Low birth rate poses social challenge
As pressing as climate change, historian says Norma Greenaway, The Ottawa Citizen Published: Friday, September 29, 2006 Canada’s “birth dearth” promises to pose as many pressing challenges topolicy-makers as global warming, and there is no time to waste in taking action to encourage people to have more children, says historian IanDowbiggin.
Mr. Dowbiggin told a pro-family conference in Ottawa yesterday that any footdragging will take an economic and social toll on the country, and also fuel calls for “right-to-die” legislation. “Many experts predict that aging national populations will boost support forthe rationing of health care resources and the legalization of euthanasia,either in the form of physician-assisted suicide or voluntary lethalinjection,” said Mr. Dowbiggin, who is writing Where Have All the Babies Gone, a book exploring the causes and impact of declining birth rates in theworld.
Mr. Dowbiggin said Canadians are only slowly waking up to the policy implications of a birth rate of only 1.5 children for each woman on everything from health care and education to immigration and taxation.
Uh…Yeah. Like I have been saying this PUBLICLY and AS A POLITICIAN FOR YEARS. But nobody listens to me. That’s fine. If you won’t listen to me, you’ll listen to the almighty dollar. Sooner or later, immorality costs you economically. The problem is that most Red Tories have their red necks so far up their….nevermind. Don’t get me started. Let’s just say that I was right (as usual) and they were wrong. What’s my ancient Chinese Secret (as the Calgon lady used to ask)? It’s called looking beyond 2 or 3 years, and giving a damn about the next generation of children. Oops. Almost forgot! Canadians don’t have many. Duh.
Like the debate about how to deal with climate change, however, it is picking upsteam, he said. He argued that immigration alone is unlikely to solve the looming problem ofan aging population, especially given the security concerns and anti-immigrant sentiments that have emerged in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, environment. If current trends continue, there will be more people in Canada in 2017 overthe age of 65 than under the age of 15. Mr. Dowbiggin was speaking at a one-day conference sponsored by the Institute of Marriage and Family in Canada, which was created early this year as the research arm of Focus on the Family, a lobby group that has, among other things, campaigned against same-sex marriage. His speech was delivered on the heels of fresh warnings from Statistics Canada that the number of deaths in Canada will exceed the number of births by around 2030.
Party on dude. It’s not their problem. Some future schmuck politician will have to deal the problem. Pass the trojans.
Mr. Dowbiggin, a professor at the University of Prince Edward Island, said the government’s top priority should be to introduce financial incentives for people to have children. He cited options ranging from hefty baby bonuses to tax changes that end the situation where a family with a stay-at-home parent normally pays higher taxes than a double-income family making the same total salary. The government’s next step, he said, should be to end all funding of family planning groups on grounds that they have helped created a cultural climate that discourages women from having children.
My lord! Did you see what he just said! It looked like, seemed like, appeared like he just questioned the most holy secular sacrament of contraception! Ooooo. The natives are not going to be very happy about that one.
“The birth dearth is not driven by personal preference,” he argued, citing a 1997 Gallup poll of 16 countries, among them Canada, that found people would be happy to have more children if their societies validated bigger families. The poll said Canadian respondents put the average ideal family size at between 2.4 and 2.6 children.
NOT ENOUGH. TRY AGAIN.