Fredericton — Premier Brian Gallant announced on April 3 that he would be appointing Court of Appeal Justice Joseph Robertson to conduct an independent review to find out what went wrong with this year’s property tax assessments in New Brunswick.
Today, Brian Gallant went public stating that the review has been completed well ahead of schedule and that it found that nobody at all was to blame. On the contrary, the report found Gallant’s entire government to be “totally trustworthy” and “perfect in every imaginable way.”
“We’re very happy and relieved with the results of this review,” beamed Gallant. “We were worried that we might have to hold somebody accountable, or heaven forbid, fire somebody over this whole misunderstanding. That would make things soooooo awkward at our fundraisers.
“It turns out that it was all just ‘one of those things that happens,’ ya know? Just a hiccup, a growing pain, a whoopsie…”
Many had pointed fingers at the premier’s office for “fast-tracking” the new property assessment system, something that the premier insists was not the case. When asked if this review was fast-tracked in the same fashion, Gallant quickly dismissed that possibility, stating, “The review was overseen by an independent Court of Appeal Justice that I appointed myself. I told him to take as long as he needed. I encouraged him to keep reviewing until after the next election, in fact.”
But statements obtained by The Manatee from Justice Robertson’s staffers tell of another side to the story. One staffer who wished to remain anonymous for fear of losing their job stated, “I felt very pressured by the premier’s office to hurry up and to say nice things about them. They only gave me access to Cathy Rogers’ email account, which only had one work-related email in it — the budget speech they’d prepared for her. The rest of them were cat videos and Udacity updates on an intro to accounting course she’s taking.
“So, I finished my ‘review’ of that email, and then Victor Boudreau, who was standing behind me the whole time, grabbed it off of my printer,” the staffer went on to explain. “He said, ‘Done already? We’ll edit this for you,’ and ran out of the room.”
The Manatee attempted to contact Court of Appeal Justice Joseph Robertson to confirm the government’s “fast track” of his review, but his secretary informed us that he was now on vacation at Larry’s Gulch for an undetermined amount of time.