#73 – the Family Irving

Who holds the most land of anyone who isn’t a head of state? Why, an English Canadian family, of course!

The Irving family is Canadian aristocracy, just like the Desmarais are. The Irvings hold more land than anyone save the Pope and a few monarchs, but are practically invisible in Canada because nobody in Canada cares about New Brunswick, the Irving fiefdom. So powerful are the Irvings and their virtual monopoly on news media, oil, forestry, and existence in New Brunswick that only one Premier has ever tried to challenge them. The Irvings sagely responded by printing cartoons comparing Louis Robichaud to Hitler. Because maturity.

When they aren’t out acting like Tea Party members, the Irving family’s oil company has been busy creating a solid nineteen environmental emergencies since 2012 and failing to address overbilling concerns about heating oil. Their forestry division is busy trying after convincing the government to increasing logging in preserve lands in a move that was totally not politically-motivated, you guys. Besides that, they were busy getting a slap-on-the-wrist $50,000 fine for accidentally pumping almost 700,000 liters of green liquor into the waterways, an accident that was such an accident that a search warrant was granted to Environment Canada to look into the company.

But that’s only half of the problem. The other half of the problem, the part that takes the Irvings from merely being shitty to being full-on Canadians, is the thing where they own most of the news media in the province. Of course, news about the many failings of the Irving family doesn’t get out through these channels. Canada actually suggested that the Irving monopoly be broken twice, through both the Davey and Kent Commissions, but both suggestions were clearly heretical and stupid. If you can’t trust Canadian businessmen, who can you trust?

The Irving stranglehold on New Brunswick has obviously seen New Brunswick turn into the envy of the world. Going boldly from cutting trees down to cutting trees down but this time with bigger saws was a massive step in breaking Canada’s complete economic dependence on resources. Irving media control has seen New Brunswick given new voice and a new lease on life by ensuring that nothing creative or interesting as a media entity can take off in the province. A bastion of forward-thinking, world-changing people is the natural result of leaving the Irving fiefdom unbroken. That their family matters are only finally bringing this creaking hulk of a company down is a sad testament to how little Canada cares about actually improving upon itself.

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