Raul Freitas

40, And Counting




40 million. Not such a large number of people, when you consider the size of the area known as Canada. That being said, most of the population lies on its most southern border. The reason for this is mostly due to economics and weather. To the south lies the U.S., Canada’s biggest trading partner, to the north lies adverse weather and terrain. In the end there isn’t really a lot of space to distribute a growing population, without huge and expensive development in areas that are now forests and quarries. Where do we go from here? Well, the current Ontario premiere is showing the way, by allowing development in the greenspaces that were once protected.

Farmers are also giving in to the siren song called “millions of dollars”, which, when you think about it, is an offer difficult to refuse. It’s Ok though, Canadians can just keep importing whatever they need to eat from the Americans, (and others), as they currently do, although counting so heavily on other countries to feed your population is not a completely comfortable situation to be in.

All that aside, I’m left wondering how it will all play out. How are governments going to handle the growing population, when all they do is disagree and delay? What’s the model for the future? I don’t actually think there is one. There doesn’t seem to be a current one, other than patching up holes as they appear, and even that isn’t being done in a satisfactory manner. Deep down we all know this, and we all stress over it, but merely surviving has most of us too busy to care enough to consciously deliberate and ponder this most important issue. If we did, I fear our day-to-day would collapse. Covid was a good example of that. Suddenly people had nothing to do but ponder, and they deliberated. The result was many leaving their routines, to seek an improvement in the quality of their lives. It’s a phenomenon that is still a stone in the government’s shoe. Our daily distraction with meaningless chores is key to society as we know it. Governments need for us to toe the line; the current system feeds off that. I don’t believe that there is any planning for the future of population growth, or an ageing society, or even climate change. Governments are there for damage control. They created laws, checks and balances, tell us what to do and when to do it, under the guise that we are all free to do what we wish.

What needs to be done is real planning, with real forethought into the needs of the people. Currently, the majority of the population is undervalued and, in many cases, undermined. The majority is only significant when a vote is needed, otherwise it’s business as usual. All the basic needs of the population are in jeopardy: Housing, health care, energy, food. All these are a problem right now, so how can they plan for the future?

At the moment, when most people picture the future, what do they see? They see what they are living now, but worse. Higher prices, less availability, lower capacity to cope. It’s all so one-sided, and it’s getting worse. While we watch a handful pay fortunes to spend a few minutes in space, scores are lining up hoping to get a meal. We better start building the roof before the sky begins to fall.

Fiquem bem.

Raul Freitas/MS

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