Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Latest StatsCan Study Proves Immigration Cannot Reverse Canada's Ageing Demographic Trend

Amid a greying GTA, a young oasis in Peel

Jul 18, 2007 04:30 AM

Robyn Doolittle
Louise Brown
Jim Wilkes
Staff Reporters

Kshitij Gaur's biggest problem with Brampton is the crowds.

He moved here three years ago from New Delhi to raise a family. He already had a wife and daughter and has since added a son.

He has no problem finding community centres, shopping or schools. It just takes a while to get to them. "The streets are very crowded. There is lots of traffic," he said.

Clearly, Brampton's having some growing pains – in more ways than one. Census numbers from 2006 show Brampton has a higher proportion of children 15 and under – 22.9 per cent – than any Greater Toronto community.

The city's median age is just 33.7, five years younger than greybeard neighbour Toronto and almost six years less than the Canadian median of 39.5 years.

Brampton bucks the nationwide trend, which actually saw the number of children under age 15 decline by 2.5 per cent over the five years from 2001 to 2006. The proportion of under-15s across the country is 17. 7 per cent.

On the other end of the spectrum, nearly one out of three Canadians is a baby boomer, aged between 41 and 60. The 65-and-over population is also booming, so to speak, as it's now a record-high 13.7 per cent of the country's population.


"All our growth now is in Brampton because that's where the open fields are; right up Highway 10 to the east and the west – and they're all new Canadians, predominantly south Asians," says Janet McDougald, chair of the Peel District School Board and long an advocate of more money for 905 schools.

Read the whole article here.

For almost three decades Canadians have been told that we need mass immigration to reverse Canada’s aging demographic trend. This latest StatsCan study shows that immigration has so far failed to achieve this end. In fact it hasn’t even made an impact at all.

The Star article doesn’t make this point but it doesn’t want to. The Star, like most mass media in Canada, care more to avoid such a discussion. The article was written to show Canadians how immigration has kept this part of Canada young. But it is not that young. Most of the immigrants to this part of the Greater Toronto Area (the GTA) come from South Asia. They are already married and already have kids and they just bring them here. They also bring in their aged relatives and this is one reason why immigration has failed to positively effect Canada’s aging population. Because of family class immigration Canada has stupidly assisted the graying of our society by bringing in the parents of both spouses to Canada. Per Capita, Canada imports more people over the age of 65 then who turn 65 in our country. Because of this the average age of immigrants to Canada has been steadily increasing to the average age of 35.

StatsCan has also shown twice now that immigrant women have the same number of children as Canadian women do. Only two groups, Muslims and Sikhs, had birth rates higher than the national average of 1.5 and that is due to cultural reasons. However, it is likely that their children will have same number of children as Canadian women do now. That is because Canada’s low birth rate is tied to local socio-economic reasons. In other words, in Canada’s uncertain economy and insecure job market Canadians cannot afford to have more children if any at all.

Historically Canada has depended on a natural birth rate to replace and grow its population and less so on immigration. That’s because immigration alone cannot keep Canada’s population young and growing. For it to do so “immigration levels would eventually have to rise to 28 times their present level, bringing Canada's population to a staggering level of 165.4 million in 2050.” This is from an bulletin that is worth the read.

Ottawa needs to effect policies that encourage Canadians to have more children. That is the only solution. Immigration is not the solution. The only certain thing immigration trends will bring about is population replacement as immigrants settle, cluster, and colonize Canadian neighbourhoods and towns thus driving out Canadians or reducing them to minority status. If this is what is meant by the “New Canada” then I prefer the “Old Canada” thank you very much. There was nothing wrong with it anyways.

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