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Lord Tries to Get At Least One Ex-New Brunswicker to Move Back

KINDA SLOW RIGHT NOW, BUT IT'LL PICK UP: Premier Bernard Lord waits on Highway 2 at the Quebec-New Brunswick border to welcome returning New Brunswickers moving back to their home province.
Are you from New Brunswick? We're sorry to hear that. Just kidding. Well...not really. If current population trends continue for Canada's Drive-Through Province, there will only be 16 people left in New Brunswick by 2012. Understandably, the provincial government is concerned about this.

That's why if you're a New Brunswick native, (and ONLY if you're a New Brunswick native - if you're not originally from there, then screw off - you're not welcome) Premier Bernard Lord wants you. No, not in a sexual sense - well, we can't be sure about that, but really, that's none of our business. But he does want you in a figurative sort of way. This is because the Premier of New Brunswick is going on a cross-country tour in an effort to lure ex-pat New Brunswickers back to their home province.

Using the slogan "No Longer the Hellhole it Once Was," the Premier's traveling road show hit Ottawa yesterday, and before a room of approximately 20 people (many who weren't there for the free Moosehead), the Premier pointed out that New Brunswick has many opportunities for today's young professional.

"Today's New Brunswick is not the New Brunswick you all fled like lemmings as soon as you turned 18," Premier Lord told the crowd. "It has much more to offer than just call centres and telemarketing jobs - we've got telemarketing supervisors jobs too now.

"Not to mention the numerous new careers and fields emerging in our great province. For example, at the local supermarket in my neighbourhood, the cashiers have been forced to bag the groceries themselves for some months now, ever since that Williams kid went off to university in Alberta. They definitely need another bag boy. Maybe even two.

The trees! The gas stations! And we got a real nice new flagpole in Oromocto now. Come on back! Please?
-Bernard Lord ain't too proud to beg

"And countless positions are going unfilled at the West Edmundston Mall food court as well. How could I forget about that?"

The Premier also drew attention to the more laid back lifestyle in New Brunswick, as opposed to the hustle and bustle of Upper Canadian cities such as Toronto, Ottawa and Smiths Falls.

"New Brunswick offers a slower pace of life than what you're probably accustomed to here. In fact, it's downright lethargic. Sleepy. You could drive through a town in the Miramichi Valley, or, well, pretty much anywhere else in New Brunswick for that matter, and not even know if it was inhabited or not."

And according to the Premier, New Brunswick's arts scene is highly underrated. "New Brunswick's culture and its nightlife is world class," insisted Premier Lord. "We get all of the big shows and musicals that Toronto gets. Like just last week, Honeymoon Suite played two sold out shows at Mike's Tavern in Moncton! And you haven't seen Shakespeare's 'As You Like It' until you've seen the Campbellton Community Players perform it. It opens next month! Get your tickets now!"

Lots of gas pumpin' jobs in New Brunswick!

Fredericton's Becky McJunkins, 25, was on hand as part of the 'Please Come Back to New Brunswick' tour. She was hired by the province last summer as a spokesperson for the campaign. She spoke about her home province as glowingly as one...possibly could.

"I understand why you all left New Brunswick," she told the crowd of ex-New Brunswickers at the presentation. "Really, if I had my druthers, I would be on the first flight back to Vancouver myself, but I got suckered into this whole traveling road show, where I...have to pretend how happy I was to come back to New Brunswick after university. But I actually like living there. It's so...relaxing. And many...Irving gas stations...

"I uh, forget what my point was...."

However, 29-year-old information technology professional Fred Bubleau of Ottawa, who was born and raised in suburban Saint John, went away from the presentation unconvinced.

"Look, it's not that I don't feel an affinity for my home province. I liked growing up there. My parents and a few cousins are still there. If there was something I could find in my field there, I would go back for sure.

"Ah, who am I kidding? The best thing about New Brunswick is the sign that says 'Welcome to Nova Scotia.' I'm so glad I got the hell out of there."


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