Population Controls Needed To Protect B.C. And Canada

This bulletin consists of comments on uncontrolled growth in B.C. as well as in other parts of Canada. It also contains a reprint of a September 24, 1997 Globe and Mail article entitled “Population Controls Needed To Protect B.C., Study Finds”.

Some people may think that because this article was written in 1997,it is no longer relevant. However, just as 2 + 2 equalled 4 in 1997 and still does today, the conclusions in the UBC report are very relevant.

Some people may think that the article is no longer news. However, since many people did not read the article about the UBC study at the time it was published, the article and the study it described are new to them.

Some people may think the study applies only to British Columbia, but it is easy to see that the conclusions are applicable to any area in Canada.

For those who have read it as well as for those to whom it is new, it is a reminder and an antidote to the propaganda presented by the immigration industry which has elevated Diversity and other nonsense to the level of supreme national goals. Biological diversity has paid a heavy price.

Let us put the UBC study into perspective. It is one of three prominent scientific looks at the immigration issue in Canada.

A. The first, an overall look at the whole country by the Science Council of Canada, was done in 1976. (See our WEEKLY BULLETIN of April 28, 2009: Who Shot Down The Science Council's Report #25 ?)

B. The second, a regional Canadian one carried out at UBC and the topic of the article in this bulletin, was done from 1993 to 1997.

C. The third, carefully put together by Ontario's Environment Commissioner, was done just a few years ago and repeated in a different report two years later. (See two of our WEEKLY BULLETINS on those reports.)

After much examination of facts, all concluded that immigration should be restricted.

Who should we trust : people like those who have devoted years of study to these topics or propagandists like Canada's immigration industry and its supporters who promote high immigration in order to profit from it?



The University of British Columbia study that is referred to had stated that in the mid-1990's, the Metro Vancouver/Fraser Valley area had an ecological footprint which was at least 25 times its land area. It also said that the Lower Fraser Basin was greatly dependent on “massive inputs of energy and materials” from outside.

In 2009, the area's population has become much larger and its dependence on outside resources is much greater.

What is disturbing is that politicians at all three levels of government continue to talk as if nothing is wrong and that present population growth can continue indefinitely–as long as it is done “smartly”. To put the matter diplomatically, many residents feel that “smartly” is not the right word to describe what many politicians and their supporters say. They believe that elected officials and their supporters have senselessly elevated trivialities such as “Density”, “Diversity” and “Multiculturalism to the level of supreme goals. They also believe that concepts such as “Biodiversity”, “Basic Logic” and “Attention to Nature's Warnings (particularly those that the UBC investigators found in the area's plants, animals and water supplies)” are clearly much more important.

Among our politicians who think nothing is wrong is B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell. He has imposed a carbon tax on the province and presented himself to Canada as the only truly green provincial leader. However, in the same breath, he has boasted that the B.C. population will grow as a result of the 2010 Olympics which he devoted much time to securing for his province. He is also responsible for the province's “Best Place On Earth” campaign which is an obvious attempt to attract more people to live in B.C. Mr. Campbell fails to recognize the obvious : that a larger population will negate any gains achieved by his tax. He also seems oblivious to the certainty that large numbers of people have turned many places in the world into the “Worst Places On Earth”

Many officials at the Metro Vancouver Regional District blindly go along with Campbell's actions. They are supposedly in charge of looking after the long-term interests of the area, but merely continue to sing “All We Really Need is Density” and other similar tunes. Rather than talk about real issues such as why Metro Vancouver politicians are raising no objections to immigration-driven population growth, Metro Vancouver officials ignore those issues. In the past few weeks, at meetings which considered the area's “Growth Strategy”, Metro officials made no effort to consider a “No Growth Strategy”. At that time, Metro Vancouver could have dealt with other significant matters such as the amount of agricultural land that its municipalities have removed from the B.C. Agricultural Land Reserve. (As many people know, that has happened because the current Campbell government weakened the Reserve's authority.) Instead, Metro Vancouver trivially proclaimed : “Community gardens and other forms of urban agriculture are recognized as important components of sustainable communities.”

Our media is not much better. Supposedly a third chamber of sober thought, it merely parrots what Metro and other levels of government say. It is clearly not performing its investigative role.

This issue is not just a Metro Vancouver issue. The findings of the mid-1990's UBC study clearly apply to other areas of Canada which have experienced high population growth.

And, they apply equally to areas of low population growth which currently seem to feel inadequate because of low immigration to their areas and because their populations are stable or experiencing minimal growth. In the view of many Canadians who have experienced the immigration tsunami, those areas should count their blessings.

In the past four years, Ontario's Environment Commissioner has repeated many of UBC's findings. He concluded that the population projections for Southern Ontario's Greater Golden Horseshoe area (which includes Toronto) exceed such basic resources as the “available local water supply and the natural limits of the rivers to receive and assimilate the treated sewage”. With an immigration intake like the current one, he projected that Ontario's population will increase from 12 million to 16.4 million (and probably to 18 million) by 2030. In his words, “The reality is that a planning regime based on the continuous expansion of population and the growth in consumption of resources in the south-central part of the province is ultimately not sustainable.”

As some Canadians know, the UBC study echoed the findings in 1976 of the Science Council of Canada which had warned that Canada's large area (40% of which is north of the sixtieth parallel) does not mean that it should have a virtually open-door immigration policy. It stated that Canada's “hostile climate” made it necessary for Canadians to consume more resources than people in many other countries. However, it emphasized that Ottawa had to dispel the notion that Canada had an infinite number of resources. It advised lowering (a) consumption, (b) population growth and (c) immigration. It advocated that Canada protect its very limited amount of agricultural land, particularly its Class 1 land, half of which is in lower latitude Southern Ontario.

In the Science Council's view, it was necessary to do this in order to maintain Canada's crucial role as one of a small number of food exporters in a world with an increasing population and a decreasing food-production capacity.

In the time since the Science Council issued its report, housing construction for immigration-generated population growth in Southern Ontario alone has resulted in the loss of well over 1 million acres of Class 1 farmland.

The issues considered by the UBC study, its Science Council precursor and its Ontario sequel are very important. Our governments at all 3 levels have to show that they are dealing with the conclusions of this research. If they don't, they are not performing the most basic of their responsibilities to the country.



By Robert Matas,
British Columbia Bureau
Globe and Mail,
September 24, 1997

Vancouver—An aggressive program of broad measures, including measures on population growth, is required if British Columbians want to pass on their way of life to the next generation, says a $2.4 million report commissioned by Ottawa.

After four years of intensive study, a group of 23 academics from 20 different departments at the University of British Columbia, backed by more than 40 graduate students, has concluded that the Fraser Basin has too many people, almost three times too many, to be sustainable. And if nothing changes, it's going to get much worse.

About 1.8 million people live in the basin's lowlands, from Hope, B.C. to the mouth of the Fraser River, which is next to the Vancouver suburb of Richmond. Demographers expect the population to double, if current trends continue, within 30 years.

However, the land cannot sustain such growth. Even now, the area depends on massive imports of energy, food and materials, the investigators said in the final report of the Fraser Basin Ecosystem Study, which is to be released today.

The study was commissioned by Ottawa as part of a multimillion dollar program when federal Conservative Leader Jean Charest was environment minister in the former Mulroney government.

The investigators were to identify what should be done to ensure the sustainability of the lower Fraser Basin. Economic activity within the entire basin accounts for 80 per cent of the gross provincial product and 10 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product.

The academics found compelling evidence of environmental degradation and a declining capacity to sustain human life, principal investigator Michael Healey of the Institute for Resources and Environment said in the final report. “Although the present situation is by no means critical,” he said, “a continuation of present trends (which is the basis of all our planning) is leading us directly away from environmental sustainability.”

The report presents 44 proposals to move the region toward sustainability. Underlining the recommendations is a call on federal, provincial and municipal governments to integrate the principles of sustainability as part of every program, from international trade to calculation of the gross national product.

Only a century ago, the lower Fraser Basin was a forest of giant trees with extensive swamps and wetlands along the river courses. Now, the valley is primarily farm and urban land—and even the farm land is gradually disappearing. As well, several native plants have disappeared and those that flourish in the region, in many instances, are from other areas.

Meanwhile, more than 90 per cent of fish from the Fraser studied by the group had at least one pathological abnormality. The cause of the abnormalities and their significance for the fish were not well understood, Prof. Healey said.

The fish were relatively healthy, in terms of species and abundance. But the high incidence of abnormalities “warns us that we cannot be complacent about the health of the aquatic system,” he added.

The stress of human activity on the land, water and biota are becoming ever more evident, the report says. Urban streams are threatened by toxic substances in storm runoff from streets. Intensive agriculture and improperly functioning septic systems are overloading valley soils with nutrients leading to contamination of the aquifer and rural streams.

Although many of the problems related to sustaining the environment, the economy and social systems are linked to population growth, no one wants to talk about population policies, Prof. Healey said in an interview yesterday.

“If anyone raises it, they are accused of racism,” he said. It's seen as a move to keep Asians out because most immigration to Canada is currently from Asia.

Nevertheless, the investigators found that population is central to sustainability and the government cannot pursue sustainability and at the same time ignore population.

The group recommended that Ottawa adopt a population policy for Canada “that is consistent with the principles of sustainability” and that it should guide formation of policies on immigration, child care, health care and family planning.

They also proposed that the provincial government adopt a population policy as one of the foundations of social policy for sustainable development.


For more information, see the following:

(1) “Fraser Basin Ecosystem Study—Final Report: Prospects for Sustainability”

(2) Science Council of Canada : Report #25

(3) Immigration Watch Canada.org's Weekly Bulletin : November 8, 2005: Ontario's Environment Commissioner Challenges The Province's Plans To Accommodate 4.4 To 6 Million New People (Mostly Immigrants) Over The Next 25 Years

(4) Immigration Watch Canada.org's Weekly Bulletin : January 14, 2008: Ontario's Environment Commissioner : Our Planning Processes (Related to Growth and Development) Are Taking Us Down The Wrong Road

(5) Immigration Watch Canada.org's Weekly Bulletin : April 28, 2009: Who Shot Down The Science Council's Report #25 ?