Small is beautiful

Poor Andrew Coyne – he believes that Canada needs to have a population of 100 million to be successful. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Andrew dreams of a Canada with 100 million people, arguing that it would be good for the country, its economy and help boost its international clout.

He’s completely wrong, of course. First of all, seeking international power, American style, is not part of the Canadian mentality. Canadians don’t want to tell the world what to do, as the Americans and Germans are wont to do.

Besides, smaller countries often have a lot more influence when they have backbone and are not afraid to defend what is theirs – just look at Switzerland or Denmark, which is giving the finger to the EU, while remaining a member-state, on pretty much every aspect of the EU rule book.

Innovation and ingenuity don’t require hundreds of millions of people either – again, let’s mention Switzerland as an example, with a population of eight million, like Québec. Small, but it continues to kick serious ass in everything it does. And it remains neutral, staying clear of mad visions of world domination.

Having too many people is bad for society, for the economy, for government services, for the environment… and the list goes on.

As I explained in this space before, immigration is not the answer to what ails Canada. Canadians, and several recent polls have confirmed this in no uncertain terms, don’t want even more people who, for the most part, aren’t compatible with the Canadian way of life (and since immigrants cost the taxpayers almost $30 billion a year, we have sufficient proof that immigration doesn’t benefit Canada at all, since we have been focusing on mostly incompatible individuals). It would therefore be better to address demographic and labour issues by opening up a gigantic space of free movement of the like-minded and compatible – among Canada, the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand – while limiting immigration from elsewhere to no more than 50,000 a year (maximum).

Even at its current population level, Canada is having a hard time keeping up with the pace. Infrastructure, education, health care, etc. are just some of the examples of things having gone seriously wrong. Now imagine if the population were to be tripled – the time you spend on a waiting list for vital surgery would no longer be measured in years, but decades. (The fact that Canadians often die and/or develop chronic problems while waiting for important medical care is due solely to the fact that we have too many elderly and frail immigrants clogging the public healthcare system, most of whom refuse to integrate and speak our language.)

Or take public transit: a city like Toronto would have to build dozens of new subway lines to accommodate the number of people Coyne and the Liberal government are dreaming of. In the last sixty years, Toronto has not been able to improve its public transit system at all, even today befitting a city of no more than one million people, rather than a world-class service for the six million or so that pass through and around the city today. Triple that number, and you’ll quickly see why such an increase in the population is not only impossible, but insane.

Fifty percent of (English) Canadians are classified as functionally illiterate – and I see proof of that every single day. Education is a big mess in Canada, from preschool to university. Do we really want to bring in even more people who can’t (and won’t, by choice) read and write English or French?

Canada would have to change drastically first in all its aspects before such a scenario of 100 million people could even be entertained. But Canada is impervious to change, it seems, still being run, more or less, as it has been for the last 150 years.

Demographic challenges: yes, we’re getting older, and soon there will be more retirees than working people. If the three levels of government didn’t steal more than 50 percent of everyone’s hard-earned income, people might be more inclined to have families and keep the country growing the natural way.

Labour, innovation, etc.: If we finally started educating our people, instead of messing up schools through political correctness and other nonsense, we’d have more intelligent and skilled people in Canada to dream up tomorrow’s must-have products and services.

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