Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
CCPA (Canada) logo.svg
TypePublic policy think tank, charity
Headquarters141 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Larry Brown Edit this at Wikidata

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) is an independent think tank in Canada. It has been described as "left leaning".[1]

The CCPA concentrates on economic policy, international trade, environmental justice and social policy. It is especially known for publishing an alternative federal budget on an annual basis. The centre is based in Ottawa but has branch offices in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Regina, Toronto and Halifax. It is funded primarily through individual donations, research grants, and trade unions.


The CCPA was founded in Ottawa in 1980 by a group of university professors and union activists. Many of the those first involved with the CCPA’s founding wanted to use it to counter the neoliberal consensus that was emerging during this period. Following its formation, the centre began organizing conferences, publishing pamphlets, and producing booklets and reports created by volunteer researchers.[2]

The organization ran into financial difficulties in the late 1980s due to inadequate funding. However, it was able to successfully lobby trade unions and other NGOs in the early 1990s to take out memberships. In 1994, the centre's capacities expanded further when it increased membership outreach to individual donors. It then went on to set up provincial offices across the country. By 2002, it had established offices in British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan.[3]

Projects and initiatives[edit]

Alternative federal budget[edit]

In 1995, the CCPA published its first alternative federal budget (AFB) with the Winnipeg-based CHO!CES. The AFB has since become the centre’s signature initiative. The AFB is a collaborative project that includes inputs from various civil society groups from across the country. It typically contains about 20 chapters that are each written by field experts and reviewed in consultation with other researchers and advocates.[4]

The Monitor[edit]

In 1994, the CCPA launched The Monitor, which continues to serve as the organization’s regularly-published flagship magazine that complies analyses conducted by their researchers and affiliates.[5]

Canada Revenue Agency political audit of CCPA[edit]

In 2012, the Canada Revenue Agency launched a $13.4-million program through which it undertook a political audit of 52 charities, including the CCPA, "to determine whether any [were] violating a rule that limits their spending on political activities to 10 per cent of resources".[6] In 2014, the CRA claimed on its website that the CCPA appeared to be "biased" and "one-sided." In an open letter, 400 academics called for a moratorium on the CCPA audit, claiming that this is an attempt by the Conservative Party of Canada government to "intimidate, muzzle and silence its critics".[7] Canada's most prominent market-oriented think tanks, the C. D. Howe Institute and the Macdonald–Laurier Institute, were not audited.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Beeby, Dean (September 1, 2014). "Left-leaning think-tank targeted for federal audit because of 'biased' material, document shows". Toronto Star. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  2. ^ Carroll, William; Huxtable, David (2014a). "Building Capacity for Alternative Knowledge: The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives". Canadian Review of Social Policy. 70: 97.
  3. ^ Carroll 2014a, p. 101.
  4. ^ Carroll, William; Huxtable, David (2014b). "Expose/Oppose/Propose: The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Challenge of Alternative Knowledge". Labour / Le Travail. 74: 34.
  5. ^ Carroll 2014a, p. 99.
  6. ^ Carter, Terrance S. (June 28, 2012), "Playing by the rules: Political activities fair game for charities", Charity Law Bulletin (286), retrieved September 17, 2014
  7. ^ Beeby, Dean (September 14, 2014). "Academics calls for moratorium on CRA political audit of think-tank". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved August 9, 2021.


External links[edit]