The weirdness of Quebec and other global borders, celebrated in a great blog
Posted by David Brooks | Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I have friends who are currently canoe-ing their way through northern Quebec en route to Ungava Bay, which is furthern north than Hudson Bay - i.e., way north. They had to be flown in to the staring point on seaplane, with canoes lashed to the pontoons. Is that cool, or what?
By coincidence, the fascinating NY Times blog called Borderlines has an item today about the border of Labrador/Quebec, starting with this historical tibit:
July 22, 1948 is a red-letter day in alternate history. On that date, a new nation could have been born in the North America. A referendum on the constitutional future of the Dominion of Newfoundland — until then a separate entity within the British Commonwealth, with the same level of independence as Australia or New Zealand — produced a slight majority for confederation with Canada, by 78,323 votes to 71,334. A swing of just 3,500 votes would have created a new state in the extreme northeast of the North American continent.
In those Cold War times, some feared Labrador would become a sort of mainland version of Cuba if it went independent! Go figure.
The article relates a number of border disputes between Labrador and Quebec that have been largely put aside but which would flare up if they involved a real international border. Read the whole thing here (subscription potentially required).
If you find that at all interesting, you should absolutely read old Borderlands articles, which deal with obscure quirks in national borders around the world. Really interesting stuff, like split islands, "the first Google Maps war", national enclaves tucked here and there, and "Winston's hiccup," when the drunken leader allegedly created the odd border between Jordan and Saudi Arabia.