Canada needs more immigrants

Dear Editor:

There are 65 million refugees fleeing persecution and war while Canada’s population can sustain 215 million more people. I am arguing in favour of mass immigration.

Switzerland maintains a population of eight million people per 40,000 km^2. If British Columbia were to match these numbers, B.C. could bring in another 150 million new Canadians (rounding down due to its rugged, mountainous terrain.) Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba share similar geographic features with the United Kingdom. These three provinces combined are eight times larger than the U.K. Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan are nearly two million km^2 while the U.K. is 243 thousand km^2 and has a population of 70 million people.

In comparison, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan could increase their population by at least 65 million. Subtracting Canada’s protected forests (40%) and an increase of 215 million new Canadians, our population density would be 43 people per km2. This is still less then Japan, an island with no natural resources and a higher standard of living which boasts 336 people per km^2 or France with 120 people per km^2.

I found an excerpt from a Globe and Mail article that sums up a Canadian model of immigration perfectly.

“If just the narrow strip of land upon which most Canadians live were to develop the population density of the Netherlands or England, then the overall population would be more than 400 million. A quarter of that density would give Canada’s southern strip the population density of Spain or Romania, two big countries noted for their huge, unspoiled tracts of nature. The remaining 90 per cent of Canada would remain largely untouched — modern immigration takes place in already urbanized areas” (Saunders, 2018).

Another way to look at immigration is in terms of defence spending. With a population of 215 million and a GDP expenditure meeting NATO’s standardized target of 2%, Canada could increase its defence budget from $20 billion to more than $180 billion or nearly three times that of France’s defence expenditure (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2018).

In conclusion, I would say Canada needs more immigrants.

Raymond Theriault

Kelowna