QUEBEC CITY, October 25, 2005 ( – A group of concerned Quebeckers has raised the alarm about the province’s rapidly deteriorating population demographic. The group, led by former Premier Lucien Bouchard, warned, “Unless there is a sudden upturn in the birth rate—which is unlikely—it will take exceptional dynamism for Québec to maintain its place on the continent.”

Referring to itself as a country, Clear-Eyed Vision of Quebec ( acknowledged that “Quebec is about to experience the most rapid demographic decline of all industrialized countries, with the exception of Japan.” The group also said the province would experience a whopping 50 percent reduction in the real growth rate of the GDP in the next decade.

At a press conference Wednesday, one member, economist Pierre Fortin, said the lopsided demography of an aging Quebec will lead to an added $6 billion per annum in health care costs, coupled with a $5 billion loss in revenue because of labour shortages. He warned that the trend is irreparable: “It is written in the sky.” By 2025, Fortin said there would be two workers for every retiree. “The aging population will tear Quebec apart.”

“Unfortunately, most [Quebeckers] continue to deny or ignore the danger, and this is cause for deep concern,” the group stated in its report. “That’s the peculiarity of the current situation: the danger does not appear imminent but rather as a long slow decline. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be any risk. But once it begins, the downward slide will be inexorable.”

By 2050, the population of Quebec will have grown by 300,000 to 7.8 million, while the rest of North America will have increased to 1.2 billion, “most of them English and Spanish speakers. This demographic decline comes at the worst possible moment, as Western countries cope with never-before-seen competition from Asian countries, especially China and India,” they added.

The group’s report characteristically fails to suggest any connection between the demographic changes and the fact that Quebec has one of the highest rates of abortion and contraception in the Western world. Nor is there any recommendation for more incentives to married couples to have bigger families. In May 2002 a Quebec Catholic bishops’ statement pointed out that the provinces’ heightened acceptance of homosexual relations would worsen the already worrisome problem of low birth rates in Quebec.

Read the group’s report:

See related coverage:
  Quiet Counter-Revolution in Coaticook, Quebec
  Quebec to Pay for Anti-Natalism
  Population Implosion Drives Quebec to Offer Child-Birth Incentives



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