Alternative Federal Budget 2024 – Building Momentum: A budget for now and the future

Posted on August 28, 2023 in Equality Debates, Governance Debates

Source: — Authors: – Publications/Reports
August 24, 2023.

For 24 years, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) has been publishing our annual Alternative Federal Budget (AFB).

The AFB is an exercise in imagination. Our purpose is to expand the collective imagination of what is possible, to instill hope in hard times, and to make crystal clear alternatives to the status quo.

And these alternatives aren’t just imagined. They are clearly articulated. We’ve put a price tag on them. And we’ve found realistic ways to pay for them. Read this year’s AFB—and share it with your friends!

Read the full AFB

Every government budget tells you about that government’s priorities, about what matters to them. What matters to the AFB? 

Accessible public health care matters 

At a time when Canada’s cherished public health care is under unbearable stress and strain, what matters to the AFB is strengthening our public system and investing in the root causes of illness—to prevent more people from needing medical care. 

Affordable housing matters 

The housing market has gone through the roof with even average rents beyond too many Canadians’ ability to pay—and so what matters to the AFB is that everyone in Canada can find an affordable place to live. Federal, provincial and municipal governments have looked the other way for far too long. As the authors in our Affordable Housing and Homelessness chapter write: “This housing crisis has been brewing for decades. Fixing it will require major new public investments for a generation.” 

Access to $10-a-day child care matters 

While the federal government has rolled out a plan to reduce child care fees to $10 a day, far too many families in Canada live in a neighbourhood that simply doesn’t have enough spaces. What matters to the AFB is that we expand the number of publicly funded, publicly managed child care spaces—and adequately pay the staff required to service them—in order to ensure that everyone can access affordable, quality child care. 

Food security matters 

In a year in which food prices skyrocketed as grocery chain stores rolled in excess profits, what matters to the AFB is that we reduce overall food insecurity by 50 per cent and reduce severe food insecurity by 33 per cent by 2026. 

What matters to the AFB is that we “strategically focus on addressing the interlocked emerging crises that threaten our agriculture and food system”—because accelerating climate change, Russia’s war in Ukraine, global supply chain disruptions, and price hikes at grocery chains threaten our ability to ensure nutritious, affordable food is on every household’s table. 

Poverty reduction matters 

The advent of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) during the early days of the pandemic led to a reduction of poverty in Canada, but now that CERB no longer exists, poverty is back on the rise. What matters to the AFB is a plan to end poverty, and so the AFB will immediately retire the CERB debt and cease pursuing anyone living near or below the low-income measure for repayments. 

Additional AFB measures would lift 369,000 children out of poverty, reduce deep poverty by 33,000 people, and lift 84,000 older Canadians out of poverty. The AFB’s Canada Disability Benefit would also lift an additional 647,000 Canadians out of poverty.

Decent work matters 

What matters to the AFB is that every worker can access decent work. That means clamping down on business models that rely on precarious work and raising wage standards, because workers’ pay isn’t keeping pace with rampant inflation. It also means providing access to training opportunities that could position workers for better jobs. 

The climate crisis matters 

What matters to the AFB is that Canada treats climate change like the red-hot emergency that it is. 

Decolonization matters 

Canada was founded on colonialism; what matters to the AFB is that Indigenous Peoples are supported in their efforts to rebuild their unique languages, laws, cultures, governments, and economies.

Gender equality matters 

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on many women’s personal and work lives. What matters to the AFB is that women and gender-diverse people join in a just recovery. 

An inclusive society matters 

What matters to the AFB is that everyone is welcome in Canada—we can build an inclusive, equitable society. 

Affordable post-secondary education matters 

What matters to the AFB is that Canada leads the way in making post-secondary education and lifelong learning a core part of our culture—it’s good for people and for the economy. 

Fair and progressive taxation matters 

The AFB will tax extreme wealth by introducing a progressive wealth tax—beginning on net worth over $10 million—which would bring in $32 billion in the first year and $409 billion over 10 years. 

The AFB will restore the corporate income tax rate, boosting the federal rate to 20 per cent, from its present rate of 15 per cent, which would generate more than $11 billion annually. 

The AFB will raise the inclusion rate for capital gains to 75 per cent, which would bring in more than $9.5 billion. 

The AFB will implement a windfall profits tax. Canadian corporations made record-high profit margins in 2021, and margins remained elevated throughout 2022. A tax on profits greater than 120 per cent of pre-pandemic margins could, conservatively, bring in well over $20 billion for 2021 and 2022. 

All told, AFB 2024 proves that Canadians really can have nice things—if we make our tax system more progressive and make smart investments in public services, income supports, and social and physical infrastructure.

Click the links below to reach each of the individual chapters of the 2024 Alternative Federal Budget:

Executive Summary

Affordable housing and homelessness


Arts and culture

Child care

Decent work

Employment Insurance (EI)

Environment and climate change

Fair and equitable transition

First Nations

Food security

Gender equality

Health care

Health equity


Infrastructure, cities and transit

Income and poverty

International development

International trade and investment

Macroeconomics and fiscal projections

Post-secondary education


Public services

Racial equality


Seniors’ Care



1.7 MB222 pages

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National Office


Alternative budgets


Alternative Federal Budget

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