Miramichi — A few months after his inauguration as New Brunswick’s youngest-ever Premier, Brian Gallant is making some big changes. He is officially changing the name of the city of more than 18,000 residents to “The Chi.”
Premier Gallant did not immediately respond to voice messages left by The Manatee; we did, however, receive an email from one of his representatives.
“Premier Gallant was very disappointed with the news of the city changing its welcome sign back in October,” the report read. “The Premier will not sit idly by watching our youth move out west and not do a thing about it. Job creation would be the best thing to keep the people here for sure, but that takes time. What Premier Gallant is doing will only take a few days, and he hopes that it will make the city a ‘hip’ place to live. ‘The Chi’ sounds way cooler than Miramichi.”
Upon investigation, The Manatee has discovered that this change had been proposed as part of Gallant’s official nomination platform, but it was largely overlooked during election time as most citizens were far more concerned with the Liberal leader’s stance on hot-button issues such as shale gas and women’s rights.
Miramichi Mayor Gerry Cormier is not a fan of the proposed name change. “First of all, I think it sounds awful, and furthermore the cost of such a transition could be enormous to the taxpayers. We would have to change so many signs, so many documents. I don’t understand how the premier can possibly think this is a fiscally responsible thing to do.”
The Manatee asked for the opinions of some Fredericton residents. Travis Kelly, a second-year student at UNB, didn’t understand the issue. “I thought that’s what it was called anyway? That’s what everyone I know calls it, so what’s the big deal? You might have to change some signs or whatever, but you’ll be using fewer letters, so you’ll save money in the future.”
Amanda Treehold, a local businesswoman, had a similar opinion. “A rose by any other name is still a rose, right? So it really shouldn’t matter what they call the place.”
“I think it’s a bad idea,” a visibly angry Amy Thornhouse said. “That’s my home, that’s where I’m from. I don’t want to tell people that I’m from The Chi — that sounds so dumb. I’d rather tell them I’m from the city formally known as Miramichi, and that’s what I’ll keep saying even if this whole thing goes through.”
The Manatee will continue to follow this story closely over the coming months to see whether the new premier will follow through on his mandate, or whether he will pander to the less progressive people of Miramichi.