In 1758, Nova Scotia was the first representative government in British North America. In 1784, New Brunswick, PEI and Cape Breton Island were granted status as British colonies. In 1820, Nova Scotia circumvented the Royal Charter and administratively annexed Cape Breton, during a period of global warfare.

Cape Breton did indeed protest, to the UK Privy Council, which declined to vote on the issue. Meanwhile British Warships were deployed to the Sydney harbor in case they were needed.

In 2007, Nova Scotia celebrated by forming the Democracy 250 committee which honoured Canada’s founding fathers of democracy. The Democracy 250 management committee was comprised of former premiers Russell MacLellan and John Hamm, MLAs Alfie MacLeod, Cecil Clarke, Wayne Gaudet, and Leonard Preyra.

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Whereas Cape Breton Island was granted an unrevoked colonial status and illegally annexed by Nova Scotia prior to entering Confederation in 1867, and given Cecil Clarke and Alfie MacLeod’s association in supporting Democracy celebrations in Nova Scotia, I am calling on these men to help bring democracy to Cape Breton Island.

In 2020, it will be 200 years since we were annexed, with a half century exodus of about 1,000 people per year from our island over recent years, and basically we’ve been swallowed by a political and economic serpent residing in Halifax.

I call on Premier McNeil to form a Democracy for Cape Breton, 2020 Committee (or Cape Breton Island Democracy 200) to review governance and long term strategic socio-economic development for Cape Breton Island as a self-governing district, region, territory, province within province, or as its own province within Canada akin to its sister colony, Prince Edward Island.

Mark Macneill

Sydney