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  #21  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 2:55 AM
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I would say the Metro-Vancouver’s max potential population is somewhere between 5 and 7 million.

Realistically Victoria is probably near 700 000.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 7:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
I would say the Metro-Vancouver’s max potential population is somewhere between 5 and 7 million.

Realistically Victoria is probably near 700 000.
I could see Vancouver easily accommodating 10 million + with ease. Lots of space to go vertical all over the metro.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 12:56 PM
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I could see Vancouver easily accommodating 10 million + with ease. Lots of space to go vertical all over the metro.
Hong Kong area: 2,754 km²
Metro Vancouver area: 2,700 km²

No reason why Vancouver couldn't exceed Hong Kong's population in such circumstances, considering that the former's terrain is much more forgiving, and that a substantial amount of conceivably developable agricultural land still remains.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 1:13 PM
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Originally Posted by phone View Post
Hong Kong area: 2,754 km²
Metro Vancouver area: 2,700 km²

No reason why Vancouver couldn't exceed Hong Kong's population in such circumstances, considering that the former's terrain is much more forgiving, and that a substantial amount of conceivably developable agricultural land still remains.
Why would you want to develop all of the lower mainland's agricultural land?

The climate is unique for Canada, and BC doesn't have a whole lot of class A farmland to begin with. There is rangeland in the interior. Prairie grasslands in the Peace River country and some arid land fit for viticulture and orchards in the Okanagan, but true high quality class A multipurpose agricultural land is only really found in the lower Fraser River valley. This should be preserved for posterity with only small amounts released for future urban growth when absolutely necessary.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 2:03 PM
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People here are saying that it's more or less impossible due to the geography and climate of Canada. However, if I may point it out, if you look at the most populous nations on earth, most of the population is concentrated in specific, rather geographically limited areas.

At a billion people, the human footprint would look remarkably similar to what we have today. The only difference is that it would take up a lot more space in Quebec, northern Ontario, the BC interior, and north of the prairies. The Arctic would still be mostly empty (barring some climate change on a colossal scale) and I imagine that somewhere like Labrador would have a lot more people but not necessarily more populated places (ie: towns and cities)

The west coast would be absolutely packed simply because the ocean moderates the temperature and places like Prince Rupert would be fairly large cities. Any currently established northern city would be at least 100 times larger in all likelihood. Places like Thompson, Mb., Fort McMurray (even without the tar sands) Sudbury, etc., simply because the next frontier for resource development is overwhelmingly in the north. The Yukon, Nunavut, and the NWT would undoubtedly see exponential growth and see populations far beyond what their current percentage suggests.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 2:13 PM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
Why would you want to develop all of the lower mainland's agricultural land?

The climate is unique for Canada, and BC doesn't have a whole lot of class A farmland to begin with. There is rangeland in the interior. Prairie grasslands in the Peace River country and some arid land fit for viticulture and orchards in the Okanagan, but true high quality class A multipurpose agricultural land is only really found in the lower Fraser River valley. This should be preserved for posterity with only small amounts released for future urban growth when absolutely necessary.
I don't advocate the development of the Lower Mainland's farmlands. I thought this was a thought exercise to see what Canada might look like at a totally outrageous population level. My guess is that at such a level, there would be at least some encroachment on agricultural land uses in high density regions of the country (such as the Lower Mainland).

Since a 1 billion person Canada clearly takes place in a reasonably distant future time, can we hazard a guess that improved urban agriculture technologies like vertical greenhouses have also taken off? Or does that beggar belief?
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  #27  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 12:16 PM
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So, I went to Stats Cans site see what they think 'realistic' scenarios of growth look like.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/...estdm1-eng.htm

Based on this publication, by 2061, which most here would hope to be within their lifetimes, they peg 52M-64M as a reasonable guess.

If you take the high forecast and apply that growth rate to the end of the century, you get something in the ballpark of 100M.

So I think that's a logical place to start in terms of imagining where Canada may head, mixing a tad of fantasy, with a bit of reality.

Rather than throwing darts at a map, my first thought as to where growth would occur, is how much fresh water is easily accessible.

That makes Cities on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence obvious choices for growth.

I'd be much more concerned about cities that are dependent on glacier-fed rivers in a era of climate change. (Calgary)

Beyond the obvious then, where do we have vast fresh water, but few people?

Lake Winnipeg immediately comes to mind, Reindeer Lake, Lake Athabaska, Great Slave Lake, and Great Bear Lake, round out the 'Big 10' (excluding the Great Lakes).

Of these the best prospect for growth in the near term would be Lake Winnipeg, that areas of Manitoba does not currently house even one material population centre. So
I'm not sure where it would make most sense to grow a new city. Presumably on the #6 corridor, maybe something about 1/2 way to Thompson.

Looking at lesser sized lakes that seem underdeveloped and near existing urban settlement or transportation leads me to think that the Lac-Saint-Jean area of Quebec would make sense of an urban centre of size.

North Bay Ontario has abundant water, a university and is connected to transporation.

Trois Rivieres would make sense.

Hay River would be a good choice for growth as well, on a huge body of water, connected to rail already.

For existing cities, for a major move upwards in population, Thunder Bay, the Sault, Windsor all make sense. So would Owen Sound in Ontario, and Barrie.

Kingston in Ontario makes sense, and it would be logical to have one other city of size on Lake Erie. Pt. Colborne or Pt. Stanley would make the most sense, taking advantage of the nearby size of Welland and St. Thomas respectively.

***

I'm not as familiar w/the natural limits of growth in Mtrl or Vancouver.

But in the GTA, I think the City proper can top out at round 4.5m by 2100, anchoring a region about 4 times that size, or around 18M
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  #28  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 2:15 PM
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With global warming I could see some Arctic port cities rising. The James Bay coast could very well be the next Golden Horseshoe The Northwest Passage would become a major global shipping route and the choke points along it would be great centres. The Taloyoak Canal will rival the St Lawrence Seaway in volume!
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  #29  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 3:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
So, I went to Stats Cans site see what they think 'realistic' scenarios of growth look like.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/...estdm1-eng.htm

Based on this publication, by 2061, which most here would hope to be within their lifetimes, they peg 52M-64M as a reasonable guess.

If you take the high forecast and apply that growth rate to the end of the century, you get something in the ballpark of 100M.

So I think that's a logical place to start in terms of imagining where Canada may head, mixing a tad of fantasy, with a bit of reality.

Rather than throwing darts at a map, my first thought as to where growth would occur, is how much fresh water is easily accessible.

That makes Cities on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence obvious choices for growth.

I'd be much more concerned about cities that are dependent on glacier-fed rivers in a era of climate change. (Calgary)

Beyond the obvious then, where do we have vast fresh water, but few people?
That is something I think about sometimes. Cities in Alberta and Saskatchewan could be very vulnerable to climate change-related disruptions to fresh water supplies, due to a lack of large surface water sources nearby and distance from oceans. Vancouver also relies to an extent on glacier-fed rivers & lakes but desalination could be an alternative so it's less of a concern. The Great Lakes are also vulnerable to falling water levels but the sheer volume of water there makes it safe.

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Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
Kingston in Ontario makes sense, and it would be logical to have one other city of size on Lake Erie. Pt. Colborne or Pt. Stanley would make the most sense, taking advantage of the nearby size of Welland and St. Thomas respectively.

***

I'm not as familiar w/the natural limits of growth in Mtrl or Vancouver.

But in the GTA, I think the City proper can top out at round 4.5m by 2100, anchoring a region about 4 times that size, or around 18M
The entirety of the QC-Windsor corridor could really use the intermediate cities getting bigger. If Trois-Rivieres, Drummondville, Cornwall, Brockville, Kingston, Belleville, Woodstock, and Chatham grew into larger cities it would really help "tie" the corridor together.

Further growth in the Estrie and Laurentides regions of Quebec, as well as on the southern shore of Lake Huron and northern shore Lake Erie in Ontario could be help make this urban belt "wider". Places like Bancroft and Montebello would be absolutely stunning natural settings for sizeable cities.

As for Toronto, I think one area where the GTA really has room to grow is eastward. The GTA seems to be slowly growing northward towards Barrie, westward towards KWC, and southeastward to Niagara, but it doesn't seem to be growing at all east of Durham. Northumberland County has a lot of untapped growth potential, IMO. Yes, it's far, but not really any further than the other peripheral parts of the GGH. Cobourg is about the same distance from downtown Toronto as Niagara Falls, Kitchener, or Barrie.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 4:54 PM
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That is something I think about sometimes. Cities in Alberta and Saskatchewan could be very vulnerable to climate change-related disruptions to fresh water supplies, due to a lack of large surface water sources nearby and distance from oceans. Vancouver also relies to an extent on glacier-fed rivers & lakes but desalination could be an alternative so it's less of a concern. The Great Lakes are also vulnerable to falling water levels but the sheer volume of water there makes it safe.
While the Saskatchewan River watershed is glacier fed, that doesn't mean it's entirely reliant on glaciers as its source. Much of the streamflow comes from snowmelt-fed groundwater, and predictions for what climate change might bring to the watershed are inconclusive, even straying into net gain due to the chance of increased precipitation in the region. So it's inaccurate to assume that the region (which includes cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, and Saskatoon) would be without water for agriculture and human consumption later on into this century and the next as climate change accelerates. Although that's not to discount the threat.

I wonder if climate change poses no more of a threat to the Prairies in terms of water scarcity than it does to the Great Lakes region in terms of increased temperature.

Here is a link to a study I found reviewing the risks to the watershed posed by climate change.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 5:01 PM
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Nobody has talked much about the potential for increased population in the Maritimes.

The Maritimes has a footprint equal to southern Ontario. Southern Ontario has about 12 million people. The Maritimes could have a similar population too, without breaking too much of a sweat.

There is a central population corridor from Halifax to Saint John via Moncton which could accommodate half that population. There is even the potential for increased agricultural land in the Maritimes, especially along the Northumberland shore of NS, up the east coast of NB and along the river valleys in NB.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 5:33 PM
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In most other countries, the C-shaped corridor that rings the Bay of Fundy from Halifax to Saint John, via Moncton, would be a major population centre. It has almost all of the prerequisites: it's been settled continuously for 300 years; it has good farmland; it has natural transportation corridors and a lot of good, natural harbours; it has decent overland transportation, too - the central part of the Maritimes has a very decent intercity highway network; probably the best one outside of Southern Ontario and Quebec.

I guess history hasn't been kind to the Maritimes, which is why the population is so much smaller than it could be. Confederation was a bad setup for Atlantic Canada, tying two provinces that were about the size of US states (and one that was about the size of two counties) to two behemoths that already had over a million people each (in 1867) and vast tracts of northern resources to exploit. And then there was the fact that the Maritimes were far away from American export markets where a lot of Central Canadian industry was focused, and shipment out to sea could either be facilitated through Montreal or Portland, ME.

But another theory I'd offer - which I'd be willing to hear critique of - is that the Maritimes might have been unsuccessful because they chose decentralization within their boundaries, rather than extreme centralization within a decentralized federation. For example, Toronto is like the Buenos Aires of Ontario. All roads lead there. All the major civic institutions are there. A city like Winnipeg has an even more extreme position within Manitoba. Saint John could have been the Buenos Aires of New Brunswick, but instead the province shifted its weight around 3 cities, probably undermining Saint John in the process. In a similar vein, Alberta founded just one university for the first few decades of its existence: the University of Alberta. And BC had just one too: the University of British Columbia. But Nova Scotia always had many small colleges, none of them really a provincial land grant institution. This might have been fine in the old days of academia, where the purpose was to provide a social network for young upper class men, or train United Church ministers, but it kind of fails in the 21st century when a university needs to have the resource-gathering heft to secure funding for a major robotics lab.

I don't know enough about the Maritimes, but I think its best bet is to allow Halifax to gain a certain critical mass of population, after which its growth and economic diversification into a major metropolitan economy will probably take off more spontaneously. I'm not sure if the policies or the local outlook in the Maritimes favours this approach, though.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 7:19 PM
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I think its a valid point that the Maritimes are set up in a more decentralized fashion, one that was particularly suited to serving outports for fishing.

The result is not only a surplus of universities, but of elementary and high schools and hospitals, relative to population.

That's expensive, which in turn leads to a somewhat higher and less competitive tax regime.

It also reduces the natural incentive to urbanize to access public services, if those are sustained in small, isolated places.

To boost growth in cities like Halifax and St. John or even less populated Centres like Truro, Sydney, Moncton, etc. There is a need to cull the outports and reduce public service in far-flung areas.

This, of course, might be political suicide for a government of the day. But I think its inevitable.

Its essential for attracting and retaining local, Canadian/Immigrant youth.

You need those larger urban centres with greater nightlife, cultural and culinary amenities, as well as leading-edge post-secondary education and healthcare.

The impact would vary by province, but it could mean nixing more than 1/3 of elementary schools and hospitals.

But the result would support more advanced care being available in each province, a greater range of surgeries, more advanced education ( a New Brunswick medical school?) , and some savings government could put towards a more competitive tax situation.

If those issues could be addressed, I see no reason you couldn't get a Saint John to 250,000 in the medium term and HFX to 600,000 in the same time frame. Larger in the longer term.

The same issue is true for Newfoundland, where there is a crying need to scope the province back to 5-9 hub communities and nix a lot of the rest.

St. Johns, Cornerbrook, Gander, Goose Bay and a few others that make sense.

Then St. Johns can naturally grow to well over 500,000 and you get a second city of over 100,000 and that will really help economic performance.

There is a need to reduce reliance on resource industries for employment.

That doesn't mean scaling back on the industries themselves, but allowing modernization, which in turn reduces the relative employment level in that sector per unit of production.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 8:11 PM
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Outports are in Newfoundland. The struggling parts of the Maritimes are small rustbelt-style towns and cities that used to be based off of steel mills, pulp mills, clothing factories, mines, shipyards, etc. Some towns like Bridgewater still have this kind of industry (Michelin plant). It is a lot like New England would be if you subtracted Boston from the picture. The Maritimes don't really have large remote populations by Canadian standards, and they are not naturally poor. They have better farmland and natural resources than New England. They were well-off prior to Confederation.

Unfortunately the Maritimes were carved up into 3 parts for political reasons. New Brunswick was created to open up new government positions and provide more political power for Loyalists who would have otherwise been ruled from Halifax. PEI was a feudalist land development scheme designed to enrich landlords in Britain.

In the very early years the Maritimes were constantly invaded since they were the borderlands between France and Britain. The Maritimes were North America's equivalent of Belgium.

In more modern times, federal and provincial development plans have arguably harmed the region. They were largely focused on helping the hardest-hit areas. This had the effect of keeping people in small towns and rural areas longer. The urban/rural split alone explains a lot of the economic gap that exists today (which is no longer that large). By that I mean that small town NS performs similarly to small town Ontario and urban NS is similar to urban Ontario, but the proportions in the two provinces are different.

As far as NS goes the centralization in Halifax is already happening. Around 2/3 of the people in the province live within an hour or so of the city (metro Halifax and the first ring of towns like Kentville, Truro, and Lunenburg). Some nearby seemingly rural areas like Hants County have are actually more like exurbs. In the future, unless something changes, almost all growth in the region will be along the Halifax-Moncton corridor plus Fredericton and Charlottetown since those are provincial capitals. Unfortunately, Saint John and Sydney have lost out in this arrangement.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2018, 2:08 AM
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The Maritimes also got screwed post Confederation by the Gorillias in Confederation. Before Confederation, NB and NS had excellent trade connections with New England. With the fisheries and trade in general was north-south along the Atlantic coast line.

After Confederation, Canada wanted to focus on Quebec and Ontario, to the Maritimes detrement. They closed the border, trying to shift all trade to East-West instead of North South and focused on the St Lawrence/Great Lakes trade for Ontario/Quebec benefits. Thus not only was growth stunted in the Maritimes, their trade growth routes were cut off too.

The Frenc barrier of Quebec/Acadia between the Maritimes and the rest of English Canada didn't help either. Until recently (past 2 decades or so), Quebec was basically a commercial wall. Growing up here, I'd hear of all these restaurants and stores available in Ontario and West, but they never came further east than maybe Montreal. It did lead to NB/PEI/NS having a bit of a retail microcosm, of their own brands of restaurants and shops, but it wasn't until the 90's that I started noticing more than the biggest of national chains coming out here.

In an ideal world with an ideal history, the Maritimes should probably have 10x the population we currently have. We should probably have snagged Aroostock County in Maine when we had the chance and punched major transit (rail and highway) routes through there so we would have better and more direct connections to the Eastern Townships and Montreal. There would also be a major highway and rail connections through New England from Saint John to Boston and beyond. Saint John, Moncton (shifted to be closer to Fundy), and Halifax would be the end of the Atlantic seaboard, instead of Portland basically.

That does mean that we have lots of room for growth. For the theoretical Billion Canada, we would probably take more folk proportionally compared to other regions (We'd still probably top out around 30-50M total, maybe 75M at most). Halifax would sprawl more, but most of the growth would comparatively go to the rest of the cities as I outlined earlier. The Saint John river valley would also grow a lot since it would be one of the main transit routes in/out of the Maritimes. Moncton would truly be Halifax's regional rival, and Saint John would be a contender as well.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2018, 2:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
I think its a valid point that the Maritimes are set up in a more decentralized fashion, one that was particularly suited to serving outports for fishing.

The result is not only a surplus of universities, but of elementary and high schools and hospitals, relative to population.

That's expensive, which in turn leads to a somewhat higher and less competitive tax regime.

It also reduces the natural incentive to urbanize to access public services, if those are sustained in small, isolated places.

To boost growth in cities like Halifax and St. John or even less populated Centres like Truro, Sydney, Moncton, etc. There is a need to cull the outports and reduce public service in far-flung areas.

This, of course, might be political suicide for a government of the day. But I think its inevitable.

Its essential for attracting and retaining local, Canadian/Immigrant youth.

You need those larger urban centres with greater nightlife, cultural and culinary amenities, as well as leading-edge post-secondary education and healthcare.

The impact would vary by province, but it could mean nixing more than 1/3 of elementary schools and hospitals.

But the result would support more advanced care being available in each province, a greater range of surgeries, more advanced education ( a New Brunswick medical school?) , and some savings government could put towards a more competitive tax situation.

If those issues could be addressed, I see no reason you couldn't get a Saint John to 250,000 in the medium term and HFX to 600,000 in the same time frame. Larger in the longer term.

The same issue is true for Newfoundland, where there is a crying need to scope the province back to 5-9 hub communities and nix a lot of the rest.

St. Johns, Cornerbrook, Gander, Goose Bay and a few others that make sense.

Then St. Johns can naturally grow to well over 500,000 and you get a second city of over 100,000 and that will really help economic performance.

There is a need to reduce reliance on resource industries for employment.

That doesn't mean scaling back on the industries themselves, but allowing modernization, which in turn reduces the relative employment level in that sector per unit of production.
You have the right idea but to the wrong magnitude. Newfoundland should never be just 5 to 9 hub communities, but an elimination of about 50% of the tiniest communities will happen in due course anyway, as the stretched provision of services is what's bleeding the government dry. The same is true in the Maritimes but to a far lesser degree.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2018, 2:28 AM
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Nova Scotia used to extend to the Penobscot River in Maine. This area was eventually called New Ireland. Britain traded away that area at the end of the War of 1812.

This type of horse trading is part of why the American Revolution happened. Colonists would take over a part of North America and then Britain would trade it back for some island on the other side of the planet.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2018, 2:31 AM
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Outports are in Newfoundland. The struggling parts of the Maritimes are small rustbelt-style towns and cities that used to be based off of steel mills, pulp mills, clothing factories, mines, shipyards, etc. Some towns like Bridgewater still have this kind of industry (Michelin plant). It is a lot like New England would be if you subtracted Boston from the picture. The Maritimes don't really have large remote populations by Canadian standards, and they are not naturally poor. They have better farmland and natural resources than New England. They were well-off prior to Confederation.

Unfortunately the Maritimes were carved up into 3 parts for political reasons. New Brunswick was created to open up new government positions and provide more political power for Loyalists who would have otherwise been ruled from Halifax. PEI was a feudalist land development scheme designed to enrich landlords in Britain.

In the very early years the Maritimes were constantly invaded since they were the borderlands between France and Britain. The Maritimes were North America's equivalent of Belgium.

In more modern times, federal and provincial development plans have arguably harmed the region. They were largely focused on helping the hardest-hit areas. This had the effect of keeping people in small towns and rural areas longer. The urban/rural split alone explains a lot of the economic gap that exists today (which is no longer that large). By that I mean that small town NS performs similarly to small town Ontario and urban NS is similar to urban Ontario, but the proportions in the two provinces are different.

As far as NS goes the centralization in Halifax is already happening. Around 2/3 of the people in the province live within an hour or so of the city (metro Halifax and the first ring of towns like Kentville, Truro, and Lunenburg). Some nearby seemingly rural areas like Hants County have are actually more like exurbs. In the future, unless something changes, almost all growth in the region will be along the Halifax-Moncton corridor plus Fredericton and Charlottetown since those are provincial capitals. Unfortunately, Saint John and Sydney have lost out in this arrangement.
There is always a certain amount of conspiratorial theorizing in this kind of analysis, overlooking the changing economic realities of modernization and the global economy. By the same token, the UK should still be the leading world power. Of course, some of it may be true, but it's not all so cut and dry, being more economic than political in it's causation. To find the answer to these perceived problems, what changes would the actual solutions involve?
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  #39  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2018, 2:46 AM
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We can only speculate as to what might have happened but my post is mostly about historical fact.

For example the NS provincial government assumed over $1B in debt by 1990 or so (much more in today's dollars) to prop up SYSCO, the company that produced steel in Sydney. The provincial government then split the $400M cleanup cost with the federal government.

AECL also built two heavy water plants in Cape Breton that were unnecessary and were shut down in the 80's. There are many more of these schemes. Canada's governments sometimes do a good job of developing public infrastructure and delivering public services but they tend to do a bad job of picking economically advantageous private firms to fund.

I think NS would have been better off just having a lower tax rate, or investing more in conventional public infrastructure. Instead it's one of the highest tax jurisdictions in Canada. It's also traditionally done poorly on infrastructure funding since the federal government consider that economic development agencies like ACOA and ECBC take care of the region, but they pick economic development schemes, so they are not the same thing.

I don't think this approach happened because of a desire to keep Atlantic Canada down but I don't think it was good economic policy. And this question is still relevant today.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2018, 6:48 AM
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I agree with those saying population in big cities will level off, and then the next tier of cities will start seeing much more growth. The big 8/9 cities would all get to somewhere between 5 and 20 million people. But after that?
Red Deer, Medicine Hat, the Peace River area, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina, Brandon, all those mid-sized cities in Ontario that 1overcosc mentioned, and of course all of the Atlantic. Still lots of room to grow in Canada.

The 1 billion thing will definitely never happen, but it would be interesting to see what happens once growth in Toronto does level off. That would be a major shift in the way Canada absorbs immigrants. Will the rest of the big cities have to take on an even bigger share of immigrants, or would smaller cities start to play a larger role?
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