Purple... Snow - Shawn Loughlin editorial
You can’t just go around annexing parts of other countries - well, unless you’re a ruthless dictator - nor do I think Justin Trudeau would consider such a move, neither practically nor politically, but, hear me out: Minnesota for Alberta - straight up.
Alberta is three times the size of Minnesota (Alberta is 661,848 square kilometres compared to Minnesota’s 225,181). On paper, it might look like we’re taking a bath, but let’s just talk it out. Minnesota is connected to both Ontario and Manitoba in a reasonable way and, frankly, Minnesota as a democratic stronghold more closely reflects the way that much of this country thinks. This will be even more true when Alberta is turfed as part of my proposed deal and immensely true if we could throw in Saskatchewan as a sweetener.
Sorry, I almost forgot about that part, but isn’t that the story of Saskatchewan’s life? Being forgotten? You’re not going to tell me that someone, creating the map of Canada, didn’t, near the end of the day, decide one of the central provinces was too big and draw in Saskatchewan by way of two straight lines.
Well, that’s sorted. Finally, once and for all, I’ll be able to drop my weekly segment at editorial board meetings for this fine publication about how I think Alberta sucks. To be honest, I was getting tired of it, but I was never wanting for material. No, the province that celebrates Danielle Smith and Tamara Lich never disappoints. (Well, in the context of providing material in regards to how much it sucks - in terms of actual disappointment, it always does. Are you all following me on this? I feel I’m twisting and turning a lot and maybe a quirk or two away from being reasonably labelled as The Chaff 2: Electric Boogaloo.)
Think about it this way: if a reasonably-minded Canadian thinks one way about something, you can bet that Smith and her mindless minions are going the other way.
Let us consider the benefits. Overnight, we become home to baseball’s Minnesota Twins, football’s Vikings of the NFL, and the NBA’s Timberwolves. In the NHL, gain the Wild, but lose the Flames and Oilers. Tough, but, if you want to make an omelette, you’ve got to crack some eggs. Prince? Canadian. That’s right. In the blink of an eye, one of history’s best musicians is Canadian. Bob Dylan grew up in Duluth. Welcome aboard, Zimmerman.
Those are the benefits. There are no drawbacks, so let’s not waste the ink.
The more pressing matter, in my mind, is how do we get this done, practically speaking. Will Trudeau undertake this bold and visionary move at the risk of alienating voters in Alberta and Sask... alright, I think we can move on.
Clearly the political will is in place. Now we just have to get it done and I think I know just the man. Dave Cook. Not Blyth’s Dave Cook, but a Dave Cook I knew from Pickering.
Back when I was new to Huron County, I knew few people here. Most of my friends were back in the GTA. Dave, however, had just moved to London to attend Western University and was only an hour away. He and I worked at Rogers together back in Pickering and we would get together for drinks or dinner.
One night, unsolicited, he sent me an e-mail with a map attached to it. It was, he said, a way that Quebec could separate from Canada (this was back in the news again at the time), but Canada could retain land continuity and access to precious resources needed by the country.
He’d done it. He’d cracked the code in a way that would leave everyone happy. So, he’s clearly qualified, but will Trudeau come calling? Only time will tell.