John Loxley was sought after by governments—provincial, federal, and international—for his wise counsel. Yet he was happy and perhaps felt more at home explaining the ideas of progressive economics to trade union and community activists, with clarity and without condescension.
It’s worth recalling what progressive movements faced in the 90s, when the implacable TINA (There. Is. No. Alternative.) was being used to justify so many cruel and regressive policy choices that we knew were dangerous and destructive. Too often we were reduced to what felt like inchoate rage, pitting our anger and our random examples against the brick wall of TINA.
John and Cho!ces showed us a better way through people’s budgeting: the magically (in retrospect) simple idea that, rather than simply assert that the policies being implemented were wrong-headed, we should demonstrate that they were not the inevitable result of the economic situation, but were instead, well, choices. And that better choices could and should be made.
The Alternative Federal Budget continues in the tradition that John taught us. It is a carefully calibrated and unimpeachable demonstration that, given the economic situation in any given year, positive and progressive policy options are always available. The annual AFB remains an important part of the work of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
It can be said without exaggeration that economists have won the Nobel Prize for lesser contributions to the “dismal science.”
John Loxley made a huge contribution to the growth and credibility of the CCPA, especially in his home province of Manitoba, but also nationally.
We are indebted to him.
We pledge to honour his memory and respect the contribution he made, by continuing the work that he did so well, demonstrating that the choices that place the well-being of people at their core are always the better choice.
From the Board and Members Council of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives