By Mike Brito
A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) has shown that the richest Canadians are getting richer than ever before.
The report, “The Rise of Canada’s Richest 1%,” studies income trends over the past 90 years and indicates that the richest 1% of Canadians took close to 1/3 of all growth in incomes between 1997 and 2007.
“The last time Canada’s elite held so much of the nation’s income in their hands was in the 1920s.” said Armine Yalnizyan, Senior CCPA economist and author of the report.
“Even then, their incomes didn’t soar as fast as they are today.”
After World War 2, Canada was becoming more equal, with a growing middle class, but since the late 1970s, the richest 1% have almost doubled their share of total income in Canada.
This “underscores a dramatic reversal of long term trends.”
Over the past 35 years in Toronto, the city has become further divided into rich and poor neighbourhoods.
The “Three Cities research” report, from the University of Toronto, states that there is growing segregation in Toronto based on class, and projects that by 2025 the middle class will shrink to 9% of the city, while poor neighborhoods will grow, and make up 60% of Toronto.
This growing gap between rich and poor is also triggering a health crisis.
A 2008 report from Toronto Public Health concluded that lung cancer is 150% higher among the poor in Toronto, and that income and health inequality contribute to 1,100 premature deaths and 1,300 low weight babies being born per year in the city.
Other research has shown that poor Canadians suffer from Diabetes and heart disease at rates more than double than the rich.
The report is available at: www.policyalternatives.ca