A forecast by the Conference Board of Canada has some chilling predictions for Newfoundland and Labrador. The board’s outlooks says the population in this province will dip from 527,000 now to just 482,00 by 2035.
The birthrate in this province is the second lowest in the country — there are more deaths than births. Added to that is difficulty attracting immigrants to this part of Canada. People from other countries who move to this country prefer to start their new lives in bigger cities.
Who can blame them? Even young people in this province are quick to move to other provinces as soon as they are able.
These are the ones we used to depend on to live and work here and raise their families.
These days, they pack up and add to the populations of places live Alberta and Saskatchewan where they can build a better lives for themselves and their offspring.
If the conference board is correct in its projections, it will greatly impact the quality of life of those who remain here.
If we have fewer people of working age, who will fill the jobs that become vacant when the flood of baby boomers finally retire? Our population is greying quickly and who will be left in this province to provide services that an older generation require?
Some attempts have been made to increase the birth rate, attract more immigrants and keep our young people from leaving, but that seems to be so far too little ... if not too late.
These forecasts by the conference board must be taken seriously by government and more action taken.
If not, it could be a lonely future for those of us who want to live out our remaining years in the place we know and love.