Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland promoted tax hikes for the rich as a way of helping a “hollowed-out” middle class Tuesday, but sidestepped questions on whether the country’s top one per cent will be asked to pay more in the Liberals’ upcoming platform.

Freeland told an audience at Ottawa’s Global Centre for Pluralism that “real structural issues” with capitalism in the 21st century are feeding disruptive populist trends.

Global capitalism is a machine that works extremely well for the super rich, she said. But in this century, Freeland explained, it hasn’t delivered a comfortable, secure life to the broad middle class. “Failure to do that, will mean failure to sustain democracy.”