Rankandfile.ca readers have voted!
Earning his place alongside Galen Weston Jr. is Michael Medline, the CEO of the Empire Company which owns the Sobeys grocery stores.
And in his third attempt at Scumbag of the Year, Saskatchewan’s Premier Scott Moe finally won, overcoming an early and substantial lead from Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s Minister of Health.
If your Scumbag of the Year didn’t win, or you wish Doug Ford was not in the running, remember: they’re all scumbags.
Private Sector Scumbag of the Year
The CEO of the Empire Company, Michael Medline, opened his yap in September 2022 to attack everyone who rightly pointed to the corporate price-gouging taking place in grocery stores. Despite posting record profits during the pandemic and facing accusations of wage fixing in collusion with Loblaws, Metro and Pattison, Medline has nothing but contempt for anyone talking about price gouging. With a 15% raise in 2022, Medline is raking in $8.6 million per year. The Empire Company owns the grocery stores Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, FreshCo, Farm Boy, Foodland and others. After buying Safeway in 2013, Empire is now second only to Loblaws in market share of the grocery sector. Together, Empire and Loblaws control almost half the grocery market. Medline was CEO during the infamous repeal of “hero pay” from grocery workers in June 2020. The simultaneous repeal of hero pay the major grocery chains, including Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro and Pattison, resulted in a parliamentary committee hearing that concluded there was nothing in the federal Competition Act to prosecute wage-fixing! Medline’s Scumbag of the Year award is well deserved.
Public Sector Scumbag of the Year
Moe’s Scumbag of the Year award is long overdue. Ruling the province since 2018, Moe has continued the Sask Party’s right-wing assault on the province’s vital infrastructure, public services, and union jobs. The policy of starving crown corporations and public services of funds, cutting services, and undermining their business potential continues under Moe. In the tradition of Devine and Wall, Moe most recently carried out the SLGA liquor store sell-off. Four hundred union jobs are being wiped out. This follows the pattern of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company’s fate under the Sask Party in 2016. Meanwhile, the housing crisis continues despite the province having a housing authority capable of solving the problem. The healthcare crisis is allowed to get worse while little is done to alleviate it, suggesting the privatization playbook is being followed. Moe also invited convicted murderer Colin Thatcher to the Throne Speech. For those outside Saskatchewan, Thatcher was in Premier Grant Devine’s PC cabinet in the early 1980s until he was arrested and convicted for murdering his wife. Devine’s PCs were famously corrupt, with a number of the party being convicted although Devine escaped justice. The PCs were, of course, rebranded as the Sask Party in the 1990s.
Moe has also introduced the absurd Saskatchewan First Act which purports to defend the province’s natural resource wealth against the federal government. Moe, however, is happy to stand by as the province’s resource wealth floods into corporate coffers and the portfolios of rich shareholders outside of Saskatchewan. Meanwhile, the oil industry continues to escape responsibility for the 4,500 orphan wells across the province because Moe’s government refuses to chase down the corporations and individuals responsible, including Imperial Oil that was found to be flaunting basic rules of informing landowners about the orphan wells. With wheat, potash and oil looking like clear winners in this current world-wide economic crisis, Moe and the Sask Party have ensured most of Saskatchewan’s population will see no benefits, and in fact face further austerity measures, layoffs, union-busting and service cuts.
judy haiven says
Of course there is the fact that Scumbag Scott Moe mowed down a woman, Joanne Balogmother of 2 young children, when he was driving drunk in 1997. He was never charged with anything. And he never apologised till recently 20 plus years later. And the apology was stunningly formulaic and worthless according to the family.
He was also convicted of drunk driving in 1992 and 1994 with no punishment at all.
Annoyed citizen says
It was Collin Thatcher. Not Ross Thatcher. When pressed on the issues- Moe’s response in short was “meh”. Only after backlash did he come out 4 days later with an apology. He also seemed to have no concern about the judgment shown by his party member who invited the convicted murderer, his Minster for Justice and Policing also seemed to lack clear judgment around the situation. Both of these party members remain in good standing with the Sask Party
Thanks for correction!
Frank Theriault says
Yes, record profits. Huge pay raises for the already-rich bosses. And screw the workers who literally put their lives on the line during the pandemic, keeping the stores open. Medline deserves #1. What a scumbag!
Cheryl Matravolgyi says
Correction to your article – it is Colin Thatcher who is convicted murderer, not Ross Thatcher. Ross Thatcher is Colin’s father
Thanks for the correction!
Shouldn’t it be $8.6 Billion for Medline? Raking in $8.6 million is chump change.
My bad, I misread. Thought company, not individual.