Group of separatists hope to create new Province of Vancouver Island

Original flag of the Colony of Vancouver Island.

A group of separatists are pitching the idea that Vancouver Island becomes its own province.

When the Hudson’s Bay Company built the iconic Bastion building in Nanaimo in 1853, it wasn’t in British Columbia – it was in the Colony of Vancouver Island.

However, in 1866, Vancouver Island merged with British Columbia.

Now a group of separatists is hoping Vancouver Island will become its own province by 2021.

“Right now we are five times as large as PEI,” says Laurie Gourlay of the Vancouver Island Province Movement.

“We are bigger than six provinces and territories in population. When you look at the size of the island, the resources, and infrastructure – we have what it takes to be our own province but we just haven’t taken steps to proclaim it yet.”

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The island is well known for forestry, mining and tourism.

“We already have our Legislature in Victoria, and we would encourage the Mainland to start looking for where they can relocate their Parliament Buildings,” says Gourlay.

“Canada has the historic anomalies of smaller provinces, based on history, like PEI and Nova Scotia,” says Leonard Krog, NDP MLA for Nanaimo.

“We don’t have that excuse or explanation here, and I suspect most people wouldn’t support the concept of a Province of Vancouver Island, as intriguing as it might be.”