Article – “The Joke of Paying Taxes in Canada”

Oct 13, 2023

When you look at all of the taxes we pay, it turns out that the poorest 10% of Canadian citizens actually pay a larger share of their total income in taxes than the wealthiest 10% do, despite the fact that it causes them incredible hardship.

That’s pretty monstrous, but it’s absolutely nothing compared to how completely Canada’s corporations are able to avoid paying their fair share.

Why is that? “This is not part of a larger government strategy to help Canadian businesses compete in a global marketplace. It’s the result of sloppy policy and backroom negotiations. It in no way helps to promote business as a whole, and only exists because most regular Canadian taxpayers are not aware that it’s going on.”

That’s the sort of thing that Prime Minister Harper means when he says things like “It would be foolish to provide absolute clarity” when it comes to investment guidelines (just as clarity is not what he offers for other parts of the economy, like our tax burden). That means it would be foolish for him to let the public know, because we would be furious if we were even remotely aware how badly we are being screwed.

For the first time in Canadian history, more than half of the federal government’s revenue in 2014 came from personal income taxes, while taxes on Corporations represent a steadily vanishing part of filling the public purse.

Corporate tax avoidance is significantly hurting Canada.

Total hoarded corporate cash now exceeds the value of the national debt.

Let’s free up that excess cash.

So the next time you try to tell me that the only reason the poor are suffering is because they are lazy or no good or somehow at fault themselves for finding themselves getting the short end of the stick in an economic system where money has empowered the wealthy to stack the deck ever harder in their favour for more than a generation, I’ll remind you that it’s no more defensible than claiming a woman who gets raped was somehow “asking for it.” Predatory greed has been celebrated and proliferated to the point where your willingness to work just makes you much more convenient to exploit, without ever affording any significant opportunity to see long term improvement in your life circumstances as a result of that willingness to work. And some of us still think that life is about more than work, that it should have room in it for living, and that pushing ourselves ever harder and seeing less of our children and enjoying less of life as a result is not actually something to strive for or celebrate. It’s clear where we need to look for the money we need to supply the needs of Canadians: taxing the wealthy and the corporations. After all, that’s where all the money is. Sadly, that’s also by definition where the political influence is, too.