The time has come, dear fellow Islanders, to say to hell with BC, it’s not doing us any good at all.
I opt to call our seceded Vancouver Island Maquinna in deference to the great warrior chief who met Cook at Nootka. Does that work for you? I mean, First Nations nomenclature is quite trendy and legitimately shows respect for the folks who originally lived here, as in Haida Gwai and Salish Sea. So we can henceforth be Maquinna.
Many many years ago when the earth and I were both much younger and Christy was still peeing in her nappies I wrote a somewhat waggish column for the Green Sheet in which I advocated for the secession of Vancouver Island from British Columbia. I say waggish, but I was also semi-serious at the time, and am now even more serious vis-a-vis the comment I made on FB this morning.
The ferry thing did not put me over the top, my feelings of antagonism go back for a long time as I indicated, but the callous disregard of the plight of Islanders and our economic realities by a twittish young cabinet minister only served to punctuate my antagonism. Meanwhile, the ongoing disregard of the state of the Island’s one-time rail link just puts salt into the wounds on a regular basis.
Think about it. Vancouver Island is very large. About a million times larger than silly little Prince Edward Island which gets to be its own province and all it has to boast is potatoes and tiresome and overstated Anne of Green Gables. But, in being that mini-province it gets its hands on all sorts of big federal bucks. I want us Islanders to have federal bucks and then we can tell the Ferries bandits to pound salt.
We have a reasonable population (I mean, Nunavut cashes in and it only has about 9 or 11 people) , and we’re resource rich so we can go it on our own easily. We’re quite physically awesome in parts, so tourists would gladly come if they didn’t have to blow their entire vacation budget on the ferry trip. Subsidized ferries will answer that problem. And since the aforementioned teeny-weeny-itsy-bitsy PEI got a big honking bridge with federal bucks dumped in then we might finally get our long-awaited bridge to the Island.
As for Victoria. Ah yes, Victoria. There are those who hold to the misapprehension that Victoria is on Vancouver Island and is the provincial capital so how will we deal with that. Well, in the first place Victoria has never be ‘of’ Vancouver Island and many Victorians hold to the belief if you head north as far as, say, Duncan, well after that “there be dragons” so they don’t go up to our part. But if they want to – to say ski or fish or swim in an ocean that has not been befouled by dumping raw sewage into it for decades, then Victorians are more than welcome to come to Maquinna.
And realistically, even if Victoria is the capital it tends to pee on the wants and needs of Islanders – even the wants and needs of Victorians – and all the readies go to the Mainland that gets granted transportation largesse that can make an Islander swoon.
As for it being the capital? Well, there was a moment in history when New Westminster was capital of BC. It could easily be so again. And for Maquinna’s capital, it is not just vainglory and parochialism that suggests the Comox Valley might not be a bad choice. It’s central and it’s very dramatic what with the Glacier and all. But, about that I don’t care so much. Qualicum Beach is nice, too.
Anyway, give it some thought. It’s not as unrealistic a concept as some might think.