Cardinal Asks Canadian Students to Consider Living in Scotland

ANTIGONISH, Nova Scotia, MAY 10, 2004 ( At a recent graduation ceremony at the University of St. Francis Xavier, Cardinal Keith O’Brien called on the students to consider a move to Scotland.

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“Appreciating all that Scotland has given to Canada especially over the last 200 years, perhaps it is time for young people of Canada to think of returning to Scotland to help rebuild that Scotland to occupy a leading role in the world of today,” said the cardinal archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh.

The cardinal was in Antigonish to receive an honorary law degree from the university.

He pointed out the severe challenges Scotland faces dealing with population decline and falling birthrates.

“The Office of National Statistics in Scotland has come out with frightening statistics indicating that Scotland’s population will soon fall back to levels last seen in 1915 with the working-age population supporting one of the highest proportions of pensioners in Western Europe,” he said.

At the May 2 ceremony, the cardinal noted that Scotland’s First Minister has launched an initiative aimed at encouraging migration to Scotland from elsewhere in Europe to tackle falling population.

The prelate said he felt sure a growth in migrants from “new Scotland” back to “auld Scotland” would be welcomed too.

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