03/25/2004: "the 11th province"
I heard about this idea quite a few weeks ago, but kept forgetting to look up more information on the subject. In case you haven't heard, the idea is that Canada develop some sort of formal relationship with the Turk and Caicos Islands (TCI). This relationship could go so far as to make TCI a part of Canada, perhaps the 11th province. What would that do? It would give Canada a direct economic presence in the Carribean, set precedent to do the same for Cuba (wink), and give winter-weary Canadians a place to vacation without leaving Canada. Yes!!
This isn't a new idea, however. Apparently this was tried as far back as 1974, but it obviously failed. TCI approached Canada with the idea again in 1988, but somehow Free Trade was more important. Huh? Well, this time the Internet is in full swing, Canadian winter isn't getting any nicer, and with September 11th making border-crossing vacations just that much more of a headache, I'd say it's high time we have a tropical province.
I found pretty much all I needed to know from a CBC News backgrounder on the subject, which lead me to what appears to be the official website of the Canada-TCI movement, called A Place In The Sun. This site is packed with great information, including a map to show you exactly where on earth TCI is located (just West of Cuba), some information on the islands, and how we can do something to help this come to fruition finally.
There are other places to visit online about this movement, such as the Tropical-Canada.com Yahoo Group and Canada's Caribbean Dream, which has a petition you can print out and send to the House of Commons Canada.
Are you suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder? Are you hoping that MP Pat O'Brien's private member's bill for a new holiday goes through? Are you sick of having to buy American money when you go off on vacation? Then let's do something to help bring TCI into Canada as our 11th province.
I wonder what real estate prices are like down there...