Academic calls for significant increase in immigration to help turn Canada into a world power

by Ray Clancy on June 24, 2010

Canada

Immigration rates should be increased to help lift the Canadian population to 100 million and turn it into a leading world power, it is claimed.

According to Irvin Studin of the University of Toronto there is considerable strategic power that could be wielded by 100 million Canadians occupying a vast territory rich in natural resources, technology and strong national institutions.

Studin says an aggressive Canadian immigration push to roughly triple Canada’s current population of 34 million to 100 million would produce a pincer like effect over a few generations.

‘A far larger demographic base to build strong national institutions and structures across the vast territory of Canada, institutions that, while today are often absent or weak, would eventually serve as a bulwark for international strategic influence,’ he writes.

The second effect of an increased population would be a far larger talent pool for strategic arms of the state as well as business, cultural or scientific sectors and Canada would also be a larger national market with the attendant economies of scale and scope, he argues.

‘In the process, the Canada of 100 million, through the force of new domestic structures, coupled with growing international impact and prestige, undergoes an evolution of the national geist, one arguably appropriate for this new, more complicated, more international century. In short, Canada becomes a serious force to be reckoned with,’ he explains.

Studin says the country could arguably reach the 100 million mark within a few generations by approximately 2080, largely through increased immigration of around 20 to 30%.

Meanwhile, a new analysis shows that the federal government’s move to fast track immigrants with much needed skills is cutting the overall processing time in half. Visa processing time for applications dropped to 26 months in 2009 from 50 months in 2005, according to immigration consultant Richard Kurland.

He also found that skilled worker applications are being approved in about seven months, a dramatic decline from the five or more years it used to take for them to get through the system.

However, progress on the speedy approvals of foreign worker visas has not been matched by progress on Canadian family visas to reunite family members.

A spokesman for Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the findings show the government is on the right path to make Canada more attractive to the world’s best and brightest people.

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