupe CODCO. Now, he has taken it to the page. In his new book Don't Tell the Newfoundlanders: The True Story of Newfoundland's Confederation with Canada
, Greg rewrites the story of how Canada acquired its tenth province...
The conventional story goes something like this...
In the late 1940s, Newfoundlanders had to make a big decision about their future. They needed to decide whether they wanted to be a self-governing country or become part of Canada. A referendum was held and it was a tight race. In the end, 52 percent of Newfoundlanders chose Confederation, and, on April 1, 1949, Newfoundland became the tenth province of Canada.
Joseph Smallwood, Newfoundland's "Father of Confederation", rallied hard for union with Canada, and he went on to become the province's first premier.
Newfoundland brought its rich fishing grounds into the federation, and Canada, in turn, provided Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with social benefits like the baby bonus and unemployment insurance. For decades, Newfoundland was considered a 'have not' province, drawing more from Canada than it gave back... that is, until recently, when offshore oil changed the province's prospects.
Greg Malone has a very different take on the story of Newfoundland's confederation with Canada. His characters are famous historical figures - Churchill, Roosevelt, Pearson. His story is jam-packed with international intrigue, deception, lies, and skulduggery. It's all laid out in Greg's new book Don't Tell the Newfoundlanders: The True Story of Newfoundland's Confederation with Canada. Sometimes the book reads like fiction, but it's not: Greg backs it all up with official top secret documents.
Shelagh spoke with Greg Malone on stage at the Writers at Woody Point Literary Festival in Gros Morne, Newfoundland in August 2013. We hope you enjoy this extended version of that conversation.