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Alternative federal budget 2004

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Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Publication Date: 
16 Mar 2004

Available in print (see SOURCE) and online for download.

Excerpt from report:

The hallmark of Paul Martin's revolution has been the ongoing devolution of responsibilities: passing the buck (but not the bucks) on to other levels of government and, ultimately, onto individuals. It implies continued underinvestment in health care, in early childhood education, and in our cities. It undermines the very nature of the federation. It strangles strangles community capacities and individual opportunities. Can Paul Martin, Prime Minister, escape his past and transform his own vision to a future that boldly makes the investments that Canadians need in the 21st century?

The federal government's coffers, contrary to what he and his new Finance Minister have been telling Canadians, are very healthy at this point in our history. Given this solid foundation, it is entirely possible for a political leader to launch something truly revolutionary for our times: a different kind of social experiment, a quest for a different type of abundance, starting with re-investment in our own future&emdash;the future of our children.

This is the challenge that the Alternative Federal Budget places before the Paul Martin government, a blueprint for truly rebuilding our social foundations. The AFB once again starts from the premise that budgets are about choices, and choices grow out of core values and political priorities.


The AFB will:

- develop a policy framework and fiscal commitments for a universally accessible, high quality system ECEC in collaboration with the provinces and with input from community experts;

- make new federal dollars available, contingent upon public accountability, continued use of existing provincial/territorial expenditures on ECEC programs, and working collaboratively for the common good of Canadian children and families; and

- ramp up federal investment in early childhood education and care, currently $700 million, by an additional $3.8 billion by the end of year three.