Atlantic Canada — New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador were finally and fully sucked into the gaping E.I. black hole that’s been looming over the eastern parts of the country, threatening to destroy life as we know it.
The E.I. black hole is the yawning void of space and time between when employment insurance benefits run dry and seasonal work commences. Seasonal work sustains this region, and no Maritimer was spared the powerful gravitational pull toward poverty.
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s proposed lifeline in the latest budget was too little too late, according to all the Atlantic Canadians trapped inside the black hole’s forceful pull. Manatee reporters, having ourselves been sucked in, were there to interview some of the other approximately 2.5 million people.
“Course, it sucks floating around in here without any E.I. benefits,” said Mark Ingram of the city formerly know as Halifax, N.S. “I ran a successful landscaping business, and now I’m just suspended in this void, with nothing to do but complain. But at least my smokes and TV are here to keep me company.”
Darlene Montgomery was a tour guide in what was once Saint John, N.B. “Tourism jobs are as seasonal as you get, and in Saint John that’s all the more true, what with the summer cruise ships. I used to guide those passengers around the city, telling them where to eat and shop and buy souvenirs.
“I’m not sure if this black hole is gonna die or evaporate or whatever once summer hits, but I hope so!” she went on. “No cruise ship is gonna want to dock anywhere near this space-time void.
“And besides, I can’t think of any historical or fun little anecdotes about the black hole to share with tourists. Except maybe that it has a lot in common with Saint John…everyone here’s poor, nobody knows where they are or what they’re doing, there are no jobs available, it kind of stinks, and there’s no apparent escape.”
Morneau announced $10M in help to Atlantic Canada in the short term. He and the rest of Trudeau’s cabinet have been throwing that cash into the hole to help tide Maritimers over until the hole shrinks, or implodes, or whatever it is black holes do.
“We have no idea if you’re even getting any of this cash,” the Feds wrote in Sharpie on a $20 bill that did make its way into the hole. “If you’re content with the help you’ve received, please let us know by giving us absolutely no sign whatsoever.”
Until real help arrives, Atlantic Canadians are just going to be hanging out in the hole, drinking Alpine, RRRolling up rims, and as always, trying to keep a positive attitude.