Canada Must Rise to the Challenge

by Kiri Vadivelu | 2 min. read economy

The Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) is a bold approach to addressing the concerns that directly affect Canadians

Canada is at a crossroads. We are facing multiple pressing challenges that need immediate action: The ongoing impact of Covid-19, inflation gnawing at stagnant paycheques, a health care system squeezed to the limit, the climate crisis, and the ongoing need to dismantle colonialism and systemic racism. An excerpt from Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Rise to the challenge
Rise to the Challenge Canada | © Kiri Vadivelu

The Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) is a bold approach to addressing the concerns that directly affect Canadians. The AFB advances solutions and places the responsibility for change squarely on the federal government, working with the provinces and territories, to rise to the challenge—because public leadership is needed now more than ever.

This year’s AFB tackles affordability, inflation, climate change, inequality, and health care:

Affordability: The AFB provides non-market and co-op housing, funding support for child care, income support to end food insecurity, equitable access to the labour market, poverty reduction and income security, as well as affordable and accessible post-secondary education. The AFB also takes action to eliminate homelessness;

Inflation: The AFB tackles inflation through fiscal levers such as using mortgage-regulation tools to moderate house prices by targeting investors as well as providing high-quality public services to reduce what Canadians pay for things like child care, dental care, and prescription drugs;

Climate change: The AFB slaps stricter national standards on large carbon emitters—including a green strings strategy for federal funding— to make way for a fossil-fuel-free economy by 2040;.

Inequality: The AFB takes swift measures to cut poverty in half by 2026, to invest in First Nations infrastructure, First Nations climate leadership, direct support for truth, reconciliation, and healing, food security and sovereignty as well as implementing a federal Anti-Racism Act. The AFB also increases taxes on the wealthiest and on corporations reaping excess profits during the pandemic; and

The care economy: The AFB tackles Canada’s health care crisis by adequately funding our universal public health care system and long-term care—saying no to privatization—as well as implementing new national care programs dental care, mental health care, substance use health, and national pharmacare. The AFB also provides a comprehensive plan to ensure health equity for all.

Because we are facing a number of pressing issues in Canada, the AFB goes beyond these key measures and invests in arts and culture, agriculture, inclusive infrastructure, and a review of the immigration program. PDF

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