Halifax, NS—Now is the time to have serious discussions about what kind of community Halifax residents want for themselves and their neighbours. That's why the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia (CCPA-NS) releases its first ever Alternative Municipal Budget for the HRM today during the election campaign and well in advance of the normal budget cycle.
“This document gives our current Council, Council hopefuls and the community, fuel to spark real conversations about the services we need, and what we can afford,” says CCPA-NS Director, Christine Saulnier.
“Of critical importance, this budget offers alternative ways to pay for the services that will help create a municipality that is socially and economically just, as well as environmentally sustainable. For example, a small income tax surcharge of 4% raises an additional $50 million in revenue. Over time, phasing in a much larger surcharge would help shift us away from relying on problematic property taxes and regressive user fees toward a progressive tax system."
The Alternative Budget contains 65 action items and their estimated costs. It includes strategic investments in community centres and recreation programs, in early learning, in food security, in library materials, as well as in public and active transportation. It outlines provisions to ensure everyone benefits from the anticipated economic growth resulting from the ship-building contract.
Hugo Dann, community activist and member of the AMB Working Group, says of the AMB investments: "We’re envisioning a city that is more inclusive, democratic, safer, 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."
A Sustainable Vision for our Community: Alternative Municipal Budget for the Halifax Regional Municipality is the culmination of a collaborative effort involving more than 20 individuals from academia, the non-profit sector and labour organizations.
A Sustainable Vision for our Community: Alternative Municipal Budget for the Halifax Regional Municipality and the Budget in Brief can be downloaded free at: www.policyalternatives.ca.
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact CCPA-NS Director, Christine Saulnier at (902) 477-1252 or (902) 240-0926 (cell) or email [email protected]
The CCPA-NS is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice, as well as environmental sustainability.