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Should Bermuda become annex of Canada?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Nova Scotia just returned the liberal government back to power. Although there was clearly movement closing the gap between them and the opposition parties, the result shows that there is still tremendous support for the liberals, perhaps somewhat bolstered by Justin Trudeau’s national and international humanitarian stands.

During a post-election party, I had a conversation that may be of interest to our Bermuda pundits. The chat was about Bermuda becoming an annex of Canada, or even under a protectorate arrangement of sorts.

Here is the point: there are many who argue that Bermuda is becoming the home for only the rich. Given the high cost of sustaining this little metropolis, that may be unavoidable under existing constructs.

Our philosophy, which guides almost every sector, is geared to the high end. For example, tourism wants as a product a pristine destination barely tolerating cruise visitors. We don’t want more cruise visitors crowding the beaches. The same for our general economy where we have a Minister of Economic Development that does not see hard industry as compatible with the soft face of our international business.

In the meantime, health costs are increasing and real quality care is restricted to only the few who can afford it.

We have diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular illness already at epidemic levels that in time can only get worse.

Education, which is a must, is in need of a transfusion of capital and ideas — none the least of which is the ability to educate our young — to remain current with the world. We have national debt and crumbling infrastructure with no means except a deeper spiral of debt unless we virtually give the country away to wealthy investors. Our national predicament held against national pride is an oxymoron and will deliver the very thing we detest.

It is absolutely blowing “hot air” to say we want Bermuda for our people when they will need to sell their souls and ground from under their feet to exist.

One solution and perhaps the only real solution may be to partner with a larger jurisdiction such as Canada. We could benefit by attaching to their health system, thus saving the limbs and quality of life for the population. It would certainly provide a boost to our educational system and perhaps transform the Bermuda College into an international entity of note.

It would also boost tourism and create daily flights from many places in Canada and the United States. And it would provide the country with all the technical skill sets and open opportunity for Bermudians to diversify their options in trade and business.

Politically, Bermuda would retain its own Parliament and self-autonomy, but additionally bargain for a proportional value of seats in the Nova Scotia and federal legislature, all elected by the Bermudian voters.

It is a new world and a coalescence of nationhood along with interdependence is the new recipe for our times.

Flag independence provides you only one thing, and that is a flag, but under that flag is an economic dependence that destroys the opportunities for the basic citizen and exposes the country to the vilest of corruption emanating from poverty and from those at the top.

The only way of preventing the country falling totally into the land and the playground of the rich is to broaden its socioeconomic base and preserve as a national asset things such as our public transport, bridges and infrastructure, along with public health and education.

Some will argue we can do this under Britain, which is true, but for a number of reasons that would not provide the economic boom and opportunity like Canada can. Those who say “steady as we go” are setting us up for the inevitable.