New Brunswick — The provincial government is currently holding 10 public meetings from Jan. 11 – Jan. 21 around the province to give citizens the opportunity to make-pretend and voice their opinions as if someone who mattered were actually listening to them.
“Unless it’s an election happening, people generally don’t seem to feel like they’re part of the democratic process,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau. “So we thought it would be a fun idea to have some ‘public consultations’ across the province. We’ll have various members of government show up at these events and when someone from the public starts voicing their concerns to us, we’re going to look them in the eye and nod our heads as if we’re actually paying attention. I think people are really going to enjoy it.”
The public sessions will specifically ask those who bother to attend to use their imaginations and rank what service cuts or new fees or taxes they would be willing to accept in the upcoming Feb. 2 budget — as if their input will be given one iota of consideration.
“I think these meetings are a big waste of my tax-dollars,” said Minto man Frank Jenkins. “If people want to play make-believe that the government is going to listen to them, they should do what I do and write them an angry letter. It’s a lot cheaper.”
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Riverview man Gary Lewis, who plans on attending the Jan. 18 meeting in Dieppe. “People usually don’t even bother trying to pretend they’re listening to me. When I start to talk, most people say they have something they need to do or even just walk away from me mid-sentence, so this seems like an exciting opportunity to talk and not have that happen.”
Some questions regarding the bull in the china shop:
QUESTION No. 1: “How does the Gallant government explain the growing wealth of the Irving family amid the growing debt of the provincial government under whose jurisdiction that wealth is being acquired?”
QUESTION No. 2: “Is the government willing to find a mechanism, taxes or otherwise, by which the wealth earned by private users of “crown” (public) lands can be more equitably shared with the owners of those lands: the citizens of New Brunswick?”
QUESTION No. 3: “If the finances of any of our three neighbors (Maine, Quebec, Nova Scotia) are any better than those of N.B., is the government willing to request openly published advice from those governments as to what reforms might be made in New Brunswick?”
QUESTION No. 4: “In keeping with the market principle that prices to the public fall when there is fair competition, is the government prepared to break up market monopolies in the province in any field where the dominance of one company has resulted in a decline in price or service competition in the interest of the public?”
QUESTION No. 5: “Has the Irving group of companies made any suggestions to the government about how to improve government finances and can those recommendations be shared with the public immediately so that we may comment on them during this public process, rather than hearing about them after the consultations are over, when this government most likely adopts those recommendations as state policy?”