MEDIA RELEASE: Canada’s tax system needs an overhaul to reduce gender inequality

Canada's Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. Photo: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, flickr.

MEDIA RELEASE: Canada’s tax system needs an overhaul to reduce gender inequality

For immediate release: March 8, 2021

OTTAWA – On International Women’s Day, Canadians for Tax Fairness is reiterating calls on the federal government to make significant investments and progressive tax reforms to promote gender equality.

“Women have borne the brunt of COVID-19’s economic and social effects, from lost work to extra care burdens. To ensure a more inclusive economic recovery, this year’s federal budget must prioritize strengthening public services for women, including making significant investments in a national childcare framework,” said Erika Beauchesne, communications coordinator with Canadians for Tax Fairness.

C4TF recently published a Fair Tax Recovery Plan that shows how the government can raise more than $60 billion in additional revenues by making the tax system fairer and less sexist. These tax measures would not only help the Liberals achieve their commitment to ‘tax extreme wealth inequality’ but also narrow Canada’s gender gap that has widened under the pandemic.

Priorities to promote gender equality include:

Close regressive tax loopholes and expenditures: such as the stock option deduction, that primarily benefit men and the richest individuals 

Tackle tax havens: that cost the Canadian economy billions in foregone revenues and lost public services, hurting women at home and in developing countries

Target extreme wealth concentration: among the top 1% that own quarter of all wealth in Canada by introducing an annual net wealth tax on the richest households to redistribute wealth

Improve how the tax system works for women: by introducing automatic tax filing for low-income Canadians, a service that will help more women receive important benefits such as the Canada Child Benefit.

“It’s no coincidence that while hundreds of thousands of women lost work in the pandemic, Canada’s exclusively male club of top billionaires grew their wealth by $53 billion. We’re hoping Canada’s first female Finance Minister will introduce a truly feminist budget this year that doesn’t hold back and plugs the sexist holes in our tax system that enable the most fortunate to avoid paying their fair share,” said Toby Sanger, economist and director of C4TF.

Ahead of the 65th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, C4TF joins its international tax justice allies in calling for broader global tax reforms to promote gender equality, including establishing an intergovernmental UN Global Tax body to ensure equal taxing rights of nation states and stop tax abuses by multinational corporations.

Media Contact:  

Erika Beauchesne, Communications Coordinator, Canadians for Tax Fairness 613-315-8679

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.