OUR VIEWPOINT: By Partap Dua
The most serious problem Canada faces is that of jobs. We have rapid growth in our aging population. The seniors 65 and older will comprise 23% of our projected population of 40 million in 2030. To support 10 million seniors’ pensions and health benefits, we would require at least 30 million or 75% working Canadians. Today we have only 49% or 19 million full time and part time workers in Canada. Today’s middle aged Canadians are not even sure if they would get old age pension when they retire. The way things are today and based on our future revenues, we are certain that many of us would be without Old Age Security (OAS) when we retire. No party or political leader has given a serious thought to this issue that is staring us right in our eyes.
Our educated youth are languishing without good jobs. With the influx of so many foreign students (over 300,000 per year), our 300,000 graduating University/College graduates per year, are already finding hard to get decent placements in jobs. This is a ‘stark’ truth. We can’t blame the foreign students either. We invited them to come to Canada because Canada is desperate. Likewise we bring over 350,000 immigrants each year to Canada because we need them to supplement our population. This has become a tough job market with so many foreign individuals entering Canada every year. The things will get worse and worse because our governments have not planned anything for our aging population for which we will need 30 million or 75% of our 40 million population in wage earning jobs. Our taxes will be raised exponentially to such levels that it would become difficult to survive. Even taxes alone would not be able to support pension needs of seniors. We fear that the federal government will freeze our RRSPs and use them as collateral to borrow money to pay pensions.
The oil industry is almost finished and so Alberta is desperate but no one cares. There are no real jobs planned ahead. Our politicians just show carrots to Albertans by promises to revive the oil industry, rather them telling the truth that oil era is over. Every industry has a run time and oil industry’s run time is over, given the dynamic changes around the world that are forcing the nations to move away from oil and fossil fuels. France has already announced its resolve to shed out petrol and diesel vehicles. City of Paris has announced that it will completely ban diesel vehicles before the 2024 Olympics in Paris and phase out all fossil fuel vehicles by 2030.
So even if we revive our oil industry, we will have no buyers as oil prices will fall so dramatically that it would not be worth to produce any oil. Of course we can keep producing oil responsibly for the industrial needs as petrochemicals are used in manufacturing of lots of products but that won’t bring us sufficient revenues to sustain the oil industry. We can fool ourselves for some time by false hopes but we must understand that oil era is over and we must look for other avenues to sustain our growth as a nation. Here we are talking about our major chunk of 5 million Canadians and 2 provincial governments which were dependent on oil jobs. We would not only have no jobs, the revenues of Alberta and Newfoundland would drop drastically to be unable to provide basic amenities to residents without federal help. The Federal Government would lose at least $10-12 Billion in planned Gas tax, GST and corporate tax? This is serious. BUT JUST THINK HOW WOULD WE HAVE 10 MILLION JOBS IN 2030 to sustain our pensions for seniors?
No leader or party is even talking about it. They just give standard election platforms on jobs, healthcare, transit, and so on, which we have been hearing since last 30 years. Canada has sustained, not because of planning of governments, but because of huge immigration inflow. The working immigrants bring money and create jobs because we have no organic population growth of our own. As I said, we need 30 million jobs or exponential revenues in 2030. Does it mean Canada brings in 10 million working immigrants? May be politicians are planning this. What would happen to our population demographics? Would it not dilute the English and French population drastically? And just bringing 10 million new immigrants in 10 years does not mean we can readily create 10 million new jobs for them.
We need an innovative strategy and a solution. Our party does have a solution and we would provide one towards middle of campaign period after dropping of writ in September. I have worked endless hours of my life trying to work on things that could help Canada keep its position as one of the best places in the world. Not only we would provide solution for jobs and revenues, we would provide solution for global warming, oil industry and other major issues as well. We will not leave Alberta or any province out and ours would be a plan for Canada. We don’t want provinces threatening every now and then to secede from Canada because it is not working form them. We must understand it is their constitutional right to move out of Confederation if we cannot move together as a nation. They joined the four original provinces Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick in confederation on certain promises. We cannot let them down.
Nonetheless, I want middle aged Canadians and youth to challenge other parties and their leaders as to why they did not include effective solutions for jobs in their election platforms. Do they even have any solutions despite their mega millions election budgets and star economists and planners? Sometimes elephants walk through a jungle not knowing what is happening below their feet. In other words big parties become complacent in their own minor successes and dollar donations that they forget their principal duty to govern the country effectively.
Strangely, the whole debate is on one thing as we see it. Justin Trudeau and Liberals say they will clamp on global warming with their carbon tax to meet global emission targets, and Andrew Scheer and Conservatives say they will revive oil industry by scrapping carbon tax and permitting pipelines. Is this the real solution to Canada’s jobs or aging population or rising prices of goods & services? Maxime Bernier says the climate change is a hoax, and Jagmeet Singh and NDP believe there is global warming and internet prices are up.
But none of these parties or leaders have effective solutions to create jobs or address our rising prices or pension & health needs of seniors who will cross the 10 million mark in 2030. We will have 1 senior for every 3 Canadians in 2030. Is that not alarming? These people worked all their lives contributing to pensions and they will have nothing to live on. This is unbelievable!!