Rule and Divide : Quebec and Newfoundland

As a part of the ongoing series Borderlines, the NYTimes explores the Canadian landscape.  A good historic overview of border dispute between Quebec and Newfoundland.

In 2001, the province was re-baptized, better to reflect its true geographical scope: Newfoundland and Labrador. That re-naming prompted the government of Québec to reiterate its position vis à vis its land border with Labrador: “No Québec government has ever formally recognized the course of the border between Québec and Newfoundland in the Labrador Peninsula, as defined by the judgment made by the judiciary committee of the Privy Council of London in 1927. For Québec, this border has never been definitively defined.”

Labrador  and Newfoundland were rediscovered and named by Portuguese and Italian sailors respectively, but first settled by the English — who claimed Newfoundland as England’s very first colony, in 1583 — and the French, who abandoned their settlements on the island to the English by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. The French did maintain fishing rights on the so-called French Shore  until ceding those in 1904.

Lot of these details are new to me.  For example, to prevent natural resource rich Newfoundland going Stalin’s way, the americans even had a semi-official plans for a Newfoundland-United States trade alliance.

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