Canada's richest families possess as much wealth as 3 provinces

Aug 1 2018, 2:24 am

Canada’s richest families are more than 4,400 times richer than the average Canadian family.

That statistic is just one of the findings in a study released earlier today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Not only are the wealthier families that much richer, but they’re much more likely to keep that money within the family than they were two decades ago.

The published report is called Born to Win: Wealth concentration in Canada since 1999. The work compares the net worth of Canada’s 87 wealthiest resident families to the wealth of average families over the past 17 years.

Among other statistics, the bottom line reveals that wealth inequality is extreme and growing in Canada, but suggests that such could be corrected with progressive tax reforms.

David Macdonald, senior economist and study author, explains that “Canada’s dynastic families have got it all – more wealth, more inheritance, and are as lightly taxed as they were the last time [they] looked in 2014.”

Macdonald comments that while you’d expect Canada’s tax regime to try and counteract this concentration of wealth, federal policies actually encourage it.

“Canada is the only country in the G7 without an inheritance, state, or gift tax on tremendous family wealth,” he adds. “Instituting an estate tax and eliminating tax preferences for capital gains and dividend income could go a long way.”

The study also discovered the following facts:

  • Canada’s Wealthy 87 saw their net worth grow by an average of 37% from 2012 to 2016. Net worthy typically grew anywhere from $2.2 to $3 billion on average.
  • The wealthy 87 now own 4,448 times as much wealth as the Canadian average and as much wealth as 12 million Canadians combined.
  • The collective net worth of the Wealthy 87 ($259 billion) is just shy of what everyone in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island collectively own ($269 billion).
  • Not only do these families control vast amounts of wealth, but their members are also disproportionately likely to be among the highest-paid CEOs in Canada.

You can download and read the full report on the CCPA website.

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