British Columbia Proposes Spending $3 Billion To Accomodate Population Growth (Translation: To Accomodate High Immigration Levels)

February 1, 2006: British Columbia Proposes Spending $3 Billion To Accomodate Population Growth (Translation: To Accomodate High Immigration Levels)

Press Release

In an attempt to end traffic gridlock, the government of British Columbia has just announced it will spend $3 Billion in the next few years to build more bridges and widen highways.

At the same time, it warns that if Vancouver and its satellite cities want to avoid becoming the Los Angeles of the North, people are going to have to reduce their use of the car.

This issue is not confined to B.C.

Areas in Southern Ontario and Quebec face even worse problems. Areas in other provinces are having to deal with the same issue.

From Immigration Watch Canada, here are some immigration-related questions the B.C. government as well as other governments have to consider:

(1) Who drives cars? This most basic question is never asked. If the number of people continues to grow in B.C., the demand for increased infrastructure and the enormous cost of that infrastructure (both transportation and social) will continue to grow. So will the number of cars.

Like the number of people in a family, the number of people in a country can be planned. This decision can be wise or unwise. The so-called “smart growth” approach pretends to be wise, but it merely accomodates the unwise decisions that have been made by Canada's federal government. In doing so, it is blatantly hypocritical and evades the issue. If a provincial government follows this approach, it is in the same category as the so-called “smart-growth” group. Why has our provincial government not taken a courageous step and looked at the goal of stabilizing the province's population?

(2) Although immigration is not the sole factor in population growth in the Greater Vancouver area, Statistics Canada has repeatedly shown that immigration is the major factor. It is directly or indirectly responsible for 70 to 80% of the population increase of around 800,000 over the past 15 years. As critics have repeatedly pointed out, the high immigration levels have never been justified. Making cuts to immigration will not solve all of the problem, but it will solve much of it. Why is the province not looking at this major factor?

(3) Immigration has been shown to produce virtually no net economic benefits. Why does the province continue to throw billions of dollars at the problems caused by it? Why is the province not pressuring Ottawa to re-think its high intake of immigrants?

(4) With the defeat of the Liberal government last week and with the prevailing of some sanity, the previous Immigration Minister's plan to increase immigration levels by 40% will probably die. This increase would have been a major de-stabilizing factor in the populations of Canada's three most populous provinces: Ontario, Quebec and B.C. But many people know that the governments of these provinces (the primary destinations of Canada's immigrants) were either silent or agreeable when this proposal was made. Why did these governments not object to the proposed increase and why did they not object to increases in the past 15 years?

(5) B.C.'s Minister of Transportation has recently stated that the Lower Mainland's population (Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley) will grow by the size of the population of Nova Scotia (close to 1 million) in the next 20 or so years. Other estimates are much higher. Since mass immigration began in 1990, the Lower Mainland's population has already grown by more than the size of the population of New Brunswick. The people in these two provinces as well as in other areas of Canada would view these increases and the increases projected in Southern Ontario and Quebec as incredible.

Clearly, there are two Canada's: those that take enormous numbers of immigrants and those that do not. There should also be two Canada's when it comes to comprehending the effects of immigration.

It is understandable that those parts of Canada that are unaffected by immigration should not really grasp the effects of high immigration levels. But it appears that the part of Canada that is grossly affected by immigration has no more grasp of the effects of immigration than the part that is unaffected. Why is this so?

To those who fear certain areas of Canada becoming the Los Angeles of the North, we again quote The U.S. Commission on Population and the American Future which reported to the U.S. Federal Government in 1972. This group consisted of the most distinguished U.S. economists:

“We have looked for, and have not found, any convincing argument for continued population growth. The health of our economy does not depend on it. The vitality of our business does not depend on it. The welfare of the average person does not depend on it.”

May we add: The environmental health of B.C.'s Lower Mainland, Southern Ontario, and the Greater Montreal area will be infinitely better off without population growth.