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Billionaires are stuffing their pockets despite COVID-19

Billionaires are stuffing their pockets despite COVID-19

September 17th, 2020

Despite the pandemic and economic contraction, the wealth of Canada’s largest billionaires has jumped since the beginning of the VIDOC crisis,19 according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Based on data from Forbes magazine, the Centre estimates that the country’s 20 wealthiest people have amassed an average of just under $2 billion more in their vaults since March, for a cumulative total of $37 billion.

“This increase reflects the growing decoupling of the stock market from the real economy,” the Centre said in its written analysis released Thursday.

The largest increase came from David Thompson’s family, including owners of the Winnipeg Jets and the Thomson Reuters news agency, which rose $8.8 billion.

It was followed by Tobi Lutke, founder of e-commerce giant Shopify, whose assets have grown by $6.6 billion since March.

However, the increase has been much smaller among Quebec’s ultra-rich.

Couche-Tard founder Alain Bouchard has seen his fortune climb by $1.8 billion since March. For the Saputo family, the increase was $900 million compared to $400 million for the Jean Coutu family, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

However, the assets of Lawrence Stroll, father of pilot Lance Stroll, remained unchanged at $3.4 billion. The same is true for Charles Bronfman, whose $3 billion makes him the 19th largest Canadian billionaire.

The total wealth of Canada’s top 20 billionaires was estimated at $178 billion in September.

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