Fredericton — The provincial power utility may be facing a huge carbon tax bill in 2020 — about six times higher than what they’re set to pay in 2019. Because the federal government is coming down hard on generating stations that burn coal and petroleum coke, NB Power has plenty of reason to worry.
“Eighteen million dollars is insane. There’s no way we can come up with that kinda cash, even if we double all our customers’ bills, which we were planning to do already,” said NB Power CEO Gaëtan Thomas. “Thankfully, we have a massive store of Downtown Dollars in the city vault that no one has ever wanted or needed till now. They’re just like real money; ask anyone! You can use them at bars, restaurants, and other participating businesses.
“If Higgs can’t sort this out for us we’ll have no choice but to use every last Downtown Dollar we’ve got to bail us out,” threatened Thomas.
Downtown Dollars — useful only within certain parameters of Fredericton, N.B. — look a bit like Monopoly money, act like gift certificates, are used mainly for tourism purposes…and most Frederictonians have never heard of them.
Premier Blaine Higgs, though, says he remembers the good old days when his mother would give him a Downtown Dollar or two and send him on his merry way.
“I was ecstatic to receive even one! I would think the feds will be grateful to get 18 million of ’em — they’re valid through the whole of downtown! Maybe now they’ll finally visit beautiful Fredericton like I’ve been asking them to.
“Anyway, if Ottawa thinks they’re too good for our Downtown Dollars, we’ll just have to burn them all for fuel and get by that way for a while.”
According to downtownfredericton.ca, Downtown Dollars “act just like cash and are good to use at any participating downtown business. Downtown Dollar transactions are to be tendered as a cash transaction and proper change given in return.”
“So if they act just like cash, that means we should be able to pay this giant tax bill with them,” concluded Thomas, who did acknowledge that NB Power does not accept people’s Downtown Dollars as payment for home heating bills, and never will.