During a recent bankers conference in Toronto, a millionaire executive named Richard Nesbitt laughed at unemployed Albertans -- and he got the whole room laughing. Laughing at them because they're unemployed:
Nesbitt is a former senior executive of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce — he was the bank's chief operating officer until 2014. He made $7.5 million a year at that job. Lots of that money came from clients in Alberta, oilmen, farmers and ranchers.
Nesbitt is not with the bank anymore; he’s got this new gig at the Global Risk Institute.
His official biography boasts that he has three homes — including in Florida, and a hobby farm. Who puts that in their biography? A smug Toronto banker like Nesbitt.
During the conference, Nesbitt said unemployment in Canada is very low, but an economist pointed out that's actually not true in Alberta.
Nesbitt responded with, "but it’s Alberta, so who cares about them?" And the crowd laughed and laughed.
Nesbitt is a Liberal supporter -- he and his wife Lucy Lawlor each paid $5,000 dollars to attend an exclusive Liberal cash-for-access fundraiser.
He's a classic bankster: when Nesbitt retired from CIBC, he continued to be paid his salary for more than a year, earning an extra $8.5 million.
And he got his patronage reward from the Liberals, too -- paying him tens of thousands of dollars to be on the board of Ontario's new provincial pension plan, even though that program hasn't even started yet.
So what can we do about this sneering Toronto bankster, laughing at unemployed Albertans? It's not like any of Nesbitt's funders -- mainly other Toronto bankers -- would disapprove of his mocking. They were the ones right there in the room with him, laughing along.
But here an idea: one of the members of Nesbitt's group is Farm Credit Canada, a big agricultural bank chaired by a retired Reform Party MP from Wetaskiwin named Dale Johnston.
I used to know Dale. He's a good man -- he would never sneer at hard-pressed Albertans. He would never kick families when they're down.
Richard Nesbitt is a disgrace. But maybe Dale Johnston and Farm Credit can make it right -- by withdrawing their membership fee to Nesbitt's group, and doing something useful with it — like donating it to food banks around Alberta.
If you agree, please sign the petition on this page. Let’s see how many signatures we can get this week, and I’ll send the whole thing off to my old friend Dale.
Let’s try to turn this negative into a positive. Let’s get Farm Credit’s membership fee out Richard Nesbitt's grubby little hands, and into the hands of the Albertans he mocked.
In response to Richard Nesbitt's outrageous comments about unemployed Albertans, Farm Credit Canada should withhold its membership fees to Global Risk Institute and donate that money to Alberta food banks instead.