CanadaPopulation: 100 million
Manycontemporary scholars have cited that despite the efforts ofrevolutionaries such as Laurier in the last century, Canada hasremained a victim of under population. A larger population would meanthat there are enough people given the dispersed geography of Canadato form the political, artistic and creative mass, cultural andeducational institutions, the technological, adequate tax base,political and administrative pool and consumer market required tohave a leading role in the global arena (Roderic, 2003). If Canada ifable to create a large population at least 100 million, it will be ina position to decide its own culture, maintain its standard of livingof living against the coming challenges and have an adequate revenueand talent to address the country’s biggest problems.
EconomicBenefits and Challenges of a Large Population
Alarger population would turn Canada major cities and urban centersinto places of intense and world leading culture (Studin, n.d). Thishas two main advantages first it would significantly improve thequality of life in cities since they would have a decisive mass oftax payers, sufficient to support high quality museums, learninginstitutions, public transit and property development. This is veryimportant especially in lo population areas such as Calgary andToronto, where it has been a great impediment to development(Friesen, 2012). In the same vein it would convert less-large citiessuch as Ottawa, Edmonton and Regina into very important centers ofcommerce, art, and culture.
Under-populationnot only affects the rate at which Canadian economy is growing buthas also hampered efforts meant to facilitate intelligent discussionsamong people. This is because Canada does not have enough people tosupport the institutions of culture and dialogue, which encompassmovie industries, universities, publishing houses and magazines(Friesen, 2012).When compared to European countries such asBritain and France that have tightly packed audience, Canada hasnumerous, widely dispersed audiences that have distinct regionalcultures. A large population will be a great boost to the film,movie, publishing industries that have struggled to take root due tolack of adequate market and sales over the last few decades (Roderic,2003).
Afterthe Second World War it has been crystal clear that the influence oflarger states flows from their institutions and think tanks (Studin,n.d). Extensive studies and research and all forms of politicaldevelopment emanate from such spheres as the Urban Institute (a groupcomposed of 450 full time thinkers), the Hoover Institution (320),the Brookings Institutions (250) and the Centre for Strategic andInternational Studies with 220 thinkers (Roderic, 2003). Theconference board of Canada is the only institution in Canada which isbig enough to match the influence of the bodies mentioned above. Many of the think tank institutions such as the Fraser Institute andthe C.D Howe Institute are understaffed and do not possess enoughtalent and resource to steer the nations in the right direction(Friesen, 2012).
Theshortage of skilled labor force is the main factor that threatensCanada in the 21stcentury (Studin,n.d). For example, the dearth of skilled workforce in Alberta oilsands and in the Saskatchewan mines has been a lingering problem thathas called for national attention. In the same light, the lowpopulation density has caused lack of people power in secondarycities such as Ontario and in places such as Atlantic Canada, wherewithin the next two decades a third of the population will be over 65years (Friesen, 2012). The Conference Board of Canada estimates thatin the next one decade, there will be at least one million jobs inCanada going wanting. This will significantly drag the country’sability and potential to compete and innovate in the coming days(Friesen, 2012).
Ona negative note a large population can have tremendous impacts on theGDP per capita and the standard of living of Canadians. Standard ofliving denotes the quality of life, which is the ability of people ina country to afford basic things such as housing and luxurious andnon-luxurious commodities (Friesen, 2012). Population growth, higherrate than economic growth and development would have immense effectsof the levels of wealth and the comfortability. The key benefit of alarge population is the fact that it has the potential tosignificantly augment the wealth of a country, by providing necessarypower, and market (Roderic, 2003). Large families with high incomespend on different products and travelling meaning that the tax baseand states capital increases substantially. But in the same way therecan be shortage of resources and properties, which may necessitateincrease in salaries. For example while a country with a large likeChina has a real GDP that is almost a thousand times above that ofSingapore, the fact that China has a huge population means that thecost of living is higher and per capita income is less than that ofSingapore. If the population in Canada was to increase tremendouslythe cost of living especially in cities will substantially go up andthe standard of living may significantly go down. These will be newchallenges to Canadians and may spark conflicts, increase crime andamplify social decay (Roderic, 2003).
Alarge population would also be very pivotal in the protection ofnatural environment in Canada. Studies at large populated cities andplaces such as France more specifically California in United Stateshas shown that the conservation and protection of environment andnatural resources is done better than other empty zones such as theAsian Steppe that have generated such ecological calamities as theAral Sea Disaster without being given the necessary attention(Friesen, 2012). It is important to note that threats posed byclimate change and global warming, especially the rising sea levelswill call for a large scale infrastructure projects that will only bepragmatic if there will be a large tax base. It is evident thatprogressive measures to curb aspects such as global warming are foundin states with the more dense populations (Roderic, 2003).
Itis evident that Canada cannot be in a position to comfortably buildinstitutions of nationhood and the instruments of world participationusing markets, skills and tax returns of a 35 million population,that is predominantly composed of about 20 million English and 8million francophones dotted sparsely over a region encircling fivedifferent time zones, numerous cultural and geographic regions, adozen political jurisdictions and the second biggest land mass on theplanet (Friesen, 2012). Under population has been a key issue in manypolitical discourse in areas such as Quebec, but the English speakingCanadian almost always fails to make out the banana peel that hasdogged the country’s efforts to increase population (Friesen,2012).
IrvinStudin preposition of increasing the population is Canada so as tohave global influence is not only difficult to implement but may alsotake Canada into a path that few would be prepared to go. First, eventhough majority of people in Canada believe that immigration is animportant aspect in the society and economy, the impacts of openingthe border to foreigners may change the social and economic fabric ofCanada, to the extent that many Canadian may not be ready and willingto accept (Roderic,2003).Even though the aging population is not a positive thing especiallyin the 21st century where innovation and talent are the main fuel fordevelopment, the ills that accompany influx of immigrant and increasein population may spark massive resistance from policy makers.
Nonetheless,due to the fact that the benefits outweigh the ills, in the sensethat a budding young population and working immigrants can sustainsocial programs, health, education and economy, many Canadians wouldhave no problem with population growth.
Canadahas benefited significantly from infusion of diverse cultures andindividuals from many backgrounds, from skills, innovation,creativity that people bring to Canada and most importantly thesynergies that emanated when we stir attitudes and ideas from diverseplaces (Studin,n.d).This withstanding the fact that United States of America isstruggling with immigration and the evils that has dogged the societyengineered by many migrant groups, the Canadian government and policymakers may be loath to open our borders to everyone so as to beat the100 million mark and achieve global dominance and influence (Roderic,2003).The fact that it will take many years for the natural population toincrease by that much means that immigration is the only availableoption. Canada does not seem ready to face the immigration conundrumto chase dreams that may never be realized in the short run.
Beaujot,Roderic (2003) "Effect of Immigration on the CanadianPopulation: Replacement Migration? " PSCDiscussion Papers Series: Vol. 17: ( 3) 1.
Friesen,J. (2012). Why Canada needs a flood of immigrants. TheGlobe and Mail:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/why-canada-needs-a-flood-of-immigrants/article4105032/?page=all
Studin,I. (2013). Canada – Population 100 Million. GlobalBrief Magazine.