About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

31 J.L. & Soc. Pol'y 1 (2019)

handle is hein.journals/jlsp31 and id is 1 raw text is: 





Racism and Relief Distribution in the Aftermath of the Halifax
Explosion

MARK CULLIGAN & KATRIN MACPHEE*

      Les recits populaires ou universitaires ont romance l'explosion de Halifax. Dans la plupart
      de ces recits, l'explosion a uni les Haligoniens et Haligoniennes dans la souffrance et la
      reconstruction. Cet article demontre, en s'appuyant sur des documents de la Commission
      de secours d'Halifax, qu'une autre conclusion s'impose : les requ6rantes et requ6rants
      afro-n6o-6cossais.es ont subi de la discrimination au cours des efforts de secours, ce qui a
      renforc6 les in6galit6s raciales pr6existantes. Les travailleurs et travailleuses humanitaires
      ont en effet trait6 les demandes des Afro-N6o-Ecossais.es avec plus de scepticisme, ont
      fait des efforts minimes pour rep6rer leurs demandes,  et ultimement  les ont moins
      indemnis6s que les autres. De plus, la d6cision de la Commission de secours de prioriser
      l'indemnisation pour perte de biens plutdt que de salaires, a diminu6 la valeur des pertes
      des Afro-N6o-tcossais.es de manibre syst6mique.

      Cet article 6value aussi les recours juridiques potentiels pour obtenir r6paration face A cette
      injustice historique et conclut que tous ces recours mneraient probablement a l'echec.
      L'article demontre ainsi, non seulement que les efforts de secours en cas de catastrophe
      qui priorisent le renforcement de l'ordre social pr6-catastrophe au d6triment de la r6ponse
      aux besoins des victimes peut perp6tuer des in6galit6s subies par des groupes opprim6s,
      mais aussi que le droit canadien empache  de  presenter des demandes  d'equite et de
      r6paration fond6es sur la discrimination historique.


      Popular and  academic  histories have romanticized  the Halifax Explosion.  In most
      retellings, the Explosion united Haligonians, in suffering and in reconstruction. This article
      presents evidence from the Halifax Relief Commission's Records that points to a different
      conclusion:  African Nova  Scotia claimants were discriminated against during Relief
      distribution efforts and pre-existing racial inequalities were reinforced. Relief workers
      treated the claims of African Nova Scotians with enhanced skepticism, expended minimal
      effort to locate those with claims, and ultimately provided less by way of compensation.
      Moreover, the decision of the Relief Commission to prioritize the compensation of lost
      property, not lost wages, systemically devalued the losses of African Nova Scotians.

      This article also evaluates potential legal avenues to secure a remedy for this historic
      injustice. It concludes that all of these avenues would likely fail. As such, the article serves
      to illustrate not only that disaster relief efforts that prioritize reinforcing the pre-disaster
      social order over meeting the needs of victims may perpetuate the inequalities suffered by
      oppressed groups, but also that Canadian law  effectively bars equity and reparations
      claims rooted in historic discrimination.

* Mark Culligan pursued graduate studies in history at Queen's University, where he completed a Master's of Arts
and partially fulfilled the requirements of a PhD. He is a trained social worker and is currently employed as a
Community Legal Worker at Dalhousie Legal Aid Service in Halifax. Katrin MacPhee holds a Master's of Arts in
History from Queen's University and a Juris Doctor from Dalhousie University. She practices human rights and labour
law in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she is employed at the firm Pink Larkin.

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most