Friday, June 24, 2016

Turks and Caicos Islands...Next Canadian Province?

Picture a tropical paradise with majestic turquoise waters...
gorgeous beaches and arching swaying palm trees!
Now, imagine if that destination was officially part of Canada!

It may seem far-fetched, but MP, Peter Goldring believes Turks and Caicos, an archipelago of 40 small islands and cays, some 600 square kilometres (8 of which are inhabited), could one day become the nation's 11th Province. And he's been doing his part to make it happen. The idea of the British Territory joining the Great White North is not a new one. Currently a British Crown Colony, located north of Haiti and south-east of Bahamas in the Caribbean Sea, they are an international investment center for the off-shore investor. Tourism is a major business here. The 7-mile Grace Bay Beach on the Island of Providenciale, is rated by travel experts as one of the best beaches in the world...inclusive of resorts...fishing...snorkelling and scuba diving as major recreational and scenic attractions.
The relationship between these islands and Canada
 stretch back almost a century to 1917.

Negotiation Steps

In 1917, Prime Minister Robert Borden tried to perusade Great Britain to let us annex the lands, but was given the 'brush-off'...annexation considered vastly complicated...health-care, changing of tax policies, just for starters!.

In 1974, a private members' bill from a NDP MP examining annexation, with the Turks, also failed.

In the 1980's, according to the Globe and Mail (Toronto), the Turks/Caicos Islands sent a serious offer to discuss joining Canada...but it was 'politely ignored' as politicians grappled with the Canada-United States Trade Agreement policies instead.

But, Goldring believes the Islands, home to about
300,000 full-time residents, may be a natural fit for Canada.
The Edmonton-East MP met with the country's premier, Rufus Ewing, at a reception in Toronto and told The National Post (Toronto) that while there is still interest in an economic association between the Islands and Canada, he remains in favour of pursuing 'full provincial status'. Goldring told The Post that a Caribbean province could mean development of a strategic, deep-water trading port for Canada and do wonders for national unity. “Canadians holiday north and south...they don't holiday east and west,” he said. “So we don't get a chance to meet and greet each other on a regular basis. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a common destination in the south?”

Goldring further stated advnatages in technology and air travel, mean concerns about distance, no longer apply. “Turks and Caicos are actually closer to Ottawa, in kilometres, than in my riding in Edmonton (Alberta),” he told The Post. With air travel and electronic communication, it's a whole new world!” This Tory MP has been focused on this issue since at least 2004. In a newsletter, Goldring wrote that while Canada does not want to be thought of as a 'colonial power', the Islanders would welcome an association to help them achieve their full potential.
Perhaps the time has come to end the courtship and finally be wed,”
he wrote. The Province of Nova Scotia fully agrees.

In 2004, the provinces of 3 political parties voted unanimously to invite the Turks and Caicos to join as a 'province' . If the Caribbean islands ever become part of Canada, “What Do You Think?”
Would you like to see the Canadian Government
make moves to bring the Turks and Caicos Islands to Confederation?
There have been many positive comments.

In 2014, Goldring pitched the idea again saying,
Canada really needs a Hawaii!”

The Conservative Government dismissed his request!

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...June 21, 2016
Replies appreciated...email...inezkate@gmail.com or mbairdkerr@cogeco.ca

2 comments:

  1. MEG'S OPINION: "I had never heard of this before...
    what an idea! We could have our own vacation land.
    But, do we need more territory? Seems to me,
    we need to straighten out our own country first!"

    ReplyDelete
  2. I enjoyed your comments, Meg. Is there ever a time
    when the opportunity is ripe and ready to act on?
    Actually, Nova Scotia was most receptive to the
    islands being annexed to this eastern province.

    ReplyDelete