The Canadian federal budget is more than just a financial road map for the country; the federal budget also serves as an expression of the Canadian government’s political and social agenda. Creating the federal budget is a long and complex process; the budget planning process for the next calendar year begins soon after the annual budget for the current calendar year is presented to Parliament. The budget consultation period begins in the year prior to the budget release; during this period the Minister of Finance should carefully examine the economic and social climate of Canada, get feedback from other Members of Cabinet, consider public opinion, and solicit input from individuals, organizations and social groups from both within and outside the government. During the budget consultation period individuals and special interest groups lobby the Minister of Finance, other members of Parliament, and the Senate to have their agendas included in the next federal budget. Two such groups are Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada) and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). FEI Canada is a professional organization of senior financial executives which is dedicated to promoting its members’ interests, while CCPA is an organization devoted to researching social, economic, and environmental issues. Given the different mandates and memberships of FEI Canada and CCPA it is not surprising that the 2010 pre-budget submissions of the two organizations promoted fiscal responsibility and promoted the interests of those in the business community, and encouraged spending on social and environmental programs respectively.
Neither FEI Canada nor CCPA were successful in having any of their views fully adopted in Budget 2010; however, Budget 2010 favoured CCPA’s recommendations over those of FEI Canada. In the Alternative Federal Budget 2010 (AFB 2010) CCPA presented the following, amongst other,...