08 November 2016

Apparitions #nlpoli

You can go back to September 2006 and find one of the earliest references at SRBP to the impact the aging, shifting population would have on Newfoundland and Labrador.  The argument in the speech came from projections dating back to the early 1990s.

There was nothing radical or new in any of it.  In the decade after that post, the provincial government ignored the projections,  ignored the obvious implications of an aging population, and did all sorts of things to make matters worse.  Along the way,  SRBP and labradore have written about the problem and the fact that the politicians were making it worse.

Now that the problem has actually been in our faces for five or six years,  you are seeing more and more references to the changes in some parts of the province.  Like say the Great Northern Peninsula, where one town has lost 10% of its population every year since 2011.   That town likely won't be there within the next five years.  Other towns are in worse shape already.  Still others will be in the same position before too much longer.

There used to be some nice illustrations of how the population is changing.  SRBP included a link in a 2013 post that also included a commentary by Matthew Kerby, then a political scientist at Memorial University. The illustrations are gone. The facts are still there.

The Premier is supposed to release his vision plan for the provincial economy in the decade ahead.  Pay close attention to what he releases.  So far,  the Premier has ignored the bigger picture just like his predecessors did.  If Dwight Ball's plan doesn't take into account the impacts of demographics, then it will be less a vision and more another government nightmare.