On Monday January 18, 2013 one of our local media, CBC NL, announced that
“Newfoundland and Labrador has created a new office that will tackle a decades-long slide in its population and a demographic picture that Premier Kathy Dunderdale describes as frightening.”
"We've got to find a way to grow that population…"
"Our demographic is scary," Dunderdale said.
Nothing new really. Our province, like all the rest of Canada and the US, has known for quite a long time about the demography crisis which is looming.
I immediately set forth to write a letter to the editor of our local newspaper, The Telegram. The letter appears below. Unfortunately the letter did not get published but that really wasn’t surprising.
(Interestingly, and as an aside, a few weeks later I noticed an announcement in the same paper indicating that due to strong reader feedback and in the spirit of respect for community, The Telegram would finally start publishing more of the letters that they received from the community. However, my letter never was published.)
Fast forward to last week when my attention was grabbed by this headline in The Telegram: Women Help Sustain Vibrant Economy: Premier. The opening paragraphs of the story began to explain:
The province has made great strides in increasing the participation of women in skilled trades, but there’s more work to be done, says the premier.
Kathy Dunderdale, speaking to a crowd of hundreds of students, tradeswomen and industry representatives at the Skilled Trade Conference for Women and Youth at the Glacier in Mount Pearl on Thursday, said the participation of women will help sustain the province’s “vibrant economy” for years to come.
Our premier wants to find a way to grow our population but at the same time increase women’s participation in the workforce. Are the two concepts compatible or does family structure and childbearing demand a return to more traditional thinking with an entirely different focus?
Letter to the Editor The Telegram
Birth Control Advice for Premier Kathy Dunderdale
If Premier Dunderdale really wants to increase our population her first step ought to be to visit the province’s Archbishop and plead with him to fully disclose to about 190,000 NL Catholics the official teachings of the Church on contraception.
Newfoundland and Labrador once had one of the highest birth rates in Canada. In fact up until about the mid-1900’s all Christian societies for two millennia had prohibited—on pain of mortal sin—the practice of birth control. It was viewed to be “more atrocious than incest and adultery” (Martin Luther 1522) and “hostile to national welfare” (Anglican Bishops 1917). Those who distributed and sold birth control devices were criminally prosecuted.
But that was before Modernism and the “new” morality overwhelmed Christian leaders. By the 1960’s only the Catholic Church continued to adhere to such “antiquated” thinking. Unfortunately, about the same time a new crop of Catholic Bishops began to emerge who, under such mantras as legitimate dissent, politeness, or popularity, quietly kept the age old moral teaching of the Church to themselves. Thus the average Catholic began to act like the average non-Catholic. While morals took a nosedive, Catholics likewise engaged in contraception, pre-marital sex, co-habitation, divorce, abortion, etc., with little or no rebuke. No counter cultural influence prevailed.
Besides the Pope—who travels around the world warning of the destructive, unjust practices of abortion, contraception and sexual perversion—only a handful of bishops in all of North America actually teach, admonish and warn their people as required regarding the moral truths of the Catholic faith. And morality is no abstract notion; it yields its societal fruit as does all ideology. The chickens do indeed come home to roost.
Thus we have the demographics which Premier Dunderdale finds so frightening. But the new morality is more terrifying than simply contracepting away future generations; it also eliminates by abortion 1000 children every year. Since legalized abortion in 1969 we have culled as many as 40,000 or more from the NL Census record.
Compare the numbers. Even if Ross Reid finds for us a few dozen more immigrants every year it will hardly solve our crisis. We need bigger numbers, much bigger numbers; the kind of numbers that we’ll see only if there is a return to a sensible morality. Premier Dunderdale, will you incorporate that goal into your new population strategy?