EDITORIAL – An independent Cascadia will never become a reality

Cascadia flag. (Image: CascadiaNow, Facebook)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

A LOT OF PEOPLE had probably never heard of Cascadia before Coun. Donovan Cavers tweeted about it last week.

Most of the reaction to his tweet was about a remark he made about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but Cavers also commented that Cascadia was “looking pretty fit these days.”

For those of you wondering what he was talking about, Cascadia is a proposal for a new country that would include Washington state and parts of B.C., Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, and even pieces of Alaska and California.

The exact boundaries depend on who you’re talking to but basically the Pacific NorthWest would become its own country or, at least, an economic region.

Again, it depends who’s doing the talking. Some enthusiasts talk about secession and independence, others confine themselves to specific issues such as transportation, emergency preparedness, energy and the environment.

For example, you may have heard recently about the proposal for a high-speed rail service from Vancouver to Seattle and Portland.

It’s the concept of an independent nation that’s the most intriguing, especially with the current disagreements between B.C., Alberta and Ottawa. It’s also the most unsettling. There’s even a Cascadia national flag, with a Douglas fir tree on it.

Several years ago, a survey found that more than a third of British Columbians supported seriously looking at secession from Canada. Joining an independent Cascadia might be an option.

There’s been no serious momentum toward the concept, though. Most of the interest is from south of the border, but with the current high level of nationalism in the U.S. it’s less likely than ever that it will gain any serious momentum.

And British Columbians? In these parts, we like to argue about regional disparities, but we’re Canadians first and we’ll stay that way.

Talk about secession and joining with some of our American friends to form a new country, may be the stuff tweets are made of, but it will never go anywhere.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at


About Mel Rothenburger (6465 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – An independent Cascadia will never become a reality

  1. Richard Carlson // April 17, 2018 at 11:44 PM // Reply

    In this age of global trade, international media, culture (music and entertainment) and international travel, sovereignty doesn’t mean what it did centuries ago. No modern country is an island unto itself. On top of that, pollution and climate change do not recognize national boundaries. Still, I wouldn’t advocate that we join the U.S. or any other country. Sovereignty still means something, but it has it’s limits, and therefore limits the extent and costs that one would be willing to sacrifice to establish a new country. Many “revolutionaries” around the world would be surprised how little daily life changes under a newly established country. It is time to review what sovereignty actually means in today’s context.

  2. Cascadia – imagine chopping off access to both the bread-basket and the energy supply to ones own new country. The wrath of chopped-off midwest neighbours from ocean port access would create more than a dust storm . Foolish talk.

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