Monday, October 31, 2005

Increased immigration and Canada's nuclear future

The federal Green Plan calls for Canada to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6% from 1990 levels by the 2008-2012 period, or more than 35% from the business-as-usual levels expected by that time. The reductions that the Canadian government agreed to are absolute, not on a per capita basis.

And yet, the Liberal government has just announced plans to raise immigration targets and open the door for 700,000 prospective immigrants.

Now we can debate the merits of either policy, but together they simply do not add up. Something has to give.

The credibility of Canada’s Kyoto commitments is already questionable. Adding another 300,000 immigrants per year by 2010 will lead to increased energy consumption, much of it derived from carbon-based fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas. Does this mean we are going to fire up the nuclear reactors to keep our word?