Shediac — As reported by CBC this morning, Health Minister Victor Boudreau is recusing himself from the controversy swirling around the water-testing of Parlee Beach due to “potential perceived conflict of interest.”
Moving forward, Boudreau will not be involved in any government decision-making or planning when it comes to Parlee Beach; he has passed his responsibilities on the matter off to his good buddy, Environment Minister Serge Rousselle.
The move comes after last summer’s record number of beach closures during the normally bumping tourist season. The beach was closed several times due to high amounts of fecal matter found in the swimming area; some locals were blaming nearby campground developments — much like the one Boudreau has recently purchased shares in.
“Those campers have no regard for anything or anyone,” claimed avid beach-goer Andrea Tomlinson. “They just sit around a campfire eating hotdogs and s’mores and then go poop in our beautiful water.”
The Manatee asked Boudreau what brought on the decision to extract himself from the matter.
“Well, I really wasn’t doing anything wrong,” he deflected. “But, it could be perceived as if I were — and I didn’t want that. So, I figured the best thing to do was to pass this matter on to my best friend… I mean colleague. Yeah, pass it on to my colleague who will handle all matters involving Parlee Beach moving forward.”
Our reporter asked Boudreau whether he would be left out of all conversation about the beach.
“Yes, 100 percent,” he declared. “Well, besides when my colleague and I have some beers together, maybe. I guess he might slip a few things out then, and maybe I might tell him my opinions on the matter — you know, if it’s a social thing it’s OK.”
Minister Rousselle and Premier Brian Gallant met with reporters in Fredericton to answer questions about the recusal and how Rousselle would be able to responsibly attend to this controversy without including the health minister.
“Listen, my good friend Victor,” he paused while Gallant whispered something in his ear. “Did I say friend? I meant co-worker. My co-worker, Mr. Boudreau I think his name is, will be totally uninvolved in any of this. I will handle everything pertaining to the health matters and concerns of Parlee Beach and only seek Mr. Boudreau’s advice when it’s something about his campground.”
Again, Gallant appeared to whisper something into the minister’s ear.
“Sorry, I misspoke again,” continued Rousselle. “I will never include Victor in any of these dealings, I mean.”
When Gallant was asked whether he supports this change, the premier emphatically cheered the move.
“Absolutely!” he excitedly chimed. “I didn’t even know this was a thing you could do — I plan on recusing myself from a bunch of things from now on.”
Our reporter asked residents surrounding the beach if they felt comfortable with Rousselle taking over duties from Boudreau.
“They keep shutting the beach down because there’s to much crap in there, right?” asked Henry Jetson of the area. “So, the best thing to do is keep all of the politicians away because they’re all full of shit.”