Community in Focus: Getting Started

COVID-19 Impact on Fertility Intentions

Canada’s fertility rate has been steadily declining since 2008. The national fertility rate decreased to a record low of 1.4 children per woman in 2020, and Canada experienced the lowest number of births and greatest year-over-year decrease in births since 2006. The average childbearing age in the country was 31.3 years in 2020.

Data from the Canadian Social Survey—COVID-19 and Well-being suggest that 24% of Canadians aged 15 to 49 in 2021 changed their fertility plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 19% reporting they wanted to have fewer children or to have children later than previously planned. The intention to delay having children is significant as Canada is already a low-fertility and late-childbearing country.

Source: Statistics Canada

Affordable Child Care 

In Greater Victoria, there are currently nine child care centres offering $10-a-day licensed spaces, including infant, toddler, preschool, and school-age care. Families using these centres pay no more than $200 a month per child for full-time enrolment during regular business hours, regardless of the care type. These facilities do not charge waitlist fees.

As of November 2022, there are approximately 145 sites throughout B.C. offering nearly 8,200 licensed child care spaces at $10 a day, including the original pilot sites from 2018 and new sites approved on a rolling basis. The $10 a Day ChildCareBC program leverages provincial and federal funding to convert existing licensed spaces to the low-cost model. The Province plans to have 12,500 spaces converted by the end of 2022.

Other strategies to make affordable child care a core service for B.C. families include child care fee reduction initiatives to offset the cost of child care at centres that are not part of the $10-a-day program, as well as the province’s Affordable Child Care Benefit (ACCB). In 2021-22, an average of 30,500 children received support through the ACCB each month.

Source: Province of British Columbia

Young Immigrants May Leave Canada Due to the High Cost of Living

A survey conducted by Leger for the Institute for Canadian Citizenship challenges some cherished Canadian assumptions about immigration and citizenship:

  • 30% of 18–34-year-old new Canadians and 23% of university-educated new Canadians said they are likely to move to another country in the next two years.
  • 72% of new Canadians agreed Canadians do not understand the challenges immigrants face, compared to 54% of Canadians.
  • 75% of new Canadians agreed the rising cost of living means immigrants are less likely to stay in Canada, compared to 46% of Canadians.
  • 29% of university-educated new Canadians agreed immigrants are paid fair wages based on their work experience, a less favourable opinion than other new Canadians.
  • Among new Canadians who would not recommend Canada to prospective immigrants as a place to live, the top two reasons were current leadership and the high cost of living.

Sources: Institute for Canadian Citizenship and Leger