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.