Taxes and the Rich-Poor Divide

A Tax Fairness Forum was held on June 5, 2012 at the Millenium Library.

Taxes are not merely a way for governments to raise revenue. Taxes are a political mechanism for directing economic activity, addressing major issues facing communities, supporting our democratic and cultural institutions and determining how we shape our physical and social environment.

In the last two decades, people with power and wealth have consciously tried to create a public animosity towards paying taxes. However, most tax payers know that the services, supports and systems that we need to function as a society must be paid for in some equitable way.

The workshop, organized by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (Manitoba) and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, started to address the tax debate imbalance facing Canadians. A cross section of concerned individuals and representatives of select organizations met to analyse how taxes are now defined and used, and to consider what can be done to promote tax fairness for Manitobans.

Watch this site for more information on the tax fairness issue.

For those who were unable to attend, see below for information about the workshop.

Workshop Objectives

  • Assess the impact of tax reductions (mainly federal, but also provincial and municipal) on the public, in the last 20 years
  • Identify  alternative tax and other revenue generating mechanisms that are available for governments, that have a better distributive and generative effect on our economy, and
  • Recommend ways that social and community activists can act to advance alternative tax and revenue options, and therefore contradict a dominating anti-tax policy rhetoric in Canada.


  • Linda  McQuaig,  author and columnist
  • Ian Hudson, UofM Professor and CCPA Research Associate


  • Academics – economists, sociologists, social work professors, etc.
  • Social policy advocates – CCPA and SPCW
  • Member of Canadians for Fair Taxes …
  • Special interest groups – representing people with disabilities, children, people living on low income, labour, Aboriginal leaders, environmentalists, seniors, housing activists, etc.

Here are some photos taken at the Forum - Tax Forum Photos

Resource Blog: Tax Fairness Forum Blog

Handouts - Rich and Poor Benefit from Income Inequality and Understanding Death and Taxes

Linda McQuaig and her recent book, The Trouble with Billionaires: Gluttony and Hubris in an Age of Epic Inequality


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