We don’t have enough people. The Liberals should stand today for a strategic immigration policy of reaching 100 million by 2100.
If we become a nation of this size:
1. Our culture would be less strained to survive. Our arts, books, magazines, newspapers, movies and music, electronic media, with more than triple the producers and consumers would become self-sustaining. They might even become better. Our comedians could be funnier. Our elusive search for definition as Canadians could be realized.
2. Canadians could better take up our vast opportunities. Domestic markets that justify branch plant operations today could attract Canadian entrepreneurs from the start. We would be a serious stand-alone market. Truncation could be reversed. Foreign capital coming in would be more challenged by growing Canadian domestic capital. We could still welcome foreign investors, but we would give them more of a run for their money, and see our economy benefit.
3. On the world stage, our skills at exercising soft power by finding project partners and leading by example could be supplemented by some “hard” power. We could address and solve problems single handedly if we wanted. Our military could be comfortably triple its present size, as could our aid programmes.
Under Kaplan's plan, Canadian political leaders could, just like American leaders, decide, off the top of their heads, to invade or bomb countries they don't like. What's the fun of being a national leader if you don't get to shoot cruise missiles at countries that annoy you?
4. We Canadians believe we stand for something good in the world, that we have some values and some institutions worth promoting in the interests of international social harmony, peace and prosperity. At 100 million, the world audience might be more alert.
Before turning to some conditions of the strategic plank I recommend, two points need to be made. Firstly, Canada’s ecology is changing. We oppose global warming for good reasons and should continue to do so, but we can see it coming, and it brings certain advantages to Canada. We will have much more arable land and a much broader range of foods that we will be able to grow – foods that the world needs. This is already happening. More farmers are needed. Also Northern opportunity is becoming, and has become, viable. Northern waterways are now accessible eight months a year, a window that is increasing. We need cities up there, and people for them.
How's that working out in Siberia, anyway? Is Magnitogorsk a hot real estate market? A commenter responds:
So much for all our empty talk about sustainability and the environment.
Let's bring a bunch of people over from relatively low energy consumption countries and settle them in the frigid Great White North . . . with its need for central heating, long distances, and our addiction to energy consumpton - that ought to be great for that carbon footprint that the Liberals are so concerned about. I guess that greenhouse gases are only bad when its us Albertans who are generating them - everyone else is exempt - especially if they vote Liberal.
How exactly does this fit with the supposedly "green" side of the Liberal party's platform?
Secondly we should not ignore the growing world population and the growing number of refugees worldwide. It is not inconceivable that world organizations may begin telling us to increase what we now consider to be a generous immigration policy. Today’s limits are stingy for us. We could get ahead of this and gain world respect for doing so. ...
We would also probably need to direct some immigrants and commit them to stay somewhere for periods of as much as 10 years. We would do this to hold support for the policy in our “crowded” cities, to satisfy some provinces as to their proportionate place in Confederation and to prepare for the optimum population distribution for our long-term opportunities. The natural preference some immigrants might have to be, for example, near their existing ethnic community in Canada might need to be challenged. Are there potential immigrants willing to accept such conditions? The fact is that there are hundreds of millions of them. Permission to come to Canada could be the greatest event for their family in its history, as it was for most of us. Such immigrants would not be subjected to the isolation of many of our foreparents, where a young couple could be completely alone on the Prairies, miles from other humans for months at a time. With the Internet, Skype, radio and television, there would be a lot to compensate for accepting conditions.
He may envisage forcibly filling Saskatchewan or Inuvik with immigrants, but it would be immediately challenged to the Supreme Court, probably successfully. Thereafter, Toronto's borders and traffic jams, already the continent's worst, would continue to grow.
Oh Bob, dear Bob,
Do you really think it's possible to increase the amount of arable land by merely raising the temperature of the air? Ah, if only it were so simple. Vast tracts of the country are covered by the boreal forest, which for the most part sits on a thin layer of acidic soil, which in turn rests on bedrock. Canadian Shield that is, Bob. Good luck getting your plough to penetrate solid granite. Good luck getting wheat or corn to germinate in acidic soil. And even if by some miracle you solve those problems, what happens if climate change makes Canada's climate drier? Ask any Canadian farmer, in the middle of this heat wave, if he'd prefer drier conditions. Anyone for drought, Bob?
And I see that you also want to build big cities way up north? On permafrost? [They'd sink.] Bob, that's where I stopped reading. That's where I decided that your article is nothing more than a very late April Fools' joke.