Action Plan for Eliminating the Canadian Demographic Deficit

Canada faces a serious demographic deficit that threatens its future prosperity. Demographic deficit is a situation where a population is unable to maintain or improve their living conditions owing to reduced demographic inputs or other related inefficiencies (Faus-Pujol & Higueras-Arnal, 2000). In the context of Canada, demographic deficit is considered a situation that working population is not able to support the growing portion of aging dependants (McDaniel, 2003). With a specific focus on New Brunswick province, Passaris (2007) considers demographic deficit as the most serious economic challenge that threatens not only the economy but also other social, cultural and political aspects in the near future. Demographic deficit results from low birth rates that result to reduced population base, retiring workforce, and high life expectancy. The population profile at present is characterized by low birth rates thus reduced population, increase in number of individuals living on pension, high retirements rates (as Baby Boomers are retiring), high outmigration as people seek better opportunities in Western region, labor and skills shortages, and inability to attract and retain new immigrants (Passaris, 2007). This in effect results to decrease in population and distortion of demographic factors such as age in the population. Possible repercussions if the condition continues are reduced tax revenue, poor healthcare, reduced incentives to invest, reduced savings, low funding for social programs and underutilization of infrastructures (Passaris, 2007; McDaniel, 2003). For Canada, it is important that effective steps be taken as failure to do this has serious demographic and economic conditions.