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In a Le Devoir op-ed article “Century Initiative project Should be Rejected” , Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay exposed the implausibility of the endless growth argument upon which Canada’s current immigration policy is based. This policy is designed to triple our population by adding 60 million immigrants by 2100.

 

Why the Century Initiative project should be rejected

By Rodrigue Tremblay, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Montreal and former Quebec Minister of Industry and Trade. https://www.ledevoir.com/opinion/idees/722130/toronto-pourquoi-il-faut-rejeter-le-projet-century-initiative

(for non French speakers, just go to the link and copy and paste the content into Google Translate)

 

Tremblay makes 3 main points.

The first deals with the bigger-is-better claim that the size of an economy dictates the well-being of its citizens. In fact, the size of the GDP doesn’t indicate economic health. “It is also established that the standards of living in the world are in no way linked to the demographic size of the countries. The reality is rather the opposite.” says the author.

This is shown by the United Nations Human Development Index, which is a measure of living standards and quality of life around the world. In 2019, for example, the three countries at the top of the list for standard of living and quality of life were all countries with less than 10 million inhabitants: Norway (5.3 million), Ireland (5.0 million) and Switzerland (8.5 million).

The size of an economy doesn’t determine international influence; positive leadership does. And the aim to force Canadians into $1.5 million, 400 sq. ft. condos so we can project power by sailing aircraft carrier strike groups around the world is sheer lunacy.

The second objective pursued by the coalition is to allow the Canadian government to play a more important role on the international scene. There are many countries with large populations in the world, but they are often relatively poor countries, and their demographic weight hardly guarantees them an enviable place on the international scene. A relatively small country like Switzerland has more importance in the world than many countries with large populations.

Tremblay’s third point deals with the aging misconceptions. Mass immigration does not stop or reverse the aging of the population. Aging is inevitable as well as being highly beneficial to the achievement of a sustainable society.

Studies show, however, that immigration as such hardly changes the age structure of a population, mainly because the majority of immigrants arrive in the country as adults and because of the family reunification program, which makes sure to bring in immigrants who are already elderly (spouses, parents, grandparents, etc.).

Tremblay’s conclusion? “We can predict that the implementation of such a project, in addition to profoundly upsetting Canada in its demographic composition, would cause many other consequences: congestion, pollution, overload of public services in health, education and infrastructure transport, ghettoization, linguistic conflicts, criminality, insecurity, etc.

Not to mention the greatly expanding the current $35 billion annual immigrant tax deficit (Grubel/Grady).

Professor Tremblay is a commercial economist, not a biophysical economist, so we’d add the following list of mass** immigrations negative impacts to his observations:

  • CO2 emissions increase
  • Inequality increase
  • Affordable housing decline
  • Debt increase
  • Loss of farmland
  • Transition to renewable energy becomes much more difficult to virtually impossible
  • Ever greater structural deficits from continuous injection of cheap labour and reduction of job quality

As right as mass immigration is for pouring money into the pockets of the growth Ponzi scheme authors, it is exactly wrong for a nation trying to achieve sustainability of an egalitarian society. Everything from an environmental, biophysical economics and social perspective is wrong with pouring huge and growing numbers of people over our best farmland and boosting CO2 emissions in the name of commercial economic growth.

Prof. Tremblay clearly notes that GDP should not be used as a principal metric in determining national policy and in this he stands far above the class of commercial economists who see nothing else.

It is a sad testament on the state of Canada’s national conversation when a well thought-out article in a newspaper on a mainstream issue is such an outlier that it becomes newsworthy, but that is where we are today. In any case, let us be thankful for small miracles.

 How did this article make it into the mainstream media? The answer lies in corporate ownership and governance. Le Devoir is one of the few remaining truly independent media sources left in Canada. It is run out of a trust, and is not owned by investment bankers with an endless growth axe to grind.

Check the Harvard media ownership site - https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/futureofmedia/canadian-media-ownership

Interestingly, “devoir” is French for “duty” something all of the other media corporations have thrown under the bus.


** mass immigration is designed to expand the economy whereas balanced immigration sees the number of people entering Canada equals the number people leaving.


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