Special announcement from The Maple: On September 28, 1941, during a baseball game at Montreal's Delorimier Stadium, the loudspeaker interrupted the fifth inning with an announcement: Sir Herbet Holt, an Irish-born banker and widely reviled corporate titan, had died.

  • According to a Maclean’s article published back in 1958, the crowd briefly went quiet, before erupting into cheers.

Holt was widely disliked by ordinary Canadians for much of his life. During a strike in 1931, he refused to sacrifice his morning walk to his office, and took his stroll surrounded by four bodyguards armed with rifles.

  • If this image of a rich and powerful man shielded from the worst repercussions of a devastating crisis sounds familiar, it might be because over the past 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, billionaires and corporations have gotten wealthier and seemingly even more influential.

For example, last September, economist Alex Hemingway and researcher Michal Rozworski reported that Canada’s top-richest 20 billionaires saw their combined wealth increase by $37 billion during the pandemic.

  • We at The Maple have decided to dig deeper into the topic of power and wealth in Canada with a brand new series: The Great Gilded North: A Deep Dive Into Canada’s Rich And Powerful Elites.

Starting next month and through to the December holidays, we’ll be commissioning some of the best and up and coming journalists in the country to explore this topic from as many different angles as possible: From real estate tycoons and oil and gas barons, to corporate media empires, political family dynasties, and the love affair between members of the Canadian establishment and the far-right.

Read The Maple’s full story here.

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