Turks and Caicos - Canada's 11th province?
Published Monday, May 26, 2014 6:05PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 26, 2014 7:32PM EDT
It would certainly change the ol’ map of Canada in geography class.
The idea of Canada annexing the Turks and Caicos Islands has once again captured the imagination of Canucks everywhere. Many are wondering if the tropical destination should become Canada’s 11th province.
A delegation from the Caribbean island nation, including Premier Rufus Ewing, travelled to Ottawa to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Ewing, who also serves as Minister of Tourism, said he’s seeking a stronger socio-economic relationship with Canada. He shied away from addressing the question of becoming a province, saying that would be up to the will of his people. “The question people always ask is whether or not you’re going to get married,” he says of the two countries. “There’s no marriage without some kind of relationship.”
Canada’s relationship with the Turks and Caicos Islands already goes back centuries, when Canadian fishermen packed their fish in Turks and Caicos salt. The idea of a formal union was first broached by Prime Minister Robert Borden in 1917.
It is an idea that has been raised by a few politicians over the years. Making it more plausible is the fact that, on more than one occasion, a majority of the Turks and Caicos 32,000 residents have endorsed the notion.
Ewing points out Canadian companies already provide most of his country’s services in everything from tourism to banking to health care. And, per capita, more Canadians already visit the Turks and Caicos than any other nationality.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, says Canada is open to strengthening ties with all nations in the Americas. But he says Canada is not in the business of annexing tropical islands.
Still, the M.P. for Ottawa West-Nepean was not above musing about the possibilities. “I can just imagine the name of the riding… Nepean-Turks and Caicos.”