Hopewell Cape — After months of exploration along New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy, oil and gas corporation Apache Canada has reported finds of up to 7.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of Frederick Brook Shale beneath the world-renowned Hopewell Rocks.
“The rocks gotta go,” stated an Apache spokesperson. With tourism down a drastic 56 percent over the past decade and forecasted profit margins from the project in the trillions, the decision was a no-brainer not only for Apache, but for New Brunswick’s premier as well. “Yes, they are a part of our heritage,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “Yes, they’re home to the highest tides in the world, but sometimes you have to step outside the box and realize: they’re JUST ROCKS. It’s time these rocks make like trees and leave.”
After several failed ad campaigns and promotional strategies, Tourism New Brunswick has been in need of something big to put the dwindling attraction back on the map. In 1996 waterslides were attached to the rocks to attract kids, but with a handful of injuries, the makeshift water-park was quickly shut down. In 2002, selling ground-up fragments of the rocks as souvenirs was promptly put to a halt when teens in the Riverview area began sniffing the powder-like substance, hoping for a high.
Marketing manager for the rocks Tera Patrick had this to say about the issue: “We wanted to get the kids hooked on the rocks in a healthier way, so we put our heads together and came up with an idea for cool Hopewell Rocks-themed clothes that the kids would really dig.” Tourism New Brunswick went on to print 200,000 T-shirts that displayed a scenic shot of the rocks with bold letters across the top reading “HOPEWELL” and across the bottom “ROCKS!!!” With only 16 shirts sold, though, there wasn’t much “hope” left for the rocks.
Hopewell Cape native Brenda Steeves has been coming down to the rocks since she was a toddler. “It was the night before Pops passed away,” she recalled fondly. “Just like Dad’s eyes, the rocks had a certain shimmer to them that night … but you know, we need a new bingo hall in town … maybe it’s time we level the friggin’ things.”
Hours after the news broke, protesters began gathering at sea level lighting candles, holding signs and chanting. Some even went as far as to chain themselves to the ginormous Flowerpot Rocks, when an off-schedule tsunami-like tide began encroaching. Hillsborough resident Sheldon Bishop witnessed the event. “They were all down there doin’ their thing when the weather took a turn for the worse. I’ve never seen anything like it. These guys were just gettin’ thrashed down there. The tides were trying to say somethin’ — these tides were angry.”
Spirituality Minister Kasper Kahn commented on the aggressive sea. “Yet another case of man versus nature. Taking these rocks away is like taking a newborn away from its mother. Our waters know what’s up — they’re not stupid. If our stars align, these rocks are likely to stay.”
Apache Canada will be hosting a free pre-demolition luncheon Friday afternoon followed by fireworks in the evening. Families are invited to join in on the fun and say their final goodbyes to our natural wonders.