Mayor Jim Watson’s doobies on council have come up with a dubious method of solving the city’s rat problem.
Allan Hubley, the Kanata South councillor, chief proponent of the rat cam and always a danger when he wakes up, says he heard about this problem from sewer workers in 2011. The leader of the anti-rat pack says the city can monitor the rat population through video, sure nuff. Where was this high-tech solution in 2011? Did it take Hubley six years to come up with the rat-camera solution? Apparently … yes.
Meanwhile chief Watson doobie, Rideau-Vanier’s Mathieu Fleury, says the city lacks a coordinated approach to rats. Perhaps he will want to heard rats. We’ll need a study. Maybe Fleury could hold a rat consultation. Naw. If the city doesn’t consult with people, how will it communicate with rats? Wait a second! Maybe the same way. Nuthin’.
In terms of technology, Hubley is way ahead of Fleury as befits a representative from Kanata.
Video above: A rat cam for the benefit of Mayor Jim Watson who has never seen a rat in Ottawa. We’re rat-free.
Perhaps all this means is the city will devote one or two employees to watching the rat camera. And if they spot rats, what is there to compare the number of video rats to the number of pre-video rats? The staff report will say that “we’re shocked … shocked … to report that there are rats in our sewers! Round up the usual suspects. Our pristine sewers! It’s an outrage!”
Then legislators and city staff members will get involved. This is dangerous. Will they try to control rat traffic? Will they install rat-light cameras? Will they erect photo-radar cameras where rats tend to breed and raise their offspring? Will the cycling lobby demand rat paths where environmentally conscious rats will be able to travel in safety? Will they put these rat lanes in both directions on one side of the sewer to screw up non-environmentally conscious rats on left and right turns? How many rats will be killed or injured because of this? Then will the local Green party start a Save-The-Rat Campaign arguing that rodents are an integral part of the urban environment? Yoo-hoo, David Chernushenko.
And just a moment. New Edinburgh is getting a sewage storage tunnel. What could go wrong?
Hubley says the rat population might be growing because of the lessened use of pesticides. Memo to Hubley: it takes more than a can of Raid to kill a rat. Test it out on the mayor. You’ll see.
Other dangers abound. Will Watson pose in front of the rat-light cameras with a campaign sign once again never missing a photo-op? Will there be rats running up his pant legs while he holds a little banner that says “No Rats”?
So many questions, so few answers. Perhaps councillors Hubley and Fleury could address the real reason behind a surging rat population. If you bait rats with compost bins and leave out two-week old garbage, guess what? Rats. Ottawa Public Health warned of this. You can look it up.
But then that couldn’t possibly be the reason because the Green lobby backs composting and it was city policy to enact biweekly garbage collection. Hubley and Fleury might be on dangerous ground with this rat initiative. The cause of rats might be councillors’ own legislation. Ooops.
Then what of the rats? Will they start preening in front of the city-operated camera to get their fifteen minutes of fame? Will they consider political careers after they see Watson preening in front of a rat-light camera? Will this give rise to a whole new generation of politically aware rats who will try to run in the next municipal election?
And if the rats seek public office, could we suggest they run in Rideau-Vanier and Kanata South. We hear the incumbents are vulnerable.
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