The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Canada needs more independent media. And independent media needs you.

Did you know that most news organizations in Canada are owned by just a handful of companies? And that these companies have been shutting down newsrooms and laying off reporters continually over the past few decades?

Fact-based, credible journalism is essential to our democracy. Unlike many other newsrooms across the country, The Tyee’s independent newsroom is stable and growing.

How are we able to do this? The Tyee Builder program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip into our editorial budget so that we can keep doing what we do best: fact-based, in-depth reporting on issues that matter to our readers. No paywall. No junk. Just good journalism.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to be Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
BC Election 2019 Category
Tyee News
  |  
Election 2019
  |  
Federal Politics

The Election and Tax Fairness: A Tyee Reader

You asked us to find out what parties will do to reverse Canada’s widening wealth gap. Here’s what we did.

Andrew MacLeod 17 Oct 2019 | TheTyee.ca

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria and the author of All Together Healthy (Douglas & McIntyre, 2018). Find him on Twitter or reach him at

While election campaigns are noisy and distracting affairs about many things, some of substance, some not, taxation and how revenue is raised is at the heart of how governments actually function.

Aside from what the money is spent on — everything from health and national defence to benefits for the elderly or families raising children — how it’s raised has a big impact.

Taxes can be an effective policy tool to achieve our shared goals, whether it’s reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere or improving people’s health. They can especially be used to stop the growth of inequality by raising taxes on the wealthy and transferring it through cash and services to people in greater need.

Or they can frustrate those goals, keeping money flowing upwards rather than trickling down.

That’s why when we asked for Tyee readers’ top questions ahead of the election, you wanted to know: “What are the tax loopholes in Canada and what would you do to assure the rich pay their fair share and reverse the widening wealth gap?”

(More than 2,000 Tyee readers helped shape our coverage plan, and more than 1,000 readers contributed to help fund our election coverage. Thanks again, readers!)

To answer this reader question, we began with a look at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s 2015 election promise to strengthen the middle class and assessed whether he’d succeeded.

During the election campaign we took a look at the hundreds of leaks, or loopholes, in the tax system and shared research on the system’s overall fairness.

And we pulled together the various ways the parties would change the tax system.

The parties mostly talked about making tweaks to the current system, including a Conservative promise to reintroduce boutique tax credits for children’s sports and arts fees.

But the NDP’s proposed wealth tax that would charge a one-per-cent tax on accumulated assets worth more than $20 million was a novel approach for Canada, so we gave it extra attention.

We spoke with tax experts who were mixed on the idea (mainly arguing to strengthen the income tax system and introduce an inheritance tax instead) and compared the NDP proposal to ones being floated in the Democratic Party presidential primaries in the United States.

And we ran an opinion piece by economist and author Michal Rozworski enthusiastically endorsing the NDP wealth tax, a piece that you shared more than 8,500 times.

We also took a look at the Employment Insurance program, which isn’t technically a tax but does have a critical role to play in making our society fairer, and looked at whether any of the parties were committing to introduce needed fixes.

Finally, we looked at the ultimate tax dodge, money laundering, a practice for which B.C. has become dubiously world famous. The Tyee canvassed party platforms on the issue, and interviewed BC Attorney General David Eby on what needs to change at the federal level to rein in dirty money.

Among the distractions of election season, with politicians and pundits jerking from priority to priority, we hope keeping an eye focused on where the money comes from helps cut through the noise.  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free.

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Do not:

  •  Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully, threaten, name-call or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, downvote, or flag suspect activity
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities

Do:

  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls and flag violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Stay on topic
  • Connect with each other

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Tyee Poll: What Is One Art or Design Skill You Wish to Learn?

Take this week's poll