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The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ 10th Alternative Federal Budget, released Mar 16, beefs up accountability. The AFB rejects federal schemes such as public-private partnerships (P3s) that shift spending “off book” and out of public view, federal-provincial cash transfers that come without strings attached, Barbados tax havens, and patronage appointments.

“The federal government’s response to funding scandals is to do more of the same: spending restraints, sitting on surpluses, and handing out tax cuts like they’re candy - but 10 years of that agenda didn’t protect Canadians from the sponsorship scandal and it’s not the solution now,” says CCPA economist Ellen Russell. “We are making sure public investments stay on the books for public scrutiny so we know where our money is going and that it’s buying real change.”

Some of the concrete solutions from the CCPA include strategies for investment in early childhood education,
75, 000 new affordable housing units and restoring federal health care funding to 25%.

As an antidote to P3 financing, the AFB creates an innovative debt-financing instrument, the Canadian Infrastructure Financing Authority (CIFA), to invest $5 billion a year to rebuild our cities and towns. It creates public-public partnerships between the federal and other levels of government.

The AFB introduces labour force innovation programs, a new $1.85 billion National Student Needs-based Grants Fund for post-secondary students and innovative solutions to make Canada a world leader in environmental sustainability.

The CCPA press release, Fact Sheets and the Alternative Federal Budget Document can be viewed and downloaded at: http://www.policyalternatives.ca