On the eve of the confidence vote for the Ontario provincial budget, provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath is ramping up the pressure to negotiate key budget changes in exchange for NDP support. If the Liberals fail to garner NDP support for the budget, they’ll be thrown back into an election, something political pundits say the McGuinty government wants to avoid at all costs. Foremost among Andrea Horwath’s demands has been a proposal for a new tax bracket for Ontarians earning more than 500 000 dollars annually. The NDP has calculated that the new tax bracket would raise $570 million in revenues for the province. Polls indicate that Ontarians are overwhelmingly in favour of the proposal.
Talking about increasing taxes has been a politically taboo topic for as long as most of us can remember. The very fact that it is now being discussed in the mainstream media, and as a serious policy possibility, has many people excited. The new organization, Doctors for Fair Taxation (D4FT), a group of physicians calling for more progressive taxation in Canada, is being credited with bringing the issue to the forefront.
Since launching their website on March 22, 2012, D4FT have had numerous op-eds, TV and radio appearances. Their slogan, “Tax us, Canada is worth it!” has caught on as physicians put themselves forward as a group who are willing to be taxed more progressively if it means maintaining current public services.
On today’s episode of Health Justice Radio, we speak with Tanya Zakrison, steering committee member of Doctors for Fair Taxation and a trauma surgeon at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital.