Canada has a population of just under 35 million. Recently one of the country’s top papers, the Globe and Mail in Toronto, published an article reporting that 11.4 million people - that's about 32.6% of the nation’s citizens - have a combined net-worth equaling that of Canada’s 86 wealthiest people, or .00025% (one-fortieth of a percentage) of the population. In other words, one-fortieth of 1% of the country’s entire population holds the same financial worth as roughly 33% of the population.
One wonders if numbers were crunched for third-world and even fourth-world countries, the percentages would greatly differ? Perhaps so, but it is still an astonishing statistic, showing that Canada, like the rest of the world, suffers from a massive divide between the haves and the have-nots. Capitalism seems to be one system that is alive and well, surviving amongst the rise and fall of so many other ideological regimes. This may be why many of the world’s most respected philosophers and financial gurus, among others, think corporations will be (if they are not already) the next phase of world leaders, replacing state and government, and before them, the Church.
What is it like to have, on average, as much money as 133,000 people combined? This is an average taken for Canada’s 86 wealthiest, but in this article we are looking only at the 10 wealthiest; and even among these 10 individuals their net worths vary by a difference of $22 billion. At least a few of the individuals featured here easily have more money than over a million of their countrymen, combined.
These Canadian billionaires are in the almost unique position of being able to buy, go, or do whatever they want, whenever, for any length of time. Although this does not guarantee a worry-free life, for surely with these amounts come major stressors, the following 10 people belong to a category that to most of us seems magically charmed. Pack your bag and go. Never cook or clean again. These 10 individuals (or families) have all that luxury, and more.
10 Carlo Fidani $4.1 billion
9 Richardson Family $4.4 billion
8 Jeffrey S. Skoll $4.91 billion
7 Estate of Paul Desmarais, Sr. $4.93 billion
6 Saputo Family $5.2 billion
5 James Pattison $7.4 billion
4 Rogers Family $7.6 billion
3 Irving Family $7.9 billion
2 Galen Weston & Family $10.4 billion
1 Thomson Family $26.1 billion
With a fortune made in publishing and media, this third-generation family business is currently run by private-holding company Woodbridge. Woodbridge owns 55% of Thomson Reuters, where David Thomson serves as chair. His brother Peter serves as co-chair of Woodbridge, and assets are held by all grandchildren of the first generation Thomson. Roughly 70% of their fortune is in Thomson Reuters, which increased significantly in 2013. Woodbridge has a small stake in NHL’s Montreal Canadiens and David Thomson, individually (and divorced, ladies!) is part-owner of the Winnipeg Jets. He is also an art lover, with an assortment reportedly including Picasso as well as the world’s No. 1 collection of pieces by John Constable, noted English Romantic painter.
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