N.S. votes to invite Turks and Caicos to join it
Nova Scotia's three political parties voted unanimously Wednesday to invite Turks and Caicos to join the province, if the Caribbean islands ever become part of Canada.
Tory backbencher Bill Langille has never been to the 40-island chain, but he thinks the union is a natural, given historical trade connections and a sea-going culture.
He introduced the non-binding resolution in hopes of spurring talks at the federal level.
Prime Minister Paul Martin agreed last month to meet with Michael Misick, the Turks and Caicos chief minister, to talk about possibly forming some sort of relationship.
Talks about forming some kind of alliance were first brought up by Prime Minister Robert Borden in 1917, and have surfaced several times in the succeeding decades. However, Canada has turned down an alliance three times, largely because it doesn't want to be seen as being neocolonialist.
The islands, which are a British colony, are financially self-sufficient and run a balanced budget.
Edmonton Tory MP Peter Goldring has taken up the latest campaign, visiting the islands for a fact-finding mission last January.
His sales pitch is that the islands already host 16,000 Canadians each year and would provide a stable retirement and vacation destination. Thirty per cent of hotels and resorts are Canadian-owned. He also says the islands could be the Canadian hub for Caribbean trade.
It's not clear what an alliance between Canada and the Turks and Caicos would look like, but comparisons have been made with New Zealand and the Cook Islands or even France and Martinique.
As for Nova Scotia, at least one MP wasn't amused with the idea of annexing a tropical paradise. Glace Bay MP Dave Wilson said Nova Scotia already has one island to take care of â Cape Breton.