On October 5, 2020, during the House of Commons debate on tax policy, Paul Manly, a Green Party MP from British Columbia said that “When successive Liberal and Conservative governments have cut taxes, it has predominantly benefited the ultra-wealthy. It is time to reverse that trend and introduce a wealth tax.”
Manly continued saying, “We need an inheritance tax on massive fortunes, and we need a wealth tax. Northern European countries tax the wealthy and ensure their citizens are taken care of from cradle to grave. We should do the same in Canada. We can do better”
Currently, Canada does not have an inheritance tax. However, this did not stop Fraser from agreeing with Manly saying,
“Throughout this pandemic, it has become apparent that the inequalities that have long plagued Canada’s economy continue to exist and need serious investment by the government.”
“That is why, when we saw the emergency rear its head and create costs for society, we decided the government was in a better position to bear those costs than households and businesses.”
“If that requires us to ask the wealthy to contribute a bit more, we will not be afraid to make that demand.”
Earlier in the discussion, Fraser discussed the need to examine how the government was going to finance the policies set forth in the Throne Speech and other proposals the liberal government is to set forth:
“we need to examine how we are going to finance many of the policies that we have put in place now or we plan to going forward. By targeting policies that will promote growth and support Canada’s most vulnerable, we will be able to save the system billions of dollars and support Canada’s most vulnerable. If it means we have to ask the wealthiest to pay a bit more, then so be it.”
This is not the first time the Liberal government has brought up the idea of increasing taxes on Canadian wealth. In September 23 Throne Speech, the government discussed the introduction of new taxes on “extreme wealth”.
Governor General Julie Payette said during the throne speech that the government would “identify additional ways to tax extreme wealth inequality, including by concluding work to limit the stock option deduction for wealthy individuals at large, established corporations, and addressing corporate tax avoidance by digital giants.”
However, the Liberals did not elaborate on the specifics of what a wealth tax would look like.