March 1st, 2024 | Grant Johnson

ThIs Is A Disastrous Plan To fix Canada

There are better ways to fix our failing country.
About ten years ago I heard about the beginnings of the Century Initiative. They were proposing that Canada should bring in about a million immigrants a year in hopes of getting Canada to a population of 100 million people by the end of the century.
The thinking behind this is that Canada has, since its inception, been an underperforming country. Sure, we can point to living standard indexes and rankings for quality of life by random European magazines, or whatever. These lists come out every six months or so and show that life in Canada is totally top notch, but the promise of Canada has never really been delivered on. Deep down, we all know it.
When the railroad was being laid down in Canada, ambitions were huge. The leaders at the time thought Canada was going to be an empire. There were predictions that Manitoba would have 50 million people one day and that British Columbia would have 75 million. Regina was supposed to be a capital city with one million people living there. Wilfrid Laurier famously (and wrongly) pronounced that if the 19th century was the American century, then the 20th century would surely belong to Canada!
But by the time the Avro Arrow project was cancelled, and Quebec nationalism began to rise, problems were on the horizon. Canada wasn’t stepping up, it was stepping back. When Pierre Trudeau and the “three wise men” from Quebec took over the Liberal Party, it marked the beginning of the end of the Canadian promise.
The 70s were a lost decade. The 80s featured Canada clinging to the coattails of the United States in hopes of picking up the crumbs dropped from their table. Taxes went up. Fertility rates plummeted. Brian Mulroney cranked up immigration to 250,000 people a year in order to provide a labour-cost suppressant to his financial backers. Then the 90s arrived and the bills for the 70s and 80s finally had to be paid. While the rest of the world was celebrating the dot-com revolution and awaiting the new century, Canada was thinking about shutting down the military and begging New York bankers to extend deficit financing and being told no.
The year 2000 rolled around and one of the biggest issues at that time was how to stop so many of our young people from leaving Canada and going to the United States. Not exactly the empire of the future that the leaders back in 1900 imagined.
Stephen Harper tried to nibble at the edges of Canadian malaise, but his timidity and incrementalism proved in hindsight to be far too weak for the fundamental problems that had become culturally entrenched. With the election of Justin Trudeau, we decided to become a Woke progressive nation and go full student union leadership for ten years straight. Total madness. Total and complete madness.
All the while, our fertility rate kept dropping.
The first of those 250,000 immigrants a year, we’ve been letting in for 34 years, are now beginning to retire. The new immigrants are paying the costs of the old ones, all while the Boomers keep aging. Our social welfare state has never had more demanded from it. What’s to be done?
More immigration. “Much more,” says our Laurentian elite.
Here’s the problem.

1. Canada has a sclerotic economy

Canada doesn’t have a dynamic, entrepreneurial, business friendly, risk-taking environment. We can handle immigration. We can even handle a lot of immigration. We can’t handle mass immigration of one million people a year without massively reducing the aggregate standard of living.
Mass immigration wasn’t as much of a problem in 1900. People could spread out and move West! In Canada in 1900 there was still land being given away for the promise of working to develop it.
Immigrants come here with language barriers, few skills and suspect education. They take whatever job they can find, and they live poor in multigenerational households together. Many are grateful to be here because it’s better than whatever bottom tier country they left, but they’re not exactly living the dream either. We just don’t have the type of red-hot, trailblazing, innovative economy necessary to allow so many new people to flourish.
“Let’s just fix the economy and make it more dynamic and opportunity filled!”
Yeah, let’s do that. Oh wait… what’s that? We’ve been trying to do that for decades and nothing really changes?
“Maybe this time will be different, and it WILL change!”
Yeah, maybe.

2. Our social welfare state is antique

We have a generous social welfare state that was developed for over 100 years. It was developed at a time when Canada was a young and fairly high-trust, racially homogenous, Christian country.
What happens when your country changes into a low-trust, multicultural, non-Christian country and you still have a generous social welfare state? With mass immigration on top of that? With a rapidly aging and needy age structure due to generations of low fertility on top of that?
We’re finding out the hard way right now.
All these debates and partisan finger-pointing exercises in the media and throughout our culture in general are horribly missing the point. It’s not about policy or partisanship. The entire system is a Ponzi scheme that was designed with “infinite growth” assumed as a status quo. It also assumed certain cultural standards that are no longer applicable, like shame at taking hand-outs and the Protestant work ethic.
Our welfare state isn’t built for these times or this culture and mass immigration is going to bleed it dry.

3. Diversity is not a strength

Canadian immigration worked for the first 100 years after confederation because assimilation was strong. It was a given that if you arrived in Canada, you would work hard to assimilate into the culture and the fabric of the nation.
Sure, you could celebrate where you came from. Eat a sausage or do a funky dance with your socks pulled high… have fun!
But in every other respect it was assumed that the culture the British laid down for us for over 200 years since the battle at the Plains Of Abraham was the default culture.
When multiculturalism first got established in 1971, it was simply a way to undermine French Canada and placate their fears at the same time. Over the decades, however, it has become a part of the Woke religion of the state. Diversity isn’t just recognizing multiculturalism and celebrating heritage. It’s become a weapon against any aspect of the traditional status-quo. If it’s traditional, then it’s not diverse…and if it’s not diverse, then it is anti-diverse and needs to be abolished.
Import millions of immigrants into this cultural framework and we end up with stuff like the Palestinian marches we’ve recently witnessed across Canada lately.
It’s going to get so much worse.
It was hard enough back in the day to assimilate European, Christian immigrants who took Western Civilization for granted. Today we’ve got a helter-skelter mash of everyone around the world with random religions, outlooks, cultural traditions, and histories, with an official policy that celebrates the Balkanization under the guise of multiculturalism.
Buckle your seatbelts for a lot of diversity issues coming your way soon.

4. Canada is old

Our age structure is old due to declining fertility rates starting in the early 1970s. Demographers at the time thought a below-replacement-level fertility rate was an anomaly and it would bounce back. Bouncing back just seemed natural, I mean, why would a species just extinct itself, right?
Rates never bounced back.
As mentioned above, the problem wasn’t seriously noticed until about 1990. Immigration was the band-aid. Today, the band-aid of immigration won’t cut it.
There’s a bunch of math reasons why you can’t solve collapsing fertility rates with immigration, but it boils down to needing so many immigrants to come in, in order to make up for the structural death of the people on the way out, that it would be not just unwieldy, but untenable for a country to undertake. Great replacement “conspiracy theories” would be validated completely.
Old people are going to strain our social welfare state. Millions of Boomers have virtually nothing saved for retirement. They’ll be dependent on OAS and CPP and hoping their house from the 1970s holds its value when they liquidate it for monthly expenses.
The dynamic of this is that old folks will be voting in desperation for the status-quo to hold. They’re entitled to their entitlements. The new crop of immigrants will be flooding into the country and looking to fleece whatever they can from the social welfare state for the benefit of their friends and family.
The old ‘White Anglo-Saxon Protestant’ social contract of being “ashamed to take and being proud to give” is coming to an end and our 20th century infrastructure is going to die along with the Old Stock Canadians who helped build it.

After decades of maintaining a relatively harmonious balance between high levels of immigration and social welfare, Canada finally appears to be at the precipice of the Sophie’s Choice-esque dilemma that has long plagued other Western societies. While Canada’s immigration skeptics have thus far abstained from the demagoguery of their counterparts elsewhere in the world, they nevertheless posit a zero-sum conflict between maintaining high levels of immigration and preserving social welfare for everyday Canadians. – Rahim Mohamed

Unlike a lot of conservatives, I don’t like reiterating problems without offering solutions. There are so many shitlib assumptions and cliches regarding immigration that I’d like to counter with a well thought out argument that may be hard for some normies to wrap their heads around. Here we go…

1. Reduce Immigration to about 100,000 people a year for the next ten years

Maxime Bernier is correct. This is the number we should be looking at. About 50,000 immigrants a year arrive as a result of marriage. I’m a romantic at heart, so let those marriages happen.
The other half should be highly skilled and/or rich immigrants coming to start businesses or take jobs in high demand, expert level fields. Marriages and top tier skilled people. That’s it. That’s who we should bring in for the next ten years.
We don’t need our universities functioning as intermediaries for permanent residency. I know the universities love foreign students because they gouge them on tuition to an extreme level, but in this day and age, when university educations are vastly over subscribed anyway…why not just downscale the operations and get back to making university more elite and legitimate and rigorous? Constantly expanding in order to fleece foreign students only dilutes the value of the education itself…and that value has already been falling for decades now.
The Boomer notion that a university degree is a one-way ticket to the middle-class is dead, only to now be revived by foreigners trying to purchase their way into Canada via the schools. Make universities great again, by not being a waystation for foreigners and useless degrees.
The other category is refugees. Let’s just take a ten-year break from dealing with refugees.
Canada is a long way away from where refugees are located and we’re a freezing cold country. There’s already about 150,000 refugees in Canada. Let’s give them time to adjust without thousands coming up behind them and competing.
If humanitarian empathy is too much for us to be that hardcore, then it would be worth it to spend more money via the UN to assist refugees closer to their place of origin where most of them are to begin with.
The immigration industry would hate this restriction of course and the grifters making money off the backs of people coming here in other capacities would scream racism as they always do, but it’s time to ignore the harpies and do what’s best for Canada.

2. Revolutionize our social welfare state

The time for reform was in the 90s when Preston Manning naively campaigned for it. Canadians decided to just laugh at him and now here we are.
It’s too late for reform.
All these Pierre Poilievre fans that hate Trudeau and think it’s going to be so awesome to have a Conservative Party majority in power had better temper their expectations. We no longer need a cabal of “saviours” like Poilievre and Scheer and Rempel and Chong and all these cardboard characters from the Harper years.
What we need is a Javier Milei.
Canada is very much going down the 20th century path of Argentina. Instead of Peronism, we’ve got Trudeauism. Our government just keeps making the same mistakes at every turn and the permanent managerial state is growing like a cancer again. Pierre Trudeau caused us to have a lost decade in the 70s and the 80s and 90s were spent cleaning up the mess. Just as Canada seemed to be turning a corner, the big recession of 2008 hit, and you know what? We never really recovered.
When Justin took over in 2015 it was a disaster. Then Covid hit. We still haven’t recovered from the Covid hit either. Pundits and politicians keep treading water and talk, talk, talking about “What should be done!”, but nothing changes and things are fundamentally and statistically getting worse. (Save for your European magazine ‘totally rad countries’ list in which we’re number one, or whatever.)
What we need but won’t get with a Poilievre government is radical measures. I’ll be surprised if he even bothers to eliminate the carbon tax (“upon further review and in consultation with business leaders and climate experts we’ve decided to maintain the current infrastructure for the carbon tax, but we’re going to administer it more fairly and conservatively”), or abolish the CBC (upon further consultations we’ve come to realize that the CBC is a cherished institution that has been poorly run by partisan people. We look forward to developing the future of the CBC in a direction that is fairer and more balanced regarding news coverage from coast to coast to coast!).
Guys like Javier Milei are at least making the right moves so far and his shock therapy will hopefully produce results, but we don’t have anyone in Canada ready or even thinking about doing stuff like that right now.
Maxime Bernier is trying, but let’s be real. Max is quickly turning into a has-been, grouching from the bleachers. The next election will be his last grandstand (I’ll probably vote for him), but other than that, we don’t have an opposition to the malaise.
But I offered solutions, not more griping, so here you go, Pierre:

1. Adopt a blended healthcare system or else drop all ideological requirements for the provinces and let them experiment with wildly innovative healthcare options.
2Make EI optional. Those that can and do work pay into it and never benefit. Those that do, turn it into a couch sitting lifestyle. Shrink the operations and make it less generous by letting people opt out.
3. Freeze OAS & GIS for ten years. Let inflation work its magic and reduce this escalating burden on working people. The cost is going up by billions of dollars every year. Will old people relying on these fixed incomes get poorer as a result? Yes. So be it.
4. Roll back Canada’s federal budget to where it was in 2018. In 2018 total expenditures were $346.2 billion. Today total revenue to the federal government is $457 billion. This would immediately give us a massive surplus.
Was life an austere nightmare in 2018? No! It was fine.  
“These solutions are too simple! You don’t know what you don’t know! We can’t just… blah, blah, blah.”
I’m not a boardroom guy, I’m just a blogger. But what I can say is that if what we’re living in is the product of boardroom guys, then it’s time to think outside the box. One thing Trudeau showed us is that anything is possible. If you have power and are willing to use it, then top-down leadership can be whatever you want it to be.
Revolutionary change must take place or Canada will continue to stagnant and decline. Bringing in mass immigrants isn’t a recipe for success in this circumstance. If we fix and modernize our social welfare state, then perhaps we could talk about accommodating more foreigners into our national fabric.

3. Fix the economy once and for all

Radical action needs to take place to fix our economy. One of the biggest problems with immigrants coming here in droves is that we don’t have a dynamic and flourishing economy that they can participate in. If your economy is booming and bustling and there's a hustling opportunity around every corner, then great things can happen.
Piling infinity immigrants into Canada so they can all drive for UberEats, while themselves using foodbanks isn’t a recipe for success. Doctors driving cabs. Engineers working nights as cleaners in offices. People with degrees working part-time at McDonalds…these “immigrants not reaching their potential” stories are ubiquitous in Canada. They’re becoming ubiquitous for Canadians too.
The economy has been a problem for Canada for a long time, but the compounding failure is starting to push Canada down the ranks. We are noticeably becoming poorer. This situation needs to be arrested and reversed. Are subsidized foreign battery plants the solution? I’m afraid not.

Eliminate red tape

We always hear about eliminating “red tape”, but at the street level it just seems to keep getting worse. Whether it’s starting a small business or trying to launch a big resource project, Canada is a horrible place to operate.
We brag about our high environmental standards, without recognizing that if the standards are too high then things won’t happen. If there are too many barriers and costs get too high, then people won’t start those businesses and foreign investment will look elsewhere.
We need to accept breaking some eggs in order to make an omelette.
I recently did some work on the Coastal Gas Link pipeline project. This was the biggest natural resource project in Canada in a long time. They are taking natural gas from the Fort St. John area of BC and piping it across the province to Kitimat in order to liquify it and export it to Asia.
The project was met with massive delays due to everything from Covid insanity to Indian terrorism to Environmental red tape. I witnessed all three to some degree. The environmental red tape was the most egregious.
Every time a stream got a little too murky or a bird’s nest was found a little too close to the right-of-way for the pipeline, fines or shutdowns were a possibility. Work restrictions were constant. Breeding seasons for mountain goats were considered. And the frogs! Don’t get me started about the frogs!
The Coastal Tailed Mountain Frog is a species at risk so the pipeline had to be careful not to disturb any habitat that they may be found in. The problem is that they may be found almost anywhere around Kitimat. They’re in the mountains, the forests, the streams, the roads. It made me wonder why they’re considered “at risk” at all.
Here’s an anecdote…
There was a camp up in the mountains with parking lots all around it. A secondary parking lot was made, and it was a bit rough and uneven. Kitimat gets a million inches of rain every year, so this parking lot ended up flooding.
Some time went by, and people realized that frogs had laid eggs in this shallow flooded parking lot. So, the project had to hire a crew to fence off the entire parking lot and designate it a frog breeding area. The supplies and manpower are of course a drop in the bucket for a project of this scale but multiply this mentality ten-fold…or a hundred-fold and you end up with a quickly escalating project that is delayed by years, which CGL was.
Currently there isn’t much happening on the liquified natural gas front. The United States is the biggest liquified natural gas exporter in the world. Canada? Well, we don’t currently export ANY. But once that one plant comes online then we will be slightly ahead of Trinidad and Tobago.
Let’s slash red tape for real and get competitive for once.

Lower taxes

Canada’s tax competitiveness is pathetic. We need to make Canada more industrious by lessening the tax burden. I know lower taxes isn’t a silver bullet solution, but it is part of the package for creating a culture of innovation and productivity.
All the Milton Friedman principles still hold. They aren’t a total or perfect solution, but getting back to the basics is crucial for saving Canada from everything that is currently wrong. More earned money in people’s pockets will cascade success far better than Trudeau-styled game-show giveaways.


We need to change the culture of Canada and leftists have show us that this can be best achieved through education.
From a young age, children should be taught about business and entrepreneurism. Money, debt, business, capitalism, these lessons can be weaved into every subject of study. Math can focus on leger sheets and budgeting and investing and compound interest and sales. English can focus on stories about success and risk and achievement. Social studies can focus on business and moguls and industrial pioneers. Science can focus on commercialized innovation, products and civilization building achievements.
At a young age, too much emphasis is placed on caring and sharing, the environment and historical cultures. Every public school promotes safetyism and hypersensitivity.
Sometimes this is innocuous (be nice!) and sometimes this is toxic (celebrate trannies!), but either way…it’s too much and it’s building the wrong kind of adults. By the time these kids hit the post-secondary institutions they are already halfway to Woke and even if they avoid the purple hair level insanity, they at best end up as genuflecting shitlibs that just play the system.
The system doesn’t need to be played…the system is dying…it needs to be reborn. This starts with educational institutions from kindergarten onwards.

Crime has increased, real wages have fallen or stagnated, housing prices have skyrocketed, and social cohesion has collapsed. The promise that these populations would assimilate while increasing economic prosperity and solving a demographic crisis rings hollow. But this was never the real purpose of mass migration, and attempting to judge success or failure by the stated goal of the policy is a mistake.
The interests of the ruling classes in the West have radically diverged from the people of those nations, and this means it is far more useful to understand the real goals of our elites than it is to listen to their hollow words. – Auron MacIntyre

In short, mass immigration is a weapon used by progressive elites to weaponize democracy. Progressive politics benefit from mass immigration. Conservative politics doesn’t benefit but is still beholden to the numbers game of electoral contests and follows along the progressive line to stay in the game. Big business likes labour wage suppressants and mass immigration does the trick. Immigrants who are already here are all too happy to bring in their friends and family and will vote for whomever lets them do just that.
The only way to stop mass immigration in a late-stage, liberal democracy like our own is to be revolutionary. Capping immigration at 100,000 people a year is hardly revolutionary, but it is as unlikely as bringing in 1 million people a year would have seemed twenty years ago. The only way to pressure a change like this is to make the elites feel pain, otherwise they will download the costs on immigration to the rest of us without batting an eyelash.
It’s not the elites who will be waiting in line for healthcare. It’s not the elites who will be dealing with tribal crime. It’s not the elites whose wages will be suppressed. It’s not the elites whose children will never be able to afford a house. The common voter can rage all they want about the hardships that are rising, but it won’t make much difference. We’ve passed a tipping point in democracy in which immigration is untouchable…unless it impacts the elites.
The question now is: how do we impact the elites?
Keep reading PostCanadian to find out.
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