Senator pushes for Cape Breton independence


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Oct 26, 2009
Senator pushes for Cape Breton independence
Postmedia News
October 30, 2019
October 30, 2019 4:01 PM EDT
Daniel Christmas. ( photo)
With all the post-election talk about Western alienation, could trouble also be brewing on Canada’s East Coast?
In a column published last week, a Liberal-appointed senator said it’s time to revisit his idea of Cape Breton’s separation from Nova Scotia.
Citing a decline in the island’s population and a dwindling economy, Mi’kmaw Senator Daniel Christmas wrote: “Cape Breton is slowly bleeding to death. In the face of this, earnest discussions have begun with many on our island about Cape Breton becoming Canada’s 11th province, among other alternatives.”
According to Statistics Canada, the population of Cape Breton Regional Municipality dipped below 100,000 in the 2011 Census. Meanwhile, more than half the population is over 60 and the jobless rate is at 12.7% – the highest in Nova Scotia, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
But province-hood is just one alternative to consider, according to Christmas. “There are others. Perhaps we could become Canada’s fourth territory. One other worthy alternative is modeling Cape Breton’s government after the system of cooperative governance shared by our island’s five Mi’kmaw communities and its five municipalities, a treaty-based model.”
The senator first proposed the idea of Cape Breton’s independence two years ago.
“What I was trying to do was to inspire people to think different,” Christmas told The Canadian Press. “Maybe if we took care of ourselves – if we relied on just ourselves – perhaps these numbers can turn around.”