Fredericton — As part of the province’s COVID-19 “recovery plan,” announced today, Premier Blaine Higgs announced a bold new initiative to help stimulate the economy.
“The first step to our economic recovery is to make shrewd and judicious use of our provincial resources,” he told the press, at a sparsely attended briefing earlier this morning. “That is why I am announcing my plan to inject every New Brunswicker with 50 ccs of crude Irving oil.”
Higgs explained that while the one-time injection is mandatory, it will come at no extra cost to citizens, as it has “already been paid for with your tax dollars.” Although, he added, if you wanted an unused syringe, there would be a $2 fee.
Although the plan seems to echo U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion that perhaps injecting disinfectant would help prevent the spread of coronavirus, Higgs is adamant that the idea came “straight from my own, uh, head…cabinet…thing. Brain! It came from my own brain.”
He further asserted that he wasn’t influenced by any form of lobbying on behalf of the Irving corporation.
“I don’t need to be told what Irving wants for this province,” he said, firmly. “I already know, instinctively.”
He did, however, maintain that the company remains the economic centre of New Brunswick. Nevertheless, he said that the fiscal heath of the company is only a “percentage” of his main concern at this time (roughly 86 percent, by most estimates).
“The health and safety of our citizens is also a top priority,” he said, gesturing to a slide indicating that it falls somewhere between their 4th and 8th priorities. “That is why we are infusing the oil with disinfectant materials. Here to explain is Damon Singly.”
At this point, he handed the podium over to Singly, a representative of Irving Oil who pointed out that the company had recently bought the vast majority of the supplies used to make hand sanitizer in the province. Their plan, he said, was to toss all of those supplies directly into their oil reserves.
“And this will help protect us from the spread of coronavirus?” asked a reporter from Global News.
“I mean, maybe,” said Singly, with a shrug.