Imagine an archipelago of 40 small islands stretching about 600 square kilometers, where the sun shines on an average of 350 days a year, the water is a beautiful turquoise and the beaches are gorgeous. And now imagine this to be a part of Canada. Nice, isn’t it?

It can be a reality according to Peter Goldring, conservative MP for Edmonton who opened the long standing question about the annexation of Turks and Caicos, a British territory, again in July. According to the National Post, Goldring even met with Rufus Ewing, the premier of Turks and Caicos and discussed the issue.

The plan to connect the islands to Canada has been around for almost a century now and there have been a number of attempts to implement it but they all failed because of different reasons. In 1917 then Prime Minister Robert Borden proposed to annex Turks and Caicos but Great Britain didn’t like the idea at all. Again in 1974 Max Saltsman, NDP MP introduced a bill to Canadianize the tropical islands but it never passed. There were also discussions about the annexation in the ‘80s but it still remained a dream. Peter Goldring adopted the issue in 2004 and since then has done best acquire the islands in the name of Canada. If he were to succeed Canada could have a territory of permanent sunshine, quite the contrast from the North most territories of permanent snow.

It wouldn’t be the first time a British territory join Canada, this is what happened in 1949 when Newfoundland and Labrador became a part of the Canadian Confederation. In addition Canada has the advantage of experience, with distant holdings in the North which are almost always only accessible by plane and with a culture which is different from those of more highly populated areas, so we have sufficient practice in handling the problems of the distance and the different culture of Caribbean.

And what would Canadians gain with the annexation? First of all Canada could expand its borders, its cultural identity and its economic interest as well. South Caicos is on a deep-water channel which could be a trading port for trans-shipment from the Maritimes. It could be a popular vacation point as well. Last but not least, the tropical islands are not far from Cuba and Turks and Caicos could be a good base for Canadians to expand their economic interest in the island country now entering a pro-Castro era.

The annexation looks like a really great idea at first glance but the plan does carry some risks as well. For example if Turks and Caicos would join Canada they would have to change their tax and health care system to make it similar to the Canadian model. Who would bear the cost of these changes? Also with more tourists visiting our new tropical province there is a good possibility visits to the currently popular Canadian destinations would decrease

All in all it may be a pipe dream, but wouldn’t it be nice to take a trip to a tropical Canadian island!

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