Today's discussion:

The plummeting birth rate is everyone’s problem

To confront the problems caused by low birth rates, we must talk frankly about childbearing, marriage, and even dating. Elite thinkers, public policy experts, and political leaders must get comfortable promoting marriage and increased birth rates as common social goods

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Gary Oxenforth

We had 2 children in the early 60’s (boy,girl) and the wife did not have to work and still we were able to purchase a home and a used vehicle like most couples in our nieghborhood.Today with the price of housing,food,transportation,energy and high taxes everyone has to work to survive never mind having children.

20th February 2024 at 9:39 am

Good for you. that is not the case for most people….. I worked more than 1 job continually while my husband worked full time and took all the overtime he could in order to generate the cash to make a downpayment on a little house.

20th February 2024 at 3:40 pm

I believe in marriage and family but this article reads more like old stock politics. Marriage and family will need support to survive. With all the pressures of a fast changing world, the days of go it alone are not sufficient to meet the needs of change. Publicly funded programs such as universal day care, health care, dental care, and pharmacare and free education from prekindergarten to post secondary are all necessary to promote good family health and growth.

20th February 2024 at 8:42 am
Paul Nesbitt

How can couples afford to have children in these financial times? Both work to meet the rising rent or maybe even save for their own house. Food prices are the highest I have seen in my life. The cost of gas, hydro, govt. taxes, where will they ever be able to afford for one of them to take the time off to care for a child?

20th February 2024 at 8:13 am
Michael F

Canada has a very generous parental leave program compared to some other countries. Both parents can take an extended period of time off. Canada also has $10 a day daycare programs that save parents thousands monthly. We also have income supports for families. People have had kids in expensive cities like London, New York and Paris for generations, why would it be any different here? And if it’s too expensive in Canada’s major cities there are still plenty of smaller cities in Canada with affordable housing.

20th February 2024 at 12:31 pm
Paul Attics

Where is this “outright hostility toward families”? Regardless, at a whole population level, a policy nudge or two (i.e. incentives) might be enough to move the birthrate higher.

Something tells me (evolutionary drive) that given a better environment (more resources, safer, more stable) the big-brained human animal, living in the northern part of the North America geographical region known as Canada, will feel secure enough to have more children.

20th February 2024 at 12:53 pm
Michael F

Why do you think this government is pushing immigration? Our demographics are heading in an expensive, dangerous direction with the Boomer cohort now starting to need more expensive healthcare resources. Canada is experiencing a reverse brain drain when we encourage educated people from less developed countries to immigrate here. It is to our benefit but sadly not so great for the countries these people are leaving. And as for refugees and people coming here to leave war torn areas, my own parents were pretty much in that same category. They left a destroyed Europe to build a better life. So did many others and now for these same people to whine and hurl insults at immigrants is nothing but bigotry and thinly veiled racism.

20th February 2024 at 11:59 am
Darrell Debbie

If we owned a business, we would not hire a woman of childbearing age. Feminism, the emasculation of men, the lack of/rejection of traditional values and the internet have destroyed the family. Teenage girls spend hours daily on such things as Tik Tok, where they are being influenced by all sorts of crackpots. They accomplish nothing doing this and often eventually end up confused and on anti-depressants or dead from things like fentanyl. It is a concern and I do not know the solution other than to return to the traditional family structure but society is moving “ahead” very quickly. Trying to have the government take care of everything will just lead to disaster even faster.

20th February 2024 at 6:08 pm
Rod H

I feel there is some points missing in this article. Having children is expensive and while some may feel that the current parental leave is generous, in truth it is not. Only a portion of your wages are paid while on it, so you will immediately take a financial hit at a time when you will need to make all kinds of additional purchases, car seats, crib, stroller etc. If you are self employed you are not entitled to anything. There are no real protections for those who choose to go on leave or get pregnant. I know men who were black balled for taking leave so they would never be promoted. Women who were packaged out at the end of their leave because the replacement was a better fit. Women who’s contracts were not extended because it was discovered they were pregnant. Women who were passed over while well qualified because of the age and the perceived risk of pregnancy. Women and men who were let go because they required too much flexibility to care for small children. It is no surprise that people with significant financial stability and wealth are having more children, they have a safety net that the populous does not.

20th February 2024 at 2:43 pm

government does not do enough, and it does too much. Any government assistance is helpful, try doing it all on your own as most of us did throughout the 60’s and 70’s.

20th February 2024 at 3:46 pm
Alfred Napolitano

I just read that the fertility rate in the USA inched up in 2023, to 1.78 vs our 1.33. Not good either, but I wonder why their fertility rate would be almost 40% higher than ours, especially since all we seem to hear is how dysfunctional the country is, and their lack of maternity leave and other social benefits we supposedly have.

But maybe it’s socialism in general. It’s taking away economic gumption in my opinion. Perhaps it is taking away the gumption to have a family. Maybe we moved to being a post-national state and now are transitioning to a post family state.

20th February 2024 at 2:38 pm

When a man faces better than a 50/50 chance of losing everything forever – savings, home, children why should he bother? Trideau brings in 3rd world trash to stay in power. The economy is in the shitter. Males are best off if they put Canada in the rear view.

20th February 2024 at 11:03 am
Michael F

You sound like a bitter, racist incel.

20th February 2024 at 11:53 am

We don’t need this type of name calling in this forum. Everyone has a right to express their view without the fear of being intimidated by such comments as yours.

20th February 2024 at 1:08 pm
Michael F

Saying the government brings in 3rd world trash is not blatantly racist? That’s not an opinion, it’s bigotry. And it deserves to be called out. There should be no quarter given to comments like these.

20th February 2024 at 1:15 pm
Kim Morton

The whole increase the population thing is a business model to continue to increase the customer base that ultimately isn’t sustainable. We can easily match our immigration to a stable population without requiring massive infrastructure investments that in reality benefit overpopulated countries.

20th February 2024 at 11:00 am

Obviously it’s a problem, but society for the most part still isn’t recognizing the lose-lose proposition the courts have made marriage for the majority of men. In fact most of the core issues negatively impacting marriage and the family unit aren’t being discussed because the changes required in most peoples western worldview to create and support the internal values needed to actually sustain long term healthy relationships all run against current narrative and societal core beliefs. (Values)

20th February 2024 at 8:07 am

If immigration policy were about a “baby deficit” (and only that), that policy would not look the way it does. The most common age for immigrants is about 30, adding even further to an age group that is already just as large as the ones before it. The target for permanent residents, at about half a million, is more new immigrants than there have ever been new babies in a given year. A failure to wean ourselves off growth is not the same as the much smaller amount of immigration needed to “correct” a deficit and avoid population decline, and insisting on growth has high costs like housing strain that fall harder on young people than those already established. If we want to impress on young people it’s a social good to have enough children to replace themselves, we need to simultaneously impress on older people that the demographic tailwind of the baby boom is never coming back and that expectations have to adjust to a stable population.

There’s plenty of evidence (and maybe some resentment) that young families have fewer babies than they’d like because of much more difficulty getting established and buying or renting a family-sized space than previous generations faced. We could start with that before fretting about what women want.

20th February 2024 at 9:50 pm

This planet has all the humans it can handle running over its surface, why are we promoting more lives in a starving situation?

20th February 2024 at 3:41 pm
Morna Felicity Faith Spence

The World was and is impacted by this Family issue! Look at the roots of my FN Human Rights Complaint. Take a good look at Racism and Infidelity and Religious differences as well as Culture! Enough hatred????

20th February 2024 at 7:34 am