Gap between rich and poor rising faster in Canada than the U.S. study says

John Morrissy, Financial Post / Postmedia News

OTTAWA — The gap between rich and poor in Canada is rising at a faster pace than it is in the U.S., the country with the largest gap in income equality of 17 peer countries, according to a report Tuesday from the Conference Board of Canada.

“Canada had the fourth largest increase in income inequality among its peers,” said Anne Golden, chief executive of the Conference Board.

“Even though the U.S. currently has the largest rich-poor income gap among these countries, the gap in Canada has been rising at a faster rate.”

The trend has been underway since the mid-1990s, the Ottawa think-tank said….

“High inequality both raises a moral question about fairness and can contribute to social tensions,” Golden said….

The board’s study measures Canada against 17 peer countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

It found that between the mid-1990s and the late 2000s, income inequality rose in 10 of 17 peer countries — including Canada — while it remained unchanged in Japan and Norway, and declined in five countries. Sweden, Finland, and Denmark had the three largest increases in income inequality during the 1990s and 2000s, but all three are still considered low-inequality countries.