The title immediately caught my eye.
Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians Are Not Enough is a fascinating book. Doug Saunders systematically builds his argument that 100 million may be the ideal population for this country. He outlines how a small population, widely dispersed, puts severe constraints on this country’s growth potential.
Saunders does a thorough review of Canada’s demographic history. He points out how wrong government policies like British-only immigration, and high tariffs impeded economic growth. Small thinking and restrictive nationalism stifled population growth and led many to Canadians to move to USA.
Saunders contrasts this with the brief periods when Canada had a more wide open policy on both immigration and trade, and how both the economy and the population flourished during such times. Saunders argues for reducing the bottlenecks that restrict growth.
Unlike America, within Canada there currently is a broad political consensus that immigration is good and needed. Saunders makes a strong case for growing Canada’s population in the decades ahead through policies that encourage both natural growth (child bearing) and immigration. Both are needed to sustain an aging population.
While Donald Trump believes he can make America great by placing restrictions on immigration and erecting barriers to international trade, Saunders effectively argues that Canada will become great by opening its doors wide to both trade and immigration.
Whether you agree with his position or not, Doug Saunders presents a cogent argument for policies that can be used to shape the century ahead.