Ken implores Canada to give Victoria, BC back
To my Canadian brothers and sisters to the north—I love you but enough is enough. Your Canadian-U.S. balance ledger is badly in the red. The time has come for you beaver and moose lovers to pay up. It is past time, actually, over 170 years late, eh.
Yes, you deserve credit for giving us Wayne Gretzky, Michael J. Fox, Alex Trebek (or more correctly, “what is Alex Trebek?”), Dudley Do-Right and Nell, your country’s first “First Lady,” and perhaps most importantly, today’s 35% exchange rate. For these contributions, we are grateful. But on the debit side, you inflicted Justin Bieber upon us, you drink our beer and steal our women (usually, but not necessarily, in that order), you discuss hockey teams and trades and Canadian politics in our presence as if we have a clue (or even care), and if we don’t go to Costco over the weekend before 10:30 a.m., all parking spots are taken and only chocolate milk and diesel fuel are left. Even our local golf courses are filled with your “eh-games.” Frankly, we are afraid to say, “make yourself at home, there’s beer in the fridge,” because you just may take us literally.
But my B.C. brethren, you can make it “right” and zero out the ledger, eh.
I have to confess that my knowledge of Canada is limited. Until corrected recently by my Canadian buddy, Haven, I thought your Prime Minister was Garry Trudeau (of Doonesbury fame) and “icing” was the Canadian marital equivalent to “not tonight, dear.” I do know, however, that Victoria, B.C., which is one of the coolest, most beautiful and historic cities on the west coast, was once “ours” in the mid-1800’s. Haven, if you give her back now—a delayed Victorexit if you will—I will call it even. My guest room upstairs is yours in perpetuity, eh.
First, however, a bit of history to support my “do the right thing” equity pitch. Donald Trump and TPP/NAFTA haters, you are technically wrong. It wasn’t always so that U.S. politicians negotiated badly. President Thomas Jefferson fleeced the French when we purchased the Louisiana Territory in 1808, which added all or portions of 15 states and two Canadian provinces to our county at a cost of $250 million in 2016 dollars, and Secretary of State Seward’s acquisition of Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7 million has Putin’s underwear bunched even today. Not bad, eh?
But those Brits, man, they negotiated the knickers and lightly-powdered wig off President James Polk, whose presidential “Manifest Destiny” campaign slogan in 1844 drew a line in the sand at “Fifty-Four Forty or Fight” in the battle over the two countries’ competing claims to the Oregon Territory (which extended north to modern day Alaska). Well, Polk pulled a NAFTA purportedly to avoid war and instead we have the 49th parallel as our northern border with British Columbia, except for the last minute carve out for Victoria and Vancouver Island. Until then, however, Victoria was “ours.” If you don’t believe me, just ask Queen Elizabeth about the 1846 Oregon Treaty with Britain. I believe that she was Queen Mum even then.
(Who said history is boring, eh?)
So, drink our beer, steal our women, but it’s time to fix this historical anomaly. The deal made no sense geographically. Both Vancouver Island and Point Roberts are bisected by the 49th parallel and yet Victoria, which extends well south of Bellingham, is out while Point Roberts, which dangles down, almost uselessly, like a forgotten male appendage, is in. I say what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Point Roberts was geographically circumcised; why not Victoria? Mr. Trump, you have my vote if you can negotiate the return of Victoria. What is ours is ours. Perhaps you could join with Bernie Sanders and jointly sponsor the Victoria Bris Treaty of 2016. Canadians have a sense of humor, don’t they, eh?
And think about it. As a Monty Python “Life of Brian” fan who always looks on the bright side of life, I am excited that Victorexit would further resolve the longstanding dispute between our countries over Victoria’s discharge of human waste into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Oh, sure—Victoria’s poop would still be discharged into the Lower 48, but at least it would now be American poop and we all know that our poop doesn’t stink. Problem solved, eh?