Sussex — With the plummeting Canadian dollar, stagnant population growth and closure of the Picadilly potash mine, New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant admits, “2016 is not off to a great start.”
Addressing the media and community members regarding the recent closure, Premier Gallant expressed condolences over the loss of 420 jobs at the Picadilly mine. “Losing these jobs will be devastating not only to the local economy, but the province as a whole,” he said, “and we cannot forget about the workers’ families. Really, this is NOT how I planned on starting the year. I’m not sure if even a couple of government-subsidized call centres would get us out of this mess.”
Sussex resident Max Ross agreed it was not a great start to 2016 and also aired some long-term concerns for the next decade and beyond. Perhaps ambivalent to the macroeconomic implications of the falling dollar on Canadian exports, Ross lamented the ever-increasing price of groceries, predicting that we may even see $7 bags of Doritos in local Superstores by the end of the year.
“A bag of Jalapeño Cheddar is already a buck more than it was this time last year,” complained Ross. “Sweet Chili Heat’s next — I just know it.”
Retired millwright John Wilson aired his own grievances. “Where will the terminated or retired workers go? We can’t just head out West anymore. I just had to fly my son home because even Alberta’s drying up. All he had with him when I picked him up from the airport was his carry-on and $78,000-worth of debt for a bunch of toys he bought while he was out there.”
We pressed Gallant for answers about the tangible next steps his government would take to get the New Brunswick economy back on track. “You know, Trudeau is in town — I can get you an autograph,” he replied. “Also, we’re raising the HST.”