Fredericton — City Council has just unveiled a new plan to develop skating trails in Fredericton, similar to those found in Ontario and Quebec. Mayor Mike O’Brien stated that the idea emerged after a recent budget meeting in which city councillors discussed snow removal and sidewalk sanding.
“After a close examination of our 2020 finances, we realized that with climate change leading to longer winters each year, we just couldn’t afford to sand the sidewalks in a safe way anymore. Besides, we need that money to bring in top acts for Harvest Jazz & Blues!”
The mayor and councillors initially proposed a few ideas to keep the city’s sidewalks safe and accessible in the winter on their dwindling budget.
“Councillor John MacDermid had a great idea,” the mayor noted. “He had suggested putting a call out on social media to all snowbirds and families travelling south this winter, asking them bring back jars of sand from the beach. We could incentivize it — in return for sand we’d give out free meals at the Red Lantern Pub for seniors and free Kingswood laser tag passes for young families.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get either business on board so we had to scrap that plan.”
“Then I had a great idea myself — I remembered a trip to Ontario where I saw whole families skating together on skate trails, holding hands, singing, enjoying the outdoors, and I thought, ‘Why can’t we do the same thing here? Just forego the sanding, and voila! Skate trails.’ I brought up the idea to the councillors and they loved it.”
When asked about the dangers of skating down Regent Street, Mayor Mike replied, “No problem! We’ve teamed up with some Keswick farmers and they’re providing us with lots of soft fluffy hay. We’ll put a few bales on the sidewalk just before each intersection to give you a nice soft spot to land. Why, you can even slide down Regent Street sidewalks on your bum, if skating isn’t your thing!”
The sanding will be discontinued starting Feb. 1, to coincide with the reopening of the walking bridge.
“It’ll be great! People can now skate across the bridge to get a beer at Picaroons! Seriously, though, we do have a few rules: If you’re going to push a puck down the sidewalk with friends as you skate, that’s fine, but no body checking into the snowbanks.
“It would be bad for tourism. We want to show those Upper Canadians that we are just as refined as they are. Also, it’s fine to practise some light figure skating, but please, no triple Salchows or Lutzs; the trails aren’t wide enough. And finally, as much as we love our local brewpubs, don’t get hammered and skate home. We don’t want any lawsuits on our hands.”