Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Free Cape Breton

from The Daily News

To the editor:

Government delivered from on high and afar to an unsuspecting and compliant population on Cape Breton Island must end. The question of our island's development should be for Cape Bretoners alone to decide.

The CBI provincehood campaign is an inclusive, imaginative and direct effort to engage with every Cape Bretoner who has a view on CBI's future. We ask every Cape Bretoner to reflect not on the kind of island we are, but on the kind of island we could be - or should be.

We have found that CBI voters want development on the way we are governed. To do so, the constitutional position of our island must move forward. The election of a voluntary assembly in 2008 will be a step toward self-governance. A strong mandate for our Assembly will legitimize demands for negotiations with Halifax for choosing CBI's future.

There are five choices: maintain the present setup; some decentralized self-governance; broad self-governance powers as an autonomous region within Nova Scotia; independence as a Canadian territory; and independence as Canada's 11th province.

Mark Macneill


[I posted the following comment on The Daily News's web site:]

I agree with the comment regarding natural resources. (The island is being emptied of people and grabbed up by shoddy natural resource operations.) Cape Breton Island must be able to defend its ecosystems and communities from destruction, which is largely due to the activities of mainland companies, or it will have no future at all. The fulcrum point - at which this downward spiral can be reversed - is the collusion between Cape Breton political decision makers and natural resource profiteers. The decision makers must begin to recognize their responsibilities to the island, and such a leap may require provincehood, with new rules for more localized governance.

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