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As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, there’s talk of a new vote on Scottish Independence. But what if an independent Scotland were to join Canada?

Talk of Scotland as 11th province linked by shared weather

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Thursday, April 20, 2017, 10:22 PM - It sounds like wishful thinking at best, but at least one person is making a serious case for Scotland to join Canada -- and weatherwise, the Scots may be more used to winter darkness than Canadians are.

With the U.K. in the process of leaving from the European Union, there's renewed talk of a second referendum on Scottish independence. While Scottish nationalists are hoping to leave the U.K. in a bid to rejoin the European Union, Canadian author Ken McGoogan suggests another option: Joining Canada instead as its 11th province.

McGoogan made the argument in a column in the Globe and Mail earlier this month, and the notion has been making the rounds in international media since then.

"It makes sense because we’re already so closely linked,” McGoogan told CTV this week. "We have more of Scotland in us, more of a concentration than any other country."

By that, McGoogan is referring to the fact some 4.7 million Canadians claim Scottish heritage, almost as many as Scotland's current population of 5.3 million. Scottish immigration to Canada is a very old tradition, and Canada's first two prime ministers -- John A. MacDonald and Alexander Mackenzie -- were born there.

Were the country to join Canada, it would be its third largest province by population, and McGoogan argues it would have more clout within Canada than it presently does in the U.K.

In terms of climate, there are a few things about Canada -- namely, the cold and winter darkness -- that Scotland may in fact know better than we do.

Edinburgh, in fact, lies further north than any Canadian provincial capital -- it's a couple of degrees further north than Edmonton -- which means those mid-winter days would be noticeably shorter than most Canadians would be used to.

On December 22, the shortest day of the year, the sun would only rise in Aberdeen in the north of Scotland at 8:46 a.m., and set at 3:26 p.m. giving the Scots a miserably short six hours and 40 minutes of sunlight, worse than most of Canada south of the three territories. Conversely, at mid-summer, the sun rises as early as 4:24 a.m., setting at 10:08 p.m., giving almost 18 hours of solid sunlight.

Weatherwise, Edinburgh boasts relatively cool average summer daytime highs, with July's average high at around 19.1oC. That's noticeably cooler than most Canadian cities, though St. John's, Nfld., at an average 20.7oC in July, comes close. 

On the other hand, if Scotland joined Canada, Edinburgh would boast the mildest winter of any other part of the country except Vancouver Island and B.C.'s lower mainland, with average lows in the low single digits for the winter months.

As for how soggy the place is, Edinburgh actually receives less precipitation annually than most of Canada's major cities, at around 700 mm. The city also is less snowy than most Canadian towns, though areas in the Highlands get a few more flakes.

SOURCES: Globe and Mail | CTV News

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