A new poll conducted by Abacus Data shows that an overwhelming majority of Canadians support a wealth tax to pay for the coming economic recovery. Three in four Canadians either “strongly support” or “support” the idea. Only 13% of respondents were opposed to imposing a wealth tax. 

Support levels were also consistent across the nation, from 90% in BC to 74% in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. 

While Liberal, NDP, and Green Party supporters all broadly endorse the idea, the wealth tax also has the support of 69% of Conservative Party voters.

The concept of a wealth tax has been increasingly popularized in the past few years. It was proposed by progressive candidates running in the Democratic Presidential Primaries in the United States and the NDP in the 2019 federal election. 

Simply put, a wealth tax entails imposing a 1 or 2 percent levy on the net wealth – total assets minus debts – of the richest people in the country. Economists have long promoted the idea as a means to fix runaway income inequality and shore up funds for social programs that assist average citizens. 

The Abacus poll also questioned Canadians’ on the kind of economic recovery they would like to see. They found that most Canadians want a recovery that: makes Canada more self-sufficient, invests in the healthcare system, and ensures richer Canadians pay their fair share. 

A majority of Canadians, 64 percent, also want governments to spend whatever is needed to rebuild the economy, even if that means running large deficits.  

The poll’s findings are unprecedented in terms of the broad support they reveal among all stripes of Canadians, regardless of political affiliation, gender, and geography. The COVID-19 crisis has, at least for the moment, created a broad coalition of Canadians that support a bold progressive agenda.

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