Tom Kent, a former federal Liberal party social policy adviser, urged Ottawa to increase youth immigration to counter Canada’s decline in fertility and the economic consequences for the country.

Writing in Policy Options, Kent suggested immigration policy be changed to attract teens and university-aged individuals from foreign countries to create a sufficient base of workers and taxpayers so that Canada’s social programs – old-age pensions and universal healthcare – can remain solvent.

Kent said, “If we want to restore a balanced group of ages in the population, then we need young people.”

In April of this year, Statistics Canada reported that the country has experienced a steady, 12-year decline in fertility rates, with just 1.5 live births per woman of child-bearing years – a rate well below the 2.1 replacement level.

Campaign Life Coalition issued a press release condemning the obstinate failure to look at Canada’s depopulation problem head on and re-examine the country’s regime of abortion-on-demand and easy access to birth control. Pro-lifers have long warned that four decades of abortion and birth control would inevitably lead to families having fewer children.

CLC national president Jim Hughes said, “We have been pointing out for years that the deliberate removal of two and one-half million children from Canada’s population by abortion will have serious economic repercussions, as well as moral ones.” Economists warn that populations that do not grow must choose between increased taxes or decreased benefits, and with neither of those options considered politically pleasant, governments try to attract new immigrants.

Hughes told The Interim that Kent’s proposal would lead Canada to attempt to attract the best and the brightest from foreign countries, hindering developing nations’ chances for a better future. It would make more sense, Hughes said, to admit that abortion and birth control are utterly disastrous for Canada and make changes in these laws, not immigration. Hughes lamented that this option does not even seem to be on Ottawa’s radar screen.

Hughes also noted that it is precisely the policies of Tom Kent’s federal Liberal party that are “in large part responsible for the current situation.”