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Urgent News and Updates

Please read the following News Release from Chief Minister Michael Misick of the Turks & Caicos Islands. Although this news may make you angry as it did myself, please realize we are under negotiating tactics, and let's see what Mr. Misick brings to the negotiations.  We must stay focused on the topic. Canada's Caribbean Dream.  If Michael Misick does not bring anything that interests our Country, we will Petition for Islands that do want the Canadian dream.

"The following News Article has come to my attention. This is a Press Conference that Chief Minister Michael Misick of Turks & Caicos held recently. Please pay specific attention to what a Free Association means. It is unacceptable in my opinion!"  Let's see where this leads. I am also researching other Islands who want to become Canadian and want to achieve the same agenda as ourselves." 
 
Please click on our National Petition, print and get signatures as you have before. This is still a very worthy cause for us. We need the right Islands to come forward with a serious intent."
 
                                                    Pamela Lee
 
 
No to Canada union - says Chief
Date: April 26, 2004 -thru- May 6, 2004
Source: www.TurksandCaicos.tc - Turks and Caicos Free Press News

Link:
http://www.turksandcaicos.tc/FreePress/

Saying that he is not prepared to change one colonial master for
another, Chief Minister Michael Misick stressed that he has not
entered into any formal arrangement with Canada.

Speaking to a national audience in a press conference that was
broadcast live on radio and televison, Misick emphasized that the
people of the Turks and Caicos Islands would have to decide, through
a referendum, if and when they wanted to change the status quo of
being a British Overseas Territory.

"It is not a question of us wanting to achieve anything with Canada.
Our position is that whether it is full internal self government an
association with Canada or the United States or whatever, we feel
that in an open society we can talk about it. There are citizens from
both countries who for years have had an interest in some form of
association.

It is this government's position that we should explore and see if
there is anything in it for the TCI. If there is something that is
credible and makes sense and is in the TCI's interest, then let's
pursue it," Misick said.

The Chief Minister said that if the Turks and Caicos Islands is
interested in anything with Canada it will be free association.

He exaplained: "What free association means is that we remain two
separate countries with complete autonomy over our affairs, our own
government and own parliament and we would control our own
legislature, but we would not be a province of Canada. Canadians
would not automatically have rights to citizenship, they would not be
free of immigration control, they would not have rights to acquire
land, but there may be some benefits because Canada has one of the
highest standards of living in the world. It has a good education and
health facilities that we can tap into as well as trade and
investment, so all we are saying is let's talk about and see if
pursuing a relationship with Canada is in the interest of the TCI. If
we were to have a free association with Canada, for that to happen
there would have to be a referendum and the people of the TCI would
then have to decide if they want to remain with the UK or have an
association with Canada or even go independent, but the point is that
we should talk about these."

Misick said the position in the Progressive National Party is that
one day they would like to be independent but only when the people of
the Turks and Caicos Islands are ready. "We believe that the
Constitution should be modernised and that in its present sate it is
unworkable".

"We raise all our money yet still the British Government has all of
the say. They are too many people who do not know the involvement
that the British Government has in policy matters and day to day
matters and as a young progressive government we feel that if we are
paying our way we should have a greater degree of autonomy in terms
of governing ourselves and achieve the dreams and aspirations of our
people and the present status is antiquated and not in line with
modern constitutional arrangements."

The Chief Minister added that he is preparing this country for
independence.

"It may be four, five, six or ten years. It may not even be me, but
we intend to put the institutions in place so that whenever the
people of this country are ready they will have options," he
said. "But as Bob Marley said, we have to emancipate ourselves from
mental slavery and once we can do that we will be alright."

The good part about it, Misick said, is that the country has received
millions of dollars in free advertising since there has been talk
about Canada.

"Every week we are on Canadian television and CNN and so on and
tourists are coming here to see this island that Canadians say they
want. If we were to quantify the business that we got since we
started talking about Canada you are talking about $15million or
$20million and you cannot pay for that," he added.

The Turks and Caicos Islands have become an increasingly popular
tourist and investment destination for Canadians and Americans since
the islands are considered the last bastion of largely unspoiled and
underdeveloped Caribbean territory. Canada has shown varying degrees
of interest in the islands for almost 90 years. Former prime minister
Robert Borden first considered a tie with the islands while he was
sailing through the Caribbean in 1917. The idea of bringing the
islands into the Canadian federation gained widespread attention when
it was put forward by Canadian parliamentarian Max Saltsman in the
1970s. The proposal was revived in the 1980s after a delegation from
the islands came to Ottawa seeking political union. Bureaucrats in
Ottawa rejected that proposal, fearing Canada might look like a
colonizing power.[-End]






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