Century Initiative focusing on five key pillars for smart population growth
TORONTO – Canada needs to increase its population by the end of this century to maintain its international standing and grow its economy. This will protect important social services that contribute to a high quality of life for all Canadians. That’s the recommendation of the Century Initiative, a new group that includes a cross-section of engaged Canadians from all parts of the country and representing business, financial, academic and social sectors.
“Simply put, Canada isn’t growing its population fast enough to ensure that we continue to have an economy that is large enough to drive employment, innovation and investment,” says Thomas Milroy, Managing Director, Generation Capital Limited and a founding member of the Century Initiative. “We want to make sure that theCanada we leave to our children and grandchildren is as great as it can be, and that means getting a lot bigger between now and 2100 – and doing so in a way that respects and maintains the things we all love about this country.”
Canada faces major demographic headwinds. Canada’s population is aging rapidly at the same time that Canadians are having fewer children, with seniors expected to outnumber children under the age of 14 for the first time next year. Our natural population growth will turn negative in 20 years. This will put a major strain on healthcare and Canada’s retirement income support systems.
Labour force growth has been the major driver of Canadian economic growth since the First World War. Without it, it will be hard to preserve the things Canadians cherish most about being Canadian and it will have major implications for the next generation. According to a new report from the Conference Board of Canada, commissioned by the Century Initiative and available at (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/abstract.aspx?did=8282), increased immigration will provide an important source of labour and will help Canada generate stronger long-term economic growth. The Century Initiative is focused on five critical pillars that Canada needs to grow responsibly and to succeed economically:
Early Childhood Support, to provide meaningful assistance to women and families through sound policies on maternity, child care and education;
- Education, to provide outstanding academic opportunities, attract international students, and ensure meaningful job prospects after graduation;
- Trade and Innovation, to grow robust domestic markets and to compete globally by focusing on exciting job prospects, productivity and growth;
- Urban Development, to generate the infrastructure and planning for cities to thrive and support a larger Canadian population; and
- Immigration, to attract new Canadians and talent, and support their successful integration.
Tomorrow morning, the Century Initiative will discuss “Why Canada Needs More People” (/www.centuryinitiative.ca/150panel) at the Canadian Club in Toronto. The Century Initiative is inviting all Canadians to join the debate about the best way to achieve the goal of a population of 100 million people by the end of this century. For more information, visit www.centuryinitiative.ca
About the Century Initiative
Started by a group of prominent Canadians concerned about the future being left to the next generation, the Century Initiative is focused on responsibly growing the population of Canada to 100 million by 2100. The Century Initiative is concerned about our future and believes a bigger Canada benefits us all. – CNW