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Canada2050

What will Canada look like in 2050 and beyond? We will still have our stunning natural landscapes like the one above, but what will our society and culture look like? While Canadians are preoccupied with work and caring for their families, important trends are underway that, over time, will irrevocably alter Canada’s society and culture. Our grandchildren will see a Canada very different from the homeland we know.

The purpose of this website is to inform Canadians of these transformative trends. Canada is fortunate in that there is still time to learn from other nations and make any necessary “course corrections” before the effects of these trends cannot be reversed. But time is running out.

 

Next:  Birthrates in Canada

Birthrates in Canada

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The main factor affecting Canada’s future is our unsustainable birthrate. First, some definitions:

Birthrate – the number of children that a woman has over the course of her reproductive life.

Replacement Birthrate – the number of children per woman necessary for the population to replace itself.  The replacement birthrate is 2.1 children per woman.

The following chart (See Source #1) shows Canada’s birthrate from 1926 to 2011. The vertical line shows the replacement birthrate.Average Annual Birthrate

Since 1926, the highest birthrate was 3.94 children/woman in 1959 and the lowest was 1.51 children/woman in 2000. The birthrate in 2011 was 1.61 children/woman. Note that Canada’s birthrate has been below the replacement level for more than 40 years! Canada is therefore dependent upon immigration to maintain its population.

Women began to postpone both marriage and childbirth in the mid-1970s. By 2011, the average age of mothers at childbirth was 30.2 years. Many women are having their first child at an older age, and are concluding their childbearing in a relatively short time span.

 

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash.com

Next:  Immigration to Canada

Immigration to Canada

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First, a definition:

A landed immigrant (or permanent resident) is a person who has been granted the right to live permanently in Canada by immigration authorities, but who has not yet become a Canadian citizen. This includes refugees.

The following chart (See Source #1) shows the average number of landed immigrants admitted to Canada from 1926 to 2014.

Average Number of Immigrants Per Year

Since the early 1990s, the number of landed immigrants has remained relatively high, with an average of approximately 235,000 new immigrants per year.

Canada has always had a significant immigrant population. The 1931 Census counted nearly 2.3 million foreign-born people, representing 22.2% of Canada’s population. After 1931, the percentage of foreign-born fell, reaching a low of 14.7% in 1951. Since 1951, the foreign-born population has been steadily increasing, and by 2011, the foreign-born population was 6,775,700, representing 20.6% of the total population.

The following chart (#2) breaks down the immigrant population by place of birth in different census years.

Immigration by Place of Birth

Countries Key

Historically, the majority of immigrants have been from Europe. Canada also admitted immigrants from Asia (primarily China and Japan) and other parts of the world. In the 1960s, major amendments were made to Canada’s immigration legislation, and the number of immigrants from Asia and other regions of the world started to grow.

World events also led to the massive movement of refugees and migrants from different parts of the world to Canada. Examples include the arrival of 60,000 boat people from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the late 1970s; 85,000 immigrants from the Caribbean and Bermuda (for example, Jamaica, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago) in the 1980s; 225,000 immigrants from Hong Kong over the 10 years leading up to its return to China by the United Kingdom in 1997; and 800,000 immigrants from China, India and the Philippines in the 2000s.

As of 2011, Asia (including the Middle East) is now the main continent of origin of the immigrant population, although Africa’s share has increased. As well, for the first time since Confederation, China and India have surpassed the United Kingdom as the country of birth most frequently reported by foreign-born people.

The most striking aspect of the above chart is the dramatic decline in European immigrants, those most likely to assimilate with Canada’s majority and “founding stock”.

 

Photo by Jyotirmoy Gupta on Unsplash.com

Next:  A Minority in Our Own Country

A Minority in Our Own Country

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Given Canada’s unsustainable birthrate and current level of immigration – and especially given the regions from which immigrants are coming – it is inevitable that Canadians of European descent will continue to decline as a percentage of the total population. In 2016, Caucasian/White Canadians represented 72.9% of the population (See Source #1).  Based on recent trends, it appears that this percentage will fall to approximately 50% around 2050 (#2).

In other words, we Canadians of European descent will become a minority in our own homeland in just over one generation, and our portion of the total population will continue to shrink thereafter.

How will these changes affect our culture? As a country, Canada has already lost a measure of cohesion and attachment to our heritage and traditions. This trend will accelerate in the future.

As part of Canada’s “founding stock”, we are left with the following questions:

What will our ancestors, who built and went to war for this country, think of the way we handled our role as custodians of our cultural inheritance?

Is this the future we want for our children and grandchildren?  What will we say when they ask, “What did you do to keep Canada Canadian?”.

 

Next:  “Diversity is Our Strength”

 

“Diversity is Our Strength”

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Is diversity our strength? Of course not. This nonsensical statement is entirely at odds with history and our own experience. This phrase is usually employed as propaganda by politicians to pander to non-white audiences.

In Canada, we have an ongoing example of “diversity”: Quebec vis-a-vis the Rest Of Canada. While we harbour no ill-will towards Quebecers and consider them part of Canada’s “founding stock”, the fact remains that Quebec has always been a source of tension and controversy in our Confederation. Many in Quebec see themselves as a distinct society, and in 1980 and again in 1995, the Quebec government held referendums seeking a mandate to proclaim national sovereignty and become an independent country. In the 1995 referendum, the “No” option carried by the slimmest of margins, 50.58% (See Source #1).

Canada has expended enormous amounts of energy and money on the Quebec problem. This issue has also distorted our national politics. Canada’s entry into World War I and World War II both resulted in crises when the federal government attempted to enforce conscription on Quebecers (#2).  In recent federal elections, one political party has repeatedly claimed that Canadians must vote for them to keep Quebec in Canada.

Contrast the above example with the example of Britain in World War II. When Britain was close to defeat in 1940, and the entire British Army was trapped at Dunkirk, in desperation King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer to be held on the first day of the evacuation, 26th May 1940 (#3).  Millions of people across the British Isles flocked into churches to pray for deliverance. Because the soldiers could not be evacuated using large ships, many ordinary people risked their lives by joining a flotilla of small boats sailing to France to rescue “their boys” from the beaches of Dunkirk. Prime Minister Churchill was subsequently able to galvanize and rally almost the entire population to defend their country, notably with his speech to Parliament on 4th June 1940 (“We shall fight on the beaches”) (#4).  This is what can be done when people share the same heritage, traditions, values, religious faith, and love of country.

 

Next:  Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism

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Multiculturalism or ‘pluralism’ describes a society in which various ethnic groups co-exist within a single country. For immigrants, multiculturalism holds out the promise that they will not have to fully integrate into the host society, but can maintain the identity and traditions of the “old country”. A basic principle of multiculturalism is that all cultures are equally deserving of tolerance and respect.

Many Canadians have a positive view of multiculturalism and would be surprised to learn that multiculturalism has failed or is failing in many of the countries in which it was adopted. The United Kingdom’s ex-Prime Minister David Cameron, French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have said that multiculturalism has failed in their countries, and the former leaders of Spain and Australia have voiced concerns about the effectiveness of their multicultural policies for integrating immigrants (See Source #1).

In Europe generally, the failings of multiculturalism have been exacerbated and exposed by pressures put on these countries by the mass in-migration of refugees and economic migrants since 2015. In that year, the European Union forced through a deal to impose migrant quotas on member states. This measure was opposed by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, claiming that further immigration would “alter the fabric of European society” (#2).  These countries were subsequently joined by Poland.

The authors have a number of concerns about multiculturalism in Canada. We have always been leery of a policy that discourages newcomers from assimilating into Canadian society. Given Canada’s high level of immigration, we are worried about losing our heritage, culture, and the superior way of life we enjoy, all of which were established by our founding peoples. We do not want a society disconnected from its past and composed of competing ethnic groups all vying for favoured treatment by the state. We don’t like to hear our federal members of parliament saying things like “Through conversations with my community …” (#3).

There is also a subtle, psychological message in multiculturalism, and that is that the country is not “owned” by anyone in particular. Since all ethnic groups are equal, the founding peoples, whose ancestors built and went to war for this country, have no more claim on the country that any other ethnic group. This has the effect of disenfranchising those of European extraction, currently the majority of the population.

 

Updated:  4 Feb 2018

Photo by jens johnsson on Unsplash.com

Next:  Canadian Culture

Canadian Culture

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A culture is the set of customs, traditions, and values of a society.  It represents an accumulation of knowledge, experience and practices developed over time.

All of western civilization has its roots in Europe. Canadian culture — at least the dominant culture in Canada — is derived from European culture. The countries in Europe share a common root language, ancestry, similar religious background (both Christian and pagan), seasonal differences, holidays, ethnic dress and food, family traditions and values. These cultural elements are not shared by other cultures, such as those of Asian, African, or Arab peoples. For example, only the European culture celebrates Christmas; other cultures do not (unless a particular group has decided to adopt Christmas) (See Source #1).

A culture reflects a particular people group. When we speak of Canadian culture, we are speaking of people with a European background, and those from other backgrounds who have assimilated into the dominant culture. A shared culture holds a society together.

In several of the preceding posts, the authors have expressed concern about the loss of our culture. What exactly is this culture we are so concerned about? For decades, writers and historians have attempted to define our culture in a few universal descriptive statements, but without much success.

We can say, however, that Canadian culture includes the following distinctive cultural elements:

The Land – Who is not affected by the awesome landscapes and opportunities for outdoor activities we currently enjoy? And many Canadians rely on the land for their livelihoods.

Our Society – The Judeo-Christian basis for our ethics, law and other underpinnings of our society

Our Government – A Westminster-style parliamentary democracy

Our History – Canada has an exciting history involving the early fur trade, the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Charlottetown Conference, etc. (#2)

Our Weather – All Canadians talk about the weather. Upon meeting someone, almost always the weather is the first topic of conversation. Canadians love telling stories about “The Big Storm of …”.

Our Military Contributions – On Remembrance Day, we honour the many Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We remember the battles of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele in World War I; the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and Battle of the Atlantic in World War II.

Our National Symbols like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (the “CBC”) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the “RCMP” or the “Mounties”).

Our universal, publicly-funded Health Care System

Our Two Official Languages

Our reputation for politeness and decency

Our tolerance of other cultures

Hockey, Curling and Lacrosse

The discovery of Insulin in 1922 by Dr. Frederick Banting and a team of researchers at the University of Toronto supervised by J.J.R. Macleod.  In 1923,  Banting and Macleod received the Nobel Prize for their discovery.

The CF-105 Avro Arrow – a delta-winged interceptor aircraft,  built by Avro Canada, which incorporated technical advancements and provided aerodynamic performance far ahead of its time.  Unfortunately, due to increasing costs and a lack of foreign buyers, the Avro Arrow project was terminated in February, 1959.

The Group of Seven landscape painters

Music – Anne Murray, the Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive, etc.

Humour – Wayne & Shuster, Bob & Doug McKenzie, Rick Mercer, etc.

Terry Fox

Tim Horton’s coffee

This list is most certainly incomplete, and you are invited to add your suggestions (click the ‘Contact’ button for our e-mail address).

Canadian culture reflects our European roots and our history as a country. If Canada’s immigration policy continues to favour non-European immigrants from cultures very different from our own, and the proportion of Canadians of European descent continues to decline, our culture will be lost forever.

 

Photo by Andrian Valeanu on Unsplash

Next:  Increasing Canada’s Birthrate