What author Richard Saillant calls Canada's Great Demographic Imbalance—"the highly uneven pace at which Canada's regions are aging"—policy analyst Donald J. Savoie, in his Foreword, calls "one of the country's most demanding challenges for the next two decades."
With a broad scope deeply anchored in demographics, A Tale of Two Countries focuses on Saillant's powerful argument: that the "twin forces of economic and demographic gravity" spell trouble for eastern Canada, and for the country as a whole, if we don't act now. First we must face a harsh truth: "the contrast is stark between have and haveless provinces and it is about to get starker." The result? Two distinct Canadas: one poorer, older; the other younger, dynamic. While the former struggles to weather the demographic storm, the latter, while maintaining a status quo, will have "little appetite" for bailing out the older Canada." Without a significant shift in perspective, Saillant argues, Canada will be a country torn apart.
With charts, extensive endnotes, and compelling arguments, A Tale of Two Countries is a must-read for those seeking an accessible, evidence-based policy analysis of Canada's uncertain future, recommendations for addressing its consequences, and their potential impact on all Canadians.
At a time when there are more Nova Scotians over the age of 65 than there are under it, this is a timely read. Richard Saillant is a thoughtful and insightful author who has seen the writing on the wall. I don't like his message, but as a small business owner in a have-not province, I need to know what the future has in store and I'll wager most business owners will agree.