Gallant backpedals, saying $360K ‘soaring economy’ billboard campaign was sarcastic

Gallant backpedals, saying $360K ‘soaring economy’ billboard campaign was sarcastic

Fredericton — A $360K ad campaign by the Liberal government touting New Brunswick’s booming economy has come under fire for being completely false and without merit. Billboards and other ads placed strategically across six provinces boldly proclaim lies about the Picture Province’s prosperity.

Some of the ads brag about a “soaring economy” and call New Brunswick a “growth economy.” Others flat-out declare that there are 3,000 jobs to be filled, when in fact the New Brunswick economy is performing worse than most provinces and more people than ever are unable to find work in their hometowns.

“A lot of people assume I’m not funny because I’m so attractive — can’t a guy be both?” asked Gallant with a nervous laugh. “Geez, learn to take a joke. Those billboards about our province’s ‘growth economy’ were meant to subtly remind people that New Brunswickers have a good sense of humour, and can poke fun at our situation. It was never meant to be taken literally.

“If you look closely you’ll see a subversive and satirical undercurrent to the whole thing,” he added. “Think of these billboards like a Banksy art piece — there’s a message, but it’s not the one you see at face value. And you can bet a Banksy original would be worth more than 360 grand.”

Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault hastened to explain that the campaign was “obviously not to be taken seriously,” as the Liberals did not put their logo on a single billboard or ad. “If we were strictly factual in these claims, we would have owned up to them, cited sources, and put the Liberal logo and colours allll over the things,” he said, glancing skittishly in Gallant’s direction for moral support. “Right Brian?”

Progressive Conservative finance critic Bruce Fitch called the Liberal campaign “misleading at best.”

“But he just doesn’t understand comedy,” countered Gallant. “Have you ever known a Conservative to embrace the sardonic, the ironic aspects of politics? Please. Fitch wouldn’t know a good joke if it slapped him in the face with a banana-cream pie.”

A Manatee reporter asked Gallant what he plans to do if, God forbid, out-of-towners believe the ads and move to New Brunswick, only to find out the truth: that it’s a stagnant stinkhole and not a land of opportunity.

“Oh come on — give people a little more credit than that. No one’s going to actually move here because of an elaborate Liberal ruse… right? Oh crap… I hope not anyway.”

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