The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has released a new report analyzing family wealth distribution in Canada. Its findings are stark. They show that the richest Canadians own much more wealth than previously estimated.

The 0.01% richest families are estimated to have a total wealth of $654 billion – about 5.6% of total wealth in the country. Meanwhile, the wealth of the bottom 40% of Canadians – some 6,373,000 families – is estimated at $132 billion or 1.1% of total wealth.

The share of total wealth held by the richest 0.01% is more than five times that of the bottom 40% of Canadian families.

The total wealth of the richest 1% of Canadian families sits at $3.01 trillion, roughly 25.7% of total wealth. That is close to equal that of the bottom 80% of Canadian families – whose total wealth is estimated at $3.06 trillion.

According to the report’s estimates, that means the wealthiest 1% control nearly as much wealth as some 12,747,600 Canadian families.

The PBO report is, however, highlighting data from 2019. With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing millions of Canadians into unemployment, there is good reason to worry that these inequalities may be accelerating.   

Tell your Premier to support 10 paid sick days for all workers