By Casey Quackenbush
February 21, 2019

Online petitioners have proposed an unorthodox solution to the swelling national debt: sell Montana to Canada.

The petition on change.org, which as of Wednesday had almost 12,000 signatures, calls for a $1 trillion sale of the state. It suggests the profit could go toward chipping away at the national debt, which this month soared to a record $22 trillion.

“We have too much debt and Montana is useless,” the petition reads. “Just tell them it has beavers or something.”

In response to the petition, a wry editorial in the Great Falls Tribune pointed out that many of the signatories are from Montana.

The editorial also broaches important questions, like, “Why not Alaska? It’s not even touching the other states!”

It also raises the cultural significance of such a sale. “Would Montanans have to start saying “sorry” constantly or would there be allowances made for us as former Americans?”

But perhaps most importantly, the Tribune wanted to know what Canada would call the territory. “Would Montana still be named Montana or would we be Southern Alberta?”

Lawmakers in Montana even humorously took up the debate.

Rep. Jessica Karjala, a Billings Democrat, made a strong argument in favor of alignment with Canada. “What about those of us who would like more maple syrup, better tea and free health care?” she said, according to USA Today.

But ultimately, the state’s House Administration Committee shot down the idea of a bill formally rejecting the petition’s suggested sale, USA Today reports.

Rep. Forrest Mandeville, who had proposed the satirical resolution pushing back on the petition, said it was clear Montana will be sticking to this side of the border. “I don’t think anyone really believes there is a snowball’s chance in Florida that the U.S. will sell Montana to Canada,” he said.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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