If you are in Fredericton and hoping to enjoy a nice cold glass of tap water, take a shower, or perhaps let your dog take a drink, forget it. Irving now owns the legal rights to Fredericton’s portion of the Wolastoq River.
Arthur Irving bought the rights to the city’s water distribution, whether by tap, well, or flow. Irving did so hoping to find oil in the Wolastoq.
Irving says his idea came in the form of divine intervention while watching his favourite film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971).
“Seeing that chocolate river, flowing like murky gold… It made me think of a few things! For one, I love chocolate – can’t get enough of the stuff. Secondly, I finally realized that the Saint John River had to be turned into a commercialized money machine. Ecological destruction – it’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.”
Irving prefers the 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory because it most closely reminds him of “the good old days,” when “oil barons could do what oil barons were made for – unilaterally profiting off abject human suffering.”
After the completion of an initial development plan, little was done in the way of ecological preservation. Irving sees no issue with the project and predicts the construction of an oil rig to commence in early 2022.
Oil has been extracted from the earth since 347AD. At this time, the Irvings’ ancestors were only just beginning to bargain, offering pieces of firewood in exchange for the rights to benefit from some region’s woodland resources before an Irving ancestor immigrated to New Brunswick. Here they began piece by piece, slowly collecting the rights to all of NB. Nobody was harmed in the process, nature was kept fully intact, and no single New Brusnwicker currently takes issue with the development of Irving Oil™ (Source: www.irvingoil.com, the Telegraph-Journal, all other New Brunswick media that is definitely not owned by the Irvings).
Although nobody truly objected, some wondered why this crazed man worked his horses until they collapsed while drawing logs.
As we can see, the Irvings have a history of maintaining excellent public relations while protecting the land. Hence, Arthur believed it was best to continue his ancestors’ business and exploit more finite resources at the expense of future generations.
When asked what will happen when the oil is exhausted, Irving replied, “What? Expire? Hahahaha,” while signaling for his assistant for a fact check.
While most quintessential oil drilling takes place in the ocean, Irving is purposefully drilling in the Wolastoq River, as close to small-town Fredericton as possible, he tells The Brunswickan. “I want students to see black gold for themselves – in their river, their water, and in the floods that I am almost single-handedly making worse every year.”
“Heck, we see those rigs in the ocean,” Irving stated while in a fit of giggling. “We can just build off of one of those bridges… the Saint John bridge or what have you in Fredericton. No deep waters, no far distances.”
Some of the less critical issues, such as environmental collapse, were of course pushed to the side. After all, in 100 years, none of us will even be alive, right?
Irving discussed how this may affect the Fredericton community: “Yes, oil drilling is associated with numerous potential environmental hazards. Of course, it creates a pollution hazard, and yes, it is known to create health issues. Yes, we know it may reduce jobs in other industries. Oh, and how could I forget, it creates survival risks for platform workers. It has high capital costs for the initial investment. But, we will gain a large return on investment and will raise Fredericton’s economy. I don’t see the issue.” Arthur Iving later asked correspondents from The Brunswickan why everybody was booing. A “kick me, I’m evil” sign was later found taped to the man’s back.
Irving plans to create 4000 jobs within the next two years in Fredericton. Irving has seemingly forgone with the prospect of “payment” and “wages” entirely. “It’s about exposure,” Irving explained. “They should be paying me!”