Award-winning author and Globe and Mail feature columnist Doug Saunders argues we need 100 million Canadians if we’re to outgrow our colonial past and build a safer, greener and more prosperous future. And, for the first time, Saunders takes on Canada.
It would shock most Canadians to learn that before 1967, more people fled this country than immigrated to it. That was no accident. Long after we ceased to be an actual colony, our economic policies and social tendencies kept us poorly connected to the outside world, attracting few of the people and building few of the institutions needed to sustain us. Canada has a history of underpopulation, and its effects are still being felt.
Post-1967, a new Canada emerged. The closed, colonial idea of Canada gave way to an open, pluralist and connected vision. At Canada’s 150th anniversary, that open vision has become a fragile consensus across major parties and cultures. Yet support for a closed Canada remains influential.
In a rare and bold vision for Canada’s future, Saunders’s new book Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians Are Not Enough proposes a most audacious way forward. To avoid global obscurity and create lasting prosperity, to build equality and reconciliation of Indigenous and regional divides, and to ensure economic and ecological sustainability, Saunders argues that Canada needs to triple its population — and this can be achieved without a large immigration increase.