Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rep by Pop II

Glad to see some consensus on this by the Liberals and Tories at Queen's Park. The demographic shake-out of Canada -- the huge growth of the Ontario West and the relative stagnation of the provinces east of the Ottawa River -- will be the biggest problem facing Canada in the next generation. My kids and people of their age group will have to answer the political questions that arise when British Columbia and Alberta surpass Quebec in population and GDP. Together, those provinces are approaching that point now. In thirty years, each one will do so separately.
Quebec has already slipped, in my lifetime, from having 25% of the country's population to having about 20%. Ontario and Quebec had almost identical populations during Canada's Centennial year in 1967. Now Ontario has almost double. Quebec's population is about 7.2 million. Ontario's is 12.8 million. Both were at about 6 million in 1967. Quebec's birthrate is below replacement, and the median age of its population is older than the national average. Ontario's GDP was $537.604 billion in 2005. Quebec's was $274.863 billion, almost exactly half. Here in Ottawa, people still talk and act as though Ontario and Quebec are close to being equal in population and GDP. The demographic and political realities of the 1960s were supposed to be frozen in time by Meech Lake and Charlottetown. Canada's elites could then pretend that Quebec's suicidal social, economic and language policies had no impact on Quebec's growth. Fortunately, as Canada evolves, its people will be able to fully discuss the implications of population change.

Wednesday update:
The Toronto Star's Ian Urquhart writes a good column on the issue, coming close to answering the question: "Why won't some federal party stand up for Ontario?"

3 comments:

nomdeblog said...

Good comments.

“as Canada evolves, its people will be able to fully discuss the implications of population change.”

This has already taken place with Bouchard’s Manifesto. Unfortunately our MSM does not want to discuss the prognosis, particularly the demographic disclosures; while disastrous in Quebec, demographics will also play out in Ontario to some degree as well.

Mark Steyn’s America Alone is similar to the Manifesto in that it deals with demographics and backsliding socialism causing ghettos in Paris etc.

Socialism can appear to work as long as a growing, educated, assimilated population backfills the squandering of the nanny state faster than the politicians can dig their own hole.

But France has elected Sarkozy and maybe Quebec will soon have Dumont. Both have their flaws but both are change agents that will champion family values and more Anglo-American capitalism. Hopefully there’s still time to turn around these badly managed situations.

Is it fair to say the lack of a competitive, vibrant, self-critical MSM in France and Quebec are a primary cause of decline?
Or
Too much trust in their selfish political class?

Ottawa Watch said...

Staeyn's numbers are funny, but not funny ha-ha. They work on the assumption that second-generation birth rates stay high. In fact, if the pattern holds, the second generation birth rate from Third World immigrant Canadians will be the same as every one else's

nomdeblog said...

Unlike Bouchard’s Manifesto, I didn’t pay much attention to what Steyn said about demographics here, I was looking at what he said about demographics in Europe and I thought he was using that as canary in the coal mine. Europeans simply don’t have experience with immigration and assimilation.

His point in France, for example, is the Islamic immigrants from North Africa are in the Paris banlieues, the projects, they are not assimilating, those women are still having lots of kids who are not assimilating versus the rest of France which is barren.

Whereas, here in North America we are a nation(s) of immigrants. So far, most are assimilating and thus immigrant women soon want careers versus large families. But I think we should beware of multiculturalism (versus assimilation) that creates isolated ethnic groups for political purposes. We could be heading toward the same problem as the banlieus .. Jane and Finch for example in Toronto. Hence the comment that Europe is the canary.

Interestingly Quebec has historically taken in only those that they thought would easily assimilate. Recently, they are coming up against the “reasonable accommodation” questions when confronted with groups very different from the pur laine.