Fredericton — Premier Brian Gallant is calling on New Brunswickers to fund a “safe space” to allow the leader to escape accountability from the public and the media, in the hopes of coping with what he has self-diagnosed as “anxiety” related to his role as leader of the province.
“I have anxiety,” Premier Gallant wrote in an email to The Manatee. “Some days, when I wake up, I don’t even feel like rolling out of bed, putting on my khakis and going to the Legislative Assembly. I know people are just going to ask me questions and put me on the spot. I can’t handle that.
“I can’t even…” he added, without elaborating.
The Liberal leader argues he can’t govern properly if members of the public keep disagreeing with his policies, or asking him questions, like why the province’s chief medical officer of health was mysteriously put on leave as she was studying possible carcinogenic effects of a controversial pesticide used by JDI Irving.
Gallant went on to discuss his plans to use taxpayer money to build his own personal “safe space” as an annex to his Fredericton office. The room, he says, would include several large beanbag chairs, a constant stream of soothing cat videos and calming manatee memes [author’s note: no relation to The Manatee publication], freshly baked cookies and adult colouring books.
“I’d like to have at least a trial run,” Gallant said. “If it works out, I’ll look into expanding the initiative and making sure all the special little snowflakes in my cabinet have their own safe space where they can go and recuperate after wrapping up at the Assembly, in case someone brought up a scary idea or line of questioning.”
Gallant went on to explain his efforts to put an end to a new phenomenon he calls “premier-shaming,” which he describes as “public opinion letters, editorials, cartoons and satirical online publications poking fun at me.”
“Besides,” the premier added, “this whole constitutional monarchy thing is just cultural appropriation. We should look into changing that too.”
In a post-scriptum, Gallant asked whether The Manatee could, in the future, include trigger warnings in the subject line of emails containing things like questions or comments concerning his duties as premier — something he refers to as “media-splaining.”