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Hello! And welcome back to ESI-TV's FuckWitLess News©. I'm your new Anchordog, coyote. Got the job because news anchors are mostly hair and teeth, and us coyotes are, with absolutely no hint of false modesty, all over that hair and teeth thing...

Finally, today's editorial: Our close competitors over at CBC reported that His Civic Baldness, Lex "Larry" Luthor, announced on national radio (Shelagh Rogers, no less...) that Ottawa will deal with the homeless panhandler problem by setting up meters in the Byward Market. Small-scale philanthropic sorts can stuff their change into these, instead of giving it directly to, you know, those pesky homeless. That only encourages 'em. Instead, the city will use money so collected to generously bestow shelter and other basic services upon, you know, those pesky homeless.

There are a few pigeons in the ointment, though. One is that Lex didn't discuss this grand plan with council before presenting it as a fait accompli. Those pesky, you know, councillors, may yet have a thing or six to say about this. Another is that the putative meter plan is a selective tax on the well-meaning stupid. Since it interposes a new bureaucracy between donors and donees, much of the meter money likely will have to go to pay, uh, suits, many of whom already have homes.

Panhandlers -- and, yes, Ottawa has a lot of 'em -- may discomfit more sensitive souls like, uh, Hizzoner. But they have, within bounds, a right to do what they're doing. Just as sensitive souls have a right to refuse them money.

"The homeless" are not a monolithic bloc that can be herded in a single direction. Unless maybe you herd cats. They are individuals. Each has reasons for panhandling that, to him or her, are valid. Many refuse to sleep in shelters, which they regard as unsafe, sometimes with cause. Some aren't going to buy into any city programs. Why would they, when the mayor has a well-documented hate-on for 'em?

Mr. Less Government seems to be back onto his weirdly obsessive attempt to run the city as something other than a civic democracy. He may have bitten off more than he can chew... again. And checks with cities that already ply this scam -- er, scheme -- Denver and Winnipeg spring to mind -- suggest that it doesn't work. Larry's research for many of his hairless-brained schemes seems to consist of a quick Google to see if anybody else is doin' 'em. He apparently skips deeper reading that would confirm whether they actually work.

Maybe, rather than trying to sneak a crummy, ill-conceived little voluntary fee and its accompanying bureaucratic paraphernalia through the back door, Hizzoner might try to negotiate, you know, a council consensus, to have the city levy honest taxes and then use 'em to deliver honest social services. Like it should be.

FuckWitLess News may return the next time Hizzoner says something dumb. I'm guessin' we don't have long to wait. 'Zero Means Zero' ain't anywhere near done with, yet. Thank you. BuhBye!

Fade to black aaaand.... cut! Cue makeup with the Dustbuster! The damn dog is shedding all over the newsdesk...!

1 comment:

zoom said...

I thought you were kidding until I went and listened to the piece on CBC. Unbelievable.