Like every other developed country in the world today, Canada is experiencing population ageing. The number of people who retire from work is increasing relative to the number of working-age persons as a result of increased longevity and decreased fertility rates. This is expected to have various adverse effects on the economy, according to the 2015 United Nations Report on World Population Ageing. One crucial worry stems from the fact that Canada funds pension schemes and health care benefits by taxing the working population. A diminishing workforce therefore raises the prospect of a fiscal crisis that calls for governmental action. One possible solution is to boost the working population through immigration.
This panel discussion brings together social scientists, political philosophers and policy-makers to assess the merits and the limits of using immigration policies as part of the answer to the challenges of population ageing.
The goal is to move past the polarizing talking points that tend to dominate the public debate on immigration. Instead, we aim to generate a debate of public interest that is, first, informed by evidence from the economics and demography research, and second, conducted with close attention to the moral and political commitments that should underpin Canadian immigration policies.
Naomi Lightman (University of Calgary, Sociology)
Marcel Merette (University of Ottawa, Economics)
Adam Omar Hosein (Northeastern University, Philosophy)
Andrew Griffith (Former Director General, Dept. of Citizenship and Immigration)
After a short introduction to the topic of the panel, there will be three 15-minute presentations followed by a 10-minute commentary and an open Q&A session.