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Does Canada work for all generations?

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Kershaw, Paul & Anderson, Lynell
Publication Date: 
17 Oct 2011

Excerpts from the national summary report:

Canada is not currently working for all generations. There is a silent generational crisis occurring in homes across the country, one we neglect because Canadians are stuck in stale debates. My colleagues and I hope the 2011 Family Policy Reports for all provinces will refocus public dialogue on one of the most pressing social and economic issues of our time: Canada has become a far more difficult place to raise a family.

Did you know the Canadian economy has doubled in size since the mid-1970s, even after controlling for inflation? On average, the economy now produces an extra $35,000 per household. But despite this additional prosperity, the standard of living has declined for the generation raising young kids. Consider three facts.

  1. Household incomes for young Canadian couples have flat-lined since the mid-1970s, after adjusting for inflation.
  2. Household incomes are stagnant even though far more young women earn employment income today.
  3. All the while, average housing prices in Canada have skyrocketed by 76 percent.

Indeed, UNICEF ranks Canada among the very worst industrialized countries when it comes to investing in families with preschool age children.

This is a bad deal.

The failure to invest in the generation raising young kids is not consistent with Canada's proud history of building and adapting.