Part I. Immigration and Scarcity: Canada is a battleground for natural resources

Part I. Immigration and Scarcity: Canada is a battleground for natural resources

This release is the first of two parts. The unifying theme of both installments is that Canada is under attack by those who want its natural resources. Part 1 addresses the failure of Canadian leadership which is becoming increasingly myopic and corrupt. Part 2 focuses on the Canadian delusion that the resources of Canada are almost infinite. It also describes some of the serious implications of such fantasies.

Scarcity and the Looting of Canada – The Failure of Leadership

Canada is a battleground in an undeclared war for access to increasingly scarce non-renewable natural resources. International corporations are the battle tanks; the movement of people across national boundaries, the infantry; and, rapidly devaluing money, the ammunition.

Canada is a relatively wealthy country. The prosperity of its people depends primarily on having a favourable ratio of natural resources per capita. If Canada allows its population to grow substantially through mass immigration, the Canadian standard of living will decline substantially. In other words, on an overcrowded Earth, Canadians have a relatively large supply of finite natural resources that are being consumed at an exponential growth rate. Most economists label the increase in consumption of natural resources as economic growth, when it is, in fact, the acceleration of the rate of depletion.

Corporations and individuals pick the planet clean abetted by globalization, instant communications, and the dogmas of economic growth and free trade. They have Canada squarely in their sights.

Canadians are complacent about the assault on their country. Corporations working hand in glove with all levels of Canadian government have sedated them with messages delivered repeatedly by tightly controlled media to make Canadians compliant. Canadians are told that they are a nation of immigrants despite the fact that this is contrary to the legal definition of the word “immigrant”. The hidden message is that since all Canadians are immigrants, they have no right to stop new immigrants from coming to Canada,  however great the immigrant numbers might be.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, Canadians focused on developing their sense of a national culture. That nascent urge was swamped by the doctrine of multiculturalism with the implication that all cultures are of equal value and therefore a dominant culture should not exclude another culture or prevent it from swelling its numbers by mass immigration.

As puppets of their masters in business and government, the media, especially the CBC, are biased in favour of more people and more immigration. They support most refugee claimants even when the claims are obviously contrived. Messages like the following are hammered into the brains of the general public :  Canada has almost infinite natural resources. Since Canadians have so much, they must share it with others. Population growth brings cultural enrichment and prosperity. Last, Canada has an obligation to open its borders to people from all over the globe in a celebration of globalization and human blending.

The common denominator for addressing all these expectations is the holy grail of economic growth. It has become the ultimate measure of the public good for government and business. Overlooked is the fact that this land called Canada faces limits.

Relative to its population, Canada takes in more immigrants than any other developed country. Since 1991, about a quarter of a million immigrants have been admitted to Canada annually. Pressures are building to admit an even larger number. Meanwhile, the temporary workers program has been expanded to permit the influx of another approximately 200,000 per year. Some return, but many stay.  In addition, there are some who come to Canada on temporary visas and remain, managing to avoid removal by various means for years. So it is reasonable to conclude that Canada is admitting well in excess of 450,000 people per year.

In 1900, the population of Canada was 5,310,000. It has multiplied by about seven times since then and was an estimated 35,051,409 in 2012. In the same period of time, the population of the Earth multiplied 4.6 times, from about 1.5 billion to over 7 billion. In other words, the rate of population growth in Canada has been higher than that for the world. What is the sustainable level of population for Canada? Projecting current rates of population growth would result in a population in Canada of 200 million by 2113 and over a billion by 2213. Canada cannot sustain those numbers and even the current level of population may be unsustainable given its dependence on the draw-down of non-renewable natural resources. Canadian leaders should be setting realistic targets now before overpopulation becomes a serious problem.

In the short-term, a growing population is good for business. Real estate speculators and builders salivate over the increase in demand coming from mass immigration. Canadian business wants cheap labour to suppress wages. A larger population creates more demand for the retail and service sectors of the economy. Banks favour strong real estate markets to support their mortgage lending. Governments want a larger population to spread the ever-growing debt burden which they have run up by providing services that they could not afford. To retain investment capital, corporate leaders need to show that profits are increasing from year to year.

Intuitively, we humans know that we cannot grow our numbers and demands exponentially on a finite planet. But we have built our economies, including such matters as expectations for economic growth, bearable debt loads, and pension plans, on the false assumption that we can continue to grow exponentially. The scarcity of some critical finite natural resources suggests that limits to growth are close at hand.

Why do Canadian leaders choose to ignore or even to deny these limits? They are obsessed with the short-term and discount the future. Politicians focus on the next election and bribe voters with public funds. Corporations strive to increase earnings from year-to-year and let the future take care of itself. Lavish incentives have so-called leaders worshipping at the altar of opportunism while blinding them to the long-term consequences of their myopia.

Nowhere is this more evident than with the reckless build-up of debt since the early 1970s. With the post-war economic boom between 1945 and 1970, politicians became used to rapidly growing public revenues. They designed extravagant public programs as if this extraordinary growth rate would continue indefinitely. It did not. To meet their obligations and augment nominal growth, governments devalued their currencies. They primed consumption by loosening restrictions on lending, making it easier for individuals and governments to incur debt. Now the burden of debt has become unbearable for many countries and individuals.

Financial manipulation led to the debacle of 2008 from which most developed countries have not recovered. Since 2008, unprecedented injections of debt have created the illusion of feeble growth while only adding to the future burden.  Future well-being is thereby sacrificed to present excesses.

In Canada and worldwide, this is the bitter harvest of the failure of leaders to acknowledge growing evidence of resource scarcity and other limits to growth.  Under these circumstances, Canada should not be pumping up its population by massive immigration.