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BBC Trigger warning: "previously unthinkable" ideas "may shock some"


From BBC North America:
As Scotland pushes for a second referendum on independence, one man is asking the previously unthinkable - if you're going to quit the UK, why not join Canada?
Canadian writer Ken McGoogan says the unorthodox alliance makes sense.
"I think it would be terrific for both Scotland and Canada," he says.
McGoogan first laid out his proposal in an opinion piece published in Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail, where he argued that advancements in telecommunication technology and transatlantic travel have rendered pesky things like geographical boundaries "irrelevant".
Besides, he points out, Scotland is closer to Newfoundland than Hawaii is to California.
Last week, the Scottish Parliament voted in favour of asking the UK government to allow a legally-binding referendum on independence.
Prime Minister Theresa May has said the vote should wait until after Brexit.
Mr McGoogan says he sympathises with the angst that many Scots are feeling over Britain's decision to leave the EU.
"The Scots aren't happy right now, and I don't think they're being treated especially well."
Mr McGoogan says that if Scotland were to join Canada, it would enjoy a lot more independence and hold a lot more power than it currently does with Great Britain.
Scotland would be Canada's third largest province, with 5.3 million people, which would give it significant political sway. Add to that the millions of Canadians who, like Mr McGoogan, have Scottish ancestry, and you'd have a national-ethnic bloc about 10m strong, he reasons.
More importantly, Canadian provinces are in charge of more aspects of governance than Scotland has been afforded as part of the UK.
Canadian provinces are in charge of their own courts, health-care, systems and educational institutions. Some provinces also have their own immigration programmes, a fact that has already piqued the interest of a number of British and Scottish MPs.
Brexit "would never happen in Canada," Mr McGoogan argues, without the permission of all the provinces.
But the arrangement wouldn't only benefit Scotland, he argues. By making Scotland Canada's 11th province, Canada would gain a foothold in Europe. Far from abandoning any future Scottish bid for the EU, Mr McGoogan argues that Scotland could apply to join with Canada.
Mr McGoogan's ideas may shock some, and would certainly require years of back-and-forth negotiations with both Scotland and the UK, he readily admits.



Ken McGoogan
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Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.

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