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Monckton’s Ghost: At the Heart of our Zeitgeist

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Moncton is the largest city in New Brunswick. Nestled alongside the muddy Petitcodiac river—affectionately called the ‘Chocolate river’ by locals—while the city was once a major wooden shipbuilding port, Moncton is now the fastest-growing city in the Maritime provinces, with an economy built on transportation and call centers drawn here by the bilingual workforce. Since Moncton was traumatized in the 1980s with the closure of the CNR locomotive shops, the city rebounded and took the task to challenge to stand upright on its own two feet again, and it did! The city chose to adopt the motto Resurgo after its rebirth as a railway town. With a small redbrick downtown along the muddy banks of the Petitcodiac, the city is quaint and filled with interesting people and old friends, conjuring up many good memories.  And, although I love the city itself—my hometown—the name ‘Moncton’ is one that I am not proud of. The history of how the city came to be called such evokes stories of bloodshed, b…

Monckton: Architect of Genocide

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As a governor of Nova Scotia and a military officer credited for founding the city of Halifax in 1749, Edward Cornwallis would in that same year also issue a bounty on the scalps of the Mi’kmaq people. Mi’kmaq groups and activists have called for the removal of the controversial statue of Edward Cornwallis from a Halifax park for years, but there it still stands. Daniel N. Paul, Mi’kmaq historian and human rights activist, has been advocating for the Cornwallis statue’s removal for decades, and the Members of the Nova Scotia Assembly of Mi’kmaq Chiefs also agree that it should come down, but there it is—a genocidal figure that is an affront to both the Mi’kmaq nation and Acadian people looming over a park in downtown Halifax. However, it could be said that an even greater honour was bestowed on the genocidal figure of Colonel Robert Monckton when my native city of Moncton, N.B., was named after him.
In the autumn of 1755, after the British colonial authorities, Governors Edward Cornwa…