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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. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is asking the federal government for only $800 million per year for 8 years. After 25 years of having no strategic housing planning by the federal government, this level of funding is no where near to what is required.

We need to redirect funding from the Canadian defense budget to pay for  increased spending on 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 increase in funding for environmental spending was 2%.

We need to ask how this increased military spending impacts funding on humanitarian needs, such as low-rental housing, climate change, education, transit, child care, clean water projects, etc. It is our hope that citizens will raise this injustice with candidates of all political parties in the upcoming federal election.

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 does a ‘transformed heart and mind mean?

* How can contemplation and compassion lead us to wholeness and peace in our world?

If you are interested in exploring these questions with us, please contact us: kevin@prioritiesandchoices.org

https://prioritiesandchoices.org

Priorities & Choices

*      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. As an example, in the city of Edmonton, over 22,000 people pay more than 50% of their monthly income on rent. We have endless research on the need for strategies for creating housing. What is urgently needed is substantially more Federal dollars! Redirecting $100 billion from military spending over 20 years is a good comparison of the additional funding that is required to address the housing crisis being experienced by thousands of people on low incomes.

*      There is a Federal election on October 21st and we want to encourage citizens to speak with all candidates about what they feel should be priorities for public funding.

*      The Canadian Defense Report – ‘Strong, Secure, Engaged’ — outlines in detail the increase of 70% in the defense budget over 10 years, and total defence spending of $553 billion over 20 years. The cost of 88 new fighter jets is estimated at $100 million each. We are proposing that the number of new fighter jets should be reduced by 50 (from 88 to 38 jets) and the 70% defense budget increase be reduced to 30%. These reductions will generate over 100 billion for funding additional low-rental housing and low-cost home ownership.

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.

See – Defence Investment Plan 2018 and the following graph – https://www.cgai.ca/strong_secure_engaged_a_two_year_review#Strong<https://www.cgai.ca/strong_secure_engaged_a_two_year_review>