Le Canada ne pourra pleinement développer ses ressources, ni assurer un haut niveau de prospérité à sa population, que s'il possède une main-d'oeuvre suffisante en qualité et en quantité. Nous ferons cependant face à une pénurie de maind'oeuvre dès 1961, si nous ne comblons pas maintenant les vides créés dans certaines catégories de notre population par la chute du taux de natalité. L'auteur fait une brillante analyse des effectifs de notre population et il note certaines carences dans le nombre de Canadiens âgés de 5 à 25 ans. Il suggère enfin comme remède une immigration véritablement adaptée à nos besoins.
The history of the population of Canada has known tragic times because of too few immigrants, both French and British, coming into the country during the 17th and 18th centuries and an excessive emigration during the century prior to 1930.
There is a growing deficiency in the number of young Canadians from 5 to 25 years of age. The relatively small number of our youths constitutes a serious anomaly in the pyramid of ages in Canada in 1951. Relatively, Canadians from 5 to 25 years of age are less numerous than those from 25 to 70 or from 0 to 4 years of age. The global number of those making up this deficient class or concavity in the pyramidal structure is estimated at 700,000 for youths from 10 to 25 years of age.
During the economic depression, the birth rate decreased considerably; from 1921 to 1937, it decreased by a third, that is 10 per 1000. The deficient class of population could therefore be explained by a serious decrease in the birth rate during the economic depression, by the decrease in the number of people of an age to be parents from 25 to 40 years old in 1931 compared to 1951.
If Canada does not succeed in making up for the lack of persons in this category of its population, it will be faced with a serious shortage of manpower. It is approaching a situation where a relatively small group of workers will have to earn the livelihood of an ever-increasing class of retired workers of 70 years and over. In order to lighten the burden or this restricted class of workers, as well as to ensure a constant demographic and economic development, the author advocates immigration as a remedy.
It is not a question of uncontrolled immigration but a rational movement which would adjust itself to the needs of the country. These immigrants would have the age of those of which Canada is short and could immigrate to this country at the rate of 70,000 per year for the next ten years.
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HAMELIN, LOUIS-EDMOND, b.a., maître en sciences sociales (Economique), Université Laval, docteur d'Université en géographie (Grenoble), professeur à l'Institut d'Histoire et de Géographie de l'Université Laval.