Three hundred years ago, France ceded its claims to Newfoundland to Great Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. I believe this event is as significant an event in our history as the First World War, the Commission Government or, in 1949, joining the Canadian Confederation.
Yet I have not noted here any official attempt to recognize this historical event. I understand, however, the federal government is sponsoring a months-long observation of another development of the treaty: the foundation of the Fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island.
The ceding of France's imperial ambitions in Newfoundland in 1713 to Great Britain formed the founding block of what we have become today.
It is interesting to note that, apparently, the British demanded that the French give up Newfoundland but were content to let the French retain Cape Breton.
It would take more than two centuries to convince the French to release any remaining fishing rights near Newfoundland.
Perhaps it is not too late for some observation of this crucial historical event to take place this tourist season in Placentia.