Neil Renyolds has an interesting commentary in the G&M today where he rebuts the idea that women who decide not to have children are doing their part to save the planet. He cites a biological anthropologist who calls having more than one or two children ‘littering’. He puts this in the context of Canada which is among the least densely populated countries in the world. It’s worth reading.
I picked up on his ‘fill the provinces’ phrase because I think just as there is some logic to the notion that you can have too many people in a place (say 20 million in a third world urban area) there is also something to the idea that you can have too little (Renyolds cites New Brunswick as not having enough population for even a ‘decent’ city).
I have talked with people who hold to the strange fantasy that New Brunswick could actually shrink in population size and still support the public services and infrastructure in the province. I have looked at the data from every angle and I don’t see how without some Newfoundland-level infusion of oil revenues. Even at that, population decline has broader impacts on a community and a province even if you could somehow address the public services issue.
New Brunswick needs a population boom not a bust.