Monday, June 04, 2007

Massive Immigration Required To Sustain Canada

Ever wonder where our disdain for children and families larger than 0-2 will take us? REAL Women carried the following somber report in their latest newsletter.

[Vote Life, Canada! notes that if the Canadian Bishops had held a firm and faithful line since the 1960's on Catholic teaching regarding sexuality, especially the papal directive Humanae Vitae, Canada would be one of the few exceptional countries in the world not suffering from demographic collapse. In that sense it would have been a vindication on a worldwide scale for the truth of Christian teaching on God's order for sexuality.


Statistics Canada released a report on March 14, 2007 which pointed out that 2/3rds (66%) of Canada’s population growth today is fueled by immigration, and that by 2030, immigration will be the only source of Canada’s growth. This is due to Canada’s abysmal birth rate of only 1.5 children per woman of childbearing age. We have a population today of 31.6 million and by 2050 it is estimated that we will have grown to 43 million, but any such increase will be due entirely to immigration.

At present, Canada accepts 240,000 immigrants per year, which is the highest per capita immigration rate among the industrialized countries. This distinguishes Canada from the United States, where 60% of its growth is “natural increase”, due to its birth rate of 2.1 children per woman of childbearing age.

Because of our need for immigrants, Canada plans to admit between 240,000 and 265,000 immigrants in 2007. Of these, about 60% are to be economic class, meaning badly needed skilled workers, 25% family class, and 15% protected persons (refugees).

The largest sources of immigrants to Canada are, in order: China, India, Philippines, Pakistan, United States, Columbia, UK, South Korea, Iran and France.

Canada’s growth is largely concentrated in a handful of metropolitan areas and their suburbs, to which 80% of our country’s newcomers are attracted – especially Toronto (population of 5.1 million), Montreal (3.6 million) and Vancouver (2.1 million). Such a concentration of population, however, causes traffic congestion, higher pollution levels and over burdened public transit systems. Social tensions also rise, with strains on schools and workplaces, as newcomers struggle to adjust to a country, that, unfortunately, does a poor job of helping them. Canada will have to do a better job of integration to accommodate these newcomers, many of whom have trouble finding jobs suitable to their skills.

Unfortunately, second generation immigrants are just like native-born Canadians, in that, instead of having large families, they only have one or two children. This means that, in order for immigration to sustain Canada, we must bring in massive numbers of immigrants each year – at least twice our current level, e.g. 500,000 immigrants per year. It is a fact, however, that Canada took in 400,000 immigrants in 1913 when our population was barely 7 million! So this may not be as impossible a number as one might think.

Moreover, we cannot always count on Canada continuing to be a desirable destination for immigrants as there already is competition among other countries for educated and prosperous immigrants, i.e. Australia and Europe. Complicating matters further is the fact that China and India are currently experiencing economic booms, so there is no longer the incentive for many residents from there to emigrate to Canada.

We have to deal with these problems now.

Government Is Aware of the Problem

The current government is apparently aware of this problem. However, it has not yet found a solution to it. REAL Women found this out when we attended a consultation with the Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, in February, about six weeks before the budget was handed down. There were about 20 selected groups at this consultation, who were requested to put forward their concerns about the budget. REAL Women raised the demographic issue – namely, our low birth rate that will result in Canada being unable to sustain its social infrastructure in the near future.

We suggested that efforts must be made by the government to include in its budget provisions to lighten the load for struggling families in order to provide an incentive for Canadians to have more children. We recommended lower taxes; splitting incomes for families; increasing financial benefits and extending maternity benefits to the self-employed and those on contract, who are currently not eligible for maternity leave; spousal exemption to match personal exemption in the Income Tax Act; and a financial programme to allow parents to care for their disabled children (similar to the RRSP and RESP Education fund), i.e. a fund giving shelters to contributors who wish to protect their disabled children in later life: i.e. a Registered Disability Saving Plan (RDSP). We were pleased that the budget included at least two of REAL Women’s recommendations: the increase in spousal exemption and the fund for disabled children.

What was interesting to us, however, was that in his summation of the discussions during the meeting, Mr. Flaherty directly referred to Canada’s demographic problems, both now and in the future, and the difficulty of encouraging individuals to live away from major cities and the problem of encouraging an increase in the birth rate.

Mr. Flaherty’s genuine concern about Canada’s demographic problems was also reflected in his budget speech when he stated, “We need to make it more affordable for people to have children and to raise them”. We couldn’t agree more and are pleased that the government is not only concerned about it, but has at least attempted to assist families in their responsibilities, for example, by providing the new $2000 child tax benefit, which will provide up to $310 of tax relief for each child under 18 years of age, affecting more than 3 million Canadian families. Other family based benefits were also encouraging.

Abortion Creates a Demographic Deficit

One solution to our low birth rate is staring us in the face, but is never mentioned in political circles. It is that unrestricted abortion in Canada is contributing, in large part, to our demographic problem. We cannot continue killing over 100,000 of our future citizens each year without paying a heavy price. If these dispensable children had been allowed to live, they would become our future taxpayers, skilled workers and professionals and the mothers and fathers of future generations. Such a loss to Canada is incalculable.

Further Solutions to Our Demographic Deficit

It is time to look to other countries, such as France, which has implemented policies that have had some effect in raising its birth rate to 1.9 children per woman of childbearing age, which is the highest in Europe. A third of the births in France, however, are not of the French but of the new Muslim community that has moved into the country. Plainly put, France will very soon become a country that is not French! Generous tax subsidies for families in France with three or more children nonetheless has spurred a mini-renaissance in that country’s birth rate. Why not apply such incentives here as well?

The French government, for example, provides family allowances, which include a special allowance for parents with a handicapped child or ill child if he/she requires parental care; housing allowance to help offset housing costs; school allowance for children three to 18 years going to school, pursuing an apprenticeship program or other studies; allowance for child care at home for children under six years of age; allowance for a second child up to 20 years of age and increased allowance for each subsequent child born to that family. These many benefits make a big difference to families in France and they would to Canadian families too. Money spent to assist parents raising their children is a much better investment than a national day care plan, which will cost Canadians between $12 - $15 billion annually and which will not increase the birth rate. This is evidenced by the province of Quebec, even though it has provided a $7.00 per day child care program since 1997, this has had no effect on Quebec’s birth rate.

Increased family benefits is surely the direction the government should take if we are to have a higher birth rate in Canada. That, and changing our disgraceful law allowing unrestricted abortion.



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