The Money Rustlers: Self-made Millionaires of the New West


288 pages
ISBN 0-670-80207-7





Reviewed by Ross Willmot

Ross Willmot is Executive Director of the Ontario Association for
Continuing Education.


These Vancouver journalists offer profiles of 16 entrepreneurs who on their own have amassed a total of $5 billion in assets and who employ 50,000 Canadians. We are all much interested in those who make money, but Canadians particularly, unlike Americans, are defeatist in our work attitudes. Most of us lack the positive attitudes, commitment, and personal energy that have made these Canadian entrepreneurial heroes so wealthy.

The public, private, and corporate lives of these Western egotistic virtuosos, when analyzed in readable style, reveal they are intrepid, creative, and innovative risk-takers. At the same time, they can be cunning and ruthless and not necessarily good citizens.

Some of the varied projects of these money rustlers, like the gigantic West Edmonton Mall, Rent-A-Wreck, and Canadian love shops, have achieved much public attention. Their owners have kept a low profile or cultivated a flamboyant one. Publicity-crazy, flash-in-the-pan entrepreneurs like Nelson Skalbania are hardly mentioned in favor of the consistently successful among hundreds considered for study.

An index would be a useful addition to what promises to be a popular book.


Grescoe, Paul, and David Cruise, “The Money Rustlers: Self-made Millionaires of the New West,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 21, 2024,