(January 25, 2021) “Canada’s top 20 billionaires are getting richer during the COVID-19 pandemic, [so far] gaining an average of $2 billion each,” according to BNNBloomberg.
Galen Weston owner of Loblaws has seen his wealth balloon, for example, while front-line workers stocking shelves and scanning groceries at his stores have continued to risk their health and that of their loved ones by coming into work,” Alex Hemingway, an economist and public finance analyst at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ B.C. Office said in a release in September. “To add insult to injury, front-line grocery store workers have had their $2 per hour ‘pandemic pay’ clawed back.”
Shopify’s Tobi Lutke worth increased from $4.0 billion to $8.1 billion.
Canadians For Tax Fairness is calling for a wealth tax after finding Canada’s billionaires getting richer faster than even U.S. billionaires. The report found Canada’s 44 wealthiest people, all billionaires, grew their wealth by a total of $53 billion between April and October of this year.
And in the US, as NBC reported, “The coronavirus has destroyed the lives, savings and small businesses of innumerable Americans — but the year wasn’t a financial washout for everyone.
“Between roughly mid-March and Dec. 22, the United States gained 56 new billionaires, according to the Institute for Policy Studies, bringing the total to 659. The wealth held by that small cadre of Americans has jumped by more than $1 trillion in the months since the pandemic began.”
“Never before has America seen such an accumulation of wealth in so few hands,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness. “As tens of millions of Americans suffer from the health and economic ravages of this pandemic, a few hundred billionaires add to their massive fortunes. Their pandemic profits are so immense that America’s billionaires could pay for a major COVID relief bill and still not lose a dime of their pre-virus riches.”