Fredericton — Premier Brian Gallant was quick to jump to his canine companion’s defence when, in the provincial legislature, Carleton MLA Stewart Fairgrieve said Gallant can’t relate to the problems of New Brunswickers because he only has a dog, not a real family.
The deeply offended Gallant even asked the Leader of the Opposition Blaine Higgs to apologize on behalf of Fairgrieve for bringing up his family — and especially Blaze — in the first place.
“How would you like it if I casually talked about your children, and even had the gall to use their names to prove some political point?” Gallant retorted. “And for the record, Blaze IS my family. Do you honestly believe raising kids is tougher than raising this champion of a dog?
“Have you seen his thick, shiny coat, Mr. Speaker?” he added, pulling up photos on his phone.
The Manatee discussed the issue with the premier and Blaze at Coffee and Friends this morning. Gallant said he has to walk Blaze every day — sometimes twice — and that’s not something parents of human children can relate to.
“Most parents I know just plunk their kids down in front of the TV and zone out. Not me; I’m an active dad… if Blaze is bored, I take him swimming or to play Frisbee. If he’s feeling down, we take selfies together and post them to Instagram and Twitter. I’m no deadbeat.”
Gallant then ordered a panini and fed the entire thing to the dog, who left crumbs all over the floor.
“Blaze is entering Kindergarten this fall — he’s five years old now… man, time flies!” Gallant said, wiping the floor with a napkin. “Do you think I’ll be any less anxious than so-called ‘real’ parents when I walk him to the end of the driveway to get on the school bus for the first time?!”
We asked Gallant whether he plans to start a real family after he gets married.
“Ugh, this is just what I’ve been saying — I have a real family!” he exclaimed. “Raising Blaze is every bit as challenging as raising a kid in this province. I have to plan just as much for his future. In fact I’ve already started a college fund for him — he has his heart set on Université de Moncton.”
The premier said New Brunswick parents regularly complain to him about the high cost and difficulty of raising kids in this province.
“They want ‘affordable childcare,’ ‘safe neighbourhoods,’ ‘a proper bilingual education’ — the list goes on. I can relate, believe me! I have to find a sitter for Blaze when I have a legislature sitting; I have to ensure we live in a safe area with nice dog parks; and Blaze’s French is only at the intermediate level right now. See? I have the same concerns as everyone else.
“Blaze deserves the best. He’s such a good boy… isn’t he? Yes he is! Who’s a good boy?”
Well done. As always.