Shediac — Sources have confirmed that Brian Gallant has successfully applied for employment insurance benefits following his resignation as leader of the Liberal party. The former premier was able to collect benefits even though he still sits as an opposition MLA.
Gallant refused to provide details about his application, but spoke about the system in broader terms.
“Where I’m from, in Shediac, everybody knows what you need to put on a claim in order to get it approved. If everybody were completely honest with every application then nobody would ever get approved for benefits.”
When asked if he had falsified his application, the former premier elaborated further.
“I was as truthful as I needed to be in order to have my claim approved — and given that I was awarded ‘top stamp’ I really feel that I was diligent in my application. The system doesn’t make things easy for me, though; I still have to fill out a weekly report and have Frank McKenna say that I’ve applied for work with him at the TD call centre.”
The announcement has left several people, including Jonathan March of Sussex, furious with the system. “How can he possibly have been accepted? I was laid off from the potash mine after working there for 13 years and my E.I. claim was declined because they found out that I was taking a pottery class every other Wednesday!”
Despite the public backlash against the decision, local E.I. expert Marcel Landry supports Gallant. “Of course he deserves benefits! The man ran the province for four years. Most guys around here won’t work for four months before trying to get laid off.”
Government officials were unable to provide specific details on the case citing client confidentiality, but did state that there is no need to authenticate individual claims since nobody would ever falsify a claim because doing so is illegal.
Gallant is expected to continue to draw E.I. until either his claim runs out or the government mysteriously cuts him off like they do with most recipients. He reportedly spent is first cheque on a new camo jacket, a down-payment on an ATV, and a 24-pack of Coors Light.