Every child deserves a bright future, and there’s no greater compliment that a child has what it takes to succeed.
Consider just how essential that future is to their country, and their ability to adapt to technology – both modern and future-oriented – requires that Canada be poised to provide its workers with the best possible education and training, Canada-wide.
Here’s a mind-boggling number of population statistics.
By the year 2047, one in three Canadians, or five million people, will be 65 years old and older.
By 2046, in Metro Vancouver, every one out of every four people is expected to be 65 and older.
The population with a college degree will make up only 22 percent of Canadians, as compared to nearly 40 percent for those with only a high school diploma.
And Canada, according to Health Canada, is the only country in the G7 without a national mental health strategy.
Look at the numbers from the 2018 report of the Seventh Committee of the G7:
There were 32 million cars and 1,600 road miles in Canada.
Of the world’s 20 largest carbon emitters, Canada is the ninth-largest one.
And here’s what’s so concerning: a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows that driving Canada’s runaway population growth is the economic sector which suffers the greatest burden of climate change.
Concerns about air pollution.
Concerns about biodiversity.
Concerns about a rapidly changing climate.
Canada’s health care system that is built and sustained by low-cost health care access to health care continues to suffer the heaviest environmental burden.
With economic growth, the Canadian centre estimates, there will be an extra 630,000 people in the country’s health care system by 2046. A 32 percent growth in that sector.
From 2008 to 2040, Canada’s population is expected to grow by 3.7 million people, at an average annual growth rate of 1.8 percent.
All of that growth, the report says, means a 15 percent increase in the climate footprint of the health care system. That’s when health care workers work, it adds.
The energy sector adds 1 percent to the energy footprint, while transportation, waste, building and buildings only add 2.8 percent. Even including our farmers, their combined weight adds less than 0.5 percent to the footprint.
But that doesn’t include the impact of the security of Canada’s healthcare industry to our health security – and we all bear that burden in profound ways:
We expect the erosion of our homeland.
A crumbling infrastructure has reached epic proportions, putting major pressure on all levels of government, as it desperately tries to sustain the current infrastructure.
We are less secure, because our health providers are the ones who plug us back into the Internet and the social networking systems, and who provide the expertise to respond to disasters.
I’m not asking Canadians to look at the big picture. I’m simply asking them to be with us on a local level, face to face – with the people who are truly up against the urgency of climate change.
Canada’s workforce is going to grow, but Canada’s climate change threatens this rapid growth at every level.
This is why we need to focus on things that will enable our workforce to adapt, while ensuring a healthy environment for our citizens, our planet, and our own health.
Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and author of “Shadow Billionaire: One Man’s Quest to Make the Rich Pay His Fair Share.”