Governments in Canada draw heavily on the productive resources of the economy, more so actually than at any time in the history of the country except during World War II. The average Canadian family pays out more than 46% of its income in taxes, as opposed to 33% in 1961. Its total tax bill shot up more than 1,286% since 1961 and it now accounts for more of the average Canadian budget than shelter, food, and clothing combined. Of the four countries with which we trade most, it is in Canada that the overall burden of taxation has risen the most over the last three decades. Income taxes for their part have climbed at twice their rate of increase in the U.S.
This essay seeks to set out a taxation philosophy based on the generality principle conducive to growth for the economy and to respect for the individual.
* * *
Jean-Luc Migué holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the American University in Washington, D. C. His post-doctoral studies were undertaken at the London School of Economics. He has been successively professor at Laval University and at the National School of Public Administration (ÉNAP), researcher at the Bank of Canada and at the Canadian Economic Council. He is a Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute and has been a member of the Royal Society of Canada since 1977. He has published many works, in French and in English, among others: Étatisme et déclin du Québec (Varia and Montreal Economic Institute).
Michel Boucher has been professor of economics at the National School of Public Administration (ÉNAP) in Quebec City since 1975. He studied at the Université Laval and the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK). He is specializing in public finance, transportation policies and the economics of public institutions and their governance. He has published numerous articles in learned journals on the theory and measurement of public finance issues, on law and economics problems, on transportation policies and on public institutions. He is the author of some monographs. He has recently published two books, the first on promoting democracy in a market economy, Ici, le peuple gouverne, with his colleague Filip Palda and the second on the deregulation of electricity, La libéralisation des marchés de l’électricité, with the French economist Henri Lepage.