Sunday, June 13, 2010
Ottawa Citizen has an interesting article today here on a proposition to increase immigration to Canada by about 20 to 30% per year, in order to bring its population to 100 million by 2080 in order to give it a more important geostrategic importance than it has now, as well as to fill out the country as a whole as even though the population is almost all close to the US border it's still fairly spread out. The area from Winnipeg to southern Ontario for example is a lot of nothing:
I don't agree with a lot of the reasons put forth for a 100 million strong population (one of the reasons given is possible war in the 21st century but conflicts only continue to decrease and there is no reason for this trend to stop either), but the idea of a more ambitious Canada is something I am definitely for. A vast increase in population of this type though should not be an end in and of itself; it should be the result of a more impressive national character. For example one could say that having 100 million would make it easier to build high-speed rail lines throughout the country, but then again if an impressive period of sustained growth through the 1990s and early 2000s don't produce a single high-speed line even in such concentrated areas as Edmonton to Calgary or Toronto to Windsor, then more people will not solve the problem. At the same time, the Canadian Space Agency has had more or less the same budget it had at its inception in 1989 (plus a tiny bit for inflation), while population has increased by 5 million (about 20%) since then.
Of course, that doesn't mean that long-term planning such as creating larger centres of population between major cities isn't a good idea (and offering incentives to new immigrants to settle there) isn't important, so there is some room for planning centred on population alone. Without Red Deer in between Calgary and Edmonton for example it would be more difficult to make an argument for a high-speed line between the two cities.