Priorities & Choices is a new initiative to awaken citizens to injustices that impact on the social and economic well being of vulnerable individuals and communities.
Our Vision is to find ways for people of different faiths and backgrounds to ‘pull together’ for a more just society.
Our initial focus is in calling for an additional $5 billion per year for 20 years to address the crisis in low-rental housing due to 25 years of neglect.
In January 1994 the federal government cancelled new long-term investments in social housing. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is asking the federal government for $800 million per year for 8 years. After 25 years of having no National Housing Plan, this level of federal government funding is no where near what is required to address the current crisis.
One option is to redirect funding from the Canadian defense budget to pay for increased funding for housing. Do you know that all federal parties recently supported a 70% increase in military defense spending – to $32 billion – with no public consultation? The federal government’s increase for environmental spending is 2% for the same period.
As part of its defense budget, the Canadian government recently invited bids for 88 new fighter jets at an initial cost of over $100 million each. Are fighter jets a priority?
We need to ask how this increased military spending impacts on funding for humanitarian needs, such as low-rental housing, climate change initiatives, education, transit, child care, clean water projects, etc. It is our hope that citizens will raise this question all political parties.
Questions We Are Asking
* What ‘powers’ are operating today in our society that lead us to spend billions on new fighter jets in the midst of a housing crisis, a climate crisis, and so many humanitarian needs?
* What would a ‘transformed heart and mind’ tell us?
* How can compassion and contemplation lead us to wholeness and peace in our world?
If you are interested in exploring these questions with us, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Priorities & Choices
* The Canadian Defense Report – ‘Strong, Secure, Engaged’ – outlines in detail the increase of 70% in the defense budget over 10 years, and total defense spending of $553 billion over 20 years.
* A basic premise underlying our call for a shift in Priorities is that greatly increased funding is needed to provide low-rental housing for the most vulnerable in our communities. Redirecting $100 billion from military spending over 20 years is a good comparison of the additional funding that is respired to address the housing crisis being experienced by thousands of people on low incomes.
* This $100 billion in funding should be used to subsidize additional low-rental housing and low-cost home ownership, including co-op housing, non-profit models, and private low-rental housing.
Canadian Defense Budget: 70 per cent Increase and $32 billion in 2018
In the upcoming Federal election, we need to encourage citizens (and faith institutions) to question candidates about what our priorities should be i.e. military spending or low-rental housing, childcare, climate change, etc.