SASKATOON – A Calgary-based think-tank says the provinces seem to be ill-prepared for the country’s aging population, and the financial challenges that will bring.
Colin Craig of the Manning Centre says for the last five years, the federal government has been looking at the situation and the long-term financial impact, but provincial governments don’t seem to be doing the same.
He says the Manning Centre asked each province what was being done and none had any information, including Saskatchewan.
Craig says an aging population is one of the most significant issues facing Canada over the next several decades.
A policy paper by the Manning Centre recommends that each province analyze its long-term finances and share money-saving ideas.
Craig pointed to the Saskatchewan government partnering with a private company to manage hospital linens for a savings of around $93 million as a positive step.
Craig says each provincial government should also begin regular projections of their finances over 10, 20 and 30-year periods so they can predict the financial challenges ahead of time.
If nothing is done, Craig believes taxes will have to go up substantially and services will have to be cut.