Saturday, 22 September 2007

Professional Canadian women in their 30s panic, decide to have kid(s)

Older mothers leading miniboom
Statistics Canada; For first time, more babies born to women over 30
Allison Hanes, National Post
Published: Saturday, September 22, 2007

Professional women in their early 30s who have postponed motherhood to build careers appear to be on the leading edge of a mini baby boom, in the first demographic showing of a societal shift toward more older mothers than younger.

For the first time, women in the 30-to-34-age bracket have outpaced younger mothers in producing children, according to the latest demographic data from Statistics Canada.

Note - I think these women will change their minds if they read a McLean’s Magazine piece on Canadian birth rates. It describes how women hit a "glass ceiling" when they have children and that most female CEOs and upper managers are child less. The implication is that career oriented women hit a career rut after child birth and are thus less inclined to have many children if any at all.

There are many reasons why Canada has a low birth rate. One of the chief reasons is that women today are more selfish than ever. I say this not to be insulting but to describe that women today, and men equally so, are more concerned about themselves more than anything. Relationships are built to fulfill personal needs and not built out of a genuine concern and love for another. That would require a selfless impulse. Having children is also selfless and Canadians just can't bother themselves to do that. If you think my calling of the modern Canadian woman as selfish is harsh and judgmental just bear in mind that the two most common reasons for abortion in Canada is that having a child would interfere with career goals or education or both. And in the vast majority of cases, abortion is murder. If dehumanizing the fetus makes murder all the more palatable for you then just keep telling yourself that a fetus is not really a human being. That's what the Nazi's considered the Jews as they gassed them in Auschwitz and the Europeans considered the Africans as they took the newly born children away from their crying mother’s arms to be sold into slavery. "They don't feel emotions the way we do," the slave traders would tell themselves. By they way, over 100,000 abortions are performed in Canada each year at tax payer expense. Now there's a good place to start to affect positive population growth.

For these women, having a child is just another "thing" to augment their social standing and so they have a child before their womb dries up and dies.

"My hunch would be that these are women who postponed their pregnancies and are now reaching a period where if you're going to have a child it's now or never," said Amelie Quesnel-Vallee, a sociologist at McGill University in Montreal.

They'll most likely have just one child even though they can afford to have more. After nine months and a caesarian section they'll just hand off their child rearing responsibilities to a Filipino nanny and be absent for the most important years of a child's developmental life because mommy has a career that needs to be nursed, which is, after all, the only child she cares about anyway.

However there are many women, and men, who dearly want children but economic factors prevent them from doing so. There has been an assault on families since the mid 1970s spearheaded by the private sector with complicit government support. If Ottawa wants to reverse the low fertility rate trend it needs to support Canadian families.

Even this latest boost was not spread evenly across the country. Births actually fell in four provinces -- Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick -- as well as the Yukon Territory. Ontario experienced a slight uptick of just under 1%, leaving Quebec and Alberta out front with 3.1% and 3.3% increases respectively.

Kevin Milligan, a professor of economics at the University of British Columbia, said these two provinces show opposite ends of the spectrum in the economic conditions that encourage fertility.

"In Alberta, what you see is the economy is growing very quickly and there's lots of employment and lots of wage increases. People are very confident about their future, they're confident about future incomes -- they'll be able to afford to have children. That may be what's driving things in Alberta," he said.

"In Quebec, what's happened there is a lot of policy development over the last decade that's made it perhaps more affordable to have a child because the price is going down."

Secure economic futures and government support: these two factors are attributed to an increase in birth rates in the two provinces leading in Canadian childbirths. These two factors were also in place during the post war baby boom causing Canada to have the largest birth rate in the industrialized world. These two factors, unfortunately, saw their dissolutions start in the mid 1970s sucker punching the economic prospects of those born in that decade and derailing Canada's future fertility rates. That's why thirty years later Canada has historically low birth rates. It's because it is harder to financially care for children, to say nothing of taking care of you, since the post war period.

Canada needs to adopt policies to support its families if population growth and labour shortages are a real concern.Newfoundland has already taken steps in that direction. Ottawa needs to follow. We cannot depend on the private sector. The public sector needs to take the initiative. France has also experienced an increase in birth rates due to government actions. This is what Canada needs to do for the sake of its future.

Dependence on mass immigration is not the solution. It never was. I argue it has contributed to more problems today than it has solved. Historically Canada's population growth was due to a natural increase and less so on immigration. It is only recently that Canada has had to turn to immigration solely for its population growth. However, StatsCan has found that immigrant women have the same birth rates as their Canadian counterparts. Most ethnic groups fall within or below Canada's current birth rate of 1.5 with Muslims and Hindus exceeding it. Immigrants may bring three or four kids to Canada but it is likely their children will have small families if they have kids at all.

Canada's low birth rate is a domestic problem that requires a domestic solution, not a foreign one. Canada needs to enact polices that support families and encourages child births. It should help those who want to have kids and tax those who don't. This is the best way to solve Canada's low fertility rate. We need more Canadian children, not more immigrants. Where will Canada get the money to support its people? How about from immigration? It is estimated that it costs Canadians around $2-4 billion a year just to service it. It we dramatically cut numbers and concentrate on the importation of people who have jobs waiting for them here and their nuclear families only, then this would free up hundreds of millions of tax dollars a year. This money could then be redirected to address Canada’s fertility rate concerns in the form of tax rebates or baby bonuses. I know immigration lawyers and those employed in the immigration industry would object but they should go get real jobs.

The whole article can be found here.

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