Alternative Federal Budget 2020

New Decade, New Deal
March 17, 2020
2.74 MB118 pages

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We release the 2020 Alternative Federal Budget—our 25th edition since 1995—at highly volatile moment for Canada and the world. The combination of COVID-19, a global oil sell-off, and the collapse of world financial markets threatens not only public health and safety, but also the stability of our economy, which will likely be in recession by the end of the year. Now is a time to think beyond the standard fiscal fixes and bank bailouts. It is a time for social solidarity, government leadership, and expedient, non-partisan co-operation to do everything it takes to protect the public. 

Every year, the AFB maps out a fiscal plan to ensure public health, safety, and well-being, reduce poverty and income inequality and foster greater inclusion. This AFB is no exception, though the rapidly changing reality of COVID-19—and the necessity for fluid government responses—means the plans laid out in this road map should be considered a baseline. Bolder fiscal measures will most likely be required in the weeks and months to come. 

Still, adopting the measures in AFB 2020 would mark an important shift in government policy-making and put the Canadian economy on more inclusive and sustainable foundations. It would do so without significantly adding to Canada’s debt at a time when public debt is truly the least of our problems. In that sense, the AFB is our bold new deal for an uncertain new decade. We hope its ideas will inspire government action and embolden the public imagination about what it is possible to achieve when, in Loxley’s words, we begin “budgeting as if people mattered.”

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About the AFB

The Alternative Federal Budget, now in its 25th year, is a unique Canadian collaboration rooted in social justice values—like human dignity and freedom, fairness, equality, solidarity, environmental sustainability and the public good—and a strong belief in the power of participatory democracy. This collaboration would not be possible without the generous contributions of the following people, who come from a variety of sectors, populations and areas of expertise including human rights, labour, environmental protection, anti-poverty, arts and culture, social development, child development, international development, women, Indigenous peoples, the faith-based community, students, teachers, education and health care workers.