It’s plenty hot right now. How to stay cool is uppermost in many minds.
But winter comes like clockwork every year and many snow belt residents love to hop on a plane to go get some sun. Florida, Mexico, Cuba and the Caribbean are popular destinations for many eastern Canadian snowbirds. A fair number over-winter or vacation in west-coast sun belts too, like Arizona and Hawaii.
It’s a problem. Millions of Canadians hate winter – or just want a break – and have no warm place to call their very own for close to 6 months out of every year. What to do, what to do?
Well, some creative thinkers want to fix that geographic lack. Why not find some warm-ish real estate that might welcome some of the social-economic advantages of being turned into Canadian soil, and make dreams come true?
Don’t laugh, this generates serious consideration.
At least one member of parliament is very serious about efforts to annex (if that is the right term) the Turks and Caicos. Those islands are currently a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, sort of north east of the channel between Cuba and Haiti.
The Turks and Caicos sound like quite the Canadian winter dream, as described by this tourism site:
From November to May the average temperature is 80 to 84 degrees (27-29 degrees celsius). Water temperature in the summer is 82 to 84 degrees (28-29 degrees celsius) and in winter about 74 to 78 degrees (23-26 degrees celsius). A constant trade wind keeps the climate at a very comfortable level.
There is an annual rainfall of 21 inches on Grand Turk and South Caicos, but as you go further west the average rainfall could increase to 40 inches. In an average year the Turks and Caicos has 350 days of sunshine.
Q: Plans to annex the islands have fallen through at least three time; in the 1910s, the 1970s and the 1980s. What’s different now?
A: The messaging then was for the Turks and Caicos to join Canada, but I think the plan may have [fallen apart] when Parliament considered space and time and distance. But in today’s world, the Turks and Caicos are actually closer to Ottawa, in kilometers, than my riding in Edmonton. With air travel and electronic communication it’s a whole new world.
Goldring, at least, envisions that could happen as an entirely new province. Others have floated the idea of maybe becoming part of an existing province, like Nova Scotia.
It’s not immediately clear what Turks and Caicos residents think of the proposal, and that (it seems to me) should be the deciding factor ahead of any Canadian hopes or fears.
But the notion is not entirely without precedent. After all, up until recent times (1949 to be precise) Newfoundland and Labrador were not governed by Canada. Prior to that Newfoundland and Labrador had been a British colony and then a Dominion (with self-governance) leading up to a referendum on the question of joining Canada or becoming independent.
With interest this high in Canada, the right Caribbean applicant (if any!) might stand a chance of going Canuck in a big way. This is unlikely to get settled right away, but it’s an idea with staying power in these colder latitudes.