In this commentary, based on a convocation speech delivered to Kingsview Academy in Halifax, AIMS President and CEO Charles Cirtwill offers some words of wisdom about the future of our society. He explains why the phrase “your Canada will not be your parents or your grandparents Canada” now has meaning in a way that it has not had in some time.

The “baby boom” generation is responsible for the largest accumulation of wealth in human history. That collective prosperity has also resulted in an unprecedented collective level of debt, with public and private debt at their highest levels ever. But, as Cirtwill explains, we must not lose sight of the fact that debt both constrains, as well as creates, opportunity.

This boomer generation will give us additional world shifting changes. First they will place unprecedented demands on our health care system. This is not just a cost, but an opportunity. For those with a passion for medicine or science, this will be their life’s work. Eventually, boomers will also stop consuming and with a significant drop in consumption our economies will shrink as well. We will have debt larger than anything we have ever experienced while at the same time the value of our asset holdings will plummet. For those with financial acumen – this will be a chance to shine.

In Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Cirtwill writes that the adult years of our future generation will be dominated by the reality of transitioning to a starkly different future. This challenge, he argues, is a good thing.
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