Saint John — Back in 2011, a less-than-controversial decision was made to remove the toll gates from Harbour Bridge. Although the general sentiment within the province was “hey, that’s pretty cool,” not everyone was on board with the move, and nobody less-so than he city’s own Harbour Bridge Trolls.
The Harbour Bridge Trolls (HBT) have been diligently guarding the bridge by creating riddles in order to keep the the flow of traffic uninhibited by billy goats and foreign wanderers for more than 50 years. But now, 4 years after the removal of the tolls, the HBT are finally beginning to feel the strain of their reduced budget.
“The City of Saint John expects us to do the same work, but with only half the money, and that just isn’t possible,” said Marblar the Terrible, before grunting loudly, and dancing an enchanting little jig.
According to the HBT’s official website, trollstolls.org, the removal of the toll gates has resulted in a 56-percent slash to their overall budget, with only a paltry $2 million to develop new curses and write original insolvable logic puzzles. The organization is currently the largest employer of trolls in the province, but they say that the cuts have made major layoffs “just a matter of time.”
In an effort to bring this issue to the forefront of the city’s economic plan for 2016, the HBT have rallied several New Brunswick troll unions to help lobby for the reimplementation of tolls on Harbour Bridge. Their efforts led to a hearing before Saint John City Council, which took place earlier today in the city hall building.
Angrothin the Ugly was looking uncharacteristically dapper in his 2-piece suit when presenting his argument to council this morning. After stepping up to the podium, he cleared his throat and sang the following tune:
“We are the Habour Trolls,
Our teeth are full of holes.
The money’s thin,
–Can’t feed our kin
So please bring back our tolls!”
To the disappointment of the HBT, council immediately voted to strike down their request, stating, “The City of Saint John feels that reinstating the Harbour Bridge tolls is not a priority at this time.”
“I really don’t know what more we can do,” said Finnigan the Bloated, shrugging. “That is, outside of kidnapping and eating the first-born children of all the council members.”
The Harbour Bridge Trolls ask that people show their support by posting on the City of Saint John Facebook page using the hashtag #tolls4trolls. They also ask: “What is built by he who doesn’t want it, bought by he who doesn’t use it, and used by he who doesn’t know he has it?”