Sobeys take over of public liquor sales in Saskatchewan voted Privatization Scam of the Year

"I'm sure Sobeys doesn't mind having low- and middle-income Saskatchewan residents paying more for both public services and liquor to help boost its profit margin. But clearly, what the public has said in awarding the Scammie, is that we do mind. And we're fighting back." — James Clancy, NUPGE National President.

Ottawa (30 Oct. 2014) — The winner of the Privatization Scam of the Year Award was announced to a packed house of delegates attending the International Conference on New Forms of Privatization held in Ottawa this week. 

Sobeys, owned by Canada's 20th-richest family, and the Saskatchewan government were awarded the Scammie for the sleaziest Privatization Scam of the Year 

The results were overwhelming in favour of awarding Sobeys, Canada's second-largest grocery store chain headquartered in Nova Scotia,  and the Saskatchewan government, the first-ever Scammie Award for the private take over of the province's public liquor stores.

In 2013, the Saskatchewan government handed half of the private liquor store franchises in the province to Sobeys. Scammie voters wanted to ensure one of the richest family businesses in the country and the provincial government were recognized for its role in privatizing liquor sales and removing massive amounts of revenue from the public budget. Revenue that would pay for important public services from one end of the province to the other. 

In the last nine years, Sobeys has more than doubled the dividends it pays to shareholders. For the Sobeys family, times are very good. Canadian Business called them Canada’s 20th-richest family in 2013, with a net worth of $2.95 billion—Saskatchewan’s generosity might help push them over the $3-billion mark. 

Nominations for the 2014 Privatization Scam of the Year are open 

"Thanks to everyone who voted in our privatization award process," said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), which sponsored the award. "Voters had plenty of choice of unsavory privatization scams to pick from, but clearly found the Sobeys take over of Saskatchewan liquor sales the worst."

"I'm sure Sobeys doesn't mind having low- and middle-income Saskatchewan residents paying more for both public services and liquor to help boost its profit margin," said Clancy. "But clearly, what the public has said in awarding the Scammie, is that we do mind. And we're fighting back."

More information: 

Privatization Scam of the Year Award

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

 

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