April 2010 – Goldenrod Part 4 – The Scoop has some predictions

SCOOP PREDICTIONS FOR THE CITY OF TORONTO
1. Ultra vires“, a virus that has already infected many City Departments will spread rapidly to others until the entire municipal government is affected. It becomes rampant and the citizens are left to their own survival. True gardeners will flee the City in groves. Those automatons that conform in every way will inherit the City…or what’s left of it.
2. The City will publish its own dictionary: The Dictionary of Dubious Definitions Vol. II (more City of Toronto terms to confuse and exasperate citizens) If you, as a citizen, were scratching your head over the definitions in the first volume, D3 Vol. I (a.k.a. Municipal Code Bylaws, City of Toronto, rev., ad nauseum), you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. For example, “ult•ra vi•res (ul’tr? vi’rez’): business as usual, in Toronto.”
3. The City of Toronto, “affectionately” known as “Hogtown”, will declare its Official Flower: Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), an up-propriate choice, non-native invasive, tall like the condos lining the waterfront, a.k.a. the condo curtain, with scar-inducing sap. Its umbel, over-shadowing, over-reaching, over-bearing; its lifeblood, a clear fluid, denoting the transparency in government, yet if exposed to the harsh sunlight, will cause a blistering reaction similar to a nasty response by City Hall when forced to reveal documents through the Freedom of Information Act, e.g., selling light poles to Hydro only to have to rent them back. Accordingly, a new bylaw will be drafted: no vegetation, anywhere, is allowed to exceed the height of this behemoth (7 m). Behold! The glorious, Giant Hogweed living high off the Hog-town!
4. To keep Toronto green, clean and beautiful, citizens will be allowed to have only virtual (computer) gardens. (The green is really the envy citizens will display towards their counterparts outside of Toronto who are able to have real gardens). Residential gardens, private or community, will be illegal. An amnesty will be declared in which residents will have to turn in their trowels, spades, shovels, secateurs, loppers, etc. It will be for the citizens’ own good, based on safety, initiated by ML&S in collusion with Parks, Forestry & Recreation, and thoroughly sanctioned by City Hall. The only physical gardens will be public ones consisting of non-native species controlled by Parks. Neighbourhood guerrilla gardeners will be outlaws, sort of like a mob in the ‘hood, growing vegetation on the sly and smuggling veggies and other plants to feed a growing black market.
5. The Police have taken too much heat over race profiling, so will turn to weed profiling, instead. Not much resistance in that camp, as gardeners are a bunch of push-over daisies. Since the Police already have a ticketing system in place, they will add a new revenue source for the City.
6. ML&S will become even more proactive due to mounting city debt, and will bundle packages of violations, much like the phone-cable-cell companies. Bundle a fence exemption with a natural garden exemption, and they’ll throw in an art mural (graffiti) exemption for free. Or for one low price, get three years of hassle-free service with a natural garden exemption, regardless of the number of complaints filed. Bonus – for turning in your neighbour or yourself – a free trip to the next Community Council Meet & Greet.
7. All violators listed on the ML&S Investigation Activity search website will have to wear a patch with a large scarlet letter ‘V’ attached to clothing when going out in public, much like their puritanical equivalent in New England states in the 1600’s (A=adulterers).
8. The City has sold off Toronto Hydro, so in an effort to generate its own supply, Goldenrod will be used as the new energy source. It had already been flagged as the lightning rod for the considerable ire of ML&S staff towards weeds, so it will be installed on the tip of the CN Tower as a test run. Then, G. Rod will be installed on every tall structure in Toronto to give the CN Tower a break from all of the lightning strikes it currently receives. NANPS will invite all ML&S staff to remove the high altitude weeds.
9. To further diversify our energy sources, the wind turbines in Lake Ontario will also be outfitted with goldenrod in a doubling of effort to increase output. Electricity will be harnessed from the lightning strikes, which will also power the props into spinning even faster, resulting in more electricity produced. A wind-wind situation (choose your own combination of pronunciation).
10. In Dystopia, the tyranny of Toronto extends beyond the borders where they encourage other municipalities to slaughter innocent vegetation through Bylaws 447, 489, and 629, making Fahrenheit 451 look like a small cookout. Only reason that 451 doesn’t happen – a bylaw against burning debris in the city…so they’ll just burn through taxpayers’ money instead.
11. The Pan Am games in Toronto in 2015 will have a carbon sequestration event and we will lose miserably to Mexico.