Canadians ignore the real cause of looming labour shortage

 

May 16, 2011
JAYNE BURYN
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

The hype would be ironic . . . if it weren't so desperately distressing.

With the recession beginning to fade from the Canadian economy, businesses are starting to worry about a shortage of skilled labour in this country. To make sure the bottom line doesn't suffer, we're looking at developing agreements with other countries, especially our neighbour to the south, to send us their trained unemployed.

There is another often-repeated concern, now reiterated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in its biennial report Society at a Glance.

By 2050, Canada will have only 2.1 persons of working age for each person eligible to receive a pension. How will we ever be able to support the flood of elderly citizens?

The beating around in the bushes, looking for quick fixes, protects us from asking ourselves why we're at this critical juncture at this time. Perhaps looking at some statistics will help us to understand and do something about it for the future.

Between 1974 and 1991, there would have been 1,267,848 children growing up to be from 20 to 37 years of age today . . . if they had not been aborted.

JUST THINK

Even if only half had survived various illnesses and accidents (an unrealistically low survival rate for Canada, where child mortality is relatively low), or were unable or didn't want to enter the workforce, we would have had a labour force of 633,924 people in that age range by 2011.

Think about it - at least half a million more home-grown skilled workers.

Furthermore, according to Statistics Canada, in the years between 1992 and 2005, our society managed to rid itself of another 1,477,947 children.

SUCH A LOSS

That's a total of 2,745,825 people since 1974 who did not get the opportunity, through no fault of their own, to grow up and be contributing citizens of our country. The majority of these people could have been part of a productive workforce and strong support for our aging population.

I have not heard anyone point this out to all those whining about the lack of workers and the growing unsupportable population of elderly. Why not?

According to the OECD, we produce 1.68 children per woman, just barely a replacement figure. Yet we seem to believe we can rid ourselves of unwanted children whenever it suits us.

Are we going to continue on this self-destructive path as a nation? If so, 50 years from now, Canada will no longer be Canada, but some suburb of other parts of the world where large families are normal and abortion is recognized as a perversion of a healthy society.

Candlelight vigils outside abortion clinics are not having an impact. Perhaps we need to take advantage of the concept that Canadians seem to understand best - the profit margin - to repeatedly remind our society of the reality of what we're doing to our children, our economy, our country and ultimately ourselves.