Canadian Parliament Building at Dusk

A new survey from Abacus Data finds the majority of Canadians — including those in the highest income bracket — are in favour of a wealth tax.

Abacus polled respondents about a proposed 1% tax on Canadian residents whose assets exceed $20 million — an idea that has been championed by the federal NDP and Green Party.

Overall, 79% of Canadians said they supported the idea and 35% said they were strongly in favour of it. Support for the idea was high throughout Canada with at least 75% of respondents in every region of the country saying they favoured a wealth tax.

The idea also received broad support (73%) among households in the top income bracket.

Regardless of their political persuasion, most respondents were in favour of a wealth tax, including 64% of Conservative voters, 86% of Liberal voters and 87% of NDP voters.

In June, following the release of a Parliamentary Budget Officer report that revealed the top 1% of Canadians hold more than 25% of the country’s wealth, both the NDP and the Green Party renewed their call for a wealth tax.

To date, that call has fallen on deaf ears. Earlier this week, the Liberals, Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois voted against an NDP motion to impose a wealth tax. That motion was supported by the Green Party.

Abacus also polled respondents on another NDP proposal to impose an “excess profit tax” that would double the corporate tax paid by companies on profits that exceed pre-pandemic levels.

Support for that proposal was more tepid, but still widespread: 68% of respondents said they favoured an excess profit tax, including 58% of Conservative voters, 73% of Liberal voters and 77% of NDP voters.

In a statement, David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data, noted that this was “not the first” Abacus poll to reveal widespread support for a wealth tax.

“What’s most striking is the general agreement across the political spectrum about a tax increase,” Coletto said. “Raising taxes on the rich and highly profitable corporations is one of the few ideas that both progressives and right populists agree on.”

Abacus surveyed 1,660 Canadians from Nov. 6–12, 2020. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. For further details and a regional breakdown, see the Abacus poll results.