Last Friday, in an article entitled "Dot-Quebec?", The Globe & Mail reported that a Québécois party member started a petition to convince ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to create a separate domain name extension for Quebec.
Province and city level extensions were once commonly used to identify the location of a registration. For instance, if you had an Ontario provincially registered business your domain extension was - name.on.ca, or if you were a sole proprietor in Toronto, it would be - name.toronto.on.ca. This format was later removed and dot-ca was opened for registration by anyone/anything "Canadian", proof of Canadian citizenship not required. If Quebec were allowed its own extension (.qc), without the dot-ca, how would the rest of Canada respond? Most likely, on principle alone, other provinces would want their own extensions as well. And that could very well lead to the end of Canada's internet nationalism - our proud-to-be-Canadian, dot-ca. No doubt, for the benefit of a province's revenue, having its own extension may be advantageous.
Many smaller countries have released their own extension in an effort to profit and form a clearer identity. And most have succeeded. Even the previously held dot-tv used to be owned by one of the Polynesian island nations, Tuvalu. Nothing against the beautiful province of Quebec, but I hope this form of separation doesn't become a reality, as the all-Canadian dot-ca could start to loose the global presence it's steadily acquiring. Read Canada's One Million Domain Names.