How inclusion and sustainability promote Canadian well-being
Budget 2019 Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance
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Ground-breaking research by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, conducted over 30 years and published in the 2009 book, The Spirit Level, unpacks some widely-held beliefs to reveal the tremendous socio-economic benefits of addressing inequality and promoting sustainability. One of their central findings is that everyone – rich, poor, and middle class – benefits from greater levels of equality.
Greater equality and the correspondingly higher levels of social inclusion have the potential to increase economic participation and competitiveness.
Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) is a faith-based policy organization that believes federal policy can and must serve the public good. Our research, policy analysis, education, and advocacy work are grounded in an understanding of the sacredness of creation and the dignity of all people. From this perspective, the central role of government is to promote the well-being of citizens and residents, and the flourishing of the Earth.
While competition is widely understood as a contributor to economic growth, society faces multiple crises – poverty, climate change, and a global refugee crisis – that urgently require cooperative efforts to be effectively addressed. Mechanisms like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement, and efforts towards a global compact on refugees are vital and must be supported.
Credible research suggests that investing in measures that promote social inclusion and environmental well-being have the added benefit of encouraging competitiveness internationally.
Drawing on CPJ’s ongoing engagement on poverty reduction, climate change, and refugee rights, we have developed three recommendations for Budget 2019. They focus on instruments that contribute to social, economic, and environmental health.
CPJ’s recommendations for Budget 2019:
- Allocate $5.56 billion annually in new spending as a down payment on the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy, beginning in 2019.
- Eliminate all subsidies to the fossil fuel sector for an annual savings of $1.6 billion and allocate $2.05 billion for a National Decarbonization Strategy and Just Transition Transfer.
- Invest $13 million annually in refugee resettlement and wholly phase out travel loan repayment.