Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s department confidentially polled Canadians on resentment against “the rich” before announcing an $18 billion hike in the capital gains tax, records show. Freeland, a millionaire, within days of receiving the pollsters’ report began characterizing critics as having “rich friends.”

“Common concerns raised were that wages have not kept up with inflation and that there is a growing gap between the rich, who have become richer in recent years, and everyone else,” said the Department of Finance report Pre-Budget Focus Group Research. “Most did not expect the economy to improve.”

Findings were drawn from ten focus groups nationwide. The finance department paid $129,893 for the report by Environics Research.

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