Alternative History
Cape Breton
Republic of Cape Breton
Timeline: 1983: Doomsday

OTL equivalent: Cape Breton Island
Flag of Cape Breton
Flag of Cape Breton
Location of Cape Breton
A map of former Canada, in tan. Cape Breton is shown in orange.
Toqweʻgig (Mi'kmaq)
Capital Inverness
Largest city Sydney
Other cities Port Hawkesbury, Glace Bay, Sydney Mines
  others Gaelic, Mi'kmaq, French
President Benjamin O'Hara (2000-2006)
Prime Minister Alice Whitehorse (2002-2006)
Area 10,311 km²
Population Estimated 160,000 (2005) 
Established 1985
Annexation to Canada
  date 2006
Currency Cape Dollar
Time Zone UTC -4
  summer UTC -3

The Republic of Cape Breton was a former survivor state in North America, occupying several islands off the continent's Northeast coast - most notably Cape Breton Island. Other islands under the Republic's control included Arichat and Saint Paul, off the coast of Cape Breton; and it claimed the Iles de la Madeleine in Quebec (though few locals supported this claim) as well as the former French territory of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, where a large proportion of locals expressed interest in joining Cape Breton, but instead joined Canada. In 2006, the state rejoined Canada as the reformed province of Nova Scotia.



The country was founded in 1985, two years after Doomsday, by members of the Mi'kmaq nation. The closest Nuclear blast to the area was on mainland Nova Scotia, which affected the southwest of Cape Breton Island, but left much of the north relatively undamaged. The society was damaged nonetheless, as Bretonians found it difficult to adjust to life on an island which was forced to be self-sufficient. The Mi'kmaq reserves of the island managed to maintain some order, and for a while considered establishing a sovereign Mi'kmaq nation. While they debated this possibility, the town of Inverness was reorganized, and Mayor Rodney Jones met with the Mi'kmaq Reserves' Government, and discussed founding a country of the entire Island, rather than just the Indian Reserves.

This became the First Republic of Cape Breton Island, though at first it covered only the Indian Reserves, Inverness, and the newly-rebuilt city of Sydney. Gradually, more and more communities were re-organized and incorporated into the Republic. Interaction with the outside world became much more stable and frequent. The Island reopened trade with the mainland (especially the Canadian remainder provinces of Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories and parts of Quebec), and became well-known as a comparatively stable area in the period following Doomsday. Despite this success, many Cape Breton leaders felt that the long-term survival of the republic dependend on a closer relationship with Canada, even if it meant ending their independence.

Province of Canada

In 2006, the Canadian government funded a regeneration project in Nova Scotia, after which the area was welcomed back into Canada as a province. At this point, Cape Breton Island rejoined the province of Nova Scotia (to the dismay of several Cape Breton Nationalists); but, unlike before Doomsday, the Provincial Capital was not Halifax: it was moved to Sydney on Cape Breton Island, due to Sydney's larger and more developed nature after the destruction of Halifax, and to appease more moderate nationalists.

The Cape Breton Independence Party (CBIP) was founded shortly after, with the goal of seceding from Canada and re-forming a Second Republic of Cape Breton; and has widespread support on the island, though it is consistently beaten in elections by the Liberal Party (and occasionally by the Canada First Party). The CBIP runs only in Nova Scotia, similar to the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec before Doomsday.

Revival Movement

There is a significant movement to restore the Republic, as mentioned above, centred on the Cape Breton Independence Party (or CBIP). This Party is one of the most popular on the island, second only to the Liberal Party, though the Canada First Party also occasionally beats the CBIP in elections. This party runs only in Nova Scotia.

While the methods of the CBIP are purely peaceful and democratic, another (much smaller) group - the Free Cape Rangers, or FCR (named after the Republic's old Military) - are also active, and pursue violent means to try to gain independence for the island. Since formation in 2008, the FCR have instigated riots and planted explosives in major locations across Nova Scotia (and other parts of Canada), and have been described by the Canadian government as "Terrorists, whose attempts to 'Free Cape Breton' do nothing but harm the island and it's people".

As a side effect of the Saguenay War, a heavy crackdown has occurred against these people, with many being locked away.

International Relations

The Republic of Cape Breton rejoined Canada before either the Atlantic Defense Community or the League of Nations were founded; and was never an official member of any other international organizations. It had cordial relations with Canada; and friendly but limited relations with other nearby countries. Cape Breton claimed the Canadian Iles-de-la-Madeleine, as well as the disputed French/Canadian Saint-Pierre et Miquelon; though these claims were never reinforced, and the Cape Breton government never made any demands to either the French or Canadians regarding the islands.


Cape Breton operated a Parliamentary Republican system, with the President as Head of State, and the Prime Minister as Head of Government. No political parties existed, and all candidates in every election ran as independents. Government was mostly decentralized, with each individual settlement electing a Mayor and Town Council as both the Executive and Legislative branches of local government. A Parliament (Legislative) of 150 people was created, and each area elected a certain number of MPs relative to their population. There was also Senate (Executive) of 20 people, where each area elected only one Senator.


English was the official and most widespread language, though French, Canadian Gaelic and Mi'kmaq were all "recognized" by the state. Christianity was the principal religion, though small Jewish communities existed in some towns. Around 89% of the population were White, with a further 20% were Mi'kmaq (the tribal population boomed post-Doomsday). The remaining 1% were mostly Black, with a small number of Asian and Arab residents.

The top 5 ethnic origins in 2005 were reported as follows:

Scottish (27%)
Canadian (20%)
Mi'kmaq (20%)
English (15%)
Irish (12%)


Cape Breton's economy was, like most of the world's, a "survivor economy," mostly based around trying to sustain a population with limited resources. Due to the small population of the island, food was at first not a serious problem, though the majority of the food available was fish. Due to the island's industrial background, farming had declined; but following Doomsday, the government encouraged a revival. A great deal of power was generated by reopening the Island's coal mines.


The Republic operated a single unit, the Cape Rangers, which employed 10,000 soldiers. Though Cape Breton never entered into any conflicts, the Constitution provided that as many able-bodied citizens as were needed could be conscripted in times of War.

The Cape Rangers had stations in every major settlement on the island, and were also responsible for law enforcement in the country. They conducted regular drills and training missions; using Jeeps and Amphibious Vehicles. After the Republic joined Canada, the Cape Rangers were made into a unit of the Canadian Forces (CF).