Canada’s birthrate is low, too low, and Steve Lafleur from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy argues in a recent National Post article that the only way to save our economy is through immigration. You can read the article here.
Certainly, the demographic trend is scary: by 2020, the proportion of Canadians over the age of 60 will be approximately 30%. But is immigration the only way to fix this? Mr. Lafleur offers many interesting changes to the current immigration policy, ways in which immigration can become more affordable for Canadians and more effective for our economy. Some of these changes are laudable. But what Mr. Lafleur dismisses in a word as something unrealistic at the end of his article is where our government and our society should turn their eyes to: Canada’s fertility rates.
The reality is that Canadians can and must do better on this front. Too often society frames child-bearing and child-rearing as a burden, as an expensive drag, as old-fashioned, a career killer, etc., etc. And our governments do little to encourage childbearing and rearing.
Only recently has the federal government dared to entertain the idea of income splitting which would allow a single income family to fall into a lower income tax category by splitting the income of the breadwinner with the stay-at-home parent. But we need to go beyond the money. Abortion is legal and available in Canada through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason or no reason at all. We are killing over 100,000 unborn Canadians a year. This number alone could greatly improve Canada’s demographic reality. Adoption must be promoted and the process made easier and more accessible for those unplanned and unwanted children so that they are not, literally, thrown into the dumpster. Our social institutions and businesses must become more baby-friendly. Our churches must continue to preach the truth about children: they are a gift, a joy and a wonderful responsibility.
In short, Canadians need to re-evaluate what is important for them, and what matters in the long run. And as Christians, the very first thing we can do is correct anyone who might ever suggest that having multiple children is a bad thing.