Two-Thirds of All Assets in Canada’s Economy Are Now Owned By Under 1% of All Companies

Multinational corporations currently own 67% of all assets in Canada’s economy


Less than 1% of companies operating in Canada control over two-thirds of its assets,  new figures from Statistics Canada show.

On Monday, StatsCan released a study looking at aggregated data from the financial statements of all Canadian enterprises.

In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, only 0.8% of companies operating in Canada were multinational enterprises (meaning they have facilities or other assets in a country other than the home country).

Half were majority domestically-owned and half were majority foreign-owned.

Statistics Canada

Nevertheless, the report noted, this 0.8% of companies held 67% of all assets in the Canadian economy, in both the “financial and non-financial sectors.”

The biggest share of the Canadian-owned half of non-financial MNEs were in manufacturing (39.3%) and extraction (33.4%).

StatsCan notes MNEs dominated these sectors, along with finance, utilities and others, due to their capital-intensity and greater-returns to scale.

Statistics Canada

That is reflected by a big discrepancy in raw dollars — in extraction, the median value of assets held by MNEs was $14.4 million, versus $0.16 million for non-MNEs while in the utilities industry, the median value of assets held by MNEs was $17.34 million, versus $0.29 million.

As PressProgress reported previously, many experts and business groups have noted that most of the key sectors of Canada’s economy are oligopolies, dominated by a very small group of very large and powerful companies. SOURCE


Canada’s economic growth is actually a cause for concern

Forget the praise, Canada’s booming fossil fuel sector threatens human civilization.

Extinction Rebellion rally at the Zenith Energy facility in Portland, Oregon, Alex Milan Tracy/SIPA USA/PA Images

When the Canadian economy surpassed expectations for April 2019 by growing 0.3%, it was met with both concern and celebration.

Media reports applauded the first quarter figures. Bloomberg reported: “Canada recorded a second strong month of growth in April, driven by rebounding oil output that is returning the nation’s economy to a more solid footing.”

While CBC quoted TD senior economist Brian DePatto, who in a letter to his clients wrote: “Thank goodness for energy. Without the surge of activity in that sector, driven by the easing of production restrictions, this would have been a much more modest report.”

Yet this positive narrative veils the bleaker reality of an economy dependent on oil, mining, and gas sectors: the largest emitters of carbon dioxide.

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction increased by 4.5% in April, while oil sands extraction increased by 11%.

According to Statistics Canada’s 2018 annual review, Canadian production of crude oil increased by 8.5% from 2017 to 2018. Similarly, the production of “marketable natural gas” increased by 3.9% in that same period.

Canadian oil exports to the United States also significantly contributed to the growth figures. Statistics Canada reveals that “Canada exported 211.9 million cubic meters of crude oil and equivalent products in 2018 [up by 10% from 2017], which represented 80.1% of total production. Exports via pipelines to the United States [up by 5.3% from 2017] was the primary contributor to the overall increase.”

This economic growth piggybacking on the extraction of crude oil, oil sands, mining and gas contradicts Canada’s effort to peg itself as a global leader in combating climate change.

Dale Marshall, National Program Manager at Environmental Defence and lead writer of the 2018 report‘Canada’s Oil and Gas Challenge’, believes the international community sees the reality behind Canada’s growth: “over the last few years, Canada’s shine has come off the global diplomacy scale. Canada’s oil is some of the dirtiest in the world and has gradually become dirtier.” MORE