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As mentioned, these increased burdens may well lead to future governments being elected on the promise to reduce or possibly even eliminate the carbon taxes that have been imposed recently. If that happens, Canada’s immigration policies will have resulted in a permanent addition in the stock of CO2 in the atmosphere and raised the risk of costly global warming. This problem can be avoided, however, if the government sets much lower target numbers for immigration and focuses more on admitting workers with needed skills rather than dependents and family members.
In the end, and as it should be, voters will decide whether they want the government to change immigration policies or whether they are willing to accept higher costs to gain the alleged benefits of mass immigration. But voters are entitled to be informed about the costs involved in these choices. The ministers of immigration and environment should take responsibility for providing this information to Canadians — and to Prime Minister Trudeau before he sets off on another pilgrimage to an international forum to talk about his government’s commitment to eliminate CO2 emissions or increase immigration.
Herbert Grubel, formerly MP for Capilano-Howe Sound, is an emeritus professor of economics at Simon Fraser University. Patrick Grady is with global-economics.ca.