Contrary to the views of Dr. Wade Locke, widely distributed by the local media as alarm over out-of-control health care costs as well as the notion that NL’r’s live exceedingly unhealthy lives (some truth there, mind you), we don’t really need to spend oodles of dollars on a royal commission to try and get to the bottom of it. The answers or, rather, THE answer is already known.
We’re older than average; a province of increasingly older farts. Health care costs are higher for older people.
Check out the graph, prepared by StatsCan with your own tax dollars (the data has already been gathered at public expense). It shows the average age of Canadians broken down by province and territory.
Notice two things:
- Blue Bars: In 1982 we had the youngest population in Canada.
- Yellow Bars: In 2012 we had the oldest one.
See—that’s the whole thing, innit?
Why did we get so old so fast? Is it something about the fog? The moose sausages? The toutons? Our crappy water supplies, perhaps? Blue Star beer? The awful weather?
Nope, we all know why, don’t we–our young people left.
In 1982 they were all here. Over the years, off they went, mostly to Alberta I suppose, leaving only the older ones behind. This did two things: 1—left us with fewer young people and 2—left the rest of Canada with more young people. In other words our Blue bar went up while this helped drive everyone else’s down.
And, now, more to the point, now that those who moved away are having kids of their own, somewhere else, this is again dropping the rest of the Blue elsewhere in Canada, while ours keeps climbing as we get older with each passing year..
Might I suggest that instead of wasting piles of money on a question that’s really been answered that, perhaps, we engage in a much harder, but more fruitful conversation around the topic of what should we do, as a people, in response to the fact that our young people really don’t want to stay in this place?
(Oh, and can I have the million$ the province was going to spend on the commission now? I need to pay off my MasterCard, Mortgage and Line of Credit. That would be almost enough to fix it so I can still stay here after Muskrat Falls comes online and the s**t really hits the fan.)