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Herbert Grubel: How much bigger should this country really get?

posted Jul 8, 2012, 5:06 PM by Milorad Borota   [ updated Jul 8, 2012, 5:07 PM ]
Herbert Grubel, National Post  Jun 7, 2012 – 2:49 PM ET

A recent series of articles in the Globe and Mail suggested Canada should double its annual intake of immigrants to 500,000, with the goal of raising the country’s population to 75 million in 50 years and 100 million by the end of the century. The justification for this policy is almost entirely ideological. The larger population is needed to give more weight to the authors’ efforts to convince the world to follow Canada’s model of a truly social-democratic, multicultural and eco-friendly society; yet there is no discussion of the high economic costs the policy would bring.

Doug Saunders, the Globe’s correspondent in England, listed the benefits of raising Canada’s population to 100 million, saying it would end the “greatest price of under-population, (which) is loneliness: We are often unable to talk intelligently to each other, not to mention the world, because we just don’t have enough people to support the institutions of dialogue and culture — whether they’re universities, magazines, movie industries, think tanks or publishing houses.… It would put an end to the low population density that plagues large sections of Toronto and Calgary.”