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Comments
on Proposed Boundaries for
Seven Canadian States and One Territory

A Presentation by the Expansionist Party of the United States
295 Smith Street
Newark, NJ 07106-2517
(973) 416-6151

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Lionel Berry of Oshawa, Ontario has proposed a specific plan by which Canada's present boundaries might be redrawn before Canadian States are admitted to the Union. The Expansionist Party ("XP") suggested, in the same page, an alternative plan. Neither of these proposals seemed satisfactory to some readers, and one has sent us an alternative map and commentary, which we present below.

While we are thinking about redrawing the map in bringing Canada into the Union, we might usefully consider not just the two maps so far submitted but also the present boundaries of Canada, which we also show below, in a form that allows interested visitors to access the flags and coats of arms of Canada's existing subdivisions, and the radical redrawing of the map suggested by the writer Joel Garreau in his classic book, The Nine Nations of North America.

We first present a map offered by a colleague in Winnipeg, Manitoba, who prefers not to be mentioned by name. He thinks that a substantial redrawing of provincial boundaries upon accession to the Union is unlikely:  "Ultimately, I think present-day boundaries will stay exactly the same, with the exception of the Maritimes [which he agrees should all be merged into a single state because they are all small in both area and population]."

He adds:

Although I find it more likely that present-day provincial boundaries will make up the new state boundaries, and although I fully support any such union in which the lands above the 49th are re-united with the lands below it, I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents on what I'd like to see as state boundaries..

(A) I've set the boundaries as follows, not only because it more evenly splits up population, but also because I believe that northern territories share more in common on the latitude, than they do on the longitude (if that makes any sense). I.e., it is my perception that Thompson, MB shares more in common with Fort Smith, NWT than with Winnipeg, MB.

[Responding to an XP mention that Quebec would hate to see its territorial size lessened,] Yes, I'm sure Quebec would be extremely opposed to this setup, but let's face it, northern Quebec is not, has not [been], and never will be French.

I did not originally draw this map to be put up on a discussion page, [tho if you'd like to place it there, that's fine with me]. I merely drew it up as rough draft of what I have foreseen as a more favorable (to myself) re-drawing of the boundaries. I only feel this way because I wouldn't want people to think this is the way I think it should be — because it isn't the way I think it should be. People even mildly interested in an amalgamation of the U.S. and Canada who are located in, say, the Maritimes, Quebec, or northern Canada, might be turned off by the whole idea after seeing such a plan.

( B) By my reckoning, Newfoundland and Labrador is big enough by itself to make up a state, even though it only has half a million people, because there's some room for expansion. I also decided on that because only 50 years ago this little plot of land was a country to itself (sort of), and from what I know of its people, they consider themselves much the same way Texas does within the U.S. They have a somewhat different culture. So whereas you may want to merge N. Dakota, and S. Dakota, you don't mess with Texas. ;)

(C) Yukon, by this map, would have to be a territory due to its small population.

(D) (i) [As regards numbers of members in the U.S. House of Representatives each such demarcated State would have]

YK/NU/NWT 1 (Perhaps a special provision added to constitution to allow these territories to have 1 rep & 2 sens?)
BC 5
AB 5
MB 2
ON 17
PQ 11
TRN 3
NF 1

(ii) [As regards population, the areas set forth would have approximately:]

YK ~60K
NU ~20K
NWT ~100K
BC >3,500K
AB <3,500K
MB ~1,500K
ON ~11,000K
PQ ~7,000K
TRN ~2,000K
NF ~600K

(E) Altho I originally thought that Yukon (with northern BC) could be merged into Alaska, and the remainder of the Arctic could be split between the North West Territories and Nunavut, pon further contemplation I have decided it would be preferable to have all 3 arctic territories united, perhaps as the "State of Rupertland"? On my map, below, the united territory is termed "Nunavut". Ridding ourselves of the present Canadian territory of Nunavut would be quite a challenge that would meet great opposition. But just as you pointed out already, so would making Quebec half the size it is today.

Now, the alternate map.

[Alternate map for Canadian state boundaries]

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A radically different understanding of the regional dynamics of North America was set forth in 1981 by a writer [who then worked] for The Washington Post, Joel Garreau. He was talking with other reporters for that paper about how regionalism affects people's perceptions, and came up with the idea that North America -- meaning not just the U.S. and Canada (the Canadian usage of "North America") but also Mexico and the Caribbean -- was evolving into a number of distinct regions so different from each other that they might be perceived and described as "nations". Garreau came up with the concept of nine incipient "nations" within North America joined internally by common interests and distinguished from their neighbors by a sharp divergence of interests. An editor of the Post overheard a conversation on this theme and assigned Garreau to write an article to set forth that premise. A publisher then urged him to write a book expounding upon that premise, and the result was a famous and influential work, The Nine Nations of North America.

Innumerable discussions of Garreau's assertions have resulted. XP dismisses the idea that the regions Garreau espies constitute entities so important and self-contained that they could or should rise to the level of "nations", even in a European Community-style confederation of nations. Still, much of what he says resonates among sociologists and political scientists. If we were radically to redraw the map of North America in bringing Canada into the Union, might we be well advised to heed some of his advice and redraw simultaneously some of the boundaries among existing states?

We reproduce, below, a map of Garreau's nine "nations" from http://www.harper.cc.il.us/mhealy/g101ilec/namer/nac/nacnine/na9found/na9foufr.htm. Unfortunately, this map focuses on the current U.S., and one has to 'understand' that the borders of Ecotopia, the Empty Quarter, etc., extend northward. That website introduces its map thus:

"In 1981 Joel Garreau, a writer for the Washington Post, wrote the book: The Nine Nations of North America (Houghton Mifflin, Boston). In that book Garreau writes:

'Forget the pious wisdom you've been handed about North America.

'Forget the borders dividing the United States, Canada, and Mexico, those pale barriers so thoroughly porous to money, immigrants, and ideas.

'Forget the bilge you were taught in sixth-grade geography about East and West, North and South, faint echoes of glorious pasts that never really existed save in sanitized textbooks.

'Forget the maze of state and provincial boundaries, those historical accidents and surveyors' mistakes. The reason no one except the trivia expert can name all fifty of the United States is that they hardly matter.

'Forget the political almanacs full of useless data on local elections rendered meaningless by strangely carved districts and precincts.

'Consider, instead, the way North America really works. It is Nine Nations. Each with its capital and distinctive web of power and influence.... These nations look different, feel different, and sound different from each other, and few of their boundaries match the political lines drawn on current maps....

'Most importantly, each nation has a distinctive prism through which it views the world."

" [Garreau, pp. 1-2]

"Well, WE won't completely forget the boundaries found on current maps, but we will try to understand the Nine Nations [na9nat] defined by Garreau.

"For each region we will identify where it is, its capital, its symbol, a keyword to help us identify the nation, and examples of its popular culture. We will also discuss, describe, and explain each of North America's Nine Nations."

[Nine nations of North America]

The map above does not show what its author might have regarded as fringe areas. And so we show, below, an outline representation of what Garreau may have had in mind, from http://www.online.masu.nodak.edu/divisions/hssdiv/meartz/online/intro_ninenations.htm. The absence of color in the map below makes it harder to espy the new boundaries, but it does show how far those new boundaries go.

[Outline map of North America's 'nine nations']

Alas, this map does not include the insular part of Newfoundland, but only the mainland part, Labrador.

For those of you who do not have his book (XP does have it), Mr. Garreau has an extensive commentary that sets forth the essence of his view of things at http://www.umkc.edu/whmckc/PUBLICATIONS/MCP/MCPPDF/Garreau-9-10-81.pdf.


If all of this is too drastic and overwhelming for you, we present below a clickable map of Canada's present internal boundaries from the Flags of the World ("FOTW") website. If you click on a portion of that map you will be taken to a page of the FOTW website that shows that area's current flag and perhaps various historical flags and its coat of arms as well, along with links to other areas of vexillological (flag) interest.



Copyright: FOTW Canada map by Mark Sensen, based on material from Dalhousie University and boundaries’ data by Guiseppe Bottasini (Nunavut update by António Martins).

St. Pierre et Miquelon Greenland Alaska US Yukon North West Territories British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Newfoundland Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island

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