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With the 2012 federal budget only two weeks away, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, in coordination with the Rideau Institute and more than 30 other Canadian civil society organizations, is offering a different vision for Canada’s future. A Budget for the Rest of Us, the 2012 Alternative Federal Budget, provides a road map for Canadians to combat income inequality and avoid a “lost decade” of high unemployment and environmental mismanagement.
In order to accomplish this, the AFB proposes reining in military overspending by returning the Department of National Defence budget to the more sustainable levels of the pre-9/11 period, freeing up $1.28 billion dollars for much-needed social programs in the next year alone:
The National Defence Budget must be brought in line with the changed realities that Canada faces in the world, a decade after the events of September 11, 2001…. With Canadian involvement in Afghanistan winding down and our commitment to addressing the global financial crisis, an immediate reduction in the defence budget and an eventual return to pre-2001 levels are realistic goals that would set Canada on the path to fiscal responsibility in the field of expenditures.
The Budget also calls for a comprehensive review of existing military spending and an increase in parliamentary oversight of DND procurement programs. By increasing the democratic transparency of the procurement process, Canada could put a stop to the culture of unchecked spending increases at DND that has led to costly, unnecessary, and irresponsible procurement plans such as the F-35 program.