The Joseph Howe Institute will engage students through internships, conferences, contests, workshops, and online education. These activities will involve education on the fundamental principles of freedom and responsibility and training on how to communicate these principles persuasively in light of current affairs, issues, and events.



Communicating freedom and responsibility in Canada depends upon understanding and appreciating fundamental principles. These principles that Joseph Howe embodied and espoused guide the activities of the institute.

  • Free Speech
  • Free Markets
  • Responsible Citizenship
  • Responsible Government


Joseph Howe


Joseph Howe: Champion of Freedom in Canada

Joseph Howe (1804-1873) was a Canadian hero. As a journalist, he defended freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In 1835, Howe criticized politicians for their corruption and was charged with criminal libel. After a six hour closing argument, acting as his own lawyer, he was acquitted in a greatly celebrated trial that served to advance the principles of free speech and responsible government in Canada.

Howe’s journalistic career led him to campaign for elected office. He was keen to effect the political changes for which he advocated in his editorial writing. He served as an MLA and Speaker of the Nova Scotia House and was elected as Premier of Nova Scotia in 1860.

Joseph Howe was initially a reformer and anti-Confederate, faithful to his province and a defender of its interests. Because of his ultimate loyalty to Britain, he assured a promise of “better terms” for Nova Scotia before becoming a Confederate and then accepting office in Sir John A. Macdonald’s cabinet.

“My public life is before you; and I know you will believe me when I say, that when I sit down in solitude to the labours of my profession, the only questions I ask myself are, What is right? What is just? What is for the public good?”
– Joseph Howe