Ryan Gibson

Talking generations in the Basin

The Columbia Basin has more baby boomers and fewer people under 50 than the Canadian average.

KIMBERLEY — The Columbia Basin has more baby boomers and people over 70, and fewer people under 50 than the Canadian average, according to a presenter who participated in the plenary keynote panel on demographics at the Columbia Basin Trust symposium over the weekend.

Ryan Gibson is the Libro Professor in Regional Economic Development in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph and opened the panel on demographics at SHIFT! Thriving in Change with an overview of the Basin’s demographics.

“You have more seniors in the Basin than most other communities in Canada. All sorts of opportunities on that front. Also all sorts of challenges,” said Gibson.

“You have less young people under 18 that are in schools than most Canadian communities. You have less young adults that are starting into workforce development positions and you also have a lower number of people in that 25 to 45 category, where you would see child-rearing ages,” he added.

The second speaker, David Colleto, CEO of Abacus Data, shared data his company has collected on Canadians who fall in the age categories dubbed Gen X and Millennials.

Colleto said that come 2019, Gen Xers and Millennials will make up 65 per cent of the Canadian electorate, where they only made up 31 per cent of the electorate in 2000.

He also looked at the challenges faced by the two generations: rising student debt and rising house prices.

“The big story of my generation is not just the technological change and … the size of our generation, but it’s something I call a delayed entry into adulthood,” said Colleto, who is a Millennial.

Millenials and Gen Xers are generally waiting longer to buy their first home or have children.

On the other hand, seniors — who are projected to make 24 per cent of the population by 2031 — are working longer.

Isobel Mackenzie, Seniors Advocate for the Province of British Columbia, highlighted the fact that there has been a 75 per cent increase in the number of people working beyond age 65 since 2007.

But seniors still face low incomes, even if they own their own home.

“A quarter of senior homeowners have household incomes of under $30,000 a year. So you want to think about, where is the money going to come from for the new roof, for the deck when it falls off the back of the house?” said Mackenzie.

She also pointed to the challenges seniors face regarding appropriate housing (for those who don’t own or need care) and transportation since only 34 per cent of people over 85 in B.C. still have driver’s licenses.

But Mackenzie was also optimistic about how developments in technology might help seniors with transpoqrtation.

“Self-driving cars will revolutionize this,” she said.

Just Posted

Explicit Safer Sex Guide given to Creston elementary students as resource

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information and is meant for mature audiences.

Governments announce $53M to buy Grand Forks properties, fix river banks destroyed in flooding

The Boundary Flood Recovery team applied for the grant last January

Electric-bike project for seniors, disabled coming to Rossland

“Cycling Without Age” gets the immobile moving on special electric bikes

Council awards contract to upgrade Trail jail cells

The city received notification from the RCMP detailing modifications in 2009

Rossland’s Seven Summits Centre for Learning celebrates class of 2019

Small class packs big punch in skills and ability

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Every situation is different, jurors hear at coroners inquest into Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Pediatrician says involuntary treatment necessary following overdose, opioid use

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

Fundraiser for Sparwood cancer patient raises over $80k

“Friday was something I won’t ever forget,” said Sparwood’s Barry Marchi.

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Most Read