Fredericton to employ Venetian-style gondoliers

Fredericton to employ Venetian-style gondoliers

Fredericton — Pack only what you can’t live without, dig that old poncho out of the closet, and make for higher ground: some sound advice for those who live in the flood zones around the Fredericton area, which seem to be expanding more and more with every passing hour.

The estimated date for peak flood level is being pushed back daily, with the latest suggesting that we’ll see the brunt of the rising waters by Thursday afternoon.

“We’ve still got another 40 days and 40 nights to go!” religious zealot Noah Flanders warned, while being brought into custody for attempting to steal livestock of both sexes from various flooded farmlands in the Keswick Ridge area. While most experts disagree with this prediction, they all still agree that we should prepare for the worst, and if nothing else, then we should adapt.

“It’s certainly not our first flood, and it won’t be our last,” Premier Brian Gallant told The Manatee. “We need to find a way to make the most of it, so I’ve come up with a solution that I think will make everyone happy. We’ve got a, what, 8.2 per cent unemployment rate? How about I cut that in half by building a shit-ton of gondolas?

Gallant was of course referring to the small boats that famously guide people through the canals of Venice, Italy. There is perhaps no more iconic image associated with Venice, and though the boats now operate primarily for the sake of tourism, with only 500 in existence, they were once a matter of necessity, with an estimated 10,000 in operation at any given time.

“The job-creation potential here is out of this world,” Gallant beamed. “We’ll need to have carpenters build the gondolas. Bam — jobs! We’ll need Service NB to outfit the boats with licence plates — more jobs! We’ll hire a marketing firm to promote the hell out of this new service. And bus drivers and taxi drivers who can’t drive due to flooding can just get into gondoliering…is that a word?…instead.”

This radical idea could give Fredericton new life, and perhaps even a new nickname to replace the outdated City of Stately Elms, since Dutch Elm disease all but wiped out the Elm tree population.

“I’m thinking we call it ‘Venericton,’” said Gallant, before pausing, reflecting and exclaiming, “No! ‘Frenice’!”

While a new nickname for the city as well as the official title given to the prospective new seasonal trade remains unconfirmed, it has stirred excitement within the community, especially for those who still have no way to access their homes.

Some of the population remains on the fence about the gondolas, though Gallant is confident that they will be more in favour when he announces that open liquor will be permitted on board.

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