Miramichi — With the highest unemployment rate in the country at a staggering 22 percent, the City of Miramichi has made the inevitable decision to edit their welcome sign to accurately reflect the city’s unfortunate population and economic maladies. At a city council meeting, which was broadcast on channel 10 following Swap Shop on Tuesday night, the councillors made it abundantly clear the new sign will read “Gone to Fort McMurray: Giv’er you’re on the river.”
“We basically needed a way to answer our tourists’ most frequently asked question, which is ‘Where the heck is everybody?’ and we came to the conclusion that this was probably the best way to do it,” explained Brian McCormick of the Miramichi City Council late Wednesday.
Miramichi is a beautiful city, but it has undergone some unfortunate economic pitfalls in the past decade with the closures of several mills and plants, including UPM-Kymenne, formerly Repap Pulp and Paper, in 2006. “The city is aging faster than the bad guy at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark!” shouted Paul Somers of Sunny Corner, who was available to talk to The Manatee’s news staff on his 1 week off from working in the Alberta oil sands. Somers, an apparent Indiana Jones fan, went on to tell us that previous to working out West, his last job was scrubbing the puck marks off the boards at the Miramichi Civic Centre rink and mowing the lawn behind the Lord Beaverbook Museum.
The city plans to implement these changes to the welcome sign before the end of the year. There is also speculation the old signs will be recycled and moulded into canoes to be used for Beaubear’s Island tours in summer 2015.