Imposing a set of unworkable policies on our nation can only leave us worse off.
Something I’ve increasingly noticed in the discourse around Canada’s ‘climate’ policies is how the Liberal government – and by extension the NDP – seem to think Canada is a dense, small, and cramped European country.
For example, the continued push for higher and higher carbon taxes and electric vehicles would only make a modicum of sense in a very dense country where most people already take public transit, and where travel distances by car are short.
That is indeed the case in many countries in Europe, where millions of people are packed into countries that are much smaller in total land area than many Canadian provinces.
For example, the total land area of France is 551,695 km², while the total land area of Saskatchewan is 651,900 km².
France has a population of over 67 million people, while Saskatchewan has a population of about 1.2 million people.
It is thus much more feasible for France to fund an effective public transportation system, since they have such a large tax base relative to land area compared to most Canadian provinces.
The same goes for housing.
Countries like the U.K., France, Germany, and others in Europe have a limited amount of land, and must ensure that a significant amount of farmland is preserved unless they want to sacrifice their ability to produce food domestically.
So, their cities are filled with apartments.
Again, the situation in Canada is completely different.
Canada can easily continue expanding our stock of single family homes in suburban areas – which is what people tend to prefer when given the choice – rather than trying to build denser and denser cities.
And on the issue of resources, most European countries couldn’t even dream of the abundance of natural resources we have here in Canada.
Those that do have those resources – like Norway – are continuing to increase production.
Just look at how desperate countries like Germany are to sign deals for more LNG. They certainly wish they had as much oil and gas as we do here in Canada.
Instead of hurting our own energy sector with restrictive regulations and instead of hitting Canadians with a carbon tax, we should be supporting our energy sector and lowering the tax burden on Canadians.
Moving beyond an ill-fitting ideological vision
Trying to impose unworkable policies on a country never ends well.
Canada is not a dense European nation.
We don’t need denser and denser cities.
We shouldn’t be discouraging the construction of single-family suburban homes.
We shouldn’t be holding back our energy sector.
We shouldn’t be mandating electric vehicles.
Instead, we should base our policies on reality.
Canada is a resource rich nation with ample space for more suburbs.
We are a country where people need to drive long distances, and that is not going to change.
So, we should be incentivizing the expansion of our suburban areas and we should ensure Canadians are prosperous enough to easily afford quality homes and quality vehicles.
The Canadian Dream should be one of open spaces, personal transportation, and abundance.