June 15th, 2024

CTF increasingly presents decontextualized statistics

By Lethbridge Herald on September 2, 2021.


The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) has gotten into the bad habit of throwing out numbers without context. Thus, in an August 26th opinion, they wrote that the average family pays $20,000 more in taxes in inflation adjusted dollars than in 1961. 

When I read this, I wondered why they chose 1961 as their baseline year. Five minutes of research gave me the answer: 1961 is the year that all the provinces had agreed to the federal Medicare plan, which at the time was called the Hospital Insurance and Diagnostic Services Act. 

Full implementation didn’t come until 1968. The CTF’s baseline year therefore predates Canada’s public health care system as we know it today. 

According to the World Bank, our governments spend about $5,000 per person on health care. 

I’m not sure how large the CTF’s average family is, but it’s clear that most, if not all, of the difference in taxes between 1961 and now is due to Medicare, which I suspect most Canadians would be loath to give up.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation could play a useful role in public discourse, but instead they have increasingly resorted to appealing to the cheapskate in all of us (myself included at times) by presenting decontextualized statistics on taxes paid without ever talking about the services those taxes pay for. 

The equation is simple: Canadians want services; services cost money. 

Talking about how much services cost and whether we want to consider adjustments in service levels in return for lower taxes is a useful exercise in democratic debate. 

Throwing around numbers about how much we pay in taxes without discussing the necessary adjustments in government expenditures that would accompany tax reductions, not to mention the impact of those reductions on Canadians is, at best, disingenuous.

Marc Roussel


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Southern Albertan

“What does the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Get From Its Right-
Wing US Partner? Atlas Network ‘has reshaped political power in country after country,’ report says.”
…by David Climenhaga, an award winning journalist, author….What the right wing, et al, does like like about The Tyee, an independent media, with articles by many excellent,gutsy journalists, is how the truth hurts. Many of us look at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation with a definite jaundiced eye.


conservatives seem to want government to run like business, and they think that means minimal taxes and a minimal government that interferes.

If government WAS run like business, the point would be to make as much money as it possibly can, dominate the market, and eliminate any competition.

So what a government run like a business would really look like is a kind of totalitarian government that takes all of the money and provides no services in return whatsoever.

They would try to take absolutely everything they could from the customer (in this govt run like a business world it would be the voters) because at the end of the day that’s what business is all about.

I believe that government ought to be at the service of people. So tax the rich, be gay, and do crimes.