If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet –
–The Beatles, Taxman
Although they say the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes, the latter was never really a sure thing for Canadians.
It’s hard to imagine what Canada (or any country, for that matter) might look like without income tax, but such was the case until 1917.
Despite their initial opposition to the very idea of an income tax, the government of Sir Robert Bordon ran up against a growing tab for World War 1 and ultimately imposed a “temporary” income tax to offset the costs.
The rest is history.