Maximum Canada | Penguin Random House Canada
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Maximum Canada

Why 35 Million Canadians Are Not Enough

Publisher: Knopf Canada
To face the future, Canada needs more Canadians. But why and how many?
Canada’s population has always grown slowly, when it has grown at all. That wasn’t by accident. For centuries before Confederation and a century after, colonial economic policies and an inward-facing world view isolated this country, attracting few of the people and building few of the institutions needed to sustain a sovereign nation. In fact, during most years before 1967, a greater number of people fled Canada than immigrated to it. Canada’s growth has faltered and left us underpopulated ever since.
     At Canada’s 150th anniversary, a more open, pluralist and international vision has largely overturned that colonial mindset and become consensus across the country and its major political parties. But that consensus is ever fragile. Our small population continues to hamper our competitive clout, our ability to act independently in an increasingly unstable world, and our capacity to build the resources we need to make our future viable.
     In Maximum Canada, a bold and detailed vision for Canada’s future, award-winning author and Globe and Mail columnist Doug Saunders proposes a most audacious way forward: to avoid global obscurity and create lasting prosperity, to build equality and reconciliation of indigenous and regional divides, and to ensure economic and ecological sustainability, Canada needs to triple its population.


Longlisted for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction [2018]
[An] important book. . . . Saunders’s new book provides a highly professional explanation of how we came to our present ‘crisis of underpopulation’—and why this crisis has beset Canada and pre-Confederation versions of Canada since the European landing. . . . Saunders is at his most persuasive in emphasizing that most of Canada’s modern history consists not of immigration into our country, but indeed of net outmigration and exodus—bleeding—by millions who went on to make their fortunes in, and pay taxes to, other countries, clearly to the loss of Canada and the Canadian project.” —The Globe and Mail
“[R]equired reading for anyone interested in Canadian demographics and the challenges and choices facing our country.” —Policy Options
“[A] timely look forward into the future from 2017, Canada’s 150th anniversary since Confederation. Maximum Canada’s central premise is sure to provoke anyone raised to embrace Canada’s open spaces and distant geography (i.e. everyone in this country).” —Pique Newsmagazine