If you're advising people on where to go to see important places in Canadian history, you'd think P.E.I. would be right up there.
But the Cradle of Confederation has been inadvertently snubbed, and by a surprising source, the Canadian Automobile Association.
CAA is known for its maps and tourist tips, but the spring edition of CAA Magazine had a glaring omission.
Steve Arnold, a tourism operator in North Rustico was reading the insert called Hands-On History, a map that pointed out historical facts that happened in each province, for those travelling during Canada 150 this year.
Just an unnamed island
"I read the little blurbs about the interesting historical facts, and kinda made some notes to myself about where I wanted to go," Arnold told Island Morning's Matt Rainnie. "Here's the birthplace of Tim Horton's, and some really neat things all across Canada, and then I tried to find P.E.I. on the map, and I saw an island that looked like P.E.I., but we weren't even labelled on the map."
'If you don't include the birthplace of Confederation, there's something wrong with that.' - Gary Howard, CAA Atlantic
Arnold said he was disappointed, even mad, and decided to write CAA Atlantic to complain.
He pointed out the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, and a few other important facts they could have included.
"Lucy Maud Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables, which is known world-wide for the famous stories," Arnold said. "The fact that the very first car in Canada was close to me out here in South Rustico, those were really easy things just off the top of my head that I knew about, and I'm not even a history buff."
The closing line of the letter made his point crystal clear: "Lucy Maud Montgomery is likely rolling in her grave, but I can't even point you to where that is located on your map."
The letter made its way to Gary Howard, vice-president of marketing and communications for CAA Atlantic, who had much the same reaction as Arnold.
"Honestly, dumbfounded is one word, embarrassed, shocked," Howard said. "How you could leave a whole province off a map of Canada is beyond me. The article was interesting places to see and things to do that you may not have thought of as you travel across Canada, but you know, my gosh, if you don't include the birthplace of Confederation, there's something wrong with that."
The map and magazine were prepared by CAA's national publisher, and Howard had already been in contact with them by the time Arnold's letter arrived.
Howard said the publisher, feature writer and map designer all admitted it was a mistake, and an embarrassing one. CBC reached out to the publisher, but didn't receive a comment.
Correction and more
Howard said the online version was immediately corrected, and the magazine's readers are going to be seeing a lot more of the Island soon.
"In the August issue of the magazine, we'll be doing a feature story on Prince Edward Island, and all the great things to see and do," said Howard.
Arnold has been kept in the loop by Howard since he sent the letter, and thinks this makes up for the error.
"I don't think they could have possibly handled this any better," he said. "So I'm very happy, It's turned, I think, a negative into a positive."
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