14 November 1946 |
Chicago, Illinois, USA
|Nationality||Canada United States|
|Occupation||author, editor, journalist|
|Known for||editor, Financial Post|
|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (August 2010)|
Diane Francis (born 14 November 1946) is a Canadian journalist, author, and editor-at-large for the National Post newspaper since 1998. She was previously the Editor of the Financial Post from 1991 to 1998, when it was taken over by the National Post and incorporated into it. She has been a columnist with the Financial Post since 1987 and her columns are syndicated. She also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, a broadcaster, and author of nine books on Canadian socio-economic subjects.
Francis was a reporter and columnist with the Toronto Star from 1981 to 1987 and then became a columnist with the Financial Post in 1987 and was its editor from 1991 to 1998, when it was taken over by the National Post and incorporated into it. She has been a columnist and editor-at-large at the National Post since then; her columns are syndicated. She also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, a broadcaster, and author of ten books on Canadian socio-economic subjects.
Francis is Distinguished Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto. She was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University's Shorenstein Center in autumn 2005 and has been a Media Fellow at the World Economic Forum. In 2013, she served as a media advisor to graduate student teams at Singularity University in the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley.
Francis' 1986 book Controlling Interest: Who Owns Canada? produced "the startling fact that one-third of Canada’s wealth was in the hands of just 32 families and five conglomerates"; it featured in Canadian best-seller lists for over a year. Her 2008 followup, Who Owns Canada Now: Old Money, New Money and The Future of Canadian Business showed that whilst much of the wealth covered in her earlier book had been inherited, 55 of the 75 wealthy families or individuals profiled were self-made. 36 of these had never been interviewed before, including K. Rai Sahi, the CEO of ClubLink Enterprises Limited, Canada’s largest owner and operator of member golf clubs.
Her 1996 book titled Fighting for Canada was published in the French language as Maîtres Chanteurs Chez Nous!. In it, she alleged subversive tactics and violations of human rights by members of the Quebec sovereignty movement during the 1995 Quebec referendum.
Francis has interviewed, and written about, hundreds of CEOs, billionaires, heads of state, international criminals, Interpol officials, thinkers and academics. These include Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, George Soros, Carlos Salinas, Christine Lagarde, Pervez Musharraf, Angel Gurria, Raghuram Rajan, Larry Summers, Clayton Christensen and dozens more. She has also been able to observe and interview the world’s political and thought leaders for 20 years at the World Economic Forum. She has traveled and covered major news events: the fall of the Berlin Wall; the dismantling of the Soviet Union; the restructuring of the former Soviet satellite nations; the reunification of Germany; the enfranchisement of blacks and election of Nelson Mandela in South Africa; the independence of Ukraine then its Orange Revolution; the events and elections leading to free trade and NAFTA; the corrupt elections and the 1994 assassination of Presidential candidate Colosio in Mexico; the 1994 Chiapas rebellion in Mexico by Mayans including an interview in the jungle with its guerrilla leader, Subcommandante Marcos; the dangers and dreams of Mexicans and their smugglers crossing “el bordo” illegally from Tijuana to San Diego; the battle in Colombia against cocaine smugglers; the Quebec referendum battle in 1995 on separation from Canada; how the world’s biggest boiler room stock fraud took place out of Amsterdam and how the world’s biggest gold swindle, Bre-X, was pulled off in Calgary, the Philippines and Indonesia.
In her article in Financial Post, published a day after the 2013 The International Center for Investigative Journalists offshore tax haven US$32-trillion industry story broke, [notes 1] Diane Francis described her first job in Canada working for the tax lawyer of Canada's richest individual and industrialist, E. P. Taylor. At that time, Francis created thousands of new corporations dividing Taylor’s huge income so that he would pay the minimal small business income tax. She described K. C. Irving and E. P. Taylor as ahead of their times in the offshore tax haven industry. In 1959, Taylor created the world’s first exclusive gated tax haven, Lyford Cay, Bahamas where Arthur Hailey, Sean Connery, Henry Ford II, Aga Khan IV, Prince Rainier, Stavros Niarchos and Sir John Templeton also resided. In 1972 K. C. Irving established himself as a resident of Bermuda, "placed ownership of his empire into a series of tax-free Bermuda trusts" that have "never paid taxes to Canada."
View on environmental problems and overpopulation
In a column which referred to the then current 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Francis wrote: "The 'inconvenient truth' overhanging the UN's Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world." She described various environmental issues related to overpopulation, and stated that: "A planetary law, such as China's one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days."
Recognition and affiliations
Francis has been the recipient of awards for her work in journalism from organizations, publications, and universities in Canada. She has served on the advisory board of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research and a member of the board of directors for CARE Canada, and as the volunteer chair for the fund-raising campaign for Ryerson University's community health center.
Francis has been a director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2008, the Canada Ukraine Chamber of Commerce in 1989 and Ryerson Cabinet since 2011. Francis became a director of Lake Shore Gold Corp, listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges, in November 2013.
- Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country (2013), HarperCollins
- Who Owns Canada Now (2008), HarperCollins
- Immigration: The Economic Case (2002), Key Porter Books, ISBN 1-55263-532-5
- Underground Nation: The Secret Economy And The Future Of Canada (2002), Key Porter Books, ISBN 1-55013-612-7
- BRE-X: The Inside Story - The Stock Swindle That Shocked The World (1998), Seal Books, ISBN 1-55013-913-4
- Fighting for Canada (1996), Key Porter Books, ISBN 1-55013-796-4
- A Matter of Survival: Canada In The 21st Century (1993), Key Porter Books
- The Diane Francis Inside Guide to Canada's 50 Best Stocks (1990), Key Porter Books, ISBN 1-55013-218-0
- Contrepreneurs (1989), McClelland-Bantam
- Controlling Interest - Who Owns Canada (1986), Macmillan Publishers, ISBN 0-7715-9744-4
- In April 2013, The International Center for Investigative Journalists in Washington, D.C obtained two million emails and other documents regarding offshore tax havens, mainly the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Singapore revealing a booming offshore trade worth over US$32-trillion that thrives at the expense of national revenues. 450 Canadians were identified as holding offshore havens, not all of which are illegal.
- "Controlling interest : who owns Canada? / Diane Francis (ResAnet record)". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- "Official biography". dianefrancis.com. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- Financial Post, Diane Francis, accessed 18 December 2009
- Diane Francis, dianefrancismylife blog, Diane Francis' Life, 4 February 2006
- "Diane Francis - bio - CEO Outlook - Ryerson University". ryerson.ca. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- Harvard University, Former Fellows and Visiting Faculty, accessed 24 August 2010
- HarperCollins, Who Owns Canada Now: Old Money, New Money and The Future of Canadian Business
- HarperCollins, Who Owns Canada Now: Old Money, New Money and the Future of Canadian Business
- Vancouver Sun, 16 April 2008, Eight B.C. billionaires profiled in Diane Francis book
- "Fighting for Canada". archive.org, originally dianefrancis.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-21. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- Francis, Diane (5 April 2013). "Tax avoidance becoming bigger than the U.S. economy". Financial Post.
- Francis, Diane (6 April 2013). "Why Are We Letting Tax Cheats Rob Canada?".
- Financial Post, The real inconvenient truth
- Columnist Proposes One-Child Policy to Battle Climate Change 14 December 2009 Interview Fox News