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Global warming could mean a huge population boom for Canada, says columnist

population boom for Canada

Could global warming turn Prince George into a metropolis? A  population boom for Canada may be in our future.

Last week, Troy Media columnist Robert McGarvey, in an article called “A Silver Lining for Canada in Global Warming?”, argued that one of the unintended ramifications of climate change is that Canada could become hugely attractive on the global stage, so much so, he says, that our population could test 100-million and many small towns could transform into huge metropolises.

“If global warming becomes a reality (and they’re no reason to think it won’t), a vast territory stretching from Prince Rupert on the West Coast across the northern part of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and parts of Manitoba could become much more desirable,” says McGarvey. “And it could support a second Canada with a population equal to or greater than that of the border zone.”

McGarvey says farming would be the major reason for the population spike. While the U.S. continues to battle with a multi-year drought that has hit the vital breadbasket of California, he says growing seasons here would be lengthened and our cold northern areas from British Columbia all the way to Manitoba would become fertile and habitable.

This, says McGarvey, would change Canada from a population clustered along the U.S. border to one that could take advantage of our current vast and empty areas. It’s a change he thinks could result in a population near 100-million.

McGarvey says that with a low birth rate, the population boom would almost exclusively come from immigration and thinks these new immigrants would make places like Grand Prairie, Peace River, Dawson Creek and Fort St. John huge population centres.

“A warming climate could see Prince Rupert become the new Vancouver,” he says.

McGarvey says Canadians should actually “embrace” global warming as it “could turn Canada into one of the world’s great nations.” The columnist admits that not everyone will share this view.

“It’s a pretty dramatic vision of Canada’s future, but if global warming is here to stay, it certainly could allow us to remain a young and dynamic country,” he says.

The Canadian government, however, doesn’t sound like it’s ready to embrace global warming.

“The scientific evidence is clear: climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time. From increased incidences of droughts, to coastal flooding, to the expanding melt of sea ice in our Arctic, the widespread impacts of climate change compel Canada to take strong action now,” reads Government of Canada website Climatechange.gc.ca. “The Government of Canada will protect Canada’s communities and grow our economy by making significant new investments in green infrastructure and clean technologies.”

Climate change has been a front and centre issue for Canada’s Liberal Party since they swept into power a year ago.

In April, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change with a stern promise.

“Today, with my signature, I give you our word that Canada’s efforts will not cease,” he said “Climate change will test our intelligence, our compassion and our will. But we are equal to that challenge.”

And earlier this month, more bold words on climate came from Trudeau when he told Canada’s provinces that they have until 2018 to adopt a carbon pricing strategy.

“If neither price nor cap and trade is in place by 2018, the government of Canada will implement a price in that jurisdiction,” he said.

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  1. I always wondered why Canada was so concerned about climate change. Russia makes no bones to the fact that it will be a huge bonus to their country. I wonder why our government can’t be as honest? Instead we try to reverse a positive tend…
    Sure,, it is not great news for the new Orleans of the world, but it is very clear that the world will not be stopping it’s oil consumption anytime soon, no matter what we do to try and prevent it.

  2. Yes, the two largest countries in the world will likely benefit from a warmer climate.
    In Canada, we might see a reversal in climate tourism, with Americans travelling north in summer to escape the heat. Canadians may not have to go as far south in the winter.
    It should be remembered, though, that even 3 or 4 degrees of extra heat will only be unbearable for a few days in a few places. Heat days for schoolchildren may become as common as snow days. I doubt we will see mass migrations.
    Sea level rise could force people back from the coasts and inundate some nice real estate. It does however progress slow enough that most of the development in danger will be obsolete before it is flooded. People just need to stop building so close to the water.
    I think it will be many generations until we see banana plantations around Winnipeg.

  3. That will be the day, banana plantations around Winnipeg!
    Thanks for the observations on temperature impact, do you speak as an expert or conjecture? Your statements seem to be very realistic, and even if we do lose large areas of coast, remember that new coastlines will be created to replace them. I think you could argue that some of the existing coastal areas deserve to be flooded, as nature’s way of clensing itself after what we have done to them!

  4. I am not an expert but the impact of climate change has so far been beneficial to me and most people I know. Negative effects such as wildfires get blamed on climate change with only the thinnest of evidence. It would be interesting to create a forum where people could detail the direct effects of climate change on themselves personally. If you ruled out extreme weather events which do not have a proven link to global warming, we may find that most effects are beneficial.

  5. It is quite true Canada will ultimately gain with global warming, in Ontario there are already signs that the clay belt is becoming more usable for agriculture. That would double Ontario’s arable land. On the other hand adjusting to increased heat won’t be as simple as many think, it will cost huge amounts of money to adjust. The other question is do we have a responsibility to others or should we say we are fine and it doesn’t matter to us what happens to hundreds of millions. As far as Russia goes they are idiots. For their land surface they have a small population which is declining and is located far from much of the newly useful land. Think what happens if China is badly effected by global warming and there is all that nice newly useful land to the north.

  6. Great idea on that forum. Personally I have not really seem any evidence of climate change, other than the natural variety. Perhaps some warmer drier summers, But those send to occur during el Niño. I know central heating keeps us well removed from the real winter out there! All negative effects we hear about seems to come from people grasping at straws trying very hard to make that connection to AGW. They are probably mostly general conspiracists in my opinion…

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