Inequality in Canada is getting greater attention

"Whether countries become more or less equal depends largely on government policies." Ed Broadbent
11-29-12

This week a number news outlets and organizations posted articles on inequality. Here are a few excerpts from pieces that are worth a read:

Following a report by the Fraser Institute on income mobility that watered down the reality of the trap of poverty, former assistant chief statistician at Statistics Canada, Michael Wolfson (now an adviser with EvidenceNetwork.ca, and Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa), wrote a response in the Globe and Mail that plainly demonstrates the issue of income mobility exists and what the flaws in the report are: read more.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives also weighed in on this report noting  the report reminds us that “the rich stay rich” while many people are actually touched by poverty throughout their lifetime.  “This is the opposite of income mobility, if you manage to slip into the exclusive club of wealthy Canadians it looks like you get a 10, if not a 20-year membership.” Read more: Behind the Numbers.

Ed Broadbent – former NDP leader, Canada Without Poverty Honorary Board Member, and founder of the Broadbent Institute, reminded Canadians in a Globe and Mail article that although Canada is in better financial shape than our European counterparts, most of the income that has been generated in recent decades has gone to top 20%.  Broadbent places responsibility for the mess on governments when he states, “Whether countries become more or less equal depends largely on government policies”, and he recommends changes to the tax system: read more.

Picking up on the theme of taxation as a means to address inequality, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives BC office released the findings of an Environics survey done on attitudes towards taxation in the province.  The survey found that the majority of BC’er’s think tax increases are needed and want to reduce income inequality, and the majority also feel that the top 20% of income earners and corporations pay less tax than they should.  Read more: Beyond the 1% What British Columbians think about taxes, inequality and public services.