Maritime Independence and Canadian Union

| July 26, 2000

Maritime Independence and Canadian Union, Ronald Colman, GPI Atlantic
Quebec's separatists may have narrowly lost their 1995 referendum on independence, but the movement is far from dead. On the contrary, says Ronald Colman of Nova Scotia-based think-tank GPI Atlantic, separatist sentiment is stronger than ever. But what impact would Quebec's independence have on Canada's eastern Maritime provinces, involuntarily cut off from the rest of the country? In a recent 'Clarity Bill,' Canada's House of Commons insisted that Quebecers decide whether to stay or separate from the rest of the provinces. But Quebec, with a recent outflux of English-speakers and a growing young voting population, is not requesting complete indepedence, but perhaps a European-style union, with Ottawa overseeing borders. This change in political structure could also strengthen the Maritimes, which have suffered tremendous economic devastation since the 1860s. 'With a little help from Quebec,' writes Colman, 'the Maritimes may well be the first place in the world to find itself independent without having asked for it, in keeping with the non-aggressive nature of its people.' -- Amanda LukerGo there>>