John Savage was ready to leave Wales. Fed up with the National Health System, his frustrations grew daily. The back of a medical journal advertised that the town of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, was seeking medical professionals, and John was ready for a fresh start.
Many knew Dr. Savage as their physician. Others speak about his time as mayor of Dartmouth. Yet most remember him as Nova Scotia’s twenty-third premier. He entered politics because he didn’t like the way things were done. He had ideas, opinions, and a vision to transform a province drowning in debt and stuck in old ways. He was responsible for an amalgamation that is still of great debate, a controversial harmonized sales tax, a world-renowned emergency health system, two new casinos that met with petitions and scandal, and the list goes on. And while all of these historic reforms will forever be linked to John Savage, this is just a small fragment of a much larger legacy.
John Savage orchestrated the building of ball fields and medical clinics and pushed for sex education in the schools. Locally, he worked with addicts and alcoholics, but he also brought medical supplies and assistance to countries lacking basic necessities. He was never interested in doing what was popular. From tackling the health and education systems to making turn-the-province-on-its head decisions while premier, John was determined to change the way things were done. Against the Grain chronicles how he fought the status quo with unwavering conviction to leave a lasting legacy that would change the province of Nova Scotia forever.