New Brunswick — Less than two weeks after moving into phase 2 of its recovery plan, New Brunswick has announced that its economy has rebounded so much that it will now begin sending equalization or “transfer” payments to Alberta. Hard hit by plummeting oil and gas prices and high rates of COVID-19 infection, that province is quickly on its way to becoming a “have not” province.
Premier Blaine Higgs and several deputy ministers held a press conference today to discuss the good news:
“Thanks to our brilliant leadership team we were able to virtually eliminate COVID-19 and have begun slowly reopening our economy before most other provinces,” stated Higgs, wearing his signature casual N.B. T-shirt over a button-up long-sleeve dress shirt.
“You should all be very proud of yourselves for staying home. Ordering takeout and getting alcohol and cannabis delivered to your door did wonders for our economy.
“Liberal leader Shawn Graham once pledged that New Brunswick would be self-sufficient by 2026. By reopening our economy ahead of the rest of Canada, by golly, we beat that goal by six years!”
“Indeed, New Brunswickers have done a great job supporting local businesses,” added Finance Minister Ernie Steeves. “In addition, the Irving pulp and paper mill ramped up its toilet paper production for the country early on during the crisis, creating jobs and exceeding financial targets. It’s time for New Brunswick to repay those destitute Albertans who are out of work due to tanking oil and gas prices. It’s just our way of saying thank you for sharing the wealth since 1957!”
Trevor Holder, Minister of Post-secondary Education, Training, and Labour, was next to speak.
“The good news doesn’t stop there. We are now in a position to create jobs not just for our own citizens, but for out-of-work Albertans as well. Irving’s pulp and paper mill will now be hiring thousands of unemployed oil workers. If a second-wave of COVID-19 hits, we want to be ready to supply the nation with much-needed toilet paper. It’s a great job, if you can stand the Irving stink. Of course, oil and gas stinks too, so it will be an easy transition.”
The Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, Bruce Fitch, spoke last:
“As of today, New Brunswick will be changing its slogan to ‘Be…COVID-FREE in this place.’ We are currently in the process of slapping new stickers on old welcome signs at each of the province’s main entry points. We want visitors and newcomers to know that New Brunswick is the safest place to live during a pandemic.
“In addition, with the influx of many young, single workers from out west, we will be marketing our province as a great place to find love. Once we move into the recovery phase where haircuts and dating are allowed, we expect to see many New Brunswickers re-enter both the job and the dating markets.”
We interviewed Bill Ketch, an oil and gas worker out west, to see whether he would be making the move to New Brunswick for work.
“Listen, we all know the real reason New Brunswick beat COVID is because there are no major metropolitan cities. Can’t have a pandemic without people. What would I do for fun there — drink craft beer and watch the river flow by? I’ll pass.”