Imagine a future for Canada where Alberta is the corporate and cultural kingpin, Ontario is on the ropes, and Quebec is almost irrelevant. Not so long ago, all these scenarios would have been considered ludicrous.
But as bestselling business writer Gordon Pitts documents in this fascinating and brilliantly illuminating new book, they are now within the realm of possibility as corporate clout, political influence, and population shift dramatically from East to West. This westward push of power has been the story of Canada over the past one hundred years, as first Halifax then Montreal and Toronto assumed dominance. Soon, however, Calgary and Edmonton will take command of the financial and corporate landscape.
Stampede! The Rise of the West and Canada's New Power Elite speculates on how all this might happen; the people who could make it happen; and how those people became players in this stampede of power to Alberta. Above all, Stampede! is about business leadership and how it is changing right across the country. It zeroes in on the corporate leaders in Alberta who will set the business and social agenda in Canada for decades to come. For Canadians outside Alberta, this is an introduction to their new bosses. But the story includes deeper portraits of national beneficiaries and victims of this shift. It documents winners and losers from across the country, from the wannabe Albertans in Newfoundland, to the entrenched family fortunes of Quebec inc., and the manufacturers and bankers of Central Canada, who are facing unprecedented challenges to their wealth and authority.
The West has been in this position before: seemingly poised on the edge of greatness in the 1970s, only to see it snatched away by plunging oil prices and?in the view of many?a federal government controlled by Eastern Canadian interests. The West is keenly sensitive to this possibility. It is practically a canon of faith for Albertans to quote that famous bumper sticker, “Please Lord, give us another oil boom and we promise we won?t piss it away this time.?
They got their wish. And as Gordon Pitts chronicles in this page-turning biography of Canada's new power elite, this time they may not piss it away so easily.
About the author
GORDON PITTS is a bestselling author, journalist and features writer for The Globe and Mail's Report on Business, focusing on management, entrepreneurship and family business. In 1989 he was a press fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge University, during which time he wrote his first book, Storming the Fortress, a finalist for the National Business Book Award in 1990. In the Blood: Battles to Succeed in Canada's Family Businesses, was a finalist for the National Business Book Award in 2000. His third book, Kings of Convergence:The Fight for Control of Canada's Media, was also a finalist, in 2003, as was The Codfathers: Lessons of the Atlantic Business Elite, in 2006. Gordon Pitts and his wife live in Toronto.