Wealthy Millennials Call for Canada to Implement a Wealth Tax and Inheritance Tax
For Immediate Release—Wealthy millennials are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to implement wealth and inheritance taxes in Canada. Members of Resource Movement—a community of young people with wealth and class privilege who want a more just and equitable world—have launched an online petition.
“My family is in the top 1%,” says Ben Waitzer, one of the campaign’s organizers. “Over the course of my life, I’ve seen critical services, things like pharmacare and affordable housing go under-funded. I know that our society has more than enough money to fund the critical social programs and services we need. But right now, it’s just in the wrong hands.”
Canada is home to some of the richest people on the planet, ranking fifth in the world for “ultra high net wealth” individuals, according to a recent report by the data firm Wealth-X. It is also the only G7 nation without an inheritance tax.
Here, the 87 wealthiest families collectively own $259 billion—just less than $3 billion each. While on the bottom end of the spectrum, 3.4 million people in Canada live below Canada’s official poverty line. Research across multiple academic disciplines has found that wealth and power inequalities are linked to higher rates of stress, mental illness, drug addiction, and school bullying, and lower social mobility and social capital.
In a campaign video, members of Resource Movement call for wealth taxes to fund programs and services such as full pharmacare and dental, full coverage of assistive devices for disabled people, free transit, affordable childcare, affordable housing, reparations for Black Canadians, and land repatriation for Indigenous nations. Members also call for climate justice and a Green New Deal in Canada.
The campaign’s organizers are calling for an inheritance tax that hits the top 10% of estates, increasing to a marginal rate of 55% on estates over $7.5 million. They’re also calling for the establishment of a progressive wealth tax that also hits the top 10% of Canadians, increasing progressively up to a rate of 10% on each dollar of wealth of over $20 million.
Under the wealth tax proposal, the Thomsons, Canada’s wealthiest family with net assets of $42.4B, would pay about $4B in 2020. Despite this, after tax season, the Thomsons could still have over $38B—enough to buy over 43,000 homes in Toronto.
Despite this, the organizers point out that the two taxes proposed would still be insufficient to stop the accumulation of wealth by the top 10% of Canadians, and support additional policy changes such as closing unjust tax loopholes, which Canadians for Tax Fairness estimates would generate around 20 billion annually.
Organizers are calling on Canadians from all backgrounds to sign the petition, demanding the Federal government include wealth and inheritance taxes in the federal 2020 budget, which will be released in the coming weeks.
Resource Movement is a community of young people with wealth and/or class privilege who have come together to advocate for a more equitable country and to work toward the redistribution of wealth, land, and power. Resource Movement has over 200 members from across Canada. Members and their families are individuals who are in the top 20% of wealth and/or income. Learn more at www.resourcemovement.org or follow us on Twitter @ResourceMove.
Resource Movement is a project on Tides Canada’s shared platform. Tides Canada is a national charity dedicated to a healthy environment, social equity, and economic prosperity. The shared platform provides governance, HR, grant and financial management for leading social and environmental initiatives across the country. Tides Canada maintains full legal and financial responsibility for Resource Movement.
Organizer, Resource Movement