Mapping the Ownership Network of Canada’s Billionaire Families

Mapping the Ownership Network of Canada’s Billionaire Families
Fix, Blair and Cochrane, DT. (2023). Economics from the Top Down. 23 June. pp. 1-32. (Article - Magazine; English).

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Abstract or Brief Description

The planet has a billionaire problem. According to Oxfam, the world’s billionaires have more combined wealth than the bottom 60% of humanity — some 4.6 billion people. Given this obscene situation, calls are growing to rid the world of the billionaire class. But how do we make that happen?

We think that part of the answer is to understand billionaire’s network of control. Many billionaires are happy to have their net worth tracked by Forbes — they treat it as an accumulation horse race.1 But what billionaires don’t like is for people to understand how they wield power. On that front, behind ever billionaire is a complicated network of corporate control — a network that is seldom made public.

We’d like to change that. In this post, we’ll map the ownership network of ten billionaire families in Canada.

Why Canada? Well, because we’re Canadian researchers. But more importantly, because the statistics arm of the Canadian government has done the heavy lifting for us. For the last decade, Statistics Canada has maintained a database on the inter-corporate ownership of Canadian corporations — a database that it bills as a “unique directory of ‘who owns what’ in Canada”.

This corporate-ownership database contains a trove of information about how the rich wield power. In this post, we’ll begin to explore the data by mapping the ownership network of the following billionaire families:

The McCain Family
The Katz Family
The Fidani Family
The Richardson Family
The Saputo Family
The Rogers Family
The Pattison Family
The Irving Family
The Weston Family
The Thomson Family



Publication Type

Article - Magazine


billionaires Canada corporation ownership and control power


BN Money & Finance
BN Power
BN Region - North America
BN Agency
BN Business Enterprise
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Class
BN Comparative
BN Data & Statistics
BN Distribution
BN Institutions

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

25 Jun 2023 02:07

Last Modified

26 Jun 2023 13:42


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