Fredericton — The governing Liberals say that the possibility of closing hospitals is still on the table, and they invited The Manatee into their offices to prove it. “There it is right there,” pointed out Deputy Premier Stephen Horsman, motioning toward a stack of papers sitting on a table in the conference room. “We went through a list of all the things that we might have to close or cut and we left them all on the table right there.”
The table, which had a vibrant mahogany finish, was covered with documents and empty Tim Hortons cups. “We’re not sure what we’re going to do yet,” he explained further. “So we wanted to make sure and leave everything on the table until we get it all figured out. At first, Brian started cleaning everything up and I was like ‘Hold up there Bri, shouldn’t we leave it all on the table?’ and after a few minutes of arguing he just agreed with me.”
“Yeah, Steve-O was pretty adamant about leaving everything on the table,” assured Premier Gallant. “I mean, I agree with the concept and everything, but it just looks so messy in there. It looks just like Larry’s Gultch after one of our parties — I mean … business meetings.”
Upon examining the stacks of documents left on the table, The Manatee‘s reporter discovered that the Liberals are still considering several possible ways of saving money for the struggling province, such as cutting funding for French programs, turning rural hospitals into care-homes, reducing staff salaries, eliminating taco-Tuesdays or fish-filet-Fridays, increasing the student-size of classrooms and even imposing a do-it-yourself road-maintenance program.
At the time of our visit, Horsman was keeping a close eye on the conference room from his office, making sure there weren’t any cleaning people going in, trying to clear the clutter from the table. “I just think it’s irresponsible to take anything off of the table at this juncture,” confirmed an agitated Horsman. “We owe it to the people of New Brunswick to keep our table full of services that we might cut — it’s the right thing to do.”