The federal Liberals are pledging to make Canada’s profitable financial sector contribute billions of dollars annually to help people bounce back from the hard times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During an election campaign stop Wednesday in Surrey, B.C., Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau promised to raise the corporate income tax rate paid by Canada’s largest banks and insurance companies by three per cent on all earnings over $1 billion.
A re-elected Liberal government would also establish the Canada Recovery Dividend so these institutions contribute more over the next four years of Canada’s recovery.
The party says the measures would generate a minimum of $2.5 billion per year over the next four years, beginning in 2022-23.
Trudeau said asking large financial institutions, which have recovered faster and stronger than many other businesses, to pay a little more will allow the government to lend a helping hand to Canadians looking to buy a home.
He rejected a suggestion the planned measures would cut into the returns realized by pension plans that have invested in financial institutions.
“Our banks will continue to be strong and profitable,” Trudeau said.
On Tuesday, the Liberals promised hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, grants and tax incentives to address the housing affordability crisis, which has grown since Trudeau came to office in 2015.
The Liberal plan is intended to encourage homeownership, build more houses and protect the rights of consumers.