You might wonder why city staff in towns like Campbell River, Courtenay, and Nanaimo, BC or 500 other localities across the land are threatened with disciplinary action if they leak information about the hidden pro-growth agendas of their "employers"--the mayors and town councillors. Well, here is the context. Regional planners, under the direction of their political overlords---the proxies of developers----are trying to shove tens of thousands more people into the North Vancouver Island region. And they don't want people get wind of it, or at least to grasp the full implications of their devious plans. Sound familiar? It should. What is transpiring here is transpiring across Canada and the continent of North America--and elsewhere. New subdivisions are sprouting up all over the map in place of greenbelts, woodlands and marshes and the people have little say in the matter.
Fake environmentalists facilitate growth whilst pretending to 'manage' growth
The most frustrating thing about this development is that fake environmentalists are able to pose as the peoples' champions in resisting this imposition. But their issue is not with population growth, which they contend is inevitable, but with "sprawl"---even though at least half of sprawl is driven by population growth and not by poor land-use planning (cf. "Outsmarting Smart Growth" by Kolankiewicz, Beck and Camarotta). They want to 'manage' growth and steer it away from farmland, while packing the unending stream of newcomers into tighter and denser lots alongside existing residents, who are encouraged to surrender their living space in the interests of food security and the environment. Thus people are presented with a false antithesis. Either accept growth with sprawl or so-called 'smart' growth without it. The local NDP, Greens and environmentalists tell people that population growth is something not in their jurisdiction, that immigration (or child benefits) policy is a federal matter and that nothing can prevent inter-provincial migration as guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In other words, growth out of their hands. Yet which political parties receive top marks from the Sierra Club? The federal Greens and the federal NDP. And what is their immigration policy? To increase the absurdly high immigration intake quota of the Harper Government by 25%, while matching or besting its pro-natalist programs.
Guilt and the Outdoor Living Channel
This is the pretend-game that enviromental NGOs play. Either population growth is not controllable, or even if it is, they have nothing to do with it--- and in any case, it has little bearing on environmental degradation, whether farmland or species loss, or GHG emissions. "It's not whether we grow", they argue, "but how we grow". Sprawl can be cured by good planning. Just squeeze tighter in the sardine can so that incoming migrants can snuggle up to you. And above all, feel guilty about having extra space in the backyard for your son to play in or a nature trail at the end of your block to take your dog. If it is nature that you want, well, you can get that on the Outdoor Living Channel, can't you?
Fight growth, not the symptoms of growth
Let me confess that whether it is the white-flight "Freedom 55s" from Alberta or California, or people from across the world, I've never felt lonely enough to want them living under my nose, and neither do most of us who chose our 'low-density" lifestyle. Some may call that selfish, I call it a human right. Is it my demand for space that is unreasonable, or the demand that I accept as reasonable a human population level that is 250% higher now than when I was born? Why are we being forced to accept population growth? One principal reason. Population growth is thought to be a necessary agent of economic growth, our Great God. The myth that continued economic growth is necessary, desirable, inevitable or even possible remains our major stumbling block, the first domino of misconceptions that must fall before we can reclaim any semblance of the quality of life that we once enjoyed. We are in a foot race with Mother Nature. If we don't stop growth, she will stop us. Time is almost up. Don't let the Pied Pipers of Fake Environmentalism lead you down a futile path. Fight growth, not the symptoms of growth.