In Canada, young rich heirs want to be taxed more

Members of Ressources enmouvement calling for greater tax justice in Toronto in 2019.

“Tax us, tax my family, tax our inheritance”, sing along to some 200 millennials between the ages of 18 and 40, heirs to rich and very wealthy Canadian families. Masochists, the golden offspring? Point. Simply aware, they say, of their “Individual responsibility in a country where the Covid-19 pandemic has only deepened inequalities. As good readers of the French economist Thomas Piketty, they praise the redistributive virtues of the tax, ready to sacrifice some of their immense comfort to help fill a historic public deficit of nearly 246 billion euros for the year in progress, provided it is for a good cause.

“I won the lottery of life, it’s not a radical demand to ask me a little more, it’s just common sense as they say in Quebec. Sylvie Trottier, heiress

Sylvie Trottier, an analyst specializing in climate change, remembers the moment when she realized that she belonged to the very closed club of the ultrariche. As a child, I knew I was lucky because I lived in a beautiful house in an upscale neighborhood on the island of Montreal, I traveled regularly to Europe with my parents. But it was during my teenage years, when my father donated $ 10 million to McGill University, that I realized the extent of the family fortune. A wealth from which she benefits and which she will one day inherit from her father, Lorne Trottier, founder in 1976 of Matrox, a company that has become a leader in the field of medical imaging software.

Aware of the limits of philanthropy

The values ​​carried by the Trottier Family Foundation, which for twenty years distributed numerous grants in the fields of education, science and the environment until it became one of the most important philanthropic works in Quebec, were very early on. diverted their two daughters from an idle and idle fate of heiresses à la Paris Hilton. “But I gradually realized that charity alone was not enough, explains Sylvie Trottier, car philanthropy only reduces the inequalities between the haves and the have-nots, without addressing the causes. “

Reading the American bestseller Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (“The rich take everything: their masquerade of a change of the world”, 2018, untranslated), in which Anand Giridharadas demonstrates that the rich use their fortune and their influence even in philanthropy to establish their domination, convinces her that “What matters is to put in place a systemic solution to reduce inequalities . Hence her commitment, as well as that of her sister, Claire, within Ressources en Mouvement.

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