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  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Organizational Responses Canadian Centre for Policy […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Boots Riley in Winnipeg May 11 February 22, 2019
    Founder of the political Hip-Hop group The Coup, Boots Riley is a musician, rapper, writer and activist, whose feature film directorial and screenwriting debut — 2018’s celebrated Sorry to Bother You — received the award for Best First Feature at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards (amongst several other accolades and recognitions). "[A] reflection of the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC welcomes Emira Mears as new Associate Director February 11, 2019
    This week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office is pleased to welcome Emira Mears to our staff team as our newly appointed Associate Director. Emira is an accomplished communications professional, digital strategist and entrepreneur. Through her former company Raised Eyebrow, she has had the opportunity to work with many organizations in the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study explores media coverage of pipeline controversies December 14, 2018
    Supporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape. Focusing on pipeline […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study highlights ‘uncomfortable truth’ about racism in the job market December 12, 2018
    "Racialized workers in Ontario are significantly more likely to be concentrated in low-wage jobs and face persistent unemployment and earnings gaps compared to white employees — pointing to the “uncomfortable truth” about racism in the job market, according to a new study." Read the Toronto Star's coverage of our updated colour-coded labour market report, released […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The financial wealth of Canada’s top 1%

Following up on my post on wealth and income of the top 1%, Eric Pineault wrote to add some data on financial wealth distribution for Canada. He had a research assistant comb through microdata from Statcan’s Survey of Financial Security from 2005, and notes: “the 1% richest (all households are classed according to net worth rather then income) hold 22% of mutual fund assets, 27% of stocks and bonds, 9% of RRSP’s. You’ll notice that rights on pension funds are the most democratically distributed form of financial asset.”

Shares for the top 10% are similarly striking: almost 80% of shares and bonds; 70% of mutual funds; half of RRSPs. The comment on rights to pension funds is spot on for this group as well. We would do well to remember that when governments and corporations seek to cut back on defined benefit pensions, as well as in debates around the Canada Pension Plan.


UPDATE (Oct 28): We’ve since had some back channel discussion about sample sizes and what they mean for the interpretation of financial wealth of the top 1%. The Survey of Financial Security for 2005 only had a sample size of 5,000. While this is pretty large for a survey, and way larger than most poll results reported in the newspaper, it suggests some need for caution on the top 1% estimates in particular (especially given refusals to be interviewed). The 1% share of wealth is thus an estimate, and could be higher or lower. Still, it is useful to have an approximation out there, based on an actual Statscan survey, warts and all, than nothing. It also highlights the need for Statscan to develop a new survey with a bigger sample size, and to pay more attention in all of their reporting to what is happening in the tails of the distribution.

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