Charlottetown — One of the staples of Atlantic Canadian cuisine came under criticism from the federal Minister of Health late last week at a press conference in Charlottetown, PEI, during which it was announced that garlic fingers boxes would begin to bear mandatory health warnings.
“These strips of bread coated in mozzarella and garlic butter, while delicious, are a completely unnecessary burden being placed on the circulatory systems of Atlantic Canadians,” said the Hon. Jane Philpott before an assemblage of reporters, health officials and pizza restaurant employees in the main lobby of the Eastlink Centre.
“The fact that Atlantic Canadians insist on dipping this greasy appetizer in donair sauce — which might as well be Elmer’s glue cut with cake batter — is just beyond the pale as far as this government is concerned. To say nothing of the fact that Newfoundland puts honey on their garlic fingers — what’s wrong, Corner Brook? Putting Stove Top stuffing on your poutine was too close to eating a salad? Had to make up for it?”
After delivering her impassioned address, the minister unveiled a placard showing an enlarged version of the warning label that all orders of garlic fingers will carry as of Oct. 1, 2016. The warning denounces garlic fingers as “practice pizza,” ensuring Atlantic Canadians that they already understand how pizza works and do not need a “rehearsal,” encouraging them that “you’ve got this.”
There will be a helpline set up for those wishing to resist the urge to order garlic fingers at “310-No-No-No-No” and ads will also run prior to YouTube videos and during Hockey Night in Canada. The government is hoping to reduce instances of cardiac disease in Atlantic Canadians by 12 percent by the end of 2020.
Conservative Party interim leader Rona Ambrose has been deeply skeptical of this government’s latest health initiative. “This is one more example of the Liberals’ insistence on inserting themselves into the private choices of citizens,” she said. “If Maritimers want to enjoy garlic fingers before eating a deep-dish meat-lover’s pizza, our party recognizes their right as consumers.
“Heck, if they want to drink a bowl of gravy as a little amuse-bouche before single-handedly consuming a family-size bag of blue-cheese-flavoured rippled chips, or order a plate of linguine-and-clams before having an entire rotisserie chicken for dinner, knock yourself out. It’s a free country, and the Conservative Party celebrates that.”
Criticism of the warning labels has also come from the private sector. “Atlantic Canadians should be able to reap the benefits of a laissez-faire model of consumer freedom, as opposed to ‘nanny-state’ solutions like this, that bolster such pernicious myths as ‘food addiction,'” said part-time Greco Pizza cashier Roy Olbonn, who then had to cut his interview with The Manatee short in order to take a phone order for a large pretzel-crust Hawaiian pizza and a medium garlic fingers “with an extra thing of dipping sauce.”