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Taxes are not simply about money or fees collected by governments. Taxes are equally about public programs and services, reducing poverty and the harmful effects of inequality, and protecting the environment. Taxes are about building the kind of Canada we want.
—Taxes for the Common Good: A Public Justice Primer on Taxation
Taxes are an important contribution to the common good. They raise the revenues used to pay for democratic institutions and to provide government programs and services.
Over the past decade, significant changes have been made to Canada’s tax system, including deep cuts to tax rates. The impact of these changes is a cause for concern, as taxes are one way that we as citizens fulfill our obligation to promote justice and to respect the right of all people to live in dignity. For governments, tax policy can be used to foster justice, and tax revenue can pay for infrastructure that benefits all and promotes an equitable society. Public justice also supports a progressive distribution of taxes, and transparent and accountable decisions from governments on taxation and spending.
Each year, CPJ submits our recommendations for the federal budget to the House of Commons Finance Committee. Once the budget is released, we respond with analysis that outlines the impact of the budget on low-income Canadians, ecological justice, and refugee rights.
Taxation policy is a critical component of CPJ's work on poverty and ecological justice. You can find out more about our work on a guaranteed livable income in the Poverty section. More information about carbon pricing can be found in the Ecological Justice section.
CPJ is a founding member of the Canadians for Tax Fairness, a non-partisan organization advocating for fair and progressive tax policies aimed at building a strong and sustainable economy, reducing inequalities and funding quality public services.
CPJ provides timely analysis and research on taxation policy in Canada. Contact Darlene O'Leary for more information.
CPJ's research report, “Taxes for the Common Good,” is a series of six fact sheets highlighting the positive role taxes play in a democratic society and summarizing up-to-date information on the costs and opportunities afforded by various federal tax policy options.
Public programs – such as education, health care, and, early childhood education care – play an important role in reducing income inequality. Tax changes since 2006 have continued to disproportionately benefit the wealthy, particularly single earner families with children and senior couples with substantial pension incomes.
CPJ’s public justice framework supports the notion that taxes are an important contribution to the common good. The majority (75%) of Canadians believe taxes are good because they pay for important things that contribute to a positive quality of life.
Over the past decade, significant changes have been made to Canada’s tax system, including deep cuts to tax rates. The impact of these changes is a cause for concern, as taxes are an essential way that we as citizens fulfill our obligation to promote justice and to respect the right of all people to live in dignity.
Want to read CPJ's commentary on Canada's federal budget?
CPJ's recommendations for, and responses to, the federal government's annual budget.
With Budget 2017, Finance Minister Bill Morneau has made tentative financial commitments to key priorities identified in their consultations on housing and climate change, though not on international development. Read more
Want to know what CPJ staff have been saying on taxation in Canada?
Keep up-to-date with the latest news and views from CPJ on taxation.e by reading the articles written by CPJ staff and citing CPJ’s work Read more
CPJ released “Taxes for the Common Good” is a series of six fact sheets highlighting the positive role taxes play in a democratic society and summarizing up-to-date information on the costs and opportunities afforded by various federal tax policy options.
CPJ spoke out against income splitting, a policy that allows higher income earners to transfer a portion of their annual income to the lower income partner to reduce the household’s overall tax burden. This policy was cancelled in 2015.
In our pre-budget submission, CPJ called on the federal government to reverse tax cuts that don’t benefit all Canadians, such as boutique tax credits, corporate tax cuts, and GST cuts.
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