New Brunswick deaths topped births for first time last year
Academic suggests baby bonuses, amalgamating communities
The pending closure of the only school in Coles Island, New Brunswick is just the latest example of how an aging population and outmigration are impacting rural communities across Canada.
According to the latest figures from Statistics Canada, more people died than were born last year in New Brunswick for the first time.
- Atlantic Canada population falling
- Immigration to drive Canada's population growth
- In 50 years, one-quarter of Canadians will be over 65
Andre Lebel, a demographer with StatsCan, says the problem is made worse by young people leaving the Atlantic region in search of work and starting families in other provinces.
Fazley Siddiq, the dean of business at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, says governments need to make bold moves like amalgamating communities.
He also suggests introducing a baby bonus.
The government of Newfoundland and Labrador introduced a baby bonus in 2008 and while there was a brief increase in the birth rate, it has since fallen below the rates recorded before the incentives were implemented.