I couldn't put my finger on it until I read in today's Toronto Star Canada's population had surpassed the 35 million mark.
"Of course," I thought. "It all makes sense now."
The fastest growing nation in the G8 is now 35 million strong.
Statistics Canada’s population clock has ticked past the 35 million mark, a number that has less to do with “natural” causes and more to do with immigration.
Canada receives on average 7.5 immigrants per thousand people.
“This immigration rate is one of the highest in industrialized countries,” said Laurent Martel, of the demography division of Statistics Canada. “It’s twice what the U.S. receives every year.”
Martel said that while Canada was recently named the fastest growing nation in the G8, that growth rate would be in decline without the roughly 249,000 immigrants Canada receives each year.
“Natural increase just explains a third,” Martel said, pointing to Canada’s children per woman rate of 1.63, based on a 2010 report.That early morning euphoric feeling was due to the economic prosperity and attendant increases in my standard of living and quality of life mass immigration fueled population growth inherently brings with it.
Did you feel it too? Of course you did! We all did. How can you not? The benefits are so obvious on the streets of Toronto here in southern Ontario that it's impossible to miss.
Everybody, go out and spend your money now 'cause Canada's future is bright and her continued prosperity assured 'cause the population keeps growing thanks to the record breaking numbers of immigrants Canada receives year after year mostly from the developing world.
At least that's what we're supposed to think but let's keep our feet on the ground shall we? That kind of absurd thinking finds sanctuary in the minds of Canada's power seeking political parties and opportunistic ethnic-vote chasing politicians looking to either jump-start their political careers or hold onto their seats long enough to bank a scandalously generous pension at tax payer expense. It's either them or economists working for the nation's "big six" banks who don't want to admit their education has no place outside the university classroom. Or in the minds of the Toronto Star editorial staff who write near anti-white racist editorials like this one hoping that immigration fueled population growth, no matter where it comes from, will keep the Star afloat so that they can hold onto their jobs while many Canadians, including recent immigrants and university grads, struggle to hold onto theirs let alone find one in the first place. These people are too self-interested in maintaining the myths of mass immigration to take seriously.
Let's not be like the multicultists and check our brains at the door to the temple of the mass immigration cult. Let's employ our critical thinking skills.
The first question that comes to my mind is why is this a good thing? Why should we celebrate this population milestone as an accomplishment?
If the alleged benefits of mass immigration driven population growth were apparent then we'd be experiencing them in our daily lives but that's not so, at least not for most of us. Instead we have to be told about the benefits of mass immigration implying that they're there it's just that we're failing to see them.
Benefits such as it makes Canada a more innovative nation. This is an assumption and not a quantifiable statement. It draws a connection between innovation and immigration as if the two go hand in hand. To some degree there may be truth in that but it's not an argument for mass immigration the kind of which Canada has been entertaining for over the past two decades. The kind of innovative skills Canada seeks can be found with lesser and more selective immigration but that's not what we have. Besides, were it true Canada would be a world leader in innovative technology but that's simply not the case. We're still a nation of hewers of wood and drawers of water even in 2012 only now with a powerful financial lobby to finance it. Also, Canada has some of the best ranked schools in the world. The University of Toronto and McGill University rank in the top 20 of the world's best universities. We produce the innovative thinkers our economy needs. We don't need to import them.
We're also told it makes Canada a more productive nation but again this is an assumption and not the reality. Canada's productivity levels are not very impressive compared to other industrialized societies. Indeed mass immigration is more of a hindrance to productivity by chocking the roadways of Canada's major cities creating longer commute times for everyone at a loss of an estimated $6 billion in lost productivity. Or by the discouragement of investing in labour saving technology since immigrants provide a ready-made cheap alternative.
It's also alleged the large diaspora communities Canada hosts - the large overseas populations of other nations - helps build bridges between our respective countries opening up economic opportunities for Canadian business. Again this is a not a quantifiable statement as it's supported mostly by anecdotal evidence. There's little to support such a claim and in fact it's more likely the benefits mostly flow away from Canada to the home countries of its immigrant communities. We do know Canada's economy losses around $2 billion dollars a year to overseas remittances or according to this source $6.3 billion dollars flow out of the country to the economies of other nation's primarily to China, India, and the Philippines. Canada's immigrants are, in effect, helping to finance Canada's economic competitors and, in the case of China, economic colonizers.
Canada's immigrants do not necessarily open up foreign markets for Canadian goods. The more likely situation is that they make Canada into a market for foreign cultural goods. The best example of this are Bollywood movies. Canada's south Asian population and their Canadian born "desi culture" children have created a demand in Canada for Indian made movies where one didn't exist before. For Canadian filmmakers this makes an already difficult situation worse. Due to the dominating presence of American films on Canadian screens it's hard enough already to get screen time for Canadians films and have our stories told. And now they have to compete with an ever growing demand for Indian made movies in major urban Canadian markets. This doesn't help the Canadian film industry at all but it's great for India's.
It appears we are championing population growth for its own sake distracting us from considering alternatives like perusing a policy of population stabilization or the benefits of population contraction.
Population stabilization is a better choice for Canada at the moment over population growth. For one thing despite appearances Canada's geography and environment are hostile to massive human settlement. Covering half of Canada is the Canadian Shield. Essentially this is one giant rock covered by a thin layer of soil not making it very conducive for agriculture or large scale human settlement. Also, about a third of Canada is an arctic desert called tundra characterized by permafrost, short summers, long winters, strong winds, blizzards, and unstable soil.
It's by no coincidence the majority of Canadians live within 200 km of the U.S. border and are able to drive to the U.S. in about two hours. These Canadians also happen to live on the most arable land in the country. Only 5% of the nation is considered arable land. This is land most suitable for farming found largely in the areas around Canada's two largest cities, Toronto and Vancouver. These cities also happen to be the top two magnets for immigrants. With immigration fueled population growth comes the further destruction of Canada's small supply of arable through the development of banal urban sprawl communities built to accommodate the demands of succeeding cohorts of "new Canadians." This is cause for alarm as it threatens Canada's food security making us more dependent on foreign sources to feed the population. As the population grows more of this arable land will be consumed leaving less and less of it available for productive, agricultural purposes making the nation even more dependent on foreign sources for its food supply. Unfettered population growth sounds great if your in the business of selling newspapers but not so much if you actually care about the environment.
What further population growth means then is the explosion in populations in places like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and now Calgary turning these place into de facto city states. Though it might sound exciting to some to live in a city with a population in excess of six million the reality may not be so inviting. In the city where I live, Toronto, the grid lock traffic is omnipresent and can drive one crazy. It adds stress to already stressed out lives. It means fewer opportunities to escape the city and find solace in a pastoral environment. It means to cope with the high cost of living in a high density urban center. Tokyo and New York are exciting places to visit but to live there is something else. Besides, can we guarantee that Toronto will not become a Sao Paulo of the north?
For Canadians who live in these cities they can look forward to less disposable income in their pockets as taxes and other costs are increased to deal with the demands of mass-immigration driven population growth. This will come especially hard since real incomes have been stagnant for North American workers for the past thirty years. Canada's immigration driven population growth hasn't made the the nation more competitive but it sure has made our cities more crowded and costly to live in.
Population contraction might not be a bad thing either. One of the primary selling points of mass immigration, and still is, is that we need immigrants to replace an aging workforce as it retires. This argument might have been believable when it was first made but in 2012 things are different. For one thing many of the jobs these retirees held have been and are being outsourced overseas negating the need to import workers to replace them. This is evidenced by the decline in Ontario's manufacturing sector leading immigrants to skip Ontario to settle elsewhere in the country. Also the existence of labour saving technology removes the need to replace a worker once he or she retires.
Furthermore, we learned CP Rail intends to reduce its workforce by 23% cutting 4,500 jobs from its 19,500 member workforce by 2016. The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has proposed cutting staff to battle an $85-million budget shortfall that arose under the incompetent directorship of multicult token appointee, Chris Spence who needs to either resign or be fired. And wannabee Ontario premiere, Tim Hudak, wants government job cuts. These follow a trend in the Canadian labour market where jobs are being lost in the face of immigrant driven population growth. If I am to make a guess it seems to me there will be either enough or more workers for every available job in the future. If not, then just increase the retirement age since Canadians are living longer anyway. Other than that just stop the opening or Tim Hortons franchises and watch the job growth numbers plummet.
Canada's labour market has become less characterized by labour intensive industries like manufacturing and moved to what is called a knowledge based economy. A prime difference between a knowledge based economy and a manufacturing based economy is that the former requires less workers. However, if the economy was composed of both a knowledge sector and a manufacturing sector then an argument could be made for mass-immigration driven population growth but that's not the reality. Canada's economy has divorced itself from it's labour intensive manufacturing sector and sent it packing abroad, mostly to the countries where we pick our immigrants from negating the need to import these immigrants in the first place.
With that said there might be some merit to allowing population decreases over a period of time and then seek to stabilize it. If the population keeps growing but the jobs are disappearing or are less plentiful then you're sowing the seeds of social unrest. If recent university grads are having a difficult time finding gainful employment that suits their interests and skills sets what chance does the latest planeload of "new Canadians" have?
I don't see why we should always be chasing population growth. And if so then why at the rate Canada does? What makes Canada so unique in the world that it needs to insist on perusing the highest immigrant intake numbers among all countries? Places like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Italy, Spain, France, and in fact much of Europe have birth rates below replacement levels yet do not see the need to increase their immigrant intake quotas.
But the chief question is has the standard of living and the quality of life for Canadians improved with the growth of the population? Are Canadians better off now with a population of 35 million than they were with a population of 25 million? I doubt it. Perhaps in some areas they are but overall I doubt it very much. In fact one can successfully argue we are worse off now than we were with a smaller population. That being the case then why express support for an immigration system that displays no overall benefit to Canadians?