Canada is the fastest growing country in the G8, and soon we’ll become the first country where people can take their time to safely fuck humanity back together.
According to a Statistics Canada national census we have the fastest growing population of any G8 country. And two thirds of our population growth of 5.4 per cent over the past five years is through immigration.
Canada, with a population of just under 33 million, is currently admitting over 250,000 immigrants every year, mainly under something called the “Federal Skilled Worker Program” which selects candidates from around the world based on their education, training, and work experience.
Among the G-8 countries, only the United States, at 5.0 percent, approached Canada’s growth. According to an Associated Press story, France and Italy grew 3.1 percent and Britain 1.9 percent, while growth for Japan and Germany was near zero and Russia’s population actually shrank 2.4 percent.
It takes takes a birthrate of 2.1 children per woman to keep a positive population growth. Other than America no Western country has anywhere near this number. Canada may be growing faster than any other G8 nation but our birthrate is aboot average at 1.5. With a dwindling national birthrate and baby boomers nearing the end of their life spans towards 2030, Canada will soon be completely dependent on immigration to maintain population and economic growth.
Here’s the thing… humans all used to be one colour. We were all black back in the beginning. The first humans left Africa, travelled through the Middle East to Southern India and down into Australia. Then the second tribe of humans left Africa and turned North in India into Kazakhstan and Afghanistan where our colour started to fade. Then we went out through China and across into North and South America. Finally Europe opened and we populated the final continent available to us. By then we were different colours and we used those colours to define “race” because we were ignorant and mostly stupid. There is One Race. There are many cultures. We come from the same tribe.
But now, thanks to the jet engine, the phone, the Internet, armed conflicts and the ability to move somewhere better, more people are moving further than ever before in our history. We are coming back together. We are learning and adapting to each others cultures. We are marrying each other, we are having babies together. And Canada — the safest G8 country to live in, with one of the highest standards of living in the world — is becoming the main meeting place for the world. And even with all of that growth, crime — which has never been a major problem — is going down in this country and we have aboot as low an unemployment level as you can have in a democracy. In fact every problem or difficulty given by the European Union for not increasing immigration or even allowing immigrants to become citizens has been disproven here in Canada.
There are problems, of course. Nearly a third of the population of Canada now lives within an hour of Toronto, fully half of the population of the Province of Quebec lives within an hour of Montreal, and half of the population of British Columbia lives near Vancouver. But what happens when this incredible assortment of religions and cultures move to the suburbs of this massive country? Their kids grow up with a Canadian accent eating Beavertails, thumbing their Blackberry and watching hockey.
So far the only serious backlash is coming from Quebec. Which makes sense when you consider how long Quebecers have fought to be recognized as being a Nation within a Nation. Nationalists are Absolutists. When you’re defining a Nation the first thing you do is define the People of that Nation. And Quebec, they’ve decided, is made up of people who distrust religion, speak French and are, with few exceptions, white.
The Irony, of course, is all of this immigration and having sex is possible because of Canada’s lack of an entrenched history. The only historical battle fields in Canada anyone really cares aboot are in Quebec (never tell a Quebecer they were conquered). There are no Orange Parades anymore, and when there were they were small and insignificant. There are no massive statues in our harbour, there are no Custers, we barely know the Official Lyrics to our national anthem, and no one can quote any of our Fathers Of Confederation. I can remember a high school history class where, collectively, we had to come up with twelve things that made us Canadian. Hockey had two spots and “hot dogs” was close to the top.
Why should you, a non-Canadian, care? Because by the year 2030 your country will have had a negative population growth rate for ten years and our country will have the smartest grandchildren of peoples from all over the world trying to figure out new ways of exploiting your country’s fading wealth.
The more industrialized a country becomes, the lower the birth rate falls. It was common in Quebec for families to have 12 or more children. The same for Ireland, England, Scotland and Russia. If you wanted to retire you needed enough kids to take care of you. If you wanted the farm to expand, you needed sons. But Europe and Russia and Canada and Australia have become so rich, so industrialized, that fewer kids makes sense. And government “fixes”, like offering a national day care plan or tax incentives, have been proven to do very little to encourage Western women to have more babies. So everyone in your country is getting older, and there are no kids being born and no immigrants to fill the jobs and universities.
There are two things every old person around the world have in common 1) there will soon be more of them than at any time in Human History, and; 2) soon after that they’ll all be dead. And right now there are more aging Baby Aged Boomers in Europe, North America and Australia than any other demographic. And all of the other demographics are shrinking. Except in Canada and America. We’re the only ones getting younger.
Canadians, of every colour, will be growing up together, watching hockey together, playing hockey together and — most importantly — having sexual relations with each other while watching hockey, drinking maple syrup and listening to Leonard Cohen. We will have a shared history through Canada. It’s an inevitability. We, as a species, started as one colour and now we’re going back to being one colour. Canada’s just going there first.
So…the immigration thing, when can I come?
If there’s no double entendre, and I know there is, then the immigration procedures are in the links of the story. If there is a double entendre, and I know there is, pretty much as soon as you see land. Which would be Newfoundland, which is as wonderful a place to come as there is in the world.
excellent article … I recently wrote about the Canadian quilt in action with much the same sentiment, though I love the way you end this, talking about humanity going back to one colour. I’m happy to be on that train with you … meet you in the dining car for a drink? *G*
Thanks very much Elron. I’m more of a ‘flask at the back of the bus’ person, but I’m always willing to share.
If I bring sandwiches … can I share the flask?
Oh yes… yes please. My flask is always available for a share. I think you left some sandwiches in the fridge.
Well dagnammitt … sounds like we got ourselves a picnic!
Sorry to bust in your tea party, but i just wanted to say great post. You have made the issues about immigration and immigrant workers, population and integration of races so lucid. Why can’t other people look at this subject in a logical, well researched way over here? Whenever the political parties rant about these self same topics, they do so fuelled by anger, shortsightedness and without engaging their brains (if they have any, despite a majority having entered politics from Ivy League Universities). Then because the public are reading that crime is increasing, illegal immigrants are slipping in, taxes are rising and they shout at deaf aids that are not switched on by politicians, they see the BNP claiming that they are the answer. It is a bit like giving a passifier to a baby when the baby really needs milk.
Hope I haven’t missed your point,but your post did seem to make a lot of sense to me and as I read it I found myself thinking of recent events in the political fairground.
Oh, I just had to add that Bruce Cockburn is one of my favourites.
Sisyphus, there is always room for you at our picnics. The BNP is exactly the wrong answer. It’s a very “Euro” reaction to the immigration question and we both know the UK is above anything Euro.
I met Bruce once backstage at a concert. Very nice man. Surprisingly, no rocket launcher.
Thank you. Yes, of course the UK is above anything Euro. Of course the BNP is the wrong answer and of course I will add that everyone over here can be bothered to investigate political parties and their motives! There are so many thoughts that have stemmed from your excellent post; I would write more but I will just clutter up your comments section.
Lucky you, meeting Bruce. As for the rocket launcher, I love that song.
Please, feel free to clutter. I’ve written, somewhere, about the BNP and the backlash happening in the UK… we had it here too back in the late 80’s to early 90’s. There was a full on racist organization that had a few thousand members in Ontario and Western Canada that was a little more upfront than the BNP but they both had the same roots in anti-immigration and pro-ignorance. Quebec, as I’m writing now, is currently having its own backlash over immigration policies, it’s something that has been simmering in that province for decades now. Some random Quebec dude interviewed in a newscast just said “I don’t mind if they (Muslims) don’t eat pork, but they shouldn’t pray in public.” That’s, more and more, the common response of the common Quebecois.
Immigration is a very important policy and procedure in a democratic country, especially Canada, but unfortunately it is the most misunderstood by citizens.
Skilled workers account for 19.8% of new Canadians, the lowest percentage value. Family class immigrants; the spouses and children of the skilled workers, account for 29.3%. Refugees make up the remaining 51%.
Just over half the immigrants that this country takes in have little to no means of looking after themselves. These are people who have spent years in camps, waiting just for a chance to enter into our country. It is not surprising at all that they take up residences in our 4 largest cities; Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa. This is where the services are that they will require; acquiring the basics of survival. This is also where the people who loathe them live.
I don’t know dude… loathe might be a little strong, and there are plenty of people out here in the Woods who have strong feelings aboot keeping immigration restricted to the more Paste colour spectrum.
Sometimes I look at our Immigration System (Canuck here) and I just want to throttle whomever is in charge. Perhaps I don’t understand all the intracacies but I get so irked and I really feel that they just seem to make the rules up as they go along when it seems time and time again, the *wrong* decisions are made. Sorry a bit of a run on sentence but immigration gets me a bit inflamed.
Anyway, I still need to have a look at your other place…will get there…
Nice to meet you.
And your aboot cracks me up. I haven’t been through your entire site here but do you bold font “out” and “oot” as well? It’s only the yanks that *hear* us say that…
And apologies to any US readers…I’m just teasing you…
Their country’s GDP is over US$13T (trillion)… they could buy the next ten richest countries and still have enough left for China and Eastern Europe, so they should be able to take a little jest by now. I started out doing the oot but then it just got weird what with all the oot’s and aboots and eh’s. So I decided to focus on the one that everyone knows. It’s all in my aboot page… or “abowt” page in American.
I’d say “enjoy” Salted… but I’m not sure that’d be the right word.
Our immigration system is still evolving. Considering that we’ve only been a country since aboot 1982 I’d say we’re doing all right.
What a beautiful post, can’t believed I only skimmed over it the first time around (though that was a while back, I must add).
I think there is a dark and light side to immigration policies and procedures in Canada (as with anything, to be annoyingly philosophical-like). I can’t write about immigration though, or even talk “aboot” it at any great length. I’m too overwhelmed aboot it all. Perhaps living in Toronto makes it hard to remain objective about certain things. It certainly does not desensitize me.
I just wanted to say thanks for the article.
I’m sure, working where you do, you’ve encountered the darker side of immigration… young women entering this country without the language skills and without understanding the rules which would protect them, getting scooped up and disappearing…
A recent example, albeit in different circumstances, was the arrest of a Montreal couple for allegedly forcing an Ethiopian woman to work as a domestic slave while preventing her access to her travel documents.
There’s a really good chance, even if this particular case is proven not to be true, this is not an isolated incident, and definitely not isolated to “domestics” either…
It’s in the corners of the system where people don’t like to look — the domestic helpers, the stripclubs, the “ghettos” like Toronto’s Chinatown — where the policies aren’t being enforced the way they should be. Then there are the years-long appeals procedures for people with criminal records in their home country during which they can roam freely around Canada… anyway… not “perfect” yet, but it’s a better system than anyone else has.
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Well Id like to say that I would love to immigrate to Canada like many well to do Venezuelans are doing, escaping the apparent dictatorship of Mr. Chavez but it seems harder than necessary and people up there in MOntreal dont seem as happy as they should be. Eberyone is always worried about money and talk about it constantly. Id like to live in the Woods myself, far away from civilization but my spouse doesn;t like woods so I guess I must do it by myself.
I live in Ontario. And I for one safely fuck humanity back together every Saturday night. Just doing my part.
That’s exactly the kind of commitment the world needs right now… thanks for doing your part.
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Interesting blog post. I still struggle with knowing where the happy medium is between getting in fresh blood from immigrants and having too many. I understand both sides of this argument. I just wish I knew where that line was, if just to explain it to the overly xenophobic.