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Provincial creationism

From Academic Kids

Provincial creationism is the wish for an area in one of Canada's provinces or territories to form its own province distinct from that which it is currently part of. Since 1982, the creation of a new province has required an amendment of the Constitution of Canada, although the creation of a new territory requires only an act of Parliament; therefore it is easier to create a territory than a province.

Historical provincial creationist movements

Provincial creationism has changed the political geography of Canada since 1870. Provinces and territories that were created from others include:

  • Manitoba (established on the same day as the North-West Territories) created in 1870 in an area that had been planned to be part of the North-West Territories. It was originally intended to be a homeland for the Métis.
  • Yukon created from the western part of North-West Territories in 1898. It was created for better control of the Klondike Gold Rush.
  • Saskatchewan and Alberta created from part of the North-West Territories in 1905. They were created because of the large-scale settlement of the Canadian prairies.
  • Nunavut created from the eastern part of the Northwest Territories in 1999. It was intended as a homeland for the Inuit and has been essential in maintaining a prominent Inuit culture in Canada.

Other provincial creationist movements did not result in the creation of a new province or territory, but are no longer significant political movements:

Current provincial creationist movements

Today, people in many areas across Canada have expressed wishes that their communities receive heightened autonomy via provincehood. These areas include:

  • Acadia - a community mainly in New Brunswick that is linguistically French, but is a distinct culture from Quebec French. Creating a separate Acadian province would be quite difficult considering that Acadians are dispersed throughout New Brunswick, and there is currently little support for this idea.
  • Cape Breton Island - an area which is currently a part of Nova Scotia, but in the past it has been a separate colony. Cape Breton Island is usually considered distinct from mainland Nova Scotia by people across Canada including mainland Nova Scotia.
  • Labrador - the Mainland portion of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Nunatsiavut - an area in northern Labrador, it is inhabited mainly by Inuit, many of whom wish to leave Newfoundland and Labrador and form a territory similar to Nunavut.
  • Nunavik - an area in northern Quebec, it is inhabited mainly by Inuit, many of whom wish to leave the province and form a territory similar to Nunavut.
  • Toronto - the largest city in Canada. There is little widespread support for its separation from Ontario, and some Torontonians consider it to be a bad (if not comical) idea. However, many politicians and political groups have lobbied for a separate Province of Toronto.

Areas that have expressed a wish to join Canada as a province

There are some areas outside of Canada that have expressed a wish to join Canada as an eleventh province (or fourth territory). These areas include:

  • Turks and Caicos Islands, a British dependency in the Caribbean. There is some support for its joining Canada, although the islands' small economy and Canada's involvement in Haiti has made this controversial.
  • Jamaica, in the late 19th Century there was some discussion of some form of political union between Canada and Jamaica.
  • Barbados In 1884, the Barbados Agricultural Society sent a letter to Sir Francis Hicks requesting his private and public views on whether the Dominion of Canada would favourably entertain having Barbados admitted as a member of the Canadian Confederation. Also asked were the terms of the Canadian side, and whether or not the island of Barbados could depend on the full influence of Canada in getting the change agreed to by Britain.
  • The West Indies Federation -- of the British West Indies.
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