It was a close race for RankandFile.ca‘s coveted Scumbag of the Year award. We had submissions from all over the country. Many of our readers nominated our dear leader, Stephen Harper, perhaps unaware that he has already garnered the prestigious Scumbag for Life award and is thus ineligible to be Scumbag of the Year. It was a difficult decision this year as there were so many scumbag employers, terrible politicians and rightwing hacks to choose from. One of whom, Dan Kelly, the president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, nominated himself for the award.
Our top ten runner-ups include employers and politicians who distinguished themselves this year in the art of being a scumbag. For instance, John Conway, the CEO of Crown Holdings, has forced his workers on strike for 15 months over a two-tiered contract and is employing scab labour in a bid to crush the union. Conway makes roughly 13 million a year.
Likewise, Deepak Chopra, the CEO of Canada Post Corporation, famously told Canadians that the elderly wanted to walk to get their mail because they need the exercise. His lies about the profitability of Canada Post and his bid to crush this important public service by stripping away home mail delivery makes him a very competitive candidate for our award.
Here is our list of the top ten runner-ups:
- John W. Conway (CEO Crown Holdings)
- Deepak Chopra (CEO of Canada Post Corporation)
- David Marshall (President and CEO of WSIB)
- Philippe Couillard (Premier of Quebec)
- Christy Clark (Premier of British Columbia)
- E. Hunter Harrison (CEO, Canadian Pacific Railway)
- City of Saskatoon administration
- Tony Clement (President of the Treasury Board)
- Vince Ready (Labour Arbitrator)
- Dan Kelly (CFIB)
All of our runner-ups would have been worthy choices. However, like an unholy bowel movement after a night of drinking and donairs, one candidate’s terrible actions created a foul odour above all others. Stephen McNeil, the Liberal premier of Nova Scotia, is the clear winner of this year’s RankandFile.ca Scumbag of the Year award.
McNeil’s government, elected in October of 2013, immediately went to work to destroy the collective power of workers in Nova Scotia. They passed three sweeping anti-union bills in less than a year. Bill 30 legislated over 400 home care workers back to work. Bill 37, stripped nearly 40,000 workers in the healthcare and community services sector of their right to strike. Bill 1 will force 24,000 unionized workers into government crafted bargaining units. The fifty existing bargaining units in the healthcare sector will be merged into four, with only one union for each unit. The government has refused to allow bargaining associations where workers would remain in their existing unions, but those unions would bargain together as a unit to achieve a collective agreement within the government mandated bargaining unit. Bill 1 is set to wind back the clock 100 years in terms of collective bargaining rights.
McNeil’s Liberals also gutted first contract arbitration previously passed by the NDP. The Liberals have also frozen personal allowance for those on social assistance. All this in their first year in power, Harper would be proud. McNeil, in perhaps a bid to secure the 2014 Scumbag of the Year award, just announced that 2015 will see even harsher austerity measures imposed on public sector workers.
For all these reasons, Stephen McNeil is our Scumbag of the Year. Congratulations Stephen, you’ve earned it! You can congratulate Stephen McNeil on his award by tweeting him @StephenMcNeil