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Old 05-19-2012, 05:49 AM
 
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The G/M features this article yesterday What would a Canada of 100 million feel like? More comfortable, better served, better defended - The Globe and Mail

I personally like the idea and agree that "Canada is a victim of underpopulation". Canada is probably the most under-valued country in the world and its potential can be immense under the right policy.

While many might argue Canada is too cold and too much land is inhabitable, the author pointed out that if the currently inhabited narrow strip along the border has the same density as the UK in general, Canada's population won't be 34 million, or 100 million, but rather 400 million, which is more than the United States. Do we consider the UK an extremely congested country? No.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want a crowded Canada fighting for resources and space like the most part of Asia, but reasonably higher density brings prosperity, new ideas and opportunities. The fact is, many parts of livable Canada is too sparse. Take Southern Ontario for example. It has a population of 12M and a land of 14000km. If Southern Ontario has the same density of Germany, a fantastic country, it should have 32M people. If it had the same density as the UK, the population would be 36M, or the population of California.

Imagine a Canada with 100M population, Toronto would have 7-8 million as London/NYC does, and the entire GTA would have close to 18 million. Don't be scared by the numbers as Canadians are not used to. The huge land and rich natural resources can handle it perfect well. Second tier cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa current with about 1m would probably have the same size of Toronto now and can compete with peers like Chicago and Houston. Montreal will have the same size of Los Angeles/Berlin.

Don't worry about our wonderful farmland and vineyard. There will still be plenty of them for sure. When you take the train in rural UK and Germany, did you ever think: wow, it is so crowded and there is no land and nature? Not at all.

I am sure many will be frowning and saying something like: thank you very much. We don't need that many people, and I just like Canada as it is now. Well, we can think that way - no change. But the truth is, change for the better is good. Canada with 3 times the population will create immense opportunity yet not sacrificing much of the life quality we enjoy now (think Germany again).

Canada with 100M people will be able to create a lot more Canadian culture offerings that is distinct from the rest of the world and especially the US;
Canada with 100M people will provide room for small business to thrive, who have limited room due to the lack of customers;
Canada with 100M people will provide significantly more opportunities in terms of jobs for our young, the most skilled don't need to head south for the future;
Canada with 100M people will be blessed with the taxbase to build far more superior infrastructure which is lacking now - Toronto looks congested in subways and highways not because there are too many people, but due to the insufficient infrastructure.
Canada with 100M people will no longer rely on the US market to sell most of our products because we have a huge domestic market to sell to.
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:05 AM
 
Location: CFL
903 posts, read 2,244,859 times
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"Canada with 100M people will be able to create a lot more Canadian culture offerings that is distinct from the rest of the world and especially the US;"
I guess this could be true if you waved a magic wand to get to 100m. but if you used immigration to get there you'd likely dilute the uniquely Canadian culture
"Canada with 100M people will provide room for small business to thrive, who have limited room due to the lack of customers;"
You'd also get more businesses competing. Big box chains would now move into areas currently served by local small businesses and possibly drive them out of business.
"Canada with 100M people will provide significantly more opportunities in terms of jobs for our young, the most skilled don't need to head south for the future;
Canada with 100M people will be blessed with the taxbase to build far more superior infrastructure which is lacking now - Toronto looks congested in subways and highways not because there are too many people, but due to the insufficient infrastructure. "
You'd also have more people competing for jobs and consuming the infrastructure


In general I think a Canada that continues to grow is a good thing. But to get to the density being discussed a few things would have to happen.
-Existing farmland would likely be consumed by urban sprawl as cities grow.
-Existing farms and new ones (to feed all the new people) would need to take over undevelopped lands.
-small villages would become towns
-towns would become cities
-Cities would get increased density. More and taller building, etc.

I like that today I can drive from almost anywhere in Ontario a very short distance and be out in the wilderness.
I like the small villages the way they are.
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:57 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,286,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc3565 View Post
"Canada with 100M people will be able to create a lot more Canadian culture offerings that is distinct from the rest of the world and especially the US;"
I guess this could be true if you waved a magic wand to get to 100m. but if you used immigration to get there you'd likely dilute the uniquely Canadian culture
"Canada with 100M people will provide room for small business to thrive, who have limited room due to the lack of customers;"
You'd also get more businesses competing. Big box chains would now move into areas currently served by local small businesses and possibly drive them out of business.
"Canada with 100M people will provide significantly more opportunities in terms of jobs for our young, the most skilled don't need to head south for the future;
Canada with 100M people will be blessed with the taxbase to build far more superior infrastructure which is lacking now - Toronto looks congested in subways and highways not because there are too many people, but due to the insufficient infrastructure. "
You'd also have more people competing for jobs and consuming the infrastructure


In general I think a Canada that continues to grow is a good thing. But to get to the density being discussed a few things would have to happen.
-Existing farmland would likely be consumed by urban sprawl as cities grow.
-Existing farms and new ones (to feed all the new people) would need to take over undevelopped lands.
-small villages would become towns
-towns would become cities
-Cities would get increased density. More and taller building, etc.

I like that today I can drive from almost anywhere in Ontario a very short distance and be out in the wilderness.
I like the small villages the way they are.
what you said is true, however I need to comment that:

1) more people actually will give small local business more room to grow. If you look at small towns, lifestyle is dominated by a major commercial road/plaza where people go and shop at big chain stores. With lower population, the cost in spread over fewer customers and therefore larger corporation are the only ones that can afford it. Small business will have a hard time. With a huge population, small unique stores can because as only as a very small percentage of people shop there, they can breakeven.

2) yes, more people will share the infrastructure and compete for jobs, but overall everyone should be better off, just because the sheer size and opportunity. For example, is it easier to find a job in Toronto or Barrie? Bigger cities have the scale and the convenience for jobs to congregate. One still gets more chances to be employed in New York or London and in suburban Mississippi, although competition is lower in the latter too.

As to infrastructure, I think it is obvious that all public infrastructure will be easier to establish with larger population because it is spread over more people/ratepayers. Fixed cost per person is lower, idling time is lower.

Yes, you may like the village as they are today. But with 100M people, there will be new villages just like them (which are empty land now). As I said, Germany and UK don't lack charm and quaint small villages, do they?

100M seems huge, but really for Canada's habitable land and usable resources, it is far from too much. The people will benefit from it more than what they give up.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Canada
4,699 posts, read 8,504,060 times
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I think it depends on how we get there. we have a sub-replacement birth rate and I very much disagree with addressing this through the lazy solution of immigration. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-immigrant and I think bringing in new blood has been good for us, but what we should be doing is making it possible for young people to have children before the age of thirty five. Right now, the structure of universities, social pressures, the capitalist lifestyle, the cost of daycare and the absurd expectations for weddings makes it basically impossible for people who might want to have kids earlier to do so. We should be making an effort to make Canada more friendly to young parents, not strongly discouraging people to have children at every turn. We should be taking the harder road of finding ways to accomodate childbirth into our modern, knowledge economy way of life, making such things easier for Canadians. Quebec took some steps in this direction by subsidizing daycare and the birth rate jumped from the countries lowest to one of its highest. Children are a blessing and we should help people who'd want them, but don't think they could have them and be middle class unless they put it off to the last minute biologically speaking, to do so. Just replacing Canadians with foreigners forever to replenish the labour pool for corporations is a ridiculous solution. We can let them in, but as is we're depressing the demand for our own children to businesses, and thus we lose the economic incentive for the government to help us be a replacement birth rate society like France and England.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,692 posts, read 6,548,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
The G/M features this article yesterday What would a Canada of 100 million feel like? More comfortable, better served, better defended - The Globe and Mail

I personally like the idea and agree that "Canada is a victim of underpopulation". Canada is probably the most under-valued country in the world and its potential can be immense under the right policy.

While many might argue Canada is too cold and too much land is inhabitable, the author pointed out that if the currently inhabited narrow strip along the border has the same density as the UK in general, Canada's population won't be 34 million, or 100 million, but rather 400 million, which is more than the United States. Do we consider the UK an extremely congested country? No.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want a crowded Canada fighting for resources and space like the most part of Asia, but reasonably higher density brings prosperity, new ideas and opportunities. The fact is, many parts of livable Canada is too sparse. Take Southern Ontario for example. It has a population of 12M and a land of 14000km. If Southern Ontario has the same density of Germany, a fantastic country, it should have 32M people. If it had the same density as the UK, the population would be 36M, or the population of California.

Imagine a Canada with 100M population, Toronto would have 7-8 million as London/NYC does, and the entire GTA would have close to 18 million. Don't be scared by the numbers as Canadians are not used to. The huge land and rich natural resources can handle it perfect well. Second tier cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa current with about 1m would probably have the same size of Toronto now and can compete with peers like Chicago and Houston. Montreal will have the same size of Los Angeles/Berlin.

Don't worry about our wonderful farmland and vineyard. There will still be plenty of them for sure. When you take the train in rural UK and Germany, did you ever think: wow, it is so crowded and there is no land and nature? Not at all.

I am sure many will be frowning and saying something like: thank you very much. We don't need that many people, and I just like Canada as it is now. Well, we can think that way - no change. But the truth is, change for the better is good. Canada with 3 times the population will create immense opportunity yet not sacrificing much of the life quality we enjoy now (think Germany again).

Canada with 100M people will be able to create a lot more Canadian culture offerings that is distinct from the rest of the world and especially the US;
Canada with 100M people will provide room for small business to thrive, who have limited room due to the lack of customers;
Canada with 100M people will provide significantly more opportunities in terms of jobs for our young, the most skilled don't need to head south for the future;
Canada with 100M people will be blessed with the taxbase to build far more superior infrastructure which is lacking now - Toronto looks congested in subways and highways not because there are too many people, but due to the insufficient infrastructure.
Canada with 100M people will no longer rely on the US market to sell most of our products because we have a huge domestic market to sell to.
The view from trains doesn't tell the whole story. Yes, I certainly do consider Germany (since I've lived there) to be too crowded. Yes, there is nature - and countless other people enjoying it with you. I missed not being able to take a walk to think without running into groups of people mushroom picking. I missed dirt roads and gravel roads that lead nowhere. I missed seeing no people on walks.

In fact, many Germans are attracted to Canada for exactly those reasons - they know Germany is crowded by Canadian standards.

I don't think Canada is over-populated by any means but yep, to rural people the countries you mentioned are too crowded.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:18 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,286,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
The view from trains doesn't tell the whole story. Yes, I certainly do consider Germany (since I've lived there) to be too crowded. Yes, there is nature - and countless other people enjoying it with you. I missed not being able to take a walk to think without running into groups of people mushroom picking. I missed dirt roads and gravel roads that lead nowhere. I missed seeing no people on walks.

In fact, many Germans are attracted to Canada for exactly those reasons - they know Germany is crowded by Canadian standards.

I don't think Canada is over-populated by any means but yep, to rural people the countries you mentioned are too crowded.
the thing is, almost everyone single country in the world is crowded by "Canadian standards", isn't it? When population grows, people adapt to it and "Canadian standards" evolve. The process from 34m to 100m takes 88 years according to the author, by then those Canadians are vastly different from current Canadians. People are not exactly static. 30 years ago, very few Torontonians live in highrise condos, look at now.

It is completely fine to like rural areas more than cities. When Canada has 100M people, I am 100% sure there is still a LOT of rural areas with dirt and gavel roads where you can walk for miles without meeting a single soul. Move away from any major metro area and I am certain you still can enjoy the countryside, just like you do in Germany or the Netherlands, maybe not the same area as you go to now, but they will be still plenty.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Turku, Finland
317 posts, read 331,330 times
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Canada with 100M people will still have a few extremely large cities within close proximity to the US border. Even with a domestic market 3x larger than its present size, Canada will continue to depend on that market 3x its imaginary size.
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:12 PM
 
18,331 posts, read 10,407,207 times
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I'm for letting nature take it's course and not try to accelerate the process through immigration. We can already see the results of that in other countries with the nefarious practice of assimilating immigrants of one particular religion who breed like rabbits with the avowed ambition to rule the planet ; no thanks.

I'll suffer my present relaxed lifestyle and slower economic swings with a stable culture rather than being faced with the very visible alternative of other countries.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:09 PM
 
2,292 posts, read 3,940,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Imagine a Canada with 100M population, Toronto would have 7-8 million as London/NYC does, and the entire GTA would have close to 18 million. Don't be scared by the numbers as Canadians are not used to. The huge land and rich natural resources can handle it perfect well. Second tier cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa current with about 1m would probably have the same size of Toronto now and can compete with peers like Chicago and Houston. Montreal will have the same size of Los Angeles/Berlin.
You're assuming something about the way Canada would get to 100M and I'm not sure you can really predict that. A 100M Canada could mean that every city triples its cize (what you seem to suggest), but it can also mean a 30M GTA and a bunch of places that are barely bigger than they are now.

That said, I'm not convinced by the case made by the article (and you). I don't buy the small business argument in particular. 3x more people means 3x more small businesses. If your point is that the very best small businesses will be able to take advantage of a 100M market, well the very best small businesses can already expand to the US and take advantage of a 330M market.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:42 PM
 
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500 years ago there were around 450 million people in the world. The world is overpopulated today, especially China and India.. I guess America is overpopulated too. Canada's population is fine, the problem is the birth rate.
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