DOES QUEBEC NEED MORE BABIES?

The leader of the ADQ Opposition in the National Assembly, Mario Dumont, is proposing that more tax money go to help Quebecers have larger families. He and his party claim that the population of French Quebec is in decline and so they want to create a mini-baby boom.

The objective would be for French Quebecers to have at least two children up from the 1.6 now. The policy would also include paying a maximum $5,000 baby bonus for a third child. Dumont and his party would like to increase the number of babies and decrease the number of immigrants.

In you view, would an increase in the number of French babies in Quebec solve anything?

10 Comments »

  1. 1
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Quebec needs to increase its population if it wants to maintain its political weght in the Canadian federation. The seats in the House of commons are apportioned by population ratios, with a minimum 75 guaranteed Quebec in the constitution.
    Two ways are available to achieve that end: more immigration or more babies. In a recent sketch Gérard D. Laflaque is told that Mario Dumont will be 20 minutes late for a meeting. Gérard replies:” His ideas are 50 years back, so what is 20 more minutes”. From 1763 to 1970, or just about, our Quebec leaders, lay and clerical, encouraged “la revanche des berceaux”, revenge of the cribs, have babies, be numerous and maintain french predominance by keeping a hefty French population. Of course the current trend toward a weak birthrate goes contrary to that goal. So good old Mario borrowed a page from our past to solve the problem: more babies, less immigrants. I think it is pityful.

  2. 2
    SUZANNE Says:

    Yes.

    It would solve the problem of a declining population.

    Do Quebeckers want to preserve French culture or not?

    It’s up to them. It’s a question of priorities.

  3. 3
    Chimera Says:

    Excuse me, but who would own the babies — Quebec or the parents?

    And once the hordes of new babies have been born, will Quebec pass laws to prevent them from leaving?

    And babies aren’t born French. French is not hereditary, it is taught and learned. Like religion. And culture. If the Quebec government wants to preserve its habitant culture, why not provide better incentives for its citizens to participate on a voluntary basis, rather than putting restrictions of who can and can’t move in. More carrot, less stick.

    What interest does any government have in increasing its population of citizens? More money to collect in taxes? More cannon fodder for its military? He who dies with the most game pieces wins?

  4. 4
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Why do I think that this post should be read in conjunction with our rather lively discussion of Dr. Morthenthaler and abortion?

  5. 5
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Oh, by the way, welcome back, Neil. Glad to see that you’re back with the living…

  6. 6
    Barbara Says:

    I’ll do what I can.

  7. 7
    SUZANNE Says:

    What interest does any government have in increasing its population of citizens? More money to collect in taxes? More cannon fodder for its military? He who dies with the most game pieces wins?

    Right now it’s a question of cultural survival, which is desired by the vast majority of Quebeckers. Nominally speaking.

    If you’re not willing to produce the children to make it possible, you don’t want it that badly.

  8. 8
    Chimera Says:

    Cultures come and go like people live and die. And cultures, like people, change with the years. The ones that don’t change and make adjustments die faster.

    It seems like what Dumont wants is for the Habitant culture to remain exactly as it is for the forseeable forever, and his way of ensuring that is to cut off immigration (which brings foreign cultures) and pay the current residents to have more children (and, BTW, where is he getting the money for this?).

    So back to one of my original questions: How does he propose to make them stay, once they’re grown? Or does he think that the separation of cultures will isolate them enough that they won’t have the confidence to leave?

    Does he propose to build a wall around Quebec and contain the culture by containing the inhabitants? He’s jumping the separation gun by a few years, n’est-ce pas?

  9. 9
    jim Says:

    Neil: Your looking and sounding better every day.
    If I understand Dumont correctly, he wants to tax non-French Quebec citizens and give it to French Quebec citizens who get pregnant. It seems to me someone is getting screwed here.

  10. 10
    Nick Says:

    Paying people to have a third or second child has shown to have little effect on the fertility rate of a country or region. Singapore and other nations have tried this approach and failed. What has been successful is making work and family more easily balanced for couples. Sweden, Norway, France, and Finland are all approaching replacement levels of fertility. Of course each country is different and requires it own ideas on how to help women especially juggle their careers and still have the option of having a second or third child. An extra 5,000 dollars is hard to complain about and would help people who have a third child already. It is unlikely to convince people to actually have a third child. Quebec is leading the way for Canada to reach a sustainable population that is neither rapidly growing nor shrinking. Support for IVF and and affordable child care have risen the fertility rate to 1.75, still higher than British Columbia’s 1.4 and Canada’s average of 1.6. However we are behind the U.S, Australia, New Zealand and the Uk all at or around 2.0. These are also countries we have a lot in common with yet for some reason Canada is at 1.6, a 20% lower fertility rate. It will take a higher birth rate and a influx of immigrants to reach sustainability.


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