Dynasties make up half of Canada’s “top 10 richest people”

What do media moguls, cheese-makers and New Brunswick industrialists have in common? They’ve amassed enough family money to land them among the top 10 wealthiest Canadians.

What do media moguls, cheese-makers and New Brunswick industrialists have in common? They’ve amassed enough family money to land them among the top 10 wealthiest Canadians.

Family dynasties occupied half of the top 10 positions on Canadian Business Magazine’s list of “the 100 richest Canadians,” including the top spot.

The Thomson clan, owners of the Thomson-Reuters media empire, are the richest people in Canada with a family fortune of $23.36 billion.

New Brunswick industrialists James, Arthur and the late Jack Irving came in at no. 3 with net worth of $7.46 billion, while the media barons in the Rogers family sit in fourth place with $6.02 billion.

Quebec cheese-makers the Saputo family rank ninth with $3.52 billion, while brothers Fred and Ron Mannix, who founded Calgary’s Mancal Group, round out the top 10 with $3.18 billion.

The highest ranking individual on the list is Loblaw’s owner Galen Weston, whose $8.5 billion fortune landed him in second place. Spots five through eight went to Vancouver’s Jim Pattison with $5.53 billion, Power Corp. chief executive Paul Desmarais with $4.28 billion, pharmaceutical magnate Bernard Sherman with $3.94 billion and original Ebay employee Jeff Skoll with $3.56 billion.

The list also contained some surprising moves and three new additions.

David Azrieli, founder of Montreal building company Canpro Investments,., saw his net worth decline 21 per cent to $2.93 billion.

Research in Motion founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie also suffered financial losses this year. Balsillie recorded the survey’s largest drop in personal wealth, the magazine said, falling from 16th to 30th place with a fortune of $1.81 billion. Lazaridis placed 24th with a net worth of $2.02 billion, it added.

Conversely, Lululemon Athletica founder Chip Wilson registered the most dramatic financial gains this year, increasing his fortune by 66 per cent. Wilson placed 49th on the list with $1.25 billion, up from a ranking of 78th last year.

Three Canadians earned spots on the list for the first time in 2010.

Quebecor Inc. founders Pierre Karl and Erik Peladeau debuted in 85th place, Edward Sampson of Calgary’s Niko Resources Ltd. ranked 96th and Jack Cockwell of Toronto’s Brookfield Asset Management grabbed the second-lowest spot at 99.

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