Turks And Caicos Next Canadian Province? Tory MP Pushes Plan

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Conservative MP Peter Goldring believes the Turks and Caicos Islands, an archipelago of 40 small islands stretching some 600 square kilometres, could one day become this nation’s 11th province. (Getty/CP)
Conservative MP Peter Goldring believes the Turks and Caicos Islands, an archipelago of 40 small islands stretching some 600 square kilometres, could one day become this nation’s 11th province. (Getty/CP)

Picture a tropical paradise with majestic, turquoise waters, gorgeous beaches and arching palm trees.

Nice, right?

Now, imagine if that destination was officially part of Canada.

It may seem far-fetched, but Conservative MP Peter Goldring believes Turks and Caicos, an archipelago of 40 small islands stretching some 600 square kilometres, could one day become this nation’s 11th province.

And he’s been doing his part to make that happen.

The idea of the British Overseas Territory joining the Great White North is not a new one.

In 1917, prime minister Robert Borden tried to persuade Great Britain to let us annex the lands, but was given the brush-off.

In 1974, a private member’s bill from NDP MP Max Saltsman examining annexation of the Turks also failed.

And, according to The Globe and Mail, the Turks and Caicos Islands sent a "serious offer" to discuss joining Canada in the 1980s, but it was "politely ignored" as politicians grappled with the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement instead.

But Goldring believes the islands, home to about 30,000 full-time residents, may be a natural fit for Canada.

The Edmonton East MP met with the country’s premier, Rufus Ewing, at a reception in Toronto last Wednesday and told the National Post that while there is interest in an economic association between the Islands and Canada, he remains in favour of pursuing "full provincial status."

Goldring told the Post’s Tristin Hopper that a Caribbean province could mean development of a strategic, deep-water trading port for Canada and do wonders for national unity.

"Canadians holiday north and south, they don’t holiday east and west," he said. "So we don’t get a chance to meet and greet each other on a regular basis. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a common destination in the south?"

Goldring said advances in technology and air travel mean concerns about distance no longer apply. In fact, he suggested the spot could be like a "tiny Nunavut."

"Turks and Caicos are actually closer to Ottawa, in kilometers, than my riding in Edmonton," he told The Post. “With air travel and electronic communication it’s a whole new world.”

The Tory MP has been focused on this issue since at least 2004.

In a newsletter from nine years ago, Goldring wrote that while Canada does not want to be thought of as a colonial power, islanders would welcome an association to help them achieve their full potential.

“Perhaps the time has come to end the courtship and finally be wed,” he wrote.

The province of Nova Scotia, evidently, agrees.

In 2004, the province’s three political parties voted unanimously to invite Turks and Caicos to join the province, if the Caribbean islands ever become part of Canada.

What do you think? Would you like to see the Canadian government make moves to bring the Turks and Caicos Islands into Confederation? Tell us in the comments.

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