The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is urging Maritime provinces to start planning more effectively to handle their ageing populations.
Referring to the situation as “a demographic crisis,” the organization released a report on the subject, Monday. It’s title is “Winter is Coming.”
“Prince Edward Island has seen significant improvement in attracting immigrants over the past decade which puts our population in a much better position than other Atlantic, but we are not yet seeing longer term strategies in any of the Atlantic provinces to really offset the impact population aging will have on government programs and finances,” said Erin McGrath-Gaudet, the report’s author and CFIB’s director for P.E.I. and intergovernmental policy.
With older populations, governments should expect significant increases in age-related spending demands, especially in health care. This challenge will be compounded by the fact there will be fewer workers and residents to pay the increased tax load, stressed CFIB.
In its report, the business advocacy group recommends the provinces restrain and prioritize spending and work together to provide services, like they already do in healthcare.
“With few differences, all four Atlantic provinces are facing the same trends. Given our close proximity to each other, small population, and history of working together, it is wise to explore working together to ensure we are providing important services in the most efficient way possible,” said Jordi Morgan, CFIB’s vice-president for Atlantic Canada.