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Olly Olly Oligarch

John Bell

May 6, 2022
As our food prices soar we are told the villain is inflation. As of April, the national inflation rate is just under 7%. Food prices went up almost 8%. Why are food prices going up higher than other costs? Read on.
War, environmental destruction, and global pandemic are real drivers of rising costs. At a recent press conference Loblaws President and CEO Galen Weston told the business press:  “During the quarter ended March 26, Loblaw’s food business grappled with ongoing globalsupply chain challenges and cost increases, including for fuel, shipping, ingredients and packaging.”
But don’t feel too bad for the Weston brood (net worth about $7 billion – latest data from 2020) in these hard times. The press conference was called to share the good news. In the first 3 months of 2022 Loblaws cleared almost half a billion in profit, up 40% overlast year’s first quarter. 
Galen & Co can use the cash. They are investing heavily in privatized healthcare, with a pat on the back from friends like Justin Trudeau and Doug Ford. In 2014 Loblaws bought the Shoppers Drug Mart as part of a long term plan to transform the chain from a pharmacy into a major provider of for-profit healthcare. During the pandemic, in Ontario the Ford government has favoured Shoppers with ready supplies of vaccines, PPE and rapid tests.
To be fair, this wink-and-a-nod privatization includes other drug store chains as well, but Loblaws/Shoppers being the biggest is positioned to profit most.
In March, Weston spent $845 millionto buy Lifemark, a national chain of physical therapy clinics. 
And Galen is popping up in TV ads touting his new President’s Choice Health App. According to his web site: “Get connected to the care you need. From dieticians and doctors to chiropractors and massage therapists, a handpicked network of healthcare providers is at your fingertips.”
What a wonderful oligarch, so concerned about your health. Guess he forgot to mention that the “handpicked” providers work for him, and every time you use his app you are supporting privatized healthcare.
So, next time you look at your grocery bill, not only are you adding to oligarch Galen Weston’s obscene wealth, but you are paying to destroy your own public healthcare.
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