Tag: Dawson

The 86 richest Canadians have amassed as much wealth as the countrys

OTTAWA — While politicians in Ottawa still can’t decide who is in the middle class, a new analysis suggests wealth is increasingly gravitating to the very top.The report by the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows that the country’s 86 richest individuals and families — or 0.002% of the total population — are getting exponentially richer and now have accumulated as much wealth as the country’s poorest 11.4 million.[np_storybar title=”How Canada’s middle class is getting richer, a lot richer” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2014/02/25/canada-middle-class-statscan-net-worth/”%5D Canadian politicians have been trying to make the middle class out to be a poor huddled mass of declining fortunes, but a landmark study from Statistics Canada paints very much the opposite picture. Keep reading. [/np_storybar]That’s more than in 1999, when the richest 86 had as much money as the poorest 10.1 million and enough to buy up everything in New Brunswick and still have about $40 billion left over, according to the report, to be released Thursday.The point of the exercise, says economist and author David Macdonald, who used Statistics Canada data and research from Canadian Business magazine, is to show that if income inequality is a policy and social justice concern — wealth inequality is worse.In fact, the super-rich list of Canadian residents has little to do with income in the traditional sense, he said. None of the 86 are company CEOs — often the poster children of the Occupy crowd for their unseemly salaries and bonuses. Instead, the ones on the list are there by virtue of being company founders or related to company founders.The super-rich have gotten there by creating and trading assets, whether companies, real estate or securities.“We often focus on income inequality but that’s a socialist paradise compared to wealth inequality,” said Macdonald.“The top 20% only get half of all the income, but in terms of wealth inequality, the top 20% have 70% of all wealth. It’s much more extreme and the concern is as you accumulate all this wealth, this wealth starts to buy you political power.”Inequality, whether in income or wealth, increasingly looks like it will become a key issue in the upcoming federal election, with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair seeking to make the case that Conservative policies have left the middle class behind — with little job security, higher in debt, and in many instances, living paycheque to paycheque.The government has pointed to the growth in net worth most recently reported by Statistics Canada in February as an indicator their policies are working for everyone.“After-tax disposable income has increased by 10% across all income brackets,” noted Employment Minister Jason Kenney at the time.But Statistics Canada also showed wealth gravitating to the top. While median income rose almost 80% since 1999 to $243,800 per family unit, the top 40% possessed 88.9% of total net worth, leaving the bottom 60% with a mere 11.1% of the pie.Eye-opening was the data that showed the poorest 20% of family units had more debts than assets.The issue flared again Wednesday after Trudeau asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper if he thought that the problem of the middle class was a myth. Harper chided Trudeau for his inability to define the middle class.But the issue is not going away. The NDP has been especially critical of the government’s decision to severely cut corporate tax rates, even in the middle of a recession, and getting little job creation or business investment in return.Some economists have also argued that nations with high levels of inequality tend to underperform more egalitarian countries in terms of overall economic growth.The latest CCPA analysis also suggests that once someone gets to the top of the wealth ladder, they likely stay there.The richest individuals and families in 2013 were pretty much the same people who made the list in 2005 and in 1999 — well-known family names like Thomson, Weston, Irving, Desmarais and Pattison.Between 1999 and 2013, the report shows that the wealthiest 86 Canadians had enlarged their pot of gold from $118 billion to $178 billion on real non-inflationary terms.Macdonald says a reason wealth growth is increasingly becoming concentrated is that it is taxed differently from income. “If one Canadian makes $100,000 a year selling a company (or shares) while another makes $100,000 a year working at a job, the worker will pay twice the tax of the business seller,” he said.“A combination of a higher inclusion rate (for capital gains) and higher income taxes at the top of the income scale could go part way to offset the flood of wealth that is accumulating in the pockets of Canada’s wealthiest and ensure some benefits are returned to the majority of Canadians.” read more

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George Zimmerman arrested after a disturbance call at a house in Florida

first_imgTHE MAN ACQUITTED of criminal charges in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin was arrested today after deputies responded to a disturbance call at a house in Florida.Former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was taken to the jail for booking, according to a Seminole County Sheriff’s Office statement. Authorities provided few other details, and it was not immediately known what charge he faced.“Just when you thought you heard the last of George Zimmerman,” said neighbor Catherine Cantrell. She said she had twice seen a man who looked like Zimmerman get out of a truck that’s been in the driveway for nearly a month. The truck parked there on Monday appeared to be the same one that reporters have seen Zimmerman drive previously.“I’m in absolute shock. He was never outside. It’s not like he was out flaunting around,” she said.Cantrell said the woman who lived in the home was very sweet and quiet.Sarah Tyler, 26, also lives across the street from the house on a cul-de-sac street of single family homes in Apopka, about 15 miles northwest of Orlando.“It’s kind of frightening,” she said, adding that she only saw a woman came out of the house.Zimmerman, 30,  was acquitted in July of all charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The death of the black teenager, who was unarmed, touched off a nationwide debate about race and self-defence. Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, has said he shot the 17-year-old to defend himself during a fight in February 2012 inside a gated community in Sanford, just outside Orlando.He wasn’t charged until 44 days after the shooting, leading to protests nationwide from people who believed he should have been immediately arrested. The case sparked accusations that Zimmerman had racially profiled Martin, and demonstrations broke out again after his acquittal. Federal authorities are now reviewing the case the see if Martin’s civil rights were violated.Zimmermans had other brushes with the law since his acquittalZimmerman, right, is escorted to a home by after a domestic incident in the neighborhood where he and his wife Shellie lived. Pic: (AP Photo/John Raoux)Zimmerman and his estranged wife were involved in a domestic dispute in September just days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers, but police later said no charges were filed against either of them because of a lack of evidence.Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic stops since his acquittal. He was ticketed for doing 60 mph in a 45 mph zone in Lake Mary in September and was given a warning by a state trooper along Interstate 95 for having a tag cover and windows that were too darkly tinted. He was also stopped near Dallas in July and was given a warning for speeding.In 2005, Zimmerman ad to take anger management courses after he was accused of attacking an undercover officer who was trying to arrest Zimmerman’s friend.Later that year, Zimmerman’s former fiancee filed for a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman responded by requesting a restraining order against her. Both requests were granted. No criminal charges were filed.Read: Why can’t George Zimmerman stay out of the spotlight? >Read: ‘Justice for Trayvon’ marches take place across America >Read: Protests across US as George Zimmerman acquitted of Trayvon Martin murder >last_img read more

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