MEXIT to the Pontiac?

Posted 1.24.20

SHAWVILLE, QC | Although Quebec's Pontiac region is no royalist hot-bed, the plight, or flight, or fight, of the Duke & Duchess of Sussex has captured the attention of many of us. It has been a long time since anything much Royal was on the tongues of the Pontiac -- not, perhaps, not since the hoopla about creating a Duchy of Pontiac! And that was the early '90s.

When the Duke & Duchess announced their withdrawal from royal daily life, those tongues were stimulated when the couple revealed that they plan to headquarter their line or brand of royalty "in North America." Where, we all wondered? The probably five people across the Pontiac who still recall the Duchy of Pontiac campaign must be wondering if the Duke and the Duchess are indeed heading for the Duchy of Pontiac. My friend Tom Towle saw this possibility right away. Where else in North America would they go? Calgary? The MacKenzie King Estate? Maybe Victoria? Really…

Back in that day, and it lasted for several years, one of the Duchy of Pontiac projects was undertaken by the graduating class of Queen's University Law School, in Kingston. Their class research project examined just how legally possible would a Duchy be, especially here in Quebec. They found that as long as Quebec remains within the realm, its rules include the Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, having an unrestricted power to establish a duchy anywhere in her Commonwealth.

The law students advised, of course, that a bare declaration would not be best, better the usual process of negotiation and consultation -- but one about the how, not about the why, or if, of are-you-nuts! questions of imposing a new quasi-governmental entity upon our nominally independent nation. Certainly we would all negotiate, and certainly Quebec's questions would be paramount. We are reasonable people, here in the Pontiac.

In fact, back in that day, the then-current PQ government sent an emissary to Fort Coulonge to assess our state of rebellion, or whatever. Mr. Blais reported back in favour of the Duchy! (This, of course, to the chagrin of Aylmer sovereigntists who failed to see any humour or light-hearted promotional advantages to be brought to our depressed region by this new designation.)

Mr. Blais reported that the tourism benefits of such a high-profile project would finally benefit our out-of-work Pontiac. Nothing else was. Or has, since then.

Fast-forward to today, to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, fleeing the aggressive media of Great Britain and, I suppose, the idiots supporting BREXIT, they come to "North America" (and it can't be LA) -- but where? Pontiac!

We have to act fast. We have to grasp this opportunity while the door remains open. Waiting until the trout season, as is our habit, will not work. The MRC Pontiac has to rename itself. It has to become the MRC Le Duché du Pontiac! Voila!

The Duchy would then exist (in our very real imaginations) and our elegant Warden and noble MRC councillors, our regal mayors, will extend a most gracious invitation to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to visit the headless Duchy of Pontiac … and hear our petition. Madame Warden will surely deliver this appeal in the most eloquent and refined terms.

And there, folks, we have our Duchy of Pontiac! We hire more tourism coordinators for the MRC and begin negotiating construction permits with the world's great resorts and adventure tourism firms (not a single construction permit for the world's biggest nuclear dump just upstream at Chalk River). What could go wrong? What could we lose? What do we have left to lose?

OK, we might have to transfer the MRC's inter-municipal lots all to the Duke and Duchesse, as it seems every monarchy is supported by a big chunk of public real estate. Those lots, plus the Findlay Islands, will cost us little, when compared with the tsunami of world attention our once-poor region will gain.

Besides tourism, remember the original plan called for a Duchy-governed local banking system, creating the safest tax haven in the Western Hemisphere. The financial high-rises will start in Fort Coulonge, Pontiac's largest port.

Or ... have a better idea?


Copyright © 2020 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles 1.24.20