New Brunswick — Apparently misery does not always like company. In a historic outmigration, hundreds of thousands of New Brunswickers have suddenly left the province after reading an article in Maclean’s last week called “Can Anything Save New Brunswick?” After digesting the discouraging dissertation on New Brunswick’s demographic, political and language woes, now over a half-million have given up and walked away from the Picture Province in the past week.
“Thank goodness the article’s author dropped by to point out the hopeless challenges that we face,” said Saint John resident Michael Boudreau. “Up until then, I thought we weren’t doing great, but there was no crisis. Now, it’s clear to me that province is a lost cause and it’s time to abandon all hope and leave this dreadful place. I don’t know how I didn’t see it before now.”
The subtitle of the article published on March 11 reads, “[t]he province’s economy is in free fall, it has more deaths than births and an ugly language war to rival Quebec’s.” The article goes on to discuss how traditional industries are faltering, the average age of residents is 49.4, the outmigration of 21,000 people since 2005, its “drive-thru” reputation and a rampant “language war.” The article quoted frustrated New Brunswickers who pointed out budget deficits, the possibility of bankruptcy, rural population, and even the goddamned English/French school bus controversy.
“I thought 8 of 10 provinces ran a deficit in 2015 and our credit rating was about the same as Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, P.E.I. and Manitoba,” said Fredericton resident Martha Baines, as she packed up her car. “I had no idea that we are basically the Greece of Canada on the verge of bankruptcy and insolvency. Thank God we are leaving before the food riots begin.”
“I knew the Atlantic demographics were older than most of the country, but I believed that N.B. was basically within about 5 percent of most of the other provinces,” said recent university graduate Brittany Sears. “The Maclean’s article informed me about how the vast majority of our residents are gumming baby food while waiting for the Grim Reaper. I’m getting out of here before the rest of the province looks like a scene from The Walking Dead!”
Some remaining citizens are skeptical about the “ugly language war” described in the article. “I really didn’t see any evidence of a raging language war,” says Moncton resident Gary Leblanc. “In my view, there was roughly the same number of assholes as there’s always been who refuse to accept one-third of the province speaks French as their mother tongue and don’t agree with the Constitution.
“Despite minor tensions here and there, I thought we were getting along OK all things considered. I guess I missed the declaration of war,” he added sardonically.
“I know some people think that the Maclean’s article points out a bunch of first-world problems, but it’s now clear to me that New Brunswick has fallen off of the cliff and it’s all over, folks,” said fleeing resident Tamara Smith. “The people who I feel sorry for are the Syrian refugees. They’re showing up thinking this is best they’ve had it in a long time. When they find out how horrible it really is here, they will be so disappointed.”