Wealth concentration

Centre for Policy Alternatives charts family assets

A report released this month by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says that wealth inequality between Canadians is even starker than income inequality. “Outrageous Fortune” used Statistics Canada’s 2014 survey of Canadians’ financial assets to point out that while the top 20 per cent of the population takes home 50 per cent of the income they also hold 70 per cent of the nation’s private wealth.

According to the report the country’s richest 86 families “have enough money to buy absolutely everything in the private hands of every New Brunswicker with billions to spare.”

Statistics Canada states New Brunswick residents hold $141 billion in their homes land businesses vehicles and other such assets while the top 86 Canadians hold $180 billion. That $180 billion is also equivalent to the total assets of the poorest 34 per cent of Canadians. The report assesses the top 86 instead of the top 100 because of the 100 wealthiest Canadian families 14 live abroad.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives suggests closing the gap by increasing taxes on the wealthy particularly the capital gains tax. Capital gains are made when someone sells assets such as a business. In Canada these gains are taxed at half the rate regular income is.

If you’d like to hit any of the top 86 up for a loan nine of them — the Mannix Riddell Katz Edwards Southern Shaw Werklund Lede and Kolias families — live right here in Alberta.