Legendary journalist Peter C. Newman talks about Canada’s new elite

Peter C. Newman, legendary journalist and fearless chronicler of Canada’s business class, comes to York’s Schulich School of Business tomorrow to talk about the rise of a new elite based on merit and achievement.

Left: Peter C. Newman (National Post photo)

Newman’s lecture is titled "Prospects for the Canadian Business Establishment in a Meritocratic World". He will discuss the decline of the traditional Canadian business elites and the corresponding rise of a new business class whose members succeed on merit and achievement – and include York grad

Alexander Shnaider, Chair of Midland Group and Canada’s least-known billionaire. Bound to be engaging and humorous, Newman’s public lecture is a chance for business students to get an inside look at the Canadian corporate environment.

Newman has been writing about Canada’s political and business elites, past and present, for more than 45 years. Former editor of the Toronto Star and once long-time editor of Maclean’s, Newman is the best-selling author of 24 books, including the controversial Renegade in Power: The Diefenbaker Years (1963), three volumes of The Canadian Establishment (1976-1998), of which Titans: How the New Canadian Establishment Seized Power is the third, The Bronfman Dynasty (1977), Company of Adventurers (1985) and Merchant Princes (1991). These publications – which have sold more than two million copies – have shaped public debate about the role of entrepreneurs and corporations in Canadian society.  

At 78, Newman has hardly slowed down or lost his knack for sparking controversy. Two years ago, he published The Secret Mulroney Tapes: Unguarded Confessions of a Prime Minister and subsequently faced suits filed by former prime minister Brian Mulroney and beleaguered newspaper owner Conrad Black. Most recently, he covered Black’s fraud trial in Chicago for Toronto Life (see the October 2007 issue). 

Over the course of his career, Newman has received seven honorary doctorates, including one from York in 1975. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada and served as a captain in the Canadian navy.

The lecture takes place in Robert R. McEwen Auditorium, W141 Seymour Schulich Building, from 2:30 to 4pm. It is free and open to the public but those who wish to attend are asked to register by going to Schulich’s Business History Lecture Web site.