Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Ruling Canada: Corporate Cohesion and Democracy

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Ruling Canada: Corporate Cohesion and Democracy

Article excerpt

Jamie Brownlee, Ruling Canada: Corporate Cohesion and Democracy (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2005), 140pp. Paper. $16.95. ISBN 1-5526-6156-3.

This book examines the economic élite of Canada, the nation's richest and most powerful individuals, many of whom have power vested in their influence within Canada's largest corporations. Part of the author's rationale for challenging the concentration of economic power in the hands of a few is the recognition that the gap between rich and poor had become increasingly pronounced. It was stated that in 2001, Canada's hundred wealthiest citizens were worth around C$120 billion, equivalent to the combined wealth of 5.4 million Canadian families at the lower end of the spectrum. The argument propounded in the book is that Canada's economic élite has increasingly become a unified and class-conscious group. Further, it is suggested that this power base has been used through coordinated lobbying to either cut numerous policies and programmes or implement them to the benefit of the élite group at the expense of the majority of Canadian citizens.

To substantiate these views, the book focuses on certain key questions: to what extent does the Canadian economic élite constitute a unified group? …

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