The Financial Post recently published a most interesting article on Wealth in Québec.
Here are some excerpts. The full article can be accessed here.
Per capita, there are far fewer rich people in the French-speaking province than in Ontario. Barely 3.9% of taxpayers earn more than $100,000 a year in Quebec compared to 6.3% in Ontario, according to 2008 revenue department statistics, which are the most recent available. The ranks of the truly monied are even thinner.
“We in Quebec have succeeded in various things. But we still have a problem with risk-taking and growing,” says Yves-Thomas Dorval, head of the Conseil du Patronat, a group that represents Quebec’s largest employer associations. “We elevate people who like to keep things small. And we decry companies that are becoming big.”
Quebec has the lowest entrepreneurial intensity, as measured by the ratio of business owners and self-employed workers to total employment, when compared to Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. And that doesn’t appear set to improve, with one recent survey showing only 7% of Quebecers indicating they intend to start a new business or take over an existing business over the next 10 years, compared to a national average of 13%.
In his 2006 book Éloge de la Richesse (In Praise of Wealth), Montreal journalist Alain Dubuc writes that Quebec has a significant “ideological blockage” in which its citizens are deeply suspicious of richness and rich people in general. He says one of the main reasons is a widespread conviction that when someone enriches himself, “someone else, somewhere else, gets screwed.”