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While ‘richest CEOs are driving up the prices,’ Singh wants legislation to combat corporate greed

NDP says legislation would be similar to United State’s Tax Excessive CEOs Pay Act
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks in the foyer prior to question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, April 17, 2023. Singh says Pierre Poilievre’s criticisms of the CBC amount to an attack on Canadian culture by the Conservative leader — and Quebec and francophone culture, in particular. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says CEOs now make “243 times more than the average Canadian worker,” so he’s planning to table a plan to rein in the “outrageous” pay.

Singh announced Tuesday (April 18) that he will be introducing legislation to combat the “corporate greed that incentivizes driving up the costs of everything for Canadians,” according to a release from the NDP, noting Singh’s plan would be similar to the one introduced by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the United States that makes “big corporations pay a bit more corporate income tax when the difference in salary between top executives and average workers is excessive.”

The legislation, the NDP notes, would also include regulations to prevent tax avoidance and contractor use to avoid paying this penalty, as well as a requirement for large companies to disclose their CEO-worker pay ratio.

“Over the last few months, we’ve seen Canadian families that are working hard and playing by the rules fall further and further behind,” said Singh. “It’s really frustrating. But what makes it even worse for people is to see that while you’re trying to pay the bills, the richest CEOs are driving up prices and giving themselves huge raises, all while claiming to be ‘underpaid.’”

The NDP says in the last 25 years, CEOs “went from making roughly 100 times the average worker’s pay, to nearly 243 times in 2021.”

The release notes that Canada’s richest CEOs now make “243 times more than the average Canadian worker.” Pointing specifically to Galen Weston, the Loblaw chairman and president, who earned $11.79 million vin a year. The NDP says that’s 431 times what a Loblaw employee makes.

However, it was also announced Tuesday that Weston would be stepping back as president, but would remain that chair of the board of directors, as well as the chair of the board of directors and the CEO of parent company, George Weston Limited.

READ MORE: Galen Weston to take a step back as Loblaw’s announces new CEO

The NDP adds that Weston is not alone, with Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri making “$31.52 million in 2022 which is 164 times more than the average employee in his industry.”

The legislation would be similar to the US Senate Tax Excessive CEOs Pay Act which increases corporate tax anywhere between 0.5 for a pay ratio between 50 and 100 and up to five percent for a pay ratio more than 500 per cent.

The NDP adds if the pay act was in effect in Canada in 2022, Loblaw would have paid up to $106 million more in taxes, Rogers would have paid up to $23 million more, RBC would have paid up to $200 million more and Colliers International Group Inc. would have paid up to $460,000 more.

READ MORE: Walmart Canada CEO says retailer not trying to profit from inflation

READ MORE: Grocer CEOs need to be transparent about why grocery prices are so high: Freeland

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Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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