The Toronto Sun Failed to Fact-Check Fraser Institute’s Bogus ‘Tax Freedom Day’ Report, Yet Again



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The Fraser Institute’s Tax Freedom Day relies on fuzzy math

It’s that time of year again — when Canada’s big corporate media outlets give the Fraser Institute uncritical coverage of its annual anti-tax report, even though it makes exaggerated claims about how much Canadians pay in taxes.

Using the Fraser Institute’s mysterious “tax simulator,”[1] the right-wing think tank puts out a press release[2] each year celebrating “the day that the average Canadian family has paid enough in taxes to pay their total tax bill for the year to all levels of government.”

This year, the Toronto Sun’s Brian Lilley[3] apparently obtained an advance copy of the Fraser Institute’s anti-tax report.

Unfortunately, it seems Lilley didn’t spend the long weekend reading the report very closely, considering the Toronto Sun once again failed to mention:

• The Fraser Institute’s “average family” earns significantly more money[4] than the average income of Canadian families.

• The Fraser Institute always pads its numbers[5] by including all kinds of taxes onto the tax bill of the “average family” that shouldn’t belong there, including corporate taxes and oil and gas royalties.

• The Fraser Institute doesn’t calculate the benefits of what those taxes pay for[6] — like hospitals, schools and basic infrastructure, like roads or running water.

This year, believe it or not, the Fraser Institute is actually claiming an average family in Canada earned $115,753.

That number is at odds with other estimates. According to the CMHC, the average household’s pretax income is closer to $93,300. Statistics Canada data, meanwhile, put the median market income of economic families at $83,000 in 2018.[7][8]

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