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The idea that Canada has a problem with overpopulation might strike most Canadians as absurd Many see Canada as a vast empty land ripe for massive human settlement Cassils Ward 2001 Recent insights suggest that people greatly overestimate Canadas carrying capacity To bring about major and essential shifts in perception Canada needs to develop a population policy that looks at human numbers in the context of the natural environment that supports them Cassils Ward 2001 Accepting the common thought that Canada is a lightly populated country most Canadians have concluded that the problem of overpopulation is a concern of other places and not them However the numbers say otherwise Since Confederation the Canadian population has grown very quickly It rose from 3463000 in 1867 to 31000000 in 2001 Statistics Canada 2002 The following chart shows this rise in population and its occurrence in each province Statistics Canada 2002 estimates that the population should reach about 36000000 in 2025 Joel Cohen 1995 calculates that if every couple from 1990 on had exactly as many children as required to replace the parents the world population would grow from 53 billion in 1990 to 77 billion in 2050 However with the expected surge of environmental disasters and the accompanying rise in the number of environmental and economic refugees and the growth of human smuggling the population may be much higher within a generation or two Daily Ehrlich Ehrlich 1994 This represents a potential attack of which the Government of Canada is aware but for which it appears to be very ill-prepared Population 19971998199920002001 thousands Canada299872302482304992307697310819 Newfoundland and Labrador55415453540753725338 Prince Edward Island13691369137613811385 Nova Scotia93459361939794129427 New Brunswick75427533754475537571 Quebec7302673236734977377774105 Ontario112495113873115227116853118744 Manitoba1136611379114241146011500 Saskatchewan1022010249102551022010158 Alberta2837229068295953009230642 British Columbia3959739971402814058840959 Yukon322315310306299 Northwest Territories418411410409409 Nunavut259264269274282 Data retrieved on July 1 of each year Source Statistics Canada CANSIM II table 051-0001 Last modified March 22 2002 To date no Canadian government has adopted a population policy or even
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