2018 Annual Conference - Who Pays for Canada? Taxes & Fairness


Faculty Club 3450 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 0E5, CA

For our 2018 conference, the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada turns its focus to a topic that has plenty of history in Canada: tax fairness.

It’s no surprise that taxes are in the headlines today: tensions around tax fairness have always provoked political engagement and lively protest. Such tensions account for some of our nation’s best and worst moments of social solidarity and mutual hostility.

On the centenary of income tax in Canada—first collected in 1918—we take the opportunity to explore what “fairness” means. Is it a technical question or a philosophical one? Is it best resolved by statisticians or lawyers? How can we subject such complicated questions to democratic accountability? By asking how Canadians have discussed tax fairness in the past and how we might better do so in the future, our exceptionally diverse array of speakers will lend depth and sophistication to contemporary debates.

The Annual Conference will take place over two days at the McGill Faculty Club (3450 McTavish St) on Thursday, February 22nd and Friday, February 23rd, 2018. In addition, to mark the beginning of the conference, a free screening and discussion of The Price We Pay will take place on February 21st. Inspired by Brigitte Alepin’s book, La Crise fiscale qui vient, The Price We Pay is a stark exposé on the history and present-day reality of big-business tax avoidance, which has seen multinational companies depriving governments of trillions of dollars in tax revenues by harboring profits in offshore havens. A Q&A with the author will follow.

For more information on panels, speakers, and how to register, please see this page. A finalized program is forthcoming.