By Tyler J. Moffitt
The Safety Advocate
Currently, even with immigration into Canada, there is not enough people to replace the outgoing workforce.
In fact, most immigrants are settling in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Calgary are the other popular cities for immigrants.
Fifty percent of all skilled workers will be retiring in the next 10-15 years. Fifty percent of all Canadians currently working in the skilled trades—health care, manufacturing, construction, engineering, and mechanics—will be leaving.
By 2020, it is estimated Canada could be short about one million workers due to an aging population and declining birth rates. By 2026, Statistics Canada expects more than half the population will be over the age of 43.
Seniors make up the fastest-growing age group, and that trend is expected to continue for the next several decades.
In 2010, an estimated 4.8 million (13.7 percent) Canadians were 65 years of age or older.
There will be 10.4 million seniors by 2036. By 2051, about one-in-four Canadians is expected to be 65 or over.
As each year passes, we will see an increase in medical calls, which our paramedics and fire and rescue service responds to. As well, hospitals will see the demand for their services increase!
In Fort Frances, the 2006 census showed almost 19 percent of the population were 65 or older. The 2011 census on population and dwelling counts will be released on Feb. 8, 2012.
On May 29, 2012, the age information will be released; it likely will show Fort Frances having more than 20 percent of our population being 65 or older.
In fact, as the aging population in Canada increases, along with the medical calls and hospital visits, the emergency response and medical care more than likely will decrease.
Why? There is—and will be—less emergency responders and medical staff to respond and provide medical care for the increased call volume.
All us need to change the way we think about our health and safety. Therefore, if we want change . . . we have to change!
We all need to do our part to help reduce the burden on the health-care system, as well as on the staff. All of us need to take the time to embrace all the things that make up a healthy lifestyle, as well as practising safety at home, work, and when travelling aboard.
As well, our country needs to take care of and protect all Canadians by developing a well-thought out strategy.
It would be wise to develop an aggressive national health and safety program, which targets all Canadians young and old.
We cannot ignore or turn a blind eye to the facts … there will be a demand for more people such as public health and safety educators, as well as more emergency responders and medical staff.
We don’t do enough in our country to protect our people, to teach and promote health and safety, to get people, as well as kids involved, to learn about the important things we should know about our health and safety.
Let’s create a culture in our country where people are unwilling to compromise their health and safety, as well as others.
Tyler J. Moffitt is a part-time firefighter and emergency responder, as well as a continuous improvement advocate.