BRITISH COLUMBIA

Vancouver Island To Be A Province If Separatists Get Their Way

08/06/2013 02:43 EDT
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Just when you thought Turks and Caicos was slated to become Canada's 11th province, Vancouver Island comes along to try and steal the tropical thunder.

A petition has been launched by a group called Vancouver Island Province to separate from the B.C. mainland and the movement is getting plenty of press.

Hearkening back to the mid 1800s when the Island had its own government, the group argues that the area's population of more than 750,000 people, "greater than six of Canada's provinces and territories," makes it a viable candidate to become an independent province.

The group is concerned with advocating for the Island's particular environmental and economic interests.

"Most recently overarching regional, national and global issues have come to the forefront -- including needs to meet Island self-sufficiency, food security, energy and economic self-reliance, as well as resource, watershed and ecological health," the group's website reads.

Users on Twitter have been quick to poke fun at the group's proposals, with many making jokes about the province becoming Canada's first legal haven for marijuana and that at least Vancouver could finally become the capital city of B.C. Predictably, P.E.I. has been taking some shots as well.

Twitter Mocks Province Of Vancouver Island Plans

Those involved with the movement acknowledge there are challenges to winning an independent province, but that isn't stopping them from trying.

"No one is saying that we should rush into this ... I'm just saying that it deserves studying. My schedule for this is that's it's going to take at least eight years to work out what are the issues, what are the solutions to the issues, what do people really feel about this? Are we confident that this is the right thing to do?" group member Scott Akenhead told Yahoo! Canada News.

Laurie Gourlay, another organizer with the group, has stressed that if P.E.I. can be a province, so can Vancouver Island.

"Right now we are five times as large as P.E.I." Gourlay told Global News.

Gourlay told Metro News he's concerned that "what’s taken off Vancouver Island is not necessarily given back" and that a government independent from B.C. would be better able to address resource management on the Island.

Of course, the province of Vancouver Island faces serious legal challenges. A new province would require a constitutional amendment supported by two thirds of the existing provinces representing at least 50 per cent of Canada's population, the House of Commons and the Senate.

And constitutional amendments have been ridiculously easy to get in the past. Wait, wait, actually they've been ridiculously hard to get.

Not that it seems likely the movement will get that far. As of last week, the group'spetition had just over 100 signatures.

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