A new political party wants to be on the ballots during the next federal election in Canada - the Sovereign State of Vancouver Island Party.
The SSVI announced its 'official' formation on Tuesday and the party intends to challenge the Canadian government, first against electoral boundaries.
"We feel that the people of Vancouver Island could significantly benefit as a separate and sovereign state," said the party's secretary, Richard Robin Creech.
SSVI had planned to announce its existence at a later date, said Creech, but a discussion at the June 10 Village of Cumberland council boiled their blood.
Conservative Party MPs John Duncan and James Lunney submitted a proposal to the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission to tweak the current proposed maps.
The Lunney and Duncan proposal would see their ridings redrawn in a way that would avoid carving the City of Courtenay down the middle.
If enacted the altered proposal would, however, divide the Village of Cumberland.
For the SSVI, it's the straw that broke the camel's back, as the party announced on Tuesday that it would challenge the federal government's "neglect, intransigence and oversight."
Their solution: separate from Canada.
"We strongly feel that Cumberland should be considered as an indivisible, whole entity and not split in half," Creech said.
The party's secretary promised that SSVI would have "a lot more to say" in the coming months and years as the organization matures.
Their opening salvo against Canadian federalism occurred before the party was ready, Creech admitted, but the Victoria-based SSVI expects to expand its reach across Vancouver Island.
Nanaimo-Cowichan MP Jean Crowder likened it to an expression of frustration.
Transportation challenges and efforts to improve the food security and self-sufficiency of Vancouver Island highlight the difference between islanders and mainlanders, she said.
"I don't see a real will to unilaterally set ourselves up as an independent island," she said.
Nanaimo Museum curator David Hill-Turner said the idea of separation is an old one.
He pointed to original debates at the province's joining of confederation in 1871.
"People were looking more to the South than to the East," he said.
© Copyright 2013