Most Canadians are aware of Rosa… HEROISM IN THE FIGHT FOR RACIAL EQUALITY - VIOLA DESMOND When I think about our great land of Canada and how black Canadians have helped to define Canada’s diverse heritage and identity through their achievements and contributions, which ultimately benefits the broader society, I can’t help but think about Viola Desmond. Viola Desmond was a teacher and an entrepreneur. "On behalf of the province of Nova Scotia, I am sorry.". Desmond’s free pardon is the first time a free pardon has been posthumously granted in Canada2. The Nova Scotian government officially pardoned and issued an apology to Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond in a ceremony April 15, 2010, attended by Premier Darrell Dexter and Minister of Justice Landry Ross. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to, To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. © Copyright 2021 The Globe and Mail Inc. All rights reserved. The government of Nova Scotia apologized and granted a special pardon to Robson's sister, the late Viola Desmond, a black woman jailed in 1946 for sitting in … Viola Desmond’s story is essential knowledge in the history of Nova Scotia and Canada. Premier Dexter says Viola Desmond's actions should be revered, because it took a strong person to stand up and do the right thing. The Viola Desmond Art Display can now be seen on the exterior of the former Roseland Theatre and is heading into its next, and final stage, of completion. RELATED: Viola Desmond: Five other honours to commemorate her courage. This is also an opportunity for us to acknowledge the incredibly brave actions of a woman who took a stand against racism and segregation”, “ This closes an erroneous chapter in the history of this province and allows a new one to begin; I am confident that the case of Mrs. Viola Desmond will be the focus of scholarly and human rights research for years to come. The pardon, accompanied by a public declaration and apology from Premier Darrell Dexter. Late Viola Desmond Granted Apology, Free Pardon | novascotia.ca. Desmond's sister Wanda Robson was present during the respective ceremony and stated she was "numb with joy" at the prospect of her sister receiving what she deserved. In 2010, the Nova Scotia Government recognized this gross miscarriage of justice and posthumously granted her a free pardon. Translations in context of "free pardon" in English-French from Reverso Context: C-46, to grant a free pardon to David Milgaard. (CONTRIBUTED) VISIONARY, entrepreneur, pioneer and Canadian hero. Desmond’s story, long unknown to most Canadians, is now becoming more familiar. Inspirational Woman, activist, entrepreneur, In the 1960’s, Viola Desmond was just one of the numerous people who was wronged by the racist actions of the 20th century. The justness of Desmond’s cause was officially recognized in 2010, when the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia posthumously pardoned her, removing her conviction from the historical record. 70 years later, through the acts of her sister Wanda Robson, and a supportive community, she’s been granted a posthumous pardon, commemorated on a Canadian stamp, and dons the face of … A free pardon is based on innocence and recognizes that a conviction was in error. And so that’s where this story leaves off. This Scotian was arrested and fined in 1946 because she was sitting in a restricted section for blacks in New Glasgow cinema. Premier Darrell Dexter stated, "This is a historic day for us to recognize the courageous act of Viola Desmond." The Nova Scotia government will apologize and grant a pardon to the late Viola Desmond — considered the province's Rosa Parks. Ms. Desmond, then 32, was on her way to Sydney, N.S., on Nov. 8, 1946, to sell imported beauty products when her car broke down. Viola Desmond will be featured on the Canadian 10-dollar bill beginning circulation in late 2018. Listed above, are quotes from the day Viola Desmond was granted her Public Pardon. She refused to move and was arrested for 12 hours in jail. On April 15, 2010, Desmond was granted a free pardon by Nova Scotia Lieut. A free pardon is an extraordinary remedy and is considered only in the rarest of circumstances. Desmond’s free pardon is the first time a free pardon has been posthumously granted in Canada, Bingham, R. (2013, January 23). Racial discrimination was never formally acknowledged in her lifetime. Viola Desmond was born in 1914 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “This is a historic day for the province of Nova Scotia and a chance for us to finally right the wrong fone to Mrs. Desmond and her family. Mrs. Desmond, of Halifax, was an African Canadian wrongfully jailed and fined in 1946 for sitting in the white peoples’ section of a New Glasgow movie theatre. In 1946, Viola Desmond was wrongfully arrested for sitting in a whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. In the 21st century, there have been many initiatives in Nova Scotia to address past harms done to Black Nova Scotians such as the Africville Apology, the Viola Desmond Pardon and the restorative justice initiative for the Nova Scotia Home for Colored The pardon was the result of the hard work of Viola's sister, who had advocated for the cause for nearly a decade prior. Change ), In the 1960’s, Viola Desmond was just one of the numerous people who was wronged by the racist actions of the 20th century. The Viola Desmond pardon "marked the first time in Canada such a form of clemency has been posthumously awarded." On April 14, 2010, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Mayann Francis, on the advice of Premier Darrell Dexter, invoked the Royal Prerogative and granted Desmond a posthumous free pardon, the first to be granted in Canada. Mrs. Desmond passed away in 1965. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. After being derailed as a result of vehicle issues, she decided to take in a show at the Roseland Theatre in downtown New Glasgow. Viola Desmond Public School is a dual track elementary school named after after Canadian civil rights activist Viola Desmond and is located in the City of Vaughan at the intersection of Farrell Road and Via Romano Boulevard. Canadian businesswoman Viola Desmond was a beautician and a mentor to young black women through her beauty school in the province of Nova Scotia. Wanda Robson, left, recalls how her sister Viola Desmond, right, would have been so proud to learn of the province’s free pardon granted to her in 2010. Thank you for your patience. In 2010, the Nova Scotia Government recognized this gross miscarriage of justice and posthumously granted her a free pardon. Anyway, it was sort of a big deal as I and many others consider her a heroine and the pardon is something her family and many others have been fighting for for quite some time. Mayann Francis at a ceremony in Halifax. The Viola Desmond Chair in Social Justice was established at Cape Breton University in 2010, and two years later Canada Post issued a postage stamp bearing her image. Shortly after, Lieutenant-Governor Mayann Francis granted a free pardon to Desmond in what the Nova Scotia government said marked the first time in Canada such a form of clemency has been posthumously awarded. She thought she was buying a ticket for the lower level but was sold a ticket for the balcony, where Blacks could sit. We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner. It will appear on the next $ 10 bills. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. A free pardon is based on innocence and recognizes that a conviction was in error. Last spring, when she received an honorary doctorate from Dalhousie University, Ms. Francis said she was still a … On April 14, 2010, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Mayann Francis, on the advice of her premier, invoked the Royal Prerogative and granted Viola Desmond a posthumous free pardon, the first such to be granted in Canada. On Nov. 8, 1946, a businesswoman named Viola Desmond was en route to Sydney, N.S., for a meeting when her car broke down in New Glasgow. Well, the tax on her purchased balcony seat was 2 cents, but the tax on the floor seat she purchased was 3 cents. ABOUT VIOLA DESMOND • Lived: 1914-1965 What makes the apology and pardon all the sweeter for family members of Viola Desmond is the exoneration of Canada's first civil rights activist, a … Nova Scotia apologizes, pardons Canadian civil rights … In 1946, Viola Desmond was dragged out of a cinema in New Glasgow for refusing to leave the section that management reserved for whites. In 2015, Robson said in an interview with the Cape Breton Post that of all the honours bestowed upon Desmond, the pardon of her conviction was the most important because it was evidence that she had done nothing wrong. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. ... Nova Scotia apologised to Desmond and issued a posthumous pardon, … In Canada, the National Parole Board reviews pardon requests. Desmond took a stand and although her court case was unsuccessful the aftermath of the fight had a “direct effect on the quest for racial equality in the province.”, Decades later, on April 15 2010, Viola Desmond was granted a free pardon by Nova Scotia Lieutenant-Governor Mayann Francis at a ceremony in Halifax. Desmond took a stand and although her court case was unsuccessful the aftermath of the fight had a “direct effect on the quest for racial equality in the province.”1. In 2010, when she was Governor General of Nova Scotia, Mayann Francis granted a formal pardon to Viola Desmond. The pardon, accompanied by a public declaration and apology from Premier Darrell Dexter, recognized that Desmond’s conviction had been a miscarriage of justice and that charges should never have been filed. Viola Desmond's Canada : a history of blacks and racial segregation in the promised land / Graham Reynolds with Wanda Robson. She went to the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, N.S., while it was being repaired. She is perhaps best remembered, however, for refusing to move from a whites-only section of a public movie theater in 1946. Decades later, on April 15 2010, Viola Desmond was granted a free pardon by Nova Scotia Lieutenant-Governor Mayann Francis at a ceremony in Halifax. Link/Page Citation [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ... of--refusing to sit in the black section of a segregated cinema--but it took 64 years for the town of New Glasgow to pardon Desmond. It opened in the fall of 2019. We hope to have this fixed soon. Retrieved from, http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/viola-desmond/, https://novascotia.ca/news/smr/2010-04-15-pardon.asp. Desmond, with the support of the local NAACP, appealed her conviction, which included a $20 fine and 30 days in jail. WATCH: NDP leader Gary Burrill gives a virtual tour of the Nova Scotia Legislature. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Why you ask? Francis, herself a … Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter greets Wanda Robson in New Glasgow, N.S., on Thursday, April 15. Becoming the New Face of the $10 Bill . Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. Viola Desmond pardon. Viola refused to leave and was dragged out by the police. More than 60 years ago, Desmond, a black Halifax beautician, was jailed and fined for sitting in the whites-only section of a New Glasgow movie theatre. ( Log Out /  Desmond’s honours continued in 2018, when she was selected to appear on Canada’s $10 banknote. Photo: Bank of Canada. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28137629-viola-desmond-s-canada The free pardon, an extraordinary remedy granted under the Royal Prerogative of Mercyonly in the rarest of circumstances and the first one granted posthumously, differs from a simple pardon in that it is based on innocence and recognizes that a conviction was in error. Those words were used at Province House on Thursday to describe the late Viola Desmond as the Nova Scotia government officially apologized and pardoned her. If my parents were here today, it would warm their hearts to see Viola recognized as a true Canadian hero.”. I thought some of you might find this interesting, even though it's a Canadian piece of news. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. We must learn from our history so we do not repeat it. 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