Halifax—Another new government and another opportunity to consider what the next four years and beyond will bring for Nova Scotians. It is critical for Nova Scotians to hold our governments accountable for the choices that it makes or doesn’t make on our behalf. This year’s Nova Scotia Alternative Provincial Budget (APB) provides a blueprint and lays out more than 99 ways that our government can improve the province for all of us.
“This year’s Alternative Budget highlights ways that our government can use our budget to begin addressing income inequality and build a strong and more prosperous province where more of us share in that prosperity,” says the Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Christine Saulnier. “Since the Occupy Movement launched in September 2011, a mountain of evidence now attests to the fact that income inequality is bad for economic growth, for the environment and climate change, and for democracy as well. We need to tackle it head on and our alternative budget shows us how we can.”
Christopher Majka, community activist and member of the APB Working Group, says of the alternative budget: "We’re envisioning a province that is more inclusive, democratic, safer, environmentally sustainable, and a richer place for its arts and culture, which will bring a diversity of people here and ensure that they want to stay, to work and to raise their families. What we’re offering is a path to realize our potential."
“This budget lays the foundation for ensuring that we invest today in our people, and our communities and reap the benefits now, as well as in the future. For example our investment in Early Learning and Child Care has an immediate return on investment of almost two and half times what we invest,” according to Tammy Findlay, Professor of Canadian and Political Studies at Mount St Vincent University and a member of the working group.
“The long term benefits for the children, our families and our society cannot be underestimated. Healthier children, a more productive workforce, keep and attract young families to our province, address inequality--the benefits outweigh the cost. The high costs to families is but one consideration. Low wages and lack of spaces must be addressed within the creation of a seamless public system,” says Findlay.
This year’s alternative budget is the culmination of a collaborative effort involving more than 40 individuals from academia, the non-profit sector and labour organizations.
The Nova Scotia Alternative Provincial Budget 2014: a Budget for the 99%, as well as the Budget in Brief can be downloaded free at: www.policyalternatives.ca/nsapb2014
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact CCPA-NS Director, Christine Saulnier at (902) 240-0926 (cell) or email [email protected]