Shediac – Desperate times call for desperate measures, and one local man is pulling out all the stops in his job search. “When the bottom fell out of the [lobster] market a couple of years back, I had to make a change,” 46-year-old Serge Martin said. “Me and a buddy tried to get a day cruise business on the go for the tourists for a bit, but it was tough going. The Americans aren’t coming up here like they used to so I had to sell the boat and all my gear last spring. Broke my heart to do it, but it wasn’t worth it anymore.”
Since then, the former lobster fisher has been trying to cobble together a living any way he can, but it has not been easy when many of the jobs available in the province are low-wage, temporary or part-time. “Right now I’m stocking shelves at the Walmart down in Dieppe until Christmas, but it’s not enough to live on with the gas and everything, and I’m going to be out of work again come January,” he told reporters.
With New Brunswick’s unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, Martin knew he had to get creative. “I figure my best bet is to get settled with a lady who’s got some say with the government, since that’s the only way things get done in this province.” Under the username Lobsterman68, Martin writes that he’s looking for a woman between the ages of 18 and 50 anywhere in New Brunswick who has “Liberal connections lol ;).”
In February of this year, Premier Brian Gallant – then the leader of the Official Opposition – introduced a series of bills intended to end nepotism in government hiring and tendering practices once and for all. Increased transparency was also a central part of the party’s recent election platform.
When asked whether he was concerned his plan might fizzle in the face of a purportedly changing political climate in the provincial capital, Martin said, “Oh c’mon. It’ll be a cold day in hell before politicians around here stop playing favourites, don’t matter the party.”
Martin may have a point, as none of the four bills Gallant introduced in February under the banner of “government accountability” made it past second reading.
While he has been able to meet a few women through the site, Martin is not getting as many responses as he had hoped since updating his profile on Sept. 23. “I had coffee with a gal the week before last. She was nice enough, but she’s only got a sister who answers the phone for Service New Brunswick. I’m looking for at least a branch director, or maybe somebody who’s got a cousin that’s a deputy minister. That’d be the best thing.”
Despite the low level of interest from politically influential singles, Martin is not dissuaded. “If this doesn’t work out, maybe I’ll try to find somebody with one of the big consulting companies that gets the million-dollar contracts to try to find ways to save the government money. Throwing around the cash like that, there’s bound to be all kinds of them.”