By macleans.ca - Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 0 Comments
In conversation with Jonathon Gatehouse
He is Canada’s foremost rags-to-riches story: a poor Austrian immigrant who built a global auto parts empire through his sweat and determination. But even though Frank Stronach recently stepped down from the board of Magna International, the firm he founded in 1957, he is far from retired. There’s a just-released autobiography, The Magna Man. And most intriguingly, Team Stronach— a new, self-funded political party that seeks to shake up the status quo in his homeland.
Q: You’ve been politically active before—running for the Liberals in 1988, and supporting your daughter Belinda’s campaigns. But why did you want to re-enter the fray at age 80?
A: I think we all have a conscience. And if things don’t work too well we always say, ‘I wish somebody would do something.’ And now, if my grandchildren ask me if I ever tried to improve society, I can say yes. But it’s not a game for me. Before, I made a lot of money—$40 million or $50 million a year. And now this is going to cost me maybe 20 million euros [$26 million]. And you know that when you enter the political arena there’ll be a lot of poisoned arrows flying toward you.