2008 Federal Pre-Budget Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance
Summary of Recommendations
August 15, 2008
1. Implement a homegrown solution so that Canadians will have access to nursing care:
- Ensure that government and those health organizations funded by the government do not engage in active international recruitment of nurses and other health professionals.
- Invest $250 million in earmarked conditional transfers to support the creation of 10,000 full-time RN positions
- Invest $135 million in earmarked conditional transfers for nursing education for:
- Educating more faculty to enable them to teach in Canadian nursing programs, along with corresponding funding for faculty positions
- Increased numbers of nursing seats
- Clinical placements for nursing students
- Invest substantively in infrastructure for Canadian nursing programs
2. Immediately begin a public consultation process to develop and implement an anti-poverty strategy, which should include: increasing the Canada Child Tax Benefit to an indexed $5,200 per child (2008$); improving access to employment insurance; increasing the minimum wage to $10.25 per hour with annual inflation adjustments; increasing transfers to provinces and territories on early childhood development/ learning and child care; and increasing spending by on social housing.
3. Commit to meeting Canada’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol and deliver a package of funded climate change programs and regulation that will ensure Canada meets all of its Kyoto obligations on schedule. Increase the use of environmental taxes, including the introduction of a carbon tax.
4. Enforce the Canada Health Act and attach firm conditions to federal health transfers.
5. Develop a national, publicly-funded and -controlled pharmacare program covering essential drugs. The federal government should cover 25 per cent of the public cost of drugs.
6. Ensure sufficient fiscal capacity to deliver the above and other essential investments, through reversals of tax cuts and fuller use of corrective environmental taxes.