Why Canada has an income tax—the ‘conscription of wealth’

“In such experience as I have had with taxation—and it has been considerable—there is only one tax that I know of that is popular, and that is the tax that is on the other fellow.”—Sir Thomas White, House of Commons debate on the income tax, August 3, 1917Conventional wisdom has it that Canada’s income tax was introduced as a temporary measure. That’s not quite true. It did begin during a temporary emergency, the Great War, and it was officially named the War Tax Upon Incomes. But when at 3 p.m. on July 25, 1917, Sir Thomas White, Toronto journalist, tax

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