Rankandfile.ca readers found no shortage of union-busters, profiteers and corrupt politicians to nominate for this year’s competition, so pull up your hip waders and get ready for this human sewage.
We’ve narrowed the field down to 8 candidates. There are 4 public sector and 4 private sector scumbags. As usual, past Scumbags of the Year have been excluded from the competition. That means Jason Kenney, Galen Weston Jr., and Doug Ford aren’t on the list!
Voting is at the bottom of the page.
Meet the candidates
Gilbert Le Dressay, VP – Refinery Operations at Federated Co-operatives Limited
After the 2019-2020 Co-op Refinery lockout, Le Dressay has kept screwing refinery workers and the city of Regina. He oversaw the introduction of a “minimum staffing policy” which violated the MOA which helped settle the lockout. In October, he announced 54 union jobs were going to be eliminated. Le Dressay has yet to cough up a cent for the 2020 oil spill into the City of Regina’s wastewater while scabs ran the refinery.
Andrew MacLeod, President and CEO of Postmedia
Postmedia newspapers have spent the pandemic attacking unemployed workers collecting CERB/CRB, while collecting $47 million in so-called wage subsidies and another $17 million in journalism tax credits during 2020 and 2021. MacLeod even told shareholders in early 2021 that without these subsidies, Postmedia would not have turned a profit in 2020. Continuing the federal favours in early 2021, the Competition Bureau abandoned its investigation into the 2017 criminal cartel activity involving Postmedia and Torstar, in which the two corporations traded 41 newspapers, then immediately shutdown 36 and fired 100s of staff. MacLeod is a true Canadian capitalist: fat public handouts, cartel activity, and corrupt friends in Parliament.
Sean O’Brien, CEO of Reliance Home Comfort
O’Brien locked out over 800 essential workers across Ontario in mid-May to enforce a lousy two-tier contract and ensure none of the workers got paid sick days. O’Brien prepared for the lockout by moving equipment and vehicles to secondary locations, and hiring an army of scabs to work in the homes of thousands of unwitting Ontarians requiring work on furnaces, water heaters, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical. The workers, members of Unifor Local 1999, stood strong against this corporate scumbag.
Michael Rousseau, President and CEO of Air Canada
After collecting north of $600 million in so-called wage subsidies in 2020, Rousseau and Air Canada management paid themselves $10 million in bonuses. Only when this news went public in May 2021 did the scumbags give the money back. Meanwhile, thousands of Air Canada workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic have not seen a cent of the wage subsidy money. Despite going into the pandemic with over $7 billion in cash reserves, Air Canada cried poor and Rousseau happily accepted a $5.9 billion bailout from Liberal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. After Air Canada spent nearly $2 billion paying back cancelled tickets, Rousseau told the Liberals in November 2021 they didn’t need the rest of the money. Rousseau is pulling in a multi-million dollar salary drawn entirely from public subsidies, screwing Air Canada workers, and ripping off customers.
Robert Haché – President and Vice Chancellor, Laurentian University
Universities love to talk about innovation, and Laurentian U’s Robert “The Hatchet” Haché has innovated a precedent-setting application by a public institution for bankruptcy protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCCA). In one devastating attack, Haché and his regime cut 69 academic programs, 110 academic positions, 41 support staff, and 50 more jobs at Laurentian’s three federated universities – all over a Zoom call. Haché knows the meaning of hard work, too: he’s spent months now fighting to prevent the public disclosure of internal financial documents and Board of Governor minutes. This is all a trial run. The corrupt leadership at Laurentian is being watched by every union-busting privatizer in the hopes that more universities and public institutions can be deliberately bankrupted so new sources of publicly-subsidized profits can be opened up.
Blaine Higgs – Premier of New Brunswick
With lumber prices shattering record highs, you’d think New Brunswick’s large forestry sector would ensure the provincial coffers were flush with cash from royalties. Not so with Premier Blaine Higgs, the former Irving Oil executive! Higgs has increased public subsidies to the industry through NB Power while foregoing royalty rate increases that would have pulled in hundreds of millions in public revenues. Yet, Higgs cried poor all through 2021 and refused to increase wages and benefits for 22,000 public sector workers across schools, hospitals and municipalities – after 15 years of frozen wages and benefits. The workers went on strike for two weeks before a deal was hammered out which saw partial gains and bruised Higgs’ Irving-controlled government, setting the stage for battles to come.
Scott Moe – Premier of Saskatchewan
For much of 2021, Moe’s greatest achievement has been keeping the provincial home of medicare near the top of Covid-19 case rates in the country. Moe’s next achievement was keeping Saskatchewan’s vaccination rates among the lowest in the country. His profits-first reopening plan in the summer pushed the province’s healthcare system to the brink of collapse during the Delta wave, forcing hospitalized residents to be flown to other provinces for care. Many of the province’s urban municipal governments, health and school authorities have clashed with Moe who continues to turn a blind eye to reality.
Tyler Shandro – Alberta’s Minister of Labour and former Minister of Health
Last year, Shandro won a Dishonourable Mention in last year’s Scumbag of the Year contest for seeking to cut 11,000 Alberta healthcare jobs in the middle of a pandemic, and ramming through the healthcare privatization Bill 30. In April 2021, Shandro oversaw the awarding of a hospital laundry privatization contract to K-Bro, a corporation close to the UCP. Over 400 rural union healthcare jobs were wiped out. With the UCP’s prospects of re-election fizzling, Shandro got busy packing the Alberta Health Services board with corporate right-wing hacks. In April, he appointed Jack Mintz, one of the most notorious right-wing class warriors in Canada, and then in August he appointed his former campaign advisor and UCP donor Hartley Harris. In September, Shandro resigned but was rewarded by Kenney with the Ministry of Labour and Immigration.