Fredericton — Brian Gallant’s first months in office have been marked by bold, sometimes unpopular decisions. None, it would seem, so divisive as the premier’s insistence on ordering anchovies on a pizza before government representatives adjourned for their summer break.
Documents obtained by The Manatee show that the legislature attempted to order pizza Friday, June 5, to mark the end of the Gallant government’s first legislative session. Premier Gallant, after dialling the restaurant, on the advice of Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet, declared that the only economically sustainable decision was to get anchovies on the pizza.
Opposition critics fiercely condemned the decision, asking pointedly whether these would be locally sourced anchovies, or if the job of topping the pizza would be given to out-of-province fish. Gallant maintained that his government had made a decision, and since they were making the order and paying the delivery guy, they would decide on the toppings.
The Opposition begrudgingly accepted a compromise, allowing anchovies ONLY if they could substitute salami for pepperoni on the pizza, as pepperoni quote “gives Bruce gas.” Calls from David Coon to split the pizza in half, with half anchovies and pepperoni, half salami, were ignored.
The Manatee was able to track down the employee who took that order. They spoke to us on condition of anonymity.
“I thought, we’ve been on the phone for half an hour talking about the impact of higher anchovy prices on like, seniors or something. Then this is guy whispering something to the premier (who is like, TOTALLY hot, by the way, even his voice is like… wow) sorry? Oh, right, so this guy like, whispers something about the polls and how they like, say New Brunswickers are upset about the anchovies. Anyway, suddenly, it’s all ‘Is it too late to change the order?’”
Back in the legislature, Gallant stated that, despite his earlier insistence that anchovies were a necessary step to get the legislative pizza back on track, his government would not be pursuing them as part of the order.
“It has become clear,” the premier stated, “that our decision to include anchovies has upset New Brunswickers. That was never our intent, and for that we apologize. Our decision to withdraw this policy does nothing to change the very real challenges we face in bringing the necessary salt-and-fishiness to this pizza.”
Opposition Leader Bruce Fitch then requested extra cheese on the pizza. A pitched debate about whether New Brunswick could afford luxuries in this economic climate ensued.
“They were like… yelling stuff at each other,” said the pizzeria worker. “We had so many other customers on the line and I said ‘Sir, if you aren’t going to order, could you please call back when you’re ready?’ And they just kept yelling at each other so I hung up. They never called back.”
The Manatee was unable to confirm what happened afterward; however, a source close to the premier said that Gallant and other members of government were seen sadly microwaving pizza pockets later that night.