Authored by Joe Guzzardi (emphasis ours),
Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser recently announced a bold immigration plan that has serious long-term deleterious consequences for the nation’s population growth and environmental degradation.
Fraser’s goal is, by 2025, to add 1.45 million permanent resident immigrants to address what he and other government officials claim is a critical labor shortage; allegedly 1 million Canadian jobs are unfilled. Fraser said: “Make no mistake. This is a massive increase in economic migration to Canada.” The Minister’s new plan projects a flood of new arrivals that will see 465,000 foreign nationals in 2023, rising to 500,000 in 2025. By comparison, 405,000 permanent residents were admitted last year.
Fraser’s immigration vision to admit a record-breaking number of immigrants is inspired by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s sentiments. Following his 2019 election wherein he campaigned on more immigration, he followed up with welcoming messages to refugees. Defending his massive immigration increase, Fraser repeated familiar refrains about an aging Canadian population and a low birth rate. Without immigration, Fraser foresees a Canada that won’t have the financial resources to fund schools, hospitals and other services. In short, Fraser used scare tactics to deceive Canada’s citizens.
Canada’s long-standing commitment to higher immigration levels has created an unprecedented population surge. In 2021, Canada’s population rose to 37 million people, up 5.2 percent from 2016, driven mostly by immigration, according to official government data. Downtowns and distant suburbs of large cities have experienced the largest growth rates.
Canada added 1.8 million people between 2016 and 2021, with nearly 80 percent of those new residents arriving from across the globe. Research from Statistics Canada (StatsCan) published in its Census 2021 release gives Canada the dubious distinction of being the fastest growing G7 country. Almost 90 percent of new immigrants settled in urban centers, Statscan said, edging up the proportion of Canadians living in large urban centers to 73.7 percent from 73.2 percent five years ago. During the five-year time period studied, Toronto’s population increased 16.1 percent, Montreal, 24.2 percent, and Vancouver, 7.4 percent. The report concluded that Canada continues to urbanize as large city centers benefit most from new arrivals to the country. But not all Canadians would use “benefit” as a descriptor for rapid, uncontrolled population growth.
Fraser’s plan is so ill-conceived that even the most basic and fundamental need of arriving immigrants – affordable housing – will be an insurmountable challenge. Canada is undergoing a severe housing crisis that has driven home prices out of the range for many buyers. Simply put, more people mean that more homes and more roads that lead to them must be built. And new home development creates urban sprawl.
Mike Moffatt, executive director of the Smart Prosperity Institute, outlined the crisis that exploding population has wrought for environmentalists. “What [land] isn’t being used for housing is either being used for nature, like the Greenbelt, or for farmlands, – and we’re already losing 175 acres a day in Ontario of farmland to development.”
Ontario environmentalists like Moffatt are fighting to save its glorious Greenbelt from ever-greater development and sprawl. Today, plans to run a highway through a portion of the belt are advancing.
Like most environmentalists in Ontario, Moffatt fears that at any time the government could decide to develop “little pieces” of the Greenbelt. Sooner or later, Moffatt fears, those little pieces could add up to great big chunks.
To be crystal-clear, the new immigrant total will far exceed 1.45 million. New immigrants will grow their existing families and petition certain family members. Princeton University scholars estimated, conservatively, that each migrant petitions three relatives living abroad. Within a generation, the 1.45 million new Canadians could swell to more than 3 million.
Trudeau and Fraser have concocted an immigration plan that will devastate Canada. Immigration isn’t a one-off. Arriving immigrants need nurturing, a compassionate exercise that often comes at the expense, at least partially, of the native-born population. The Canadian government and the corporate elite are all-in on more immigrants. But, if the population at large knew that the arriving 1.45 million immigrants would more than double during many of their lifetimes and degrade Canada’s natural beauty, it would be staunchly opposed.