Fredericton — On behalf of the Government of New Brunswick, Premier Brian Gallant called a press conference to announce that the province would be cutting all funding to the non-profit organization behind the holiday icon Santa Claus.
“For the past 70 years, just like every other government in the developed world, New Brunswick has been subsidizing operational costs of the Kris Kringle Corporation,” he said. “This is, of course, the company that funds Santa’s annual trip around the world, delivering gifts and good cheer.
“This, I am here to say, ends now.”
Gallant said that New Brunswick is the first ever province opt out of the program since its inception. He cites the company’s unnecessary spending habits for the decision.
“While the company does make effective use of minimum-wage labour, there is a tremendous amount of money being carelessly spent. For example, the cost of maintaining a stable of charmed reindeer is hard to justify when the sleigh, itself charmed, is fully capable of flying itself.
“Also, far too much money and attention has been spent on branding and decoration in the North Pole. I’m sure that Santa’s workshop is a sight to behold, but have you ever seen it? Has anybody outside of the company?”
Even if these redundancies were to be corrected, Gallant says that the cost of Christmas continues to rise exponentially.
“The province has no problem shouldering the burden of a few dollies and toy trains,” he continued, “but with every kid getting an iPhone or an Xbox these days, we can’t expect to put that kind of strain on the taxpayers. Well, this would effectively end our subscription to the services of the Kris Kringle Corporation.
“To put it plainly, Santa will no longer be visiting the province.”
Gallant further boasted that this would bring an end to associated costs as well, such as seasonal decorations and the mailing costs for letters to Santa.
“Any letters we receive from here on out addressed to the North Pole will go — plop! Straight into the incinerator.”
At this time, Allie Austin, a 5-year-old, terminally ill kindergarten student, sauntered her way over to the podium, tripping twice on her undone shoelaces. In her arms she held a Mason jar full of nickels, which looked massive in proportion to her tiny hands.
“Mr. Premier, sir,” she said, once she had reached him. “Will this…koff-koff be enough to save Christmas? “
Clearly touched, Gallant accepted the jar and held it up for the reporters to see.
“Aw, will you look at this. Who ever said kids weren’t willing to do their part?” he said, chuckling. “But no, I’m afraid this won’t even make a dent. We can always use some extra cash in our tourism sector, though. Thanks, sweetie!”
He handed the jar over to an aide and ushered Austin back to her seat. She returned, looking sad and disheartened.