Making Real Change for the Common Good

Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance Pre-Budget Consultations
February 2016
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CPJ believes that the federal government has a moral commitment to develop policy that is grounded in the common good, giving priority to addressing the needs of the most vulnerable in Canadian society and for ensuring that Canada contributes to the well-being of people and the planet. 

CPJ makes the following recommendations for the 2016 Federal Budget:

  1. Take measures to eradicate poverty in Canada.

    • Develop a national anti-poverty plan that includes broad consultation, firm timelines and measures, and public accountability mechanisms.
    • Implement the Canada Child Benefit ensuring that there are no clawbacks or deductions of social assistance or income supports.
  1. Implement measures consistent with Canada’s climate change goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C over pre-industrial levels.

    • Immediately eliminate federal subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.
    • Introduce a harmonized carbon tax.
    • Invest in a green economy.

Recommendation #1 calls for the 2016 Federal Budget to commit to the development and implementation of a national anti-poverty plan, or Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy, which involves initiation of a consultation process with stakeholders, and includes built-in timelines and targets, measures of progress, and accountability mechanisms. In addition, we expect to see the Canadian Child Benefit (CCB) included in the budget, with provisions established with provinces and territories that there are no clawbacks or deductions of social assistance or other income supports.

Recommendation #2 calls for the 2016 Federal Budget to initiate strong action on climate change through the implementation of measures to reach our stated goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C over pre-industrial levels. This will include immediately eliminating federal subsidies and tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry, introducing a harmonized tax on carbon, and making strong investments in developing a green economy, which would involve renewable energy investments, clean infrastructure, and green jobs.

Read CPJ's entire pre-budget brief: Making Real Change for the Common Good