Top 10 Canadian Fantasy Annexations
Chris’ personal picks from places in the world that he has visited.
Canada has never had an Empire. We are really not an Empire type of people. Our history is littered with examples of the U.S. demanding more territory and Canada apologizing politely for being in the way. But if we were to emulate our neighbour to the south, here are my tongue in cheek suggestions to expand our horizons.
Turks & Caicos: This is just marginally less absurd than the other lands on this list as it has become part of Canadian folklore that this Caribbean island group seriously considered becoming part of Canada in the 1980’s. It didn’t. However it’s still the first question asked of the islands’ Premier whenever he comes to Canada. But as he once responded: Canada already owns most of the sizeable companies there, plus the three biggest banks, so why bother to annex the place?
Bermuda: Another island in the sun, this time in the North Atlantic. This one also technically still belongs to Britain, but I’m sure they wouldn’t miss it. After all, they have so many others. And there are so many reasons why Bermuda should be Canadian – starting with simple convenience: it’s the closest warm weather island to Canada. We have much in common: old Parliamentary roots and guys in shorts for instance…
Machias Seal Island: Did you know that this island in the Bay of Fundy off the coast of New Brunswick and Maine remains an on-going territorial dispute between Canada and the U.S. When the U.S. demanded Oregon Territory, we just rolled over. Time for them to roll over on this one! Trouble is – there’s not much there… Two lighthouse keepers (Canadian) and an awful lot of puffins and terns, so it’s a bit difficult to get too nationalistic about this rock.
The Next Hawaiian Island: Over 70 million years, the combined processes of magma formation, eruption, and continuous movement of the Pacific Plate over a stationary ‘hot spot’ have left the trail of volcanoes across the Pacific that we now call the Hawaiian Islands. This conveyor belt of island formation is continuing. Lōʻihi Seamount is an active submarine volcano 35 km off the southeast coast of Hawaii about 975 m below sea level. It is predicted to rise above the surface in 10,000 to 100,000 years. I say stick a Canadian flag on it now and wait for our very own Hawaiian luau to come bursting out of the Pacific.
Greenland: It really doesn’t make much sense for Greenland to be owned by a country fifty times smaller and an ocean apart. Its people are of a similar culture to our Inuit people. It’s close to us. It’s the world’s biggest island and we’re used to big landmasses. Every decent map of Canada also shows Greenland as well, so we don’t have to revise all our maps, just colour them differently. We even have the disappearing Vikings in common. It’s a no-brainer.
Alaskan Panhandle: While we are mopping up the north, let’s also get rid of that weird bit of geographical nonsense called the Alaskan Panhandle. What an absurd piece of geopolitics, denying British Columbia half its Pacific coastline because some Russian was a bit short of cash. The U.S. can keep the rest of Alaska: I wouldn’t want to mess with a region that can produce such an offensive weapon as Sarah Palin…
Pierre et Miquelon: The islands are 3,819 kms from Brest, the nearest point in Metropolitan France, but just 25 kms off the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland. In an obvious fit of absent-mindedness, Britain forgot to take back this last remnant of New France after the war and so these islands remain a part of France to this day. Time to remember who won the war and reclaim the source of the best croissants this side of the Atlantic.
Iceland: At the height of its recent financial meltdown, Iceland seriously considered dropping the plummeting Icelandic Krona in favour of the more resilient Canadian Dollar. Why stop there? The Icelandic Vikings invaded Newfoundland and more recently Gimli, Manitoba where a large part of the population has Icelandic roots. So it’s time to reverse the trend, man the Bluenose and sail for Iceland’s rugged shores. Besides, I’ve heard the bars in Reykjavik on a Saturday night are unbelievable!
The North Pole: In 2007, a Russian scientific expedition made the first manned descent to the ocean floor at the North Pole, to a depth of 4.3 km, to plant the Russian flag on the ocean floor exactly under the North Pole in support of Russia's 2001 extended continental shelf claim to much of the Arctic Ocean floor. As soon as our scientists can come up with a waterproof Maple Leaf we should supplant them and show them who really is The True North strong and free!
New Zealand: I have always felt we have so much in common with New Zealanders. The colonial history mixed with aboriginal peoples, the stunning natural landscapes, and the Big Brother aspect of our respective neighbours of the U.S. and Australia. But most importantly, when it’s cold here, it’s lovely there…and vice versa. So I see this of more of home swap rather than an annexation: Kiwis love to ski, so they come here for ski season and we move in until winter is over. Fair, no?