Saint John — Under a state of emergency, Saint John officials have been scrambling to come up with cost-effective ways to get rid of the enormous amount of snow that is engulfing the once-beautiful New Brunswick city. Last week, the Port City saw upwards of 20 feet of snowfall, crippling the business sector, cancelling schools and making life miserable for each and every Saint John resident.
Mel Norton, the city’s mayor since 2012, has proposed a controversial plan of making the snow “somebody else’s problem.” Norton suggested the plan last night at an emergency council meeting, which was held via Skype since residents are still trapped in their snow-covered homes. The Manatee received details from one of the council member’s spouses who was concerned about the ramifications this initiative may have on her friends and family living in Fredericton.
“What they want to do is start dumping all the snow into the falls at high tide, and let it all run toward Fredericton, and just let them deal with it,” she disclosed under condition of anonymity. “Mel said that they have more money and better resources to deal with it up there and that he just doesn’t care about their problems.”
The Manatee spoke with Mayor Norton over the phone and questioned him about these allegations. “Look, we’re in a city-wide state of emergency here,” he said, the sound of dump-trucks and loaders echoing in the background. “We need to look after the fine people of Saint John, and not worry about the feelings of Frederictonians. What’s a little snow gonna hurt them? They’re all city workers up there anyway — they can just take a few more ‘personal days’ off from work.”
Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside issued a statement on his MySpace page about the rumours of Norton’s plan. “If Mel Norton dares to send his problems to our great city, I will simply send them back,” the statement read, all in bold letters. “I’ll use every last one of our resources to pick up that snow, and truck every flake of it back to his doorstep. Bring it on, Mel.”
Residents of Saint John are praising their mayor’s bold efforts. “Mel’s my guy!” exclaimed Winston Murphy of the North End. “He’s got balls — that’s what I love about him. He won’t sit idly by and watch our city suffer while those fat-cats in Fredericton laugh at us.”
Sandra Levi of Fredericton said her heart goes out to those under duress in Saint John. “I’d do anything to help them. Well, not literally anything,” she said, backtracking. “I don’t want all their snow, I guess. Figuratively though, I’d do anything I could to help.”
The Manatee has reporters scouting the banks of the Reversing Falls in Saint John, ready to break the story if the proposed plan goes through.