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Tropical Canada?
March 30, 2004 1:42 PM   Subscribe

Canadian expansionism: there's a plan afoot for Canada to annex the beautifully sunny Turks and Caicos islands. Why? "Turks and Caicos would give Canada a warm, friendly 11th province - a southern destination where the Loonie could land without breaking a wing."
posted by moonbird (20 comments total)

 
From psychohistory we can easily derive that all those stupid redneck jokes about invading Canada will prove horribly ironic as this trend of Flannel-imperialism waxes to its zenith and America is annexed in a bloody war to become the 12th province, dubbed the 'learning-challenged province.' Eventually, however, Canada will push too far and Europe will be the primary agent responsible for the Allied victory in WW3 - a fact which they will STILL be incessantly reminding us of some sixty years after the war is over. Canada will be resigned to an East Germany-like fate, eventually assuming its destiny as the 51st American state not from conquering, but from failing to conquer.

For the present however, I would at least suggest that all you Starbucks employees convert to the worship of Tim Horton's - it will make the transition MUCH easier for you.
posted by Ryvar at 1:55 PM on March 30, 2004


i found this site a couple of years ago. funny...
posted by nobbie at 2:08 PM on March 30, 2004


What will Canada's policy concerning the rush of USian boat people that will washing up on the shores of the Turks/Caicos islands? Asylum?
posted by birdherder at 2:09 PM on March 30, 2004


Having actually spent some time in the Turks & Caicos Islands, I can confirm that it is a major destination for Canadian visitors (I'm not going to call them tourists, mostly because the T&Cs aren't really large enough to allow much touring of any kind), and there's a remarkable synergy between the two countries' mindsets.

Also, it's very nice there.
posted by Hogshead at 2:14 PM on March 30, 2004


21-40 or fight?
posted by dithered at 2:39 PM on March 30, 2004


Quiet, you fools! They'll find out about the Toronto MeFi war cabinet meeting this Saturday night!
posted by stonerose at 2:45 PM on March 30, 2004


Its all part of a cunning plan.

First we send out our Special Forces as tourists. Then the RV Cavalry heads south to sieze key US recreational vehicle instillations. And then the next thing you will know is that you start to see poutine on restaurant menus.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 2:52 PM on March 30, 2004


Poutine? I think you mean "Freedom Slop."
posted by Krrrlson at 3:47 PM on March 30, 2004


Ah, the Turks and Caicos. Lovely diving there.
posted by teferi at 3:54 PM on March 30, 2004


Anyone who stands in our way will be politely asked to move aside, or routed around.

Thank your for your cooperation.
posted by tiamat at 4:52 PM on March 30, 2004


I'm sure we could find more than just these few islands that would love to mooch off Ontario and Alberta for health care. We could also use the territory to make up for the parts of Canada that Denmark is trying to steal from us.
posted by Dasein at 5:07 PM on March 30, 2004


Canada's top diplomat in Denmark was summoned to the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Monday to discuss the disagreement.

Oooooo! Oh no! They might use their WORDS against us! Oh, wait, words hurt. I can't hear now. Damn.
posted by shepd at 5:43 PM on March 30, 2004


Us vs the Danes. A Clash of epic proportions!
posted by Salmonberry at 5:45 PM on March 30, 2004 [1 favorite]


Okay, lots of joking around ("ha, ha - Canada's an ice world so it needs a warm island. Ha, ha - Canadian world domination. Ha, ha - tropical poutine!") but does anybody have any actual, you know, opinions on this?

I think it is an amazingly great idea. Every time I manage to save a few pennies to visit a warm climate, I can't help but think the exact idea being put forth here - Canada should enter into an agreement with some tropical nation so we have our own Hawaii (or Florida or Arizona or Mexico or Cuba depending on whether you want a vacation destination, retirement mecca or a mixture of both - which is what this would give you.)

Peter Goldring, a Conservative MP from Edmonton, is leading the current charge to do this and has an open letter to Canadians on his web site (http://www.petergoldring.ca/) where he lists advantages for our country and theirs...

The advantage for Canadians are many:
- Stable, secure retirement condos
- Stable, secure vacation destination in Canada
- Manufacturing distribution for the Caribbean and South America
- Convention destination
- Olympic sports year-round training possibility
- A place for Paul Martin to park his fleet in Canada
- Opening new Central and Southern American markets
- Caribbean destination for Canada’s naval training exercises
- National revenue from a new ‘have’ province
- Rebalance our nation’s present international vacation travel deficit

The advantages for the people of the Turks & Caicos are also many:
- A greatly expanded economy
- Lower cost goods and services
- Direct regular air travel to the rest of Canada
- Universal health care – improved hospital and medical facilities
- Movie industry location/studios
- Greater regional stability, security
- Diversifying the economy with manufacturing, distribution jobs
- Ready access to post-secondary education
- Military and Coast Guard integration and improvement
- Potential for hosting of sporting events, conventions, etc.

Can anyone think of the disadvantages or why this shouldn't be done?
- I guess there's no guarantee that doing this would make the island a "have" province.
- The chain of islands that make up the Turks & Caicos are only 430 sq km according to CIA world fact book, less than 1/10 the size of PEI or about 2/3 the size of Edmonton. Is there enough space to make it affordable for the majority of travellers/snowbirds who would like to visit/retire there? (I've always thought a larger place, already Canada-friendly, like Cuba would be a natural for establishing a more formal connection like this.)
- I've never been but would a massive influx of tourists ruin whatever small-island charm the place may have?
- do the additional costs of developing infrastructure outweigh the benefit - at least in the short term? (The GDP is listed as $231 million USD - that's barely one scandal's worth of cash for our current government!)

Anything else I'm missing? See you in the Turks & Caicos in 2010?

Jason
posted by Jaybo at 6:33 PM on March 30, 2004


My favorite Club Med resort is on the main island. Wonder if annexation would make the flights better or cheaper. Go Canucks!
posted by billsaysthis at 7:16 PM on March 30, 2004


Well, Jaybo, sorry to be a contrarion, but:


The advantage for Canadians are many:

- Stable, secure retirement condos
Islands become another Victoria; government pays tens of millions of dollars to care for ageing population thousands of kilometres away.

- Stable, secure vacation destination in Canada
Also: Florida. Okay, this would be more secure.

- Manufacturing distribution for the Caribbean and South America
How would this accomplish that? It's not like we can't ship stuff to Central and South America as it is.

- Convention destination
For Canadians? Not an economic benefit. For others? I doubt it - they wouldn't get any work done.

- Olympic sports year-round training possibility
We don't spend anything on our athletes as it is, so it doesn't matter; they're too poor to do nothing but train. Also: going indoors.

- A place for Paul Martin to park his fleet in Canada
He seems to like to park it in other places anyway.

- Opening new Central and Southern American markets
No, just getting closer too them. Unless we plan on annexing all of Central and South America.

- Caribbean destination for Canada’s naval training exercises
Unimportant.

- National revenue from a new ‘have’ province
Give me a break. It would suck in our tax dollars like there's no tomorrow. It would be by far the poorest province (okay, it wouldn't be a province, but you get the point) and would be completely unable to afford proper health care, education, roads, etc. And we'd have to ship a whole lot of skilled people down there to get it up and running.

- Rebalance our nation’s present international vacation travel deficit
Huh? What the hell is an international vacation deficit? If it became part of Canada, it wouldn't be international anymore.

The advantages for the people of the Turks & Caicos are also many:
- A greatly expanded economy

No kidding. Transfer payments and welfare will do that.

- Lower cost goods and services
How, exactly?

- Direct regular air travel to the rest of Canada
Yup, suddenly we'd have another island in Confederation for everyone to leave in search of jobs.

- Universal health care – improved hospital and medical facilities
This would certainly be good for them. Why we should care (or pay for it) is beyond me.

- Movie industry location/studios

Who cares?

- Greater regional stability, security
Not really, the Americans already take care of that as much as anyone's going to, but it'd be nice to pay the tab for the Navy to sun itself on exercise down there.

- Diversifying the economy with manufacturing, distribution jobs
Just because they join Canada doesn't give them jobs. You've got to have some skills and raw materials before any factory's going to come your way.

- Ready access to post-secondary education

Um, not really. Tuition isn't exactly cheap in Canada (well, compared to the States, but who wants to use that pathetic standard as a benchmark?). And they'd still have to get in.

- Military and Coast Guard integration and improvement

Yes, great for the islanders. A nice big cost for the rest of us.

- Potential for hosting of sporting events, conventions, etc.
Who cares? And see above.

In sum: REALLY not worth it.
posted by Dasein at 7:54 PM on March 30, 2004


I think it's clear. We should annex Denmark.

While not really a warm, sunny place, it does have a nifty lego factory. And they have better health care than we do, so that won't be a problem. And they'll stop trying to steal our Arctic islands.

(A few people up here seem to think some influential Canadians have invested in Turks & Caicos real estate, and would like the property values to go up with political stability, hence the push.)
posted by Salmonberry at 8:03 PM on March 30, 2004


How about we ship the Separatists off to Denmark, replace them with Danes, and send me off to the Caicos?

Works for me, anyway.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:10 AM on March 31, 2004


Sounds good to me! But what do the islanders think about it?

http://www.turksandcaicos.tc/government/ says:

Population and Housing Census Census Office: (649) 946-1619
Based on the 2001 Census Report the total population is said to be 20,014. It is now estimated to be 25,000.

I don't think that this population would be enough to seriously compromise our health care system (more so than it already is) or any other welfare programs.

I'd say that's a great trade, sign me up for my time share :)
posted by canucklehead at 1:23 PM on March 31, 2004


Dasein has it right. I've spent a lot of time in T&C and Canada would get the shaft in that deal. I suspect 'serious' politicians know this, that's why this issue has gone under every time it's come up, it's just rookie back benchers who think it's a good idea.

The real issue is never raised anyway. Work permits. It is very hard/expensive to work in T&C. The only voters in the country are called 'belongers', there are only about 8000 of them and they run the government from stem to stern. They want Canadian money, but they don't want to let Canadian work and vote on the islands.
posted by Leonard at 2:53 PM on March 31, 2004


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