Canada's population is ageing. The demographic deficit is a train heading down the tracks at governments and citizens, alike. Some people are starting to suggest solutions. People like MLI's Brian Lee Crowley...and Canada's Minister of State for Seniors Diane Ablonczy.
In a debate in the House of Commons this week, Minister Ablonczy stated:
Canada's prosperity now and in the future depends on a strong labour force. Our labour force is immeasurably strengthened by the contributions of older workers. Canada's older workers have accumulated the kind of wisdom and experience that we cannot afford to throw away.
These older Canadians are an increasingly important segment of our labour force. They have already contributed so much to our economy and possess valuable skills, knowledge and experience. They are also a source of enormous potential and are invaluable mentors to younger generations.
On July 6th, in Fredericton, Brian Crowley delivered a speech to Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors, titled Seniors, population ageing and the future of Canada. In it he said:
Canada's future well-being depends on all of us succeeding in undoing the shift in retirement expectations that occurred over the past 35 years or so. If we do, we will make the largest single contribution possible to reducing the economic impact of population ageing, we will reduce the cost of public retirement programmes and health care (because older people who work enjoy better health), increase tax revenues, increase incomes for older people when they do retire (because they will have to fund fewer years in (retirement), lessen the very real possibility of intergenerational conflict and, perhaps most importantly, increase the happiness of older people who will feel themselves more useful, more involved, and more satisfied. Surely that's an outcome all Canadians could get behind if it were explained clearly, properly, and compassionately, and if we made it clear that provision for those unable to work would remain generous and accessible.
Posted by George Young
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