UnNews:Outgoing Cape Breton Mayor proposes radical plan to combat winter
5 October 2012
SYDNEY, Nova Scotia -- Outgoing Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor John Morgan has proposed a radical idea to prevent the onset of winter. In his final act as Mayor, Morgan has created a work project for the municipality in an effort to both create jobs and prevent winter. Morgan, who says this project will create up to 10,000 temporary jobs, proposes that by painting the leaves of decidious trees green and gluing them to their branches, the visual impression that summer continues will be apparent to both tourists and residents alike.
The project, dubbed Operation Eternal Summer, commenced at midnight on October 1st, the exact time that the leaves began changing colour. Morgan noted that although frost has not occured yet, the shorter days are triggering many trees in the municipality to halt photosynthesis and begin showing their fall colours. Many hardware store owners said this project has been a boon to their businesses. Sales of many shades of green paint has gone through the roof as municipal employees raided local Home Hardware and Canadian Tire stores looking for paint and glue.
Morgan said that painting and gluing are not the only ways he intends on halting the progression of fall and winter. "I am proposing that not only do we give the impression that summer is ongoing but that we actually physically prevent snow and frost from forming in our municipality". When he was asked by reporters how he would do this, Morgan said he intends to create enough heat in the municipality to ward off frost and snow. Morgan has ordered that all municipal residents have bonfires in their backyard from now until Christmas. Doing this will create enough heat to prevent the formation of frost in urbanized areas of the municipality. The municipality will provide burning materials to anyone who needs them. Any residents that find themselves in short supply of burning materials will be provided wood from torn down abandoned buildings and dead trees. Fire-starting materials such as conservative literature, tabloid magazines, and women's publications such as Cosmo will also be provided to help start fires.
Morgan also initiated a boil water order scheduled to take affect on October 15th. Residents have been ordered to pour boiling water down sinks, bathtubs, and toilets, as many times during the day as possible. This super-heated water from over 100,000 residents will drain into the nearby Atlantic Ocean in an attempt to raise water temperatures. Morgan noted that residents will be able to apply for rebates on their heating and water bills as a result of their participation in the project.
Morgan believes this will slightly raise the temperature of the ocean near the shore, melting any snow or frost that forms nearby. Water temperatures are already a few degrees above normal due to unusually warm summer that took place earlier this year. This warm water will raise the air temperature significantly. Because of this, meteorologists are already predicting a late first frost occurring sometime in early November after Halloween. Morgan, however, is not taking any chances, initiating the boil order on the 15th. In past years, frost has struck the municipality as early as September 27th. He believes adding the hot water to the ocean will push the first frost date possibly as far ahead as December. "We know that eventually nature will win out and winter will arrive but by taking these steps we will delay its onset, shorten its duration, and reduce its impact."
The project is very popular with out-of-work Cape Bretoners hungry for any type of employment. New Waterford resident Joe MacGillacutey says he is happy that he will be able to stay home with his family this fall and winter and work on the project. "It sure beats the hell out of freezing my ass off in the Alberta oil patch." Temperatures in Alberta can plunge as low as -70°C and winter lasts from October to April. Wages for the project will be 20 dollars an hour, a low income compared to Alberta but enough to live a life of luxury here in Cape Breton. The average hourly wage on the Island is just 12 dollars an hour, slightly above minimum wage.
Morgan has been criticized by many conservatives for the project, some comparing it to FDR's New Deal in the United States during the 1930s. They are also criticizing the high wages Morgan is paying to municipal employees to carry out this project and the rebates being offered to municipal residents. Morgan believes that high wages and rebates are the only ways to get people on board for this project. He says this will be his final act as mayor before successor Rankin MacSween, also a supporter of the project, takes the reins of power on October 20th. MacSween has indicated he will carry on the project when he takes over until its projected end-date of December 25th. Morgan believes that Operation Eternal Summer will be his crowning achievement as mayor and will restore his legacy after his popular but failed bid to sue the provincial government over equalization pay.
Failed mayoral candidate Cecil Clarke says that his project will cost the taxpayers too much money and plunge the municipality further in debt. Both Morgan and MacSween countered that the amount of money saved from less snow removal, car accidents, and slip-and-falls will be more than enough to pay for the project. They accused Clarke of being a proxy for the Harper government and that a Clarke mayorship would keep the municipality dependent on the federal and provincial governments. "We tried working with the provincial and federal governments and that failed. Then we tried suing them but a conservative judge threw out the case. The only way Cape Breton will survive is for us to stand on our own and be self-sufficient. Depending on higher levels of government failed us in the past and will fail us in the future. I believe that Operation Eternal Summer is our ticket to self-sufficiency", Morgan said in a press release on Wednesday. Morgan also indicated that other benefits from the project could include a longer growing season for farmers and a longer operating season for golf course owners. If successful, MacSween indicated that he is open to repeating the project in following years as well. Whether the plan will actually ward off winter remains to be seen, but both Morgan and MacSween are banking on it.
|This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.|