Canada's wealthiest 87 families have same wealth as 12 million people
According to the report, the chasm between the net worth of these families when compared to everyone else is growing rapidly.
Canada's wealthiest 87 families have roughly the same amount of wealth as about 12 million people in the country, which is around a third of the country’s population, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said in a recent report.
The report published Tuesday found that in 2016 the net worth of the richest was 4,448 times that of the average Canadian.
The accumulative net worth of the country’s wealthiest families is near the net worth of everyone in the eastern coastal provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, the report found.
"Canada's dynastic families have got it all – more wealth, more inheritance, and are as lightly taxed as they were the last time we looked in 2014," the report's author, economist David Macdonald, said in a statement, the Guardian reported.
The report also indicated that close to nine of the 20 wealthiest families also included a top-paid CEO among their ranks. "In other words, not only do these families control vast wealth, but their members are disproportionately likely to be among the highest-paid people in Canada," Macdonald pointed out.
The figures based on the wealth rankings aggregated by Canadian Business magazine along with data compiled from Statistics Canada, the report found that Canada’s most affluent families are worth over US$3bn on average, while the median net worth in Canada sits at just around US$226,973.
Per the report, the chasm between the net worth of these families when compared to everyone else is growing rapidly.
Between 2012 and 2016, the average net worth of the wealthiest in the country rose by 37 percent, while the median net value of the rest of the Canadians grew by just 15 percent.
The report points out the country's acute – and growing – wealth inequality is being exacerbated by the country’s tax system.
"Canada is the only country in the G7 without an inheritance, estate or gift tax on tremendous family wealth," said Macdonald, citing countries such as the UK, United States, and Japan, where inheritances can be taxed at over 40 percent.
And income from capital gains and dividends is taxed at lower rates than income from wages in Canada, which often stands to benefit the wealthiest, Mcdonald noted.
The report also shed light on Canada's toleration of the use of private corporations and tax havens.
"You’d expect Canada’s tax regime would try to counteract this concentration of wealth at the very top, where it’s needed the least, but in fact, federal policies encourage it," he said, according to the Guardian.