Lions or Jellyfish: Newfoundland-Ottawa Relations since 1957

Lions or Jellyfish: Newfoundland-Ottawa Relations since 1957

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Raymond B. Blake
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2015
World Rights
448 Pages 23 Images
ISBN 9781442628304
Published Jul 2015
Online discount: 25%
 $34.95    $26.21
ISBN 9781442650251
Published Jul 2015
Online discount: 25%
 $80.00    $60.00
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442622661
Published Jul 2015
Online discount: 26%
Full purchase $34.95

Asked in 2010 about his pugnacious approach to federal-provincial relations, Newfoundland premier Danny Williams declared “I would rather live one more day as a lion than ten years a jellyfish.” He was only the latest in a long line of Newfoundland premiers who have fought for that province’s interests on the national stage. From Joey Smallwood and the conflict over Term 29 of the Act of Union to Williams and his much-publicized clashes with Paul Martin and Stephen Harper, Newfoundland and Labrador’s politicians have often expressed a determination to move beyond a legacy of colonialism and assert greater control over the province’s own affairs.

Lions or Jellyfish? examines the history of these federal-provincial clashes with both clarity and wit. Written by a noted expert on Newfoundland politics and intergovernmental affairs in Canada, this book studies a vital but frequently overlooked aspect of modern Canadian federalism.

Raymond B. Blake is Professor and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Regina.


Chapter 1. Smallwood, Diefenbaker and Term 29: Failed Intergovernmentalism

Chapter 2. Federalism for Bullies: Newfoundland, Quebec, Ottawa and Hydroelectric Development in Newfoundland and Labrador, 1960–1970

Chapter 3. Classic Federalism: The Resettlement of Fishing Communities in Newfoundland and Labrador to 1965

Chapter 4. Co-operative Federalism: Newfoundland, Ottawa and Resettlement after 1965

Chapter 5. Unraveling the Question: Federal or Provincial Jurisdiction on Offshore Oil and Gas

Chapter 6. The Nationalists: Trudeau, Peckford and the Struggle for Offshore Oil and Gas

Chapter 7. Reason, Passion and Intransigence: Federalism, Clyde Wells and Brian Mulroney

Chapter 8. The Battle for A Fair Share: Danny Williams, Equalization and Ottawa


Lions or Jellyfish is an interesting, well-researched, and thorough study of executive federalism and the relations between political leaders in Ottawa and St. John’s since 1957. This is one of the best books I have read in Newfoundland history in many years.”

David MacKenzie, Department of History, Ryerson University

“Well-written and engaging, Lions or Jellyfish makes a significant contribution both to Atlantic Canadian history and to the study of intergovernmental relations in Canada.”

Corey Slumkoski, Department of History, Mount Saint Vincent University

‘Lions and Jellyfish, a trenchant, gripping, and revealing study… Raymond Blake’s book is one that should be read by all who wish to understand eight of the most important events in the history of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.’

Robert Edwards, Newfoundland and Labrador Quarterly vol 108:04:2016

Lions or Jellyfish is a polished investigation of the often-strained relationship between Ottawa and Newfoundland and Labrador…. Raymond Blake brings sophisticated analysis and a well- constructed narrative.’

Clio Prize - Atlantic Region awarded by the Canadian Historical Association

(Canada) - Winner in 2016
CSN-RÉC Book Prize awarded by The Canadian Studies Network – Réseau d'études canadiennes (Canada) - Winner in 2016
University of Saskatchewan Non-Fiction Award awarded by Saskatchewan Book Awards (Canada) - Short-listed in 2016
U of Regina Arts and Luther College Award for Scholarly Writing awarded by Saskatchewan Book Awards (Canada) - Short-listed in 2016