Report: Provinces woefully unprepared for aging population

Author: Colin Craig 2017/09/29
  • FOIs show most provinces don't have any analysis as to how they'll be impacted financially by aging population
  • Tax hikes could occur if provinces continue to ignore the problem

Just in time for National Seniors Day (October 1) the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released a report today that examines how prepared provincial governments are for our nation’s aging population.

“Most provinces haven't bothered to properly assess how our nation's aging population will impact their finances,” said Colin Craig, author of the report and Interim Alberta Director for the CTF. “They're operating like a 63-year-old who has a pile of debt and hasn't bothered to think about planning for the future. Unless provincial governments start taking the situation seriously, we’re going to see tax hikes.”

Since 2010, the federal government has been releasing annual “Fiscal Sustainability Reports” that discuss the sustainability of federal finances over the long-term as Canada’s population grows older and puts a strain on health expenses and revenues. In What Aging Population?, the CTF discusses findings from Freedom of Information requests filed with each provincial government for their financial analysis. In short, most provinces have no analysis – a disturbing finding and one that could lead to higher taxes.

Quebec and Nova Scotia indicated they both have some analysis, but have not released the information. Manitoba has some initial analysis, but the material is not as comprehensive as what the federal government produces. The remaining provinces indicated they don’t have any long-term analysis.

The most recent Fiscal Sustainability Report from the federal government’s Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer projected the total annual fiscal shortfall at the provincial, territorial, municipal and aboriginal level at $30 billion. Research to date has yet to break that figure out by province.

“Everyone knows an aging population will put a strain on health expenses and revenues,” added Craig. “It’s important for governments to plan for this challenge.”

To read the CTF's summary report, What Aging Population? – click here. or Quelle population vieillissante? -- ici.

British Columbia – click here
Alberta – click here
Saskatchewan – click here
Manitoba – click here
Ontario – click here
Quebec – click here
Newfoundland and Labrador – click here
Nova Scotia – click here
Prince Edward Island – click here
New Brunswick – click here