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    (CONTRIBUTED) VISIONARY, entrepreneur, pioneer and Canadian hero. 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. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Civil rights pioneer, Viola Desmond, was a Black-Canadian businesswoman who was jailed and fined in 1946 for refusing to give up her seat in the whytes-only section of a Canadian movie theatre. Wanda Robson, Ms. Desmond's 83-year-old sister, looked on. She is perhaps best remembered, however, for refusing to move from a whites-only section of a public movie theater in 1946. Even though she had indicated when she was confronted at the theatre that she was willing to pay the difference between the two ticket prices and that her offer had been refused, the judge chose to fine her $26. In 2010, the Nova Scotia Government recognized this gross miscarriage of justice and posthumously granted her a free pardon. Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted. Desmond’s free pardon is the first time a free pardon has been posthumously granted in Canada2. Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs and Economy and Rural Development Percy Paris said “ With this pardon, we acknowledging the wrongdoing orth past,” and” we are reinforcing  our stance that discrimination and hate will not be tolerated.” As the legacy of Viola continues to inspire people to stand up for what you believe in, Percy Paris’ message will resonate throughout Canada. The Nova Scotia government will apologize and grant a pardon to the late Viola Desmond — considered the province's Rosa Parks. In 1946, Viola Desmond was dragged out of a cinema in New Glasgow for refusing to leave the section that management reserved for whites. 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. In Canada, the National Parole Board reviews pardon requests. Viola Desmond, in full Viola Irene Desmond, née Davis, (born July 6, 1914, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada—died February 7, 1965, New York, New York, U.S.), Canadian businesswoman and civil libertarian who built a career as a beautician and was a mentor to young Black women in Nova Scotia through her Desmond School of Beauty Culture. 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. Viola Desmond was born in 1914 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 2010, Viola Desmond was the first person to be granted a posthumous pardon in Canada. 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. Viola Desmond will be featured on the Canadian 10-dollar bill beginning circulation in late 2018. She was only about 4 and a half feet tall weighing around a hundred pounds. 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. Viola Desmond pardon. Those words were used at Province House on Thursday to describe the late Viola Desmond as the Nova Scotia government … Viola Desmond pardon. 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. PARDON ME! It will appear on the next $ 10 bills. 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. She went to the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, N.S., while it was being repaired. It opened in the fall of 2019. In 2010, the Nova Scotia Government recognized this gross miscarriage of justice and posthumously granted her a free pardon. The New Glasgow theatre, where almost 75 years ago Viola Desmond was famously arrested for sitting in a white section, is now adorned with art honouring her. Desmond’s free pardon is the first time a free pardon has been posthumously granted in Canada, Bingham, R. (2013, January 23). 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’s story, long unknown to most Canadians, is now becoming more familiar. 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Becoming the New Face of the $10 Bill . 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. A free pardon is based on innocence and recognizes that a conviction was in error. Photo: Bank of Canada. 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. Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter . 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. https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/viola-desmond-40917.php The government of Nova Scotia apologized and granted a special pardon Thursday to the late Viola Desmond, a black woman jailed in 1946 for sitting in a whites-only section of a segregated movie theatre. “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. 351 King Street East, Suite 1600, Toronto, ON Canada, M5A 0N1, Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks, var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o? ... Nova Scotia apologised to Desmond and issued a posthumous pardon, … Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter greets Wanda Robson in New Glasgow, N.S., on Thursday, April 15. 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 2010, when she was Governor General of Nova Scotia, Mayann Francis granted a formal pardon to Viola Desmond. 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. She refused to move and was arrested for 12 hours in jail. Late Viola Desmond Granted Apology, Free Pardon | novascotia.ca. "In 1946, a Black Halifax businesswoman, Viola Desmond, was wrongfully arrested for sitting in a white's-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. 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