Fredericton — “New year, new New Brunswick,” said Premier Brian Gallant as he was working out at the York Street YMCA this morning. “No, that’s not our new provincial slogan. Call it a resolution by me, for my people.”
Gallant was referring to a phone call he made earlier week to Weight Watchers Canada, where he convinced the company to let him sign up for the program on the entire province’s behalf.
“They usually only let individuals join, but were willing to make an exception for yours truly. I think if all 750,000 of us do it together, we’ll be able to hold each other accountable and make some real change. Plus this will add revenue we desperately need through sponsorship… I’m pretty sure Ontario will sponsor us — they feel bad for us.”
Gallant said Weight Watchers’ recommended plan costs only $47.62 per month per person, so it will run the province just over $35 million total. “A small price to pay for health, right? And we’ll just take it out of everyone’s GST cheques.”
Weight Watchers offers personalized, interactive tools such as progress charts and online journals. “But what I like most are their meal plans,” said Gallant while straddling a rowing machine. “As premier, I don’t have time to think about what I’m going to eat and whether it’s good for me, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to trust my cabinet ministers to order me something healthy. Weight Watchers has searchable recipes that I know fall within their guidelines for nutrition. What could be easier for my assistants?”
Our reporter stopped at Harvey’s on Regent Street to ask for locals’ opinions on Gallant’s plan. “Weight Watchers — isn’t that Oprah’s dieting thing?” questioned Sarah McAdam, 42. “I guess I don’t mind, as long as I can still eat these Pizza Burgers — you try one of these things yet? Not sure how many ‘points’ it would run me, but it’s some good.”
“Oh, I’ve been on Weight Watchers off and on for the last 20 years,” said Gregory Allen, 51. “It never works. I’ll lose weight and then gain it back the second I start eating here again. What’s the point?”
“The point,” said an exasperated Gallant, “is that we’re one of the fattest provinces and that’s pretty much our only claim to fame. I need to end this stint as premier on a positive note — help me out, folks.”