MEDIA RELEASE: Dozens of large corporations rake in record profits during the pandemic, some using public subsidies

Photo credit: Arild, flickr

Note: The report 'Corporations Making Record Profits in the Pandemic' was updated at 8 a.m.

MEDIA RELEASE: Dozens of large corporations rake in record profits during the pandemic, with some using public subsidies

Corporate COVID profiteers include major real estate companies, TC Energy, retail giant Couche-Tard

For immediate release: Dec 22, 2020

OTTAWA – As a year marked by record job losses and economic hardship comes to a close, 34 of Canada’s most profitable corporations will walk away with record profits adding a combined $8 billion to their bottom lines, according to a new report by Canadians for Tax Fairness.

The analysis found 34 large Canadian corporations took in record profits in just the first three quarters of 2020, allowing them to increase their cash holdings by $11 billion. Of the 111 corporations considered in the report, 19 took in over $1 billion in profits in the first three quarters of 2020. Another nine are on pace to surpass $1 billion by year’s end while 83 others already have profits over $100 million. Some of them used federal public subsidies to pad their profits and returns to their shareholders and billionaire owners.

The list of corporate COVID profiteers includes businesses that cut pandemic pay for frontline workers and corporations owned by some of the same top 44 billionaires whose wealth ballooned by more than $50 billion during the pandemic, as revealed in a recent C4TF report.

“Extreme wealth disparity is growing in lockstep with increased corporate power and profits ,” said DT Cochrane, an economist with Canadians for Tax Fairness who authored the study. "These results raise questions about how Canada’s largest corporations make their profits. From grocery store chains cutting pandemic pay for essential workers to real estate companies creating complex corporate structures to avoid taxes, corporate profits are too often derived from harmful activities,” Cochrane said.

C4TF is calling on the federal government to introduce an excess profits tax, restore corporate tax rates, and increase transparency and accountability to help pay for the costs of the crisis and ensure that public funds aren’t used to pad the private profits of large corporations.

“There is something fundamentally broken with a system that allows the richest individuals and corporations to grow their fortunes in the worst economic downturn of this century. An excess profits tax should be a top priority in the federal budget to address inequality and help Canadians and the economy rebound from this crisis,” said Toby Sanger, director of C4TF.

The report, Corporations Making Record Profits in the Pandemic, is available on the C4TF website.

Media Contact:  
Erika Beauchesne, Communications Coordinator
Canadians for Tax Fairness

Canadians for Tax Fairness is a non-profit organization that advocates for progressive taxes to fund important public services, reduce inequality and strengthen the economy.