Fredericton — Said by some to be the most difficult job in the world, New Brunswick tourism officials are under fire once again. Local resident Jeff O’Donnell has asked the question that government officials were hoping would never come up: Why? Why be in this place?
Reception of the new slogan has been mixed since its unveiling in 2008, but it was met mostly with indifference. “I didn’t even know we had a tourism department,” O’Donnell told The Manatee. “Seems kind of counter-intuitive to me.”
The government spent a quarter-million dollars on research, consultation and development of the new slogan, though an inside source close to The Manatee has clarified that the majority of the money was spent on bar tabs.
“We just got the locals drunk and let them complain,” said the source. “One guy from Stanley was bragging about riding pogey for 5 years, and then said, ‘It’s real easy to be miserable when spousal support and unemployment force you to be stuck in this place,’ and that’s essentially where we got it.”
What was once known as the Picture Province, or more commonly the Pass-through Province, has begun taking flak for its slogan, which some people feel is more of an order than a motto. “I’ve always been in this place, though not really by choice, and no one has ever really given me a reason to be here,” said O’Donnell, a lifelong resident of the province. “We’ve got the highest tides in the world, and also the biggest axe, but besides that not much else goes on here.”
Petitions have popped up across New Brunswick with many new suggestions for the provincial slogan, which may not necessarily boost tourism, though residents feel that at least they’re more honest. Leading the charge is “The first step to out West,” suggested by an anonymous Dieppe man who claims to have made his fortune in the oil fields. Not far behind is the slogan pitch, “A great place for lottery winners to retire,” and also, “Come for the beer, stay because you’re snowed in and the plow budget got cut.”
“I don’t really know what else to say,” O’Donnell continued. “I think in one way or another we’re all trying to get out, but in the meantime I think we should just forward all of our tourism money to Moosehead and Alpine, the only 2 reasons any of us have stuck around this long.”