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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 March 2006, 16:41 GMT
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A cottage on St Pierre
The islanders are frustrated about the territory they feel they lost

The French islands of St Pierre and Miquelon just off the Canadian coast are launching a bold bid for a large section of oil-rich undersea territory.

For Crossing Continents, Bill Law explored the little islands spoiling for a big fight.

We asked for your comments on our programme and the issues that it raised. A selection of your comments are below. This debate is now closed.


The UK never yielded Newfoundland to Canada, it was the local government of Joey Smallwood who ran a number of referenda in a bid to join the confederation of Canada.

A move that many Newfoundland intellectuals regret, especially when they compare their fate with that of Iceland.

Yielding Saint-Pierre and Miquelon would be anti-constitutional (France is one and indivisible).

Anyway, according to documents at the Public Records Office at Kew Gardens, France did indeed try to dispose of the islands by either trading or selling them to the USA, Japan or Germany.

Every time, it was the British Foreign Office who, quoting old treaties, put a stop to these projects by invoking a right of return to the British Crown.
Marc Cormier, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

Why not just join Canada? The islands are essentially part of it anyway and France clearly doesn't care.
John, US

Is it perhaps not time for France to yield St Pierre and Miquelon to Canada in the same way the UK yielded NewFoundland to Canada after the Second World War. The sustainability of St Pierre and Miquelon clearly has no long-term future.
Simon, UK

Why join a country that does not have the same language or culture as yours? This is one of the most basic rights of all peoples.
Marc Cormier, St Pierre and Miquelon

These people have been ripped off. By all means they should co-operate with the Canadians on the management of fish stocks and overlapping seabed reserves, but they should have their boundaries drawn according to what the International Court of Justice deems to be international law, not according to French Foreign Ministry wanting to be popular with Canada.

If the French don't look after them, they should choose independence, or such other nationality as will stick up for their rights against the Canadians.
Quentin Schneider, Australia

The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.



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Little islands, big fight
06 Mar 06 |  Crossing Continents

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