SUSTAINABILITY

LISA HOPELESS – I’d like to call to order this special meeting of council to decide the fate of Rockslide Green. As you might recall, when this development was first proposed it was to be a model of sustainability, incorporating leading edge technology to create a neighbourhood of the future. Ten years later—the future is here—but Rockslide remains a big empty lot with a chain-link fence around it. I’d like to invite the developer, Tricky Dicky, to the microphone to explain what the fuck happened.

TRICKY DICKY – Thank-you for this opportunity to speak, mayor and council. Admittedly, in our first go-round we were probably overly optimistic in our ability to deliver on some of our environmental objectives. The reasons for this are many. But rather than bog you down in detail, I’d just like to assure you that in the latest incarnation of the project, we have completely abandoned all pretense of sustainability. The new Rockslide is pretty much like any other development, a bunch of densely clustered buildings with a few amenities thrown in for good measure.

LISA HOPELESS – Thank-you for the update. It’s now time to engage the community. Our first speaker is Lucinda.

LUCINDA – Hi guys! I’m Lucinda, but feel free to call me Lucy. I’m here to speak in favour of the new Rockslide Green. I’m a young urban professional—okay, a barista. Currently I live in Langford and have to commute for an hour to get to work. With a little help from my parents—okay, a lot—I’ll just be able to afford a place at Rockslide. They call it a studio apartment, but it’s really no more than a hole in the wall. But at least it’s my hole! And another thing—because I’ll be living so close to downtown, I’ll be able to pogo stick to work most days.

LISA HOPELESS – Thank-you, Lucy. Our next speaker is Grumpy Old Man.

GRUMPY OLD MAN – I’ve lived in Vic West ever since Councillor Curmudgeon was first elected to council.

COUNCILLOR CURMUDGEON – 1896?

GRUMPY OLD MAN – 1895. I got you beat by one year, councillor. I even witnessed the Point Ellice Bridge disaster. But before you go thinking I’m John Adams about to give you a history lesson, let me remind council that Rockslide Green has failed to deliver on almost every single goal it set out to achieve. Not only that, but some of the buildings in the new complex will be fifteen stories high. For a hundred years, I’ve been able to sit in my outhouse and watch the sunset reflect off the Gorge. Now, the only reflection I’m going to see is off the windows of the new condo towers.

LISA HOPELESS – Thank-you, Grumpy Old Man. Next up, we have Chris Planter.

CHRIS – Hi, my name’s Chris. I used to be a bartender at The Local, and I can tell you the tips were a hell of a lot better than what I’ve experienced in my new career as an urban farmer. Last summer I entered into an agreement with Tricky Dicky whereby he would allow me to grow crops on the abandoned lot known as Rockslide Green. Do you know how many zucchinis I harvested? Three. Okay, I’m a city boy. I actually don’t know a thing about farming. But I’m trying, you know? I’d like to thank Dicky for having faith in me—way more than my parents ever did. Once the next phase of buildings go up, there won’t be a lot of green space left over for urban gardens, but Dicky has said he’d be open to me setting up a Mr. Tube Steak cart in the commons area. That’s why I’m here tonight to add my support.

LISA HOPELESS – Thank-you, Chris. Our next speaker is Mr. Artsy Fartsy. Welcome Mr. Fartsy.

MR. ARTSY FARTSY – If you happen to be riding past Rockslide Green on the Galloping Goose, you might notice a rusted boat in the middle of an overgrown field. That’s not a boat! That’s an art installation! Not only has Dicky been a big supporter of the arts community, but the gravel pit has provided a venue for a number of local events. On summer solstice, for instance, we had a thousand people show up to hear President Obama speak. Okay, maybe it wasn’t exactly Barack Obama, but a low-level operative in the Obama administration. He was very impressed with what we had managed to achieve at Rockslide Green. He said it ranked up there with the nuclear arms deal Obama struck with the Iranians. That’s all I have to say. Other than, I love the poetry readings to start council meetings. Peace out, Jeremy!

LISA HOPELESS – Thank-you, Mr. Artsy Fartsy. Our final speaker tonight is Blonde Guy.

BLONDE GUY – Let me be straight with you. I live nowhere near the proposed development. And plan to keep it that way.

LISA HOPELESS – Then what has led you to grace us with your presence here tonight, Blonde Guy.

BLONDE GUY – What better way to showcase some of the attractive amenities offered by the new Rockslide Green than a spokesman who possesses some rather attractive amenities himself.

COUNCILLOR JOE THORNTON – I understand the new proposal contains plans for a playground?

BLONDE GUY – That’s correct, Joe. Unfortunately, due to space limitations, we were forced to axe the slide and swing set. We did manage to keep the sandbox, however.

COUNCILLOR JOE THORNTON – I don’t think I see it on the map?

BLONDE GUY – See the dot right next to the busy intersection?

LISA HOPELESS – Maybe not ideal, Blonde Guy, but at least you tried.

BLONDE GUY – Thanks.

LISA HOPELESS – Does council have anything to add?

COUNCILLOR MADDOG – This project leaves much to be desired . . .

COUNCILLOR COALMAN – And certainly doesn’t live up to the initial hype . . .

COUNCILLOR LUSCIOUS – But it’s too late to turn back now . . .

COUNCILLOR BULLSHIT – So what the hell . . .

LISA HOPELESS – All in favour! What the hell! It’s unanimous!