Monday, December 11, 2006

Down Wid Da Causeway!

General John Cabot Trail of the Cape Breton Liberation Army may be about to ready some real life troops to his comedic army, after all:

With Ottawa's recent decision to recognize the Québécois as a nation, federal politicians have unwittingly breathed new life into the separatist movement — in Cape Breton.


Though fuelled by the widespread perception that the island has long been neglected by the provincial government, the fringe movement has lain dormant for years. But members of this small, disparate group say Prime Minister Stephen Harper's historic parliamentary motion, adopted last month, has revived their dream.

Mark Macneill, a proponent of making Cape Breton a province, says the motion has placed Canada on a slippery slope toward constitutional change.

"Where there's change, there's often opportunity," says Macneill, a long-time Cape Bretoner whose campaign has included letters to politicians and media. "There's going to be an opportunity ... to see if we can negotiate Cape Breton as one of Canada's newest provinces." Macneill, an educator from Mabou who does not claim membership in any official movement, says Harper's motion could inspire similar movements in Labrador, northern Ontario and northern Manitoba. He says a "predominant majority" of the island's 150,000 residents support separation.

Some Cape Bretoners, including retired radio host Bill Davies, say the island never willingly gave up its independence after it became a separate colony in 1784.

"We were annexed without our knowledge," he says, referring to its unification with Nova Scotia in 1820.

Davies, a resident of Glace Bay, plans to circulate a petition advocating provincial or territorial status for the island. "People are talking now about Quebec and eventually they'll come up with, well, (Cape Breton is) distinct, we should be on our own."

As a Mainlander, I could not agree more. Cape Breton has been an economic millstone around the Mainland's neck for decades. Billions pumped into keeping Sysco and Devco going, and various make-work and fly-by-night job creation schemes have done nothing to make Cape Breton economically self-sufficient, but have bought plenty of resentment.

Cut the Capers adrift and they'll have to find someone else to blame for their problems than the Mainlanders.

Source: Halifax Chronicle-Herald

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where to begin? There are so many things wrong with this post.

Firstly, It's "big city" attitudes like the ones represented in this post that propogate dissent among what should be a united province of Nova Scotia.

The author of this article obviously did not research anything before putting pen to pad. Cape Breton has long claimed that they do not receive the same benefits as the mainland, and most of the times they are correct. Simply look at the distribution of provincial dollars, and where the development of provincial infrastructure goes.

I can agree that Cape Breton's population doesn't reach the staggering numbers of that of Toronto or Fort McMurray, and therefor may not rocket to the top of the charts of fiscal importance. However when Sysco and Devco where up and running, it's hard not to notice that Cape Breton was good enough to be a significant force in both federal and provincial coffers.

It's not uncommon to think that Cape Bretoners are a poor and down-trodden people when on a provincial level they are only given a hand out, not a hand up.

Sydney was once a major contributor to Canada as well as Nova Scotia. Sydney's coal, shipping and steel manufacturing were essential ingredients in the Allied victory of WWII.

Like the young treat a senior citzen, the mainland has turned it back on Cape Breton, and Left it sitting on it's own, only recognizing it during birthdays and christmas. Soon the uterus that feeds the work machines of Alberta, known as Cape Breton, will be barren, and Cape Breton will be a great retirement island.

Except for the random locust attakcs.