Fredericton — It was revealed on Feb. 24 that Kevin Cormier, who was appointed executive director of the New Brunswick Public Library Service last week, has no library training or experience whatsoever, other than owning a library card and borrowing the odd snow day Lord of the Rings DVD.
The news, which sparked outrage not just across New Brunswick but also across the international library community, has prompted the provincial government to announce a new hiring initiative: the Cut Requirements, Or No Years of Service program (CRONYS), which will eliminate the need for job requirements and experience province-wide. The program will be rolled out across both the public and private sectors and will allow cross-mobility for workers.
Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder is credited with creating the new program.
“First, I’d like to defend Cormier,” Holder said in a phone interview. “I believe Cormier’s skillset is consistent with the direction successful libraries are taking. I don’t believe it’s necessary for anyone to have relevant experience or education — anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it!
“In regards to the new program: I initially just wanted to level the playing field in an effort to help reduce public contention over the Cormier issue,” stated Holder. “But then I realized it would be a great way to let employees move around, both upward, downward, and laterally, to try out different careers.
“We don’t have the budget to create new jobs at the moment, but we can give New Brunswickers the ability to try something new and exciting, thus increasing the population’s job satisfaction. It’s a retention strategy, really.”
Dr. Bonham, a surgeon at the DECH, expressed excitement over the new CRONYS Program. “My next door neighbour, John, drives a delivery truck for a living. Often, during intense surgeries, I envy John. He gets to drive around, drink coffee, and listen to tunes all day. Can you believe he gets paid for that?! I’d kind of like to move into that role now that I’m getting older, you know? I don’t even care about the money anymore; I just want to zone out and coast.”
Local Service New Brunswick workers were also thrilled about the prospect of switching careers. “We stand at a desk stamping papers under dim lighting for hours on end,” said 23-year-old SNB worker Andrea Phillips. “It’s soul-sucking work. I’d love to have the opportunity to be the CEO of a local Fortune 500 company, if there are any around here. Otherwise, I guess I could settle for the role of a startup founder. That would be a super cool job to jump into, I think. Wait, what’s a startup?”
Working closely with Premier Blaine Higgs, Minister Holder has even devised a plan to deal with the intense competition that will likely ensue following the rollout of the program. He explained:
“Cormier, who was appointed through a Corporate Talent Management Program (CTM), was the second individual to go through that program, myself being the first. It runs in conjunction with our highly successful Refer-a-Friend or Family Member program (RFFM), which we plan to implement alongside CRONYS. Those individuals referred to positions through friends or family will be chosen first for jobs — no experience necessary.”
Premier Higgs released a brief statement to the public, noting that, “in such a friend- and family-focused province, it just makes sense to give all New Brunswickers equal opportunities to try any career, no experience necessary, through trusted friend and family referrals, of course.”
When asked whether elected officials will be eligible for the CRONYS and RFFM programs, a spokesperson for Premier Higgs’s office replied, “Well, off the record, similar programs have been running for our elected officials since New Brunswick entered into Confederation, so no changes will be needed there.”