Richest People

Canada’s Richest People: Charles Sirois

Canada’s Richest People
Charles Sirois
(Photo: La Presse)

Charles Sirois

Net Worth:
$1.19 billion
(▲5.3% from 2017)

Rich 100 rank: #89
Change in rank from 2017: ▼4
Major company holdings: Telesystem
Location: Verdun, Que.
Age: 63

Rather than enjoy a quiet retirement, Charles Sirois has filled his time with public affairs, corporate governance and charitable work. Last year, he joined the board of Quebec theme park ride-maker Triotech, and he’s also a director at Rogers Communications (which owns Canadian Business), CIBC, Cossette Communication Group and Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal. He has political interests as well, having co-founded the Coalition Avenir Qúebec party with party leader François Legault in 2011; it’s now the third-largest faction in the province’s National Assembly.

Sirois made his fortune by selling his phone company, Teleglobe, to Bell Canada for $6.5 billion just before the dot-com bubble burst. His latest venture, Pangea, aims to help farmers consolidate agricultural land and make it more productive. It takes a 49% stake in partners’ land and offers financial, managerial and logistics experience, as well as possible supply contracts. Critics have called the privately held venture “land-grabbing.” Sirois and his co-founder, farmer Serge Fortin, call it the future of farming.

Son François-Charles Sirois runs Telesystem, the investment family’s investment firm, which had a significant interest in music streaming company Stingray Digital, which went public in 2015. Charles Sirois sold off much of his stake in the business last year.

Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017