The idea of Cape Breton Island separating from mainland Nova Scotia was re-kindled in Baddeck on Saturday.

About 200 Cape Bretoners used the song "Farewell to Nova Scotia" as a symbolic backdrop for a meeting about the island forming its own province or forcing some kind of political change.

The future of coal mining and steelmaking in the area is uncertain, and speaker after speaker complained about what they said are inequities in how money is spent in Nova Scotia. The poor condition of roads throughout Cape Breton was one example.

Gerald Sampson says it's "inexcusable" that unemployment is very low in Halifax, while much of Cape Breton has the worst jobless rate in the country. Talk of separation has come and gone before. But Sampson says this time the provincial government hasn't left Cape Breton many alternatives.

"The place is literally bleeding to death economically," adds Kenzie MacNeil. "and unless something is done to change that, it's just going to go through the floor."

The group is planning more meetings to arouse interest in different communities in Cape Breton.