Fredericton — On Tuesday, Auditor General Kim MacPherson revealed new details regarding the 2009-2010 Atcon bailout fiasco.
In a startling revelation, MacPherson shed light on the most sensitive and embarrassing details of the $63-million loan guarantee disaster that has stained both the former and current provincial Liberal governments.
She said that when premier Shawn Graham approved the controversial bailout, he believed that they were bailing out the popular Batman superhero franchise, not the horribly mismanaged Miramichi construction company Atcon.
“It was a humongous mistake and ridiculous in the extreme, but there it is,” deadpanned MacPherson at her press conference. “In conversations with our department, former premier Graham finally revealed that his approval of the Atcon bailout was a muddled mess from the beginning, and once it was in motion it was too embarrassing to change course. These details have remained a closely guarded secret until today.”
MacPherson disclosed that the entire deal was approved in principle during a rushed, lunchtime conversation between Graham and former Business New Brunswick minister Jack Keir.
“Apparently when Mr. Keir pitched this idea to the premier, he was in the middle of a footlong double-meatball sub with extra sauce from Subway,” she said. “Graham recalled that during the entire meeting, Keir was chewing with his mouth open and also completely covered in marinara sauce — the premier found it very distracting.
“Keir was apparently talking with his mouth full when he said ‘Atcon,’ and Graham heard ‘Batman,'” said MacPherson. “It’s a well-known fact that the former premier is a huge fan of the Batman franchise. In fact, he has his own custom-tailored Batman costume which he wears all of the time…with alarming frequency, actually.”
Graham immediately approved the bailout and tried to excuse himself from Keir’s disgusting lunch, but the minister persisted asking about the Atcon private jet. “Well of course we have to save the Bat-Jet!” Graham reportedly snapped and stormed out.
“After Keir made the announcement about Atcon, Graham was not only boxed in by the mistake but also deeply disappointed that New Brunswick would not play a role in saving the Batman franchise,” said MacPherson.
“Holy eff-up Batman!” Graham reportedly said.
When reached for comment, Graham’s butler said, “Master Shawn is not available for comment, he is in a cave underground with very poor cellphone reception.”