They Could’ve Been Canadian

June 23, 2019

July 1st is the day that Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories celebrate Canada Day, commemorating the day the nation officially formed in 1867. Had history gone a bit differently, there’d be a lot more of Canada to celebrate on Canada Day.


From 1777 to 1791, the state of Vermont was an independent republic, failing to join up with the brand new United States and calling off talks to join what would come to be known as Canada. A present-day group called the Second Vermont Republic wants to go back to sovereign nation status, while an offshoot of that group advocates to make Vermont into Canada’s 11th province. (Both movements have ramped up in the heavily Democratic states after Republicans won presidential elections.)


The European island nation’s economy all but completely collapsed around 2008 due to a banking crisis. Unsure of how long it would take to restore order in Iceland, some locals created a campaign called “Invite Iceland In,” with the goal being to persuade Canada to “invite Iceland in” to the Great White North. The idea didn’t garner much support, but the Icelandic government did look in to adopting the Canadian dollar as its currency, what with the instability of the Icelandic krona.

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

The Burin Peninsula is one of the eastern-most points in Canada’s eastern-most province, Newfoundland and Labrador. Off of that are two islands, the Overseas Collectively of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, a self-governing French territory. It’s home to just over 6,000 people, and at various times in the past, local leaders have looked into declaring the islands’ independence from France, freeing it up to join Canada, either as a new territory or as part of the French-speaking province of Quebec. The main reason: The territory’s economy relies on Atlantic Ocean fishing. France (and its territories) is authorized to fish in just a tiny area. If Saint Pierre and Miquelon joined Canada, fishers there would have a huge area available to them.

Northwest Angle

This portion of Minnesota is so northern that it’s actually above the 49th parallel, the line that forms that American-Canadian border. If residents want to drive to anywhere else in the United States, they have to drive through a portion of the Canadian province of Manitoba to get there. That’s extremely inconvenient, and in 1998, the area’s congressional representative drafted legislation that would allow Northwest Angle to vote on whether or not it should just join Manitoba. (It never came to a vote.)