New Brunswick — Move over, camouflaged Alpine cans! The new most sought-after item in the Picture Province is a hot commodity that everyone is fighting to get their hands on — COVID-19 rapid tests. And now they’re exclusively available at local Irving gas stations when you fill up your vehicle*.
Last week, it was announced New Brunswick would be instituting certain restrictions in acquiring rapid test kits due to the increase in demand and the sudden rise of COVID-19 infections, which caused causing confusion and frustration among residents.
“I waited in line for three and half hours,” commented Fredericton resident Mel Stewart, “only to find out that I was supposed to have gotten some stupid voucher and an appointment, which I didn’t have. So I was turned away without a test and have been forced to isolate ever since because I don’t know if I’m safe to be out in public right now.
“I’m guessing this has something to do with Higgs’s relationship with the Irvings,” Stewart suggested. “Didn’t they used to date or something? I’m not sure but I know there’s some connection there.”
Premier Higgs defended the new distribution plan by saying it is completely logical and that Irving gas stations make the most sense for a variety of reasons — and that there is no preferential treatment being given to the Irvings at all.
“Look, we want these test kits to be available to people who need them,” Higgs explained. “And who needs them? Not people without vehicles who obviously have no place to go. So it makes perfect sense to hand them out to those who fill up and are on their way somewhere.”
Higgs told our reporter that his team had discussed several different delivery options, including skill-testing questions, a Willy Wonka-style Golden Ticket plan and an elaborate WebQuest featuring different levels depending on people’s access to fast internet connections.
“I really wanted to go forward with the WebQuest,” Higgs admitted. “But I just couldn’t figure out how to get my cookies working right on my computer, so I dropped it and we went with the Irving thing instead.”
When pressed on the conflict of interest issue, Premier Higgs once again defended the move and assured reporters that there is simply no conflict.
“Listen, we went to Irvings for one simple reason — nobody wants to go into an Ultramar. Have you seen those places lately? They’re dirty, they’re disorganized and they don’t contribute to my campaign fund raising at all.”
*Fill-up must be at 40L minimum and must be accompanied by the purchase of a hot beverage and pack of cigarettes.