Last week, a Saint John businessman put forward a revolutionary idea — to relocate the J.D. Irving pulp mill somewhere outside city limits, so the area can blossom into a tourist destination rivalling Niagara Falls.
“The city has an image problem,” said Mark Kensington, who’s leasing the iconic Reversing Falls restaurant, “and a solution would be to relocate the unsightly and stinky pulp mill. The move would drive tourism all year round, and generate substantial revenue for Saint John. And it wouldn’t cost the Irvings any more than they’re already paying for upgrades, especially with all the tax breaks they get.”
While JDI wrote Kensington’s plan off as “unrealistic” and “unfeasible,” they did offer what they believe is a fair compromise.
“We won’t relocate, obviously, but we will redecorate. It’s the least we can do,” said JDI spokesperson Mary Keith. “The old mill has needed some sprucing up for a long time, and Mr. Kensington’s concerns have raised our awareness of that fact.”
A Manatee reporter asked Keith what the redecoration will entail. “We’ll ask JDI employees to haul out their seasonal decorations from their garages… we can’t exactly afford to buy these items outright,” she said. “I was thinking lawn gnomes, tiki torches, Christmas garland, that fake grass people lay down outside camping trailers — whatever, really. Hell, we’ll even slap some posters from famous movies on the outside, so the mill looks cool and current.”
Keith said the company has already commissioned murals by local artists to adorn some of the bleakest portions of the mill’s exterior. “J.D. Irving, Limited, is heavily invested in the artistic community, as you well know. So instead of moving the mill, we’ll have painters draw a healthy, beautiful landscape onto our ugliest equipment. Hopefully this will both help Mr. Kensington feel better AND trick tourists into thinking they’re looking at a flourishing city-scape, not a wood-chip manufacturing facility.”
Kensington claimed this is nothing short of a band-aid solution, but that he thinks he has an oldTitanic poster lying around somewhere if decorators need it. “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, I guess.”