Former Prime Minister Says Canada’s Population Needs to Reach 100 Million

Brian Mulroney Says There’s a Low Population Problem – Could Immigration Be The Solution?

Canada’s current population is just above 38 million people – but some experts believe that isn’t nearly enough. Among them is former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who has called for Canada to increase its population to 100 million by 2100.

Mulroney spoke about population-related issues at a think tank hosted by the Globe and Mail and Century Initiative. The latter is a non-profit organization with a goal of increasing Canada’s population while educating the population about the benefits of a high population.

“We need more people,” Mulroney said, addressing Canadians. “A lot more.”

As it stands, Canada’s birth rate is too low to stop the population from decreasing. The low birth rate, combined with the aging workforce, will put financial pressure on the working population, explains Century Initiative. They point out that 9 million baby boomers will reach retirement age this decade.

That’s where immigration comes in. Immigration is one of the most powerful factors that increases the population. In 2019, more than 80 percent of Canada’s population growth came from immigrants. Canada has pledged to bring in 1.2 million immigrants from now until 2023.

Is this number enough to help Canada thrive? Not quite, says Century Initiative.

“This business-as-usual approach to population growth will not create the economically vibrant, socially generous future Canadians want and expect,” the organization wrote in a report.

According to Century Initiative, the goal of having 100 million people in Canada by 2011 is “neither radical nor unachievable.”

Here’s How Current Immigration Numbers Affect This Goal

Currently, Canada is on track to bring in just over 400,000 immigrants in 2021.

Century Initiative suggests that Canada should aim to bring in 500,000 immigrants in 2026 – in other words, Canada would increase its immigration rate by 1.25% each year.

In order to do this, Century Initiative explains, Canada must strategically ensure that immigrants are set up to succeed.

“Higher immigration targets must be accompanied by further investment to improve immigrant settlement supports and better systems to match immigrants to industries, sectors, and places where they are most needed and have the best chance of succeeding,” they say.

Population increase and immigration rates are not new topics to Mulroney. Last year, he called for Canada to aim for a population of 75 million people – 25 million short of Century Initiative’s goal for 2100. Mulroney also tripled immigration when he was Prime Minister between 1984 and 1993.