9 February 2023
A new report by Canadians for Tax Fairness reveals large corporations in Canada received pandemic subsidies while boosting profits, avoiding billions in taxes, and making shareholders richer.
We looked at 74 publicly listed companies that were found in our previous report to have a tax gap* greater than $100 million. Half of them (37) received CEWS.
The majority of CEWS recipients had at least one subsidiary in a tax haven, increased their total dividend payout during the pandemic, and engaged in share buybacks.
While CEWS was supposed to help businesses keep workers, most corporations reduced their overall employment in 2020. Many still had reduced employment in 2021.
The government should bring in an excess profits or windfall tax on large corporations to recover revenue. Canada also needs stronger tax laws to make sure companies pay their fair share such as a minimum book profits tax, which was just introduced in the U.S. on large profitable corporations.