Andrea Janus of CTV News is reporting that Turks and Caicos Premier Rufus Ewing is “not closing the door completely” on the idea of his nation becoming Canada’s 11th province. Mr. Ewing says the fate of the island nation will depend on whether or not the country’s citizens want the change. However, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was quick to dispel the possibility of the island nation becoming a part of Canada.
“The premier who’s here isn’t asking to become the 11th province and we’re not in the business of annexing islands in the Caribbean to be part of Canada,” he (Baird) said. “So that’s not something that we’re exploring. We’re not looking at any sort of formal association with the islands.’
Ewing was scheduled to travel to Toronto later Monday to open a new tourism office in the city.
During a lively press conference on Parliament Hill Monday afternoon, Ewing was coy when answering repeated questions about whether his country could one day be Canada’s first province in the Caribbean.
‘Our first step toward any kind of relationship should be one whereby we can discuss and discover areas of mutual interest between both countries that both countries’ Parliaments and people are satisfied with, watch that relationship grow and nurture as we go through a period of courtship, and see where it takes us,’ Ewing said.
‘I cannot state beyond that right now.’”
Turks and Caicos has operated as a separate autonomous British Overseas Territory since 1973.
In August 2009, the United Kingdom suspended the Turks and Caicos Islands’ self-government after allegations of ministerial corruption. Home rule was restored in the islands after the November 2012 elections.
Read more at CTV News.