Starting July 1st of this year, the province will begin selling naming rights to many of its attractions, geographic features and communities.
Forest City — New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant has come close to balancing the provincial budget in a plan called “far-reaching” and “monumental.” Starting Aug. 1, the province will begin selling naming rights to many of its attractions, geographic features and communities.
Speaking from the rural community formerly known as Forest City, the premier, beaming enthusiastically under the weak July sun, explained the plan to a nonchalant crowd. “The selling of naming rights to some of our province’s best-known features is a win-win for all New Brunswickers. It will cost taxpayers next to nothing while bringing in millions of dollars in revenue annually.”
The concept of naming rights is nothing new; large corporate sponsors have put their mark on events such as Molson Hockey Night in Canada and on entertainment facilities including the Bell Centre in Montreal. The Gallant government’s approach will take it one big step further by selling naming rights to parts of the province itself. To illustrate, the premier unveiled a map of the province with big red circles around areas where naming rights have already been sold.
“Here, for example,” he said while pointing to a circle on the Fundy Coast, “you might remember this spot as the Hopewell Rocks. Well, let me be the first to introduce you to the McCain Rocks of Hopewell. And here is the Pizza Delight Tidal Bore. And that big river that attracts frustrated salmon fishermen from around the world — we used to call it the Miramichi, but from this day forth, it will be known as the Irving River System.”
Gallant also revealed that certain communities, Forest City included, will be adopting the Irving name. Nashwaak Village, Boiestown and Forest City are now to be known as Irving Village, Irvingtown and Irving City, respectively.
NDP Leader Dominic Cardy called the moves another example of “Draconian budgetary maneuvering no different than when Frank McKenna tried to sell Nova Scotia to the governor of Maine.”
Citizens in the newly affected communities seemed less concerned, however. “As long as the lineup isn’t long at the Service New Brunswick office when I go to get my licence updated, I don’t give a frig,” said one Saint Stephen man.
Sponsorship opportunities still exist for the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station, St. Thomas University and Charlotte County.