According to University of London professor Eric Kaufmann, almost seven out of 10 Vancouver residents will be “visible minorities” within two generations and 80 percent of the Canadian population (compared to 20 percent today) will be non-white in less than century. Kaufmann notes that, with its continuing high immigration intake and the fact four out of five newcomers are visible minorities, Canada is undergoing the fastest rate of ethnic change of any country in the Western world.
Questions must be asked about why such drastic population replacement is taking place and who is benefitting from it.
While Canada has been helped by large-scale immigration at various times in its history, the current high intake causes more problems than benefits for our current population. Our economy grows because of the increasing population but the average Canadian gets a smaller piece of a bigger pie. The cost is huge – with latest estimates indicating that taxpayers have to underwrite recent arrivals to the tune of around $30 billion annually. Young people in large cities such as Vancouver and Toronto are being crowded out of the housing market by sky-high prices caused largely by the ceaseless flow of new arrivals.
Despite this, those who profit from mass immigration continue to laud its benefits. Their claims are not supported by the facts, however. We are not facing looming labour shortages that we can’t meet with our existing workforce and educational infrastructure. Immigration, moreover, does not provide a realistic means of dealing with the costs associated with the aging of our population.
Those who seek to benefit from continued high immigration include leaders of political parties bent on expanding their political base with policies designed to make it easier to come here from abroad and acquire the full benefits of citizenship.
Also active are leaders of immigrant organizations eager to expand their support base and influence. Another important influence has been contributions from developers who want an endless supply of new home buyers and are major funders of politicians and parties – particularly at the municipal level.
In this regard it is worth noting that not too long ago leading politicians in Vancouver on both sides of the political aisle - such as former mayors Art Philips and Mike Harcourt - were readily prepared to identify high immigration intake as one of the leading causes if not the main cause of rising house prices. Now, however, no Canadian politician has the guts or integrity to connect the two.
This is not only because they are so heavily indebted to the real estate industry in one way or another but also since criticism of mass immigration is treated in many quarters as xenophobic if not racist since newcomers are overwhelmingly visible minorities. While a moderate degree of diversity can make society more vibrant – and my own family is an example of this, it is quite a different matter when it develops to a level where it overwhelms and largely replaces the existing population, particularly when there is no good reason for allowing this to happen. With current policies we will have to find room for tens of millions more newcomers – most of whom will settle in the already densely populated areas of the country.
We will also have to contend with the fact that many will bring with them values and traditions some of which differ in key respects from those of most Canadians - such as gender equality and concern for protection of the environment.
If Canada continues on its present path as described by Kaufmann, we will become one of the first and perhaps the only country in the world to voluntarily allow its population to be largely displaced by people from elsewhere.
Is this what Canadians want for their children and their descendants? Almost certainly not.
And yet we are letting it happen through a combination of willful ignorance, political and financial greed supported in many cases by an excess of political correctness. Are we prepared to do something about it? Sadly, it appears that most Canadians are too supine or short-sighted to do so.
Canadians deserve a full and informed public debate on the extent to which immigration policy will determine the future of the country. This should form the basis for a sensible public policy based on the long-term interests of the existing population rather than those of special interest groups. Without this we cannot expect our descendants to inherit a country that has anything like the Canada of today.
Martin Collacott lives in Surrey and served as Canadian ambassador in Asia and the Middle East. He has testified on numerous occasions before parliamentary committees as an expert witness on immigration, refugee and security matters.