New Brunswick — Former New Brunswick premier David Alward has been crowned the winner of Season 4 of the popular reality TV show Canada’s Next Top Diplomat. The CTV original series pits defeated premiers, MPs and MLAs against each other in a battle for a cushy, high-paid, figurehead position south of the boarder.
On Sunday night’s season finale, a panel of judges including Tricia Helfer (of Battlestar Galactia), Paul Venoit (apparently a Miramichi native), Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson, and Carly Rae Jepsen officially appointed Alward the title of “Canada’s Next Top Diplomat,” beating out Nova Scotia’s Darrel Dexter and Quebec’s Jean Charest.
The new position will mean that Alward will be vacating his seat in the New Brunswick Legislature as the MLA representing Woodstock. He will be moving post-haste (his own words in his Next Top Diplomat acceptance speech) to Boston, Mass., where he will assume the position as Canada’s consul general for the Northeast United States.
“I have an opportunity to serve Canada,” Alward said, “a country that I like a lot, I guess, and certainly to serve New Brunswick, a province that I lived in for a long time. I mean, think about Boston’s relationship to New Brunswick. There’s trade, diplomacy and other stuff. The New England states are important partners to New Brunswick and Nova, ah … Nova whatever, and that French-only province up north. Canada in general, really.”
“We are very happy for Mr. Alward,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “Sure, we have a Conservative government in Ottawa and their Foreign Affairs minister was a judge on Canada’s Next Top Diplomat, and Dave is an ex-Conservative premier, but I wouldn’t call this patronage. No, not at all actually. It’s really more of a favour to us than anything. There’s going to be a by-election in the next 6 months so we have a chance of adding a new Liberal seat.
“But even if we don’t win, if the people of Carleton County elect another Conservative, Alward’s appointment is still a plus for us because we don’t have to look at his ugly mug anymore,” Gallant went on. “Not that anyone looked at him since last September anyway. I mean, not with my beautiful, young face dominating the assembly.”
Though it is probably not relevant at all, The Manatee will point out that David Alward is not a Canadian-born citizen. He was actually born in the state of Massachusetts, in the city of Beverly (where he lived until his teenage years), and is only a 35-minute drive from his new home in Boston. We’re not accusing him of pulling a Michael Ignatieff — as in, “Oh I lost an election? Well, I’m heading back to the United States which I consider more of a home and where I can make more money” — but it does seem … strangely coincidental.
After high school, Alward hightailed it back to the United States for the duration of his postsecondary education. “Canadian universities, especially New Brunswick universities, just plain old suck,” said Alward. After graduating from Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn., Alward begrudgingly moved back to New Brunswick to take a high-paying civil servant job, but only until his parents gave him enough money to start his own business as a mad scientist who gene-spliced the DNA of cows to make them grow up to 400 percent of their natural size.
Alward was elected as an MLA in 1999. In 2010 he was elected premier. In 2014 he lost to Liberal Brian Gallant, but retained his MLA seat. Shortly after, he made it through the preliminaries for Canada’s Next Top Diplomat, and the rest is history.
Alward is excited about this opportunity to move back to his home state while still living off the taxpayers of his second home. “New Brunswick is a sinking ship and I helped sink it, so it’s nice that its people are helping to pay for me to get out. I look at this as my first step to joining the Republican party. They’re not like Canadian Conservatives, they’re the real deal!”