In 2012 the Canadian government spent 5.6 billion dollars on foreign aid, and given that our new Prime Minister has already pledged billions more to help third world nations fight climate change we can only expect this number to increase. These funds are mostly directed towards local CIDA employees, businesses and NGOs. There is no question that we have a moral obligation towards those who live in the third world, but is this band-aid solution really the best we can do?
There is another alternative, one which would not simply help a few people living in poverty get through another day, but which has the power to uplift billions out of poverty and benefit our nation at the same time. Canada should adopt a policy of open borders. This would simultaneously allow all of those who moved here enjoy a higher standard of living, which would in turn enable them to bring and support their families and friends. This massive increase in population would be a boon to our economy and these newcomers would be able send money back home to their families. Instead of forcing taxpayers to finance foreign aid schemes, why not simply let individuals who want to come here and send their own wages home, do so?
There really is no limit on how many people our society can absorb. Housing is flexible. No doubt initially, immigrants might have to pile a dozen into an apartment, but as they all found jobs this would normalize and the resultant increased demand would stimulate construction and over time balance things out. By allowing tens of millions of individuals suffering under the yoke of tyrannical governments and the oppressive poverty ubiquitous throughout the developing world we can transform their lives, and all without slipping our hands into the pockets of the working poor. Canada has the second largest land mass of any country in the world with a population of a very large metropolitan area. We have the room and people out there are suffering. Why not let them in? Why not turn our entire country into a safe space for those who wish simply to be left alone and to live in peace?
If we couple this program with a liberalizing of the economy, we could also help to transform the third world. It is no coincidence that some nations are rich and some are poor. The deciding factor in the growth of the wealth of a nation is the degree of economic freedom which exists. By coupling an aggressive program of laissez-faire with a permissive immigration policy we would not only see phenomenal economic growth here at home we would also inspire the future leaders of third world nations to copy us and promote a free society in their homelands. Ideals ultimately determine the course of history so it is incumbent upon us to advocate for the right ones.
Of course there are risks to immigration, as there are to anything. Some who come might be criminals, and they would need to be deported and banned from ever re-entering our country. We should screen for disease, and cooperate with foreign governments or other organizations to try to keep out terrorists. But these risks are minor and functioning society need not fear newcomers.
Foreign aid is a stop gap measure. Instead of bailing out the boat, let's fix the damn hole, and bring on the immigrants.