Welshpool — In a shrewd political move by the Government of New Brunswick, the island of Campobello, N.B., will officially be given to the United States in exchange for New Brunswick being excluded from the recently implemented softwood lumber tariffs. The lumber dispute has caused friction between the province and the U.S. since it was announced that New Brunswick would be subject to the new tax, despite being exempt in previous years.
Premier Brian Gallant confirmed the handover will take place on July 4, 2018. “This gives us a year to put all the plans in place and to relocate any island residents who might object to becoming part of the U.S.,” said Gallant to a Monday morning press conference. “I don’t see too many people objecting, though. America is a great country. It’s not like we’re giving the island to North Korea.”
Campobello Island is located at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy and shares a bridge with Lubec, Maine. Many island residents have argued that there should be yearlong ferry service to Canada to accommodate the island-dwellers.
Gallant believes the ferry option is simply not feasible. “We did conduct a feasibility study on the merits of conducting a feasibility study regarding yearlong ferry service or a bridge to Deer Island and, quite frankly, it just wasn’t feasible.”
Islanders are happy with the government decision to allow the Island to amalgamate with Maine. One need only ask some of the locals at the popular local restaurant Just for the Halibut to understand that frustration has been building for a while.
Eleanor Franklin, a fourth-generation islander, said, “We’ve been waiting far too long for this announcement. We have to travel through the U.S. to get to Canada. We shop in the U.S. We have family in the U.S. We are closer to America than Canada. It’s about time!”
The United States is eager to take possession of the picturesque island that was once the playground of the American elite. In fact, Maine administrators are promising to change the name of Campobello Island to Roosevelt Island, after the former American president and his family who would vacation there.
“It will be our gift to America and, quite frankly, it’s the right thing to do,” Gallant said. “The U.S. has a great connection to the island. In fact, I have heard that the former president Franklin D. Roosevelt would spend many summers there where he contracted a love of playing polo and, as a lover of horses, I can relate.”
Yearlong festivities will commence this summer in Lubec, Maine, leading up to the official handover at midnight on July 4, 2018, the same day that New Brunswick achieves its new softwood tax exemption.