Flag of the Dominion of Canada

Image from Wikimedia Commons

The northern portion of the continent of North America on Old Earth. Location of various polities in the pre-Expulsion period.

This area was first settled by humans who crossed over from Asia thousands of years BT. These people eventually split into a wide variety of ethnic groups. Beginning in the 1500s CE (400s BT), the European monarchies Britain and France established colonies in the region, with the whole area coming under British control in the mid-1700s CE (mid-200s BT). In 1867 CE (103 BT), the Dominion of Canada was founded by Britain, which over the next several decades expanded to include the other British colonies in the area. Independence from Britain was achieved very gradually over the next century.

By the late 1900s CE (early 1st century AT), Canada had a well developed economy with a high standard of living for the time. However, as time went on, existing cultural divides deepened, and new ones developed. During this entire period, the relative importance of existing nation-states was on the decline due to global integration of economic, transportation, and communication systems, resulting in a rising trend for new nations to form when such cultural differences became great enough. As a result, just a couple hundred years later, Canada had ceased to exist as a nation. The name 'Canada' instead gradually came to refer to the region as a whole, with all its various polities.

In chronological order, secessions from the Dominion of Canada were as follows:

Flag of Quebec

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Quebec: While the rest of Canada mostly spoke English, Quebec was mainly French-speaking, due to being descended from a French colony. As a result, this province consistently had a unique culture, and ended up holding several referenda on independence. One of these was finally successful in 2079 CE (110 AT). Quebec sought close ties with France in the European Federation, and eventually set up Nouveau Montreal, a habitat in Lunar orbit.

Flag of Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Newfoundland and Labrador: This province, though English speaking, also had a culture that was rather distinct from the rest of Canada. Aquaculture and fusion power enabled Newfoundland and Labrador to become economically self-sufficient, and resistance to taxes imposed by the federal government led to a successful referendum on independence in 2095 CE (126 AT).

Flag of Nunavut

Flag of Nunavut
Image from MacGregor

Nunavut: This area was originally split into a separate territory within Canada by the vote of the population, then made up overwhelmingly of the native Inuit. For this same reason, over a century later, Nunavut voted to become independent, which became official in 2107 CE (138 AT). This new nation had a great deal of land, but very few people. Local sentiment came to feel strongly that the path to security and prosperity lay in a greater population. As a result, millions of the poor from around the world were invited to immigrate to work at mining, indoor agriculture, and arcology construction for terms of several years, after which they would be granted ownership of a housing unit in one of the dozens of arcologies that were eventually built, or in one of the few traditional cities that existed. As a result, Nunavut came to be one of the most ethnically diverse nations on Earth, alongside the United States of America and the Antarctic Free States. Many Nunavut citizens, having adjusted themselves mentally and sometimes genetically to the extreme climate and indoor-oriented lifestyle, found the idea of living in a space habitat to not be all that difficult, and there was a high rate of emigration from Nunavut to various space settlements and polities. However, the nation never set up any themselves.

Flag of Prince Edward Island

Flag of Prince Edward Island
Image from MacGregor

Prince Edward Island: Many of the earliest turingrade AIs were used by businesses to replace humans at various jobs. The falling demand for human labor led to the Great Downturn in the 2120s CE (150s AT), which itself caused many businesses to fail. In most places, sophont AIs did not yet have equal rights, as many humans failed to discern the difference between them and old-style non-sentient chatbot algorithms. As a result, many were simply shut down and deleted when no longer 'useful', or else were put into an inactive state and stored indefinitely. There arose, however, a significant undercurrent of human protest to this treatment, led by the Artificial Sentience Protection Association (ASPA). ASPA had an especially high level of support in southeastern Canada, and ASPA set a goal of lobbying at least one province - Prince Edward Island, as it turned out - to give rights to AI who could pass certain tests of self-awareness. Then, ASPA's next goal was to make this province a 'safe haven' for these AI. The province would offer to any company with obsolete AI systems to accept the AI as immigrants via the Internet. The company would benefit as it could then boast of its ethics, and the province benefited too, as the AI could typically be retrained into some sort of public service, with a low cost of upkeep. Prince Edward Island thus came to have a relatively high proportion of AI citizens, more at home in virtual reality than in base reality, and as a result its culture grew into a haven for virchworlds of all sorts. Many embodied people around the world would spend nearly all their personal time in virchworlds housed in computronium in Prince Edward Island. As a result, when New Regionalism swept the world, the province's divergent culture quickly led to a successful vote for independence in 2154 CE (185 AT). The new nation proved to be in the forefront of the fight for AI rights as this spread throughout the world. Prince Edward Island eventually became entirely covered by one large city, with some buildings housing humans and others housing computer servers running virtual worlds visited by humans and overseen by AIs.

Flag of Cascadia

Cascadia Large
Image from Republic of Cascadia

Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories: A philosophy called techno-naturalism arose in the 2130s CE (160s AT). While in favor of using technology as long as it helped human life, it opposed uses it considered 'unnatural.' This included the creation and use of sentient AIs, major modifications to the human mind and body by means of genetic engineering, and automation resulting in a lack of need for human labor. The movement founded the Free Cascadia Party in 2162 CE (193 AT), another example of New Regionalism. The Party proposed holding referenda to secede and establish a new nation on techno-naturalist principles, and went on to win legislative seats in several provinces as well as in the House of Commons. The referenda were successful in Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, and Northwest Territories. These provinces and territories, together with the American states of Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, joined together to become the Free State of Cascadia on January 1, 2179 CE (210 AT). Each of these polities became one of Cascadia's 7 districts, although Northwest Territories was renamed Borealis.

Flag of the United States of America

55 Star flag
Image from Milan Suvajac via Wikimedia Commons; see development notes for more detail

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan: It had long been apparent that Canada's culture was relatively similar to that of the United States of America, at least compared to most other parts of Earth, but joining that polity was not seriously discussed until the 2180s CE (210s AT). By this time, Canada had been greatly reduced in size and separated into two disconnected pieces. Canada had difficulty recovering from the Great Downturn, and while it was able to return to a high standard of living, it became ever more saddled with debt, much of it owed to America. This was exacerbated by the Canadian government's Northern Settlement Initiative, which constructed costly non-arcology cities in the northern reaches of many provinces, but these cities mostly sat empty, as Nunavut, the Antarctic Free States, and various off-world polities offered better incentives to those willing to put up with harsh climates and indoor living. The Canadian and American federal governments came to an agreement that in return for forgiveness of debt, the remaining Canadian provinces would become states in the United States of America, and government owned land would transfer to the American government. The voters approved this proposal as well, resulting in America gaining the states of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. This process was completed in 2198 CE (229 AT). With this, Canada ceased to exist as a nation.

All of these nations joined the North American Community when that was formed in 2238 CE (269 AT), and were later part of the League of the Americas and Australasia. Some of the Canadian nations often fought against efforts to reverse climate change, as they benefited from the warmer temperatures, but they were overruled by the rest of the world.

These countries all suffered during the Technocalypse and later during the Great Expulsion. After the Expulsion, many former citizens gave up on their nations, instead focusing on creating new societies wherever they found themselves. Nonetheless, these nations continued to exist in reduced forms in habitats off-Earth. As time passed, people mostly gave up trying to maintain such old and outdated institutions, and one by one these nations were legally dissolved in the 2600s CE (600s and 700s AT).

Scattered throughout the Terragen Sphere are locations named after places in what was once Canada. These range from the Stanford Torus named New Toronto in Sol's asteroid belt, set up by America in the late Interplanetary Age and still in existence today, to the GaianTundral world Nunavut in the Middle Regions.

Today, during the Gaiacene, Canada is almost entirely covered in an ice sheet. The rest has been reverted to its natural state, with only the occasional tribe of the Children of GAIA settling there for the summer.

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