Growth Affects Quality of Life

Growth affects quality of life
The Toronto Star
Jul. 14, 2006. 08:31 AM


Daniel Stoffman's article (“When Immigration Goes Awry” or “Sao Paulo's Of The North”) on immigration explodes the many myths surrounding this issue. As a migrant, I know that I not only provide a service by coming to Canada, but also require many more in return. I do not solve any labour problems; I help cause them.

It is my house that paves over rural Canada. It is my car that pollutes the air and jams the highways. It is my health needs that cause long waits for treatment. It is my need for employment in the cities that causes the ever-increasing commute times.

Studies show that importing people does not improve the average wealth of the population, although it adds to the income of the wealthy. This has been true whenever a sizeable number of people relocate, such as the sugar cane workers in Fiji, the slave trade and even the convict colonies.

Burgeoning populations always reduce the quality of life. The pressure on the natural environment becomes unsupportable; water quality decreases, air pollution increases, access to cultural centres is reduced, government costs increase, social and material infrastructure cracks, cities become unmanageable, and our personal space is reduced to the thickness of the clothes we wear.

It is naive to say we need more people so they can support the aging population. Who will support the newcomers? Another tidal wave of immigrants? And so on ad infinitum.

If higher populations bring prosperity and a superior life- style, then why is there not a single example to be found on this planet? There is no nation, anywhere, that needs more people. Indeed we all need far fewer.

Peter Weygang, Bobcaygeon, Ont.