Douglas Todd: Are Canadians prepared to pay for elderly immigrants? | Vancouver Sun

Todd covers some of the issues involved in his follow-up piece to his earlier more descriptive Douglas Todd: Push on for ‘culturally appropriate’ seniors homes.

But he overly emphasizes Martin Collacott’s views, valid but one-sided, without the views of other experts.

And like far too much commentary, there is a dearth of numbers, data and evidence beyond the number of parents and grandparents being admitted. Areas where more data is required:

  • number of elderly immigrants and their families seeking to live in a home versus number who remain with their families;
  • benchmarking costs for regular homes vs culturally-appropriate ones;
  • the length of time elderly immigrants currently in elder care since their arrival broken down by immigration class (i.e., what percentage came as family class compared to other classes; and,
  • a more objective study than the usual reliance on the Grady and Grubel studies on the costs of immigrants as this has been contested, validly in my view, by Pendakur and others.

In the midst of this immigration debate, advocates for increasing the supply of culturally sensitive seniors homes continue to press governments to do more to enhance the dignity of elders in their last days, regardless of whether they have contributed a proportionate share of taxes.

Meanwhile, Canadians are left to wrestle with the difficult choice between two conflicting ethical “goods” — being kind to seniors, and being prudent about taxpayers’ ability to pay. It’s a Brexit-style immigration discussion destined to continue for years.

Source: Douglas Todd: Are Canadians prepared to pay for elderly immigrants? | Vancouver Sun

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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