Yesterday, the first official work day of 2010, most of Canada’s top CEOs made the average annual wage in Canada by lunch-time.  According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the average salary in for Canada’s 100 highest paid CEOs was $7.8 million.

Meanwhile, the average annual income for a First Nations person in Canada was less than $20,000.00. Still, many more – without any source of income – are battling the bitter cold, homeless in Canada’s urban centres. We’re not talking about couch-surfing homeless. We’re talking about people sleeping in crowded shelters, cardboard shanties or in sleeping bags over sewer grates.

There is something seriously wrong with this picture.

The government needs to take steps to tax the highest paid earners – Canada’s wealthy elite.  It is a travesty that richest 1% of families also now pay a lower tax rate than the poorest 10%. Canada’s tax system is seriously out of balance.

The wealthy need to be taxed and those resources need to be mobilized immediately to eliminate poverty, beginning with children and First Nations people.

Corporations turning substantial profits also need to be taxed. There are still many corporations are turning health profits despite the global recession.

Inheritances need to be taxed at a greater rate. Capital gains and investment income also need to be taxed more substantially.

Finally, Canada’s poorest people need breaks from taxes. This includes maintaining First Nations’ right to tax exemption. First Nations, as sovereign people and governments, have always maintained they are exempt from imposed taxes from settler governments. In fact, First Nations governments need to fully mobilize an effort to tax government and resource companies who have benefited from their traditional territory for so long. First Nations are only beginning to develop taxation laws and generate taxation revenue of their own.