LISA HOPELESS – Our next speaker is Homeless Joe.

HOMELESS JOE – Has anyone here ever been to Iceland? Me neither. The cool thing is Iceland has a law that forbids homelessness. Anyone caught outside after nine pm is immediately scooped up by the cops and placed in a luxury apartment.

LISA HOPELESS – I’m not sure that’s exactly how it works, Joe, but there’s no denying the Nordic countries are always one step ahead of us here in North America when it comes to innovative solutions to social problems.

HOMELESS JOE – But don’t forget, Madame Mayor, you also have an innovative program to end homelessness. I was reading in the Times Communist the other day that you’d like to see Victoria adopt a billeting system similar to what was used during the Second World War.

LISA HOPELESS – I’m sure if you talk with staff after the meeting, Joe, we’ll be able to squeeze you in at one of the shelters.

HOMELESS JOE – But I’m not talking about any old shelter, Madame Mayor. I’m talking about your home. The article in the paper said that you’ve been using one of the rooms in your house as an Airbnb. What if in the spirit of neighbourliness you let Homeless Joe have the room instead of a tourist?

LISA HOPELESS – Really, Joe, the article contained a lot of misinformation.

HOMELESS JOE – So there isn’t an extra room that I could bunk down in?

LISA HOPELESS – Joe, I’d love to help, but it’s rather short notice.

HOMELESS JOE – I could weed the garden and feed the chickens.

LISA HOPELESS – To be honest, Joe, you’re not my type.

HOMELESS JOE – But you haven’t seen me washed up! A long hot soak with Mr. Bubble and I can assure you I’ll be smelling like a rose.

LISA HOPELESS – I’m sure you would, Joe. It’s just that I put a high value on my personal privacy.

HOMELESS JOE – Come on, Lisa. We’ll have a grand old time together. I’ve heard so much about Game of Thrones. We could binge watch the series together. Do you like your popcorn plain or with butter? You look like the plain type. But Homeless Joe is sure to fix that!

LISA HOPELESS – Joe, I don’t really have time to binge watch anything. I’m not sure you appreciate just how much work being the mayor of Victoria entails. I often read long into the night prepping for these town halls.

HOMELESS JOE – Really? I always thought you just winged it.

COUNCILLOR JOE THORNTON – Are you okay, Lisa? You don’t look so well.

COUNCILLOR MADDOG – Yes, Lisa, you look like a macaron just went down the wrong chute.

LISA HOPELESS – Not to worry, girls. I’ve just had a brainwave.


LISA HOPELESS – I think I’ve come up with the perfect solution to Homeless Joe’s predicament. What if we used some of the surplus in this year’s budget to purchase Joe a one-way plane ticket to Reykjavik?

HOMELESS JOE – So you want to get rid of me?

LISA HOPELESS – Just think of it, Joe. Once your plane lands in Iceland, you’ll never be homeless again.

HOMELESS JOE – But I love Victoria.

LISA HOPELESS – I suppose we could always invite you back from time to time to report to council on the feasibility of geothermal power.