Fredericton — In a scene ripped from the pages of Lord of the Flies, the New Brunswick Legislature has devolved into a state of lawlessness and primitive tribal warfare. Snowbound MLAs, trapped in the Legislature since this weekend’s massive blizzard, have abandoned the system of laws that govern the province and have embraced a constant state of brutal hand-to-hand combat.
It all began on Saturday, when the Legislature was recalled for a rare emergency sitting to pass urgent back-to-work legislation affecting the province’s striking snowplow drivers. As the legislation was hotly debated inside, outside the brutal cold power of the winter superstorm pounded Fredericton. High winds, whiteout blizzard conditions and over 2 metres of snow fell over a 24-hour period.
Once power to the Legislature was lost, the emergency session ended with no resolution. Snowplow drivers voluntarily went back to work to clean up the epic storm while leaving the Legislature un-plowed in retaliation for the strike-breaking legislation. MLAs have been snowbound inside for almost 5 days now, and a state of panic and senseless chaos has slowly taken over.
The government and official Opposition members have devolved into 2 gangs, comprised of 26 and 22 members respectively. With no electricity, communication to and from the Legislature is not possible. A steady stream of live tweets persisted for approximately the first 36 hours of confinement until the smartphone batteries were exhausted. Once out of the public eye, the enemy camps quickly grew vicious. Now lit and heated only by countless trashcan fires, the desolate building is a scarred hellscape of guerrilla warfare.
Considering the impediments to communication from inside, moment-to-moment coverage of the ongoing saga is not possible. However, The Manatee’s embedded reporter was able to file these highlights, scrawled hastily on a roll of single-ply toilet tissue that was subsequently tossed out a broken window in the Upper Chamber.
The reporter described the scene:
- The leadership of the province is now decided by whomever is in possession of the sterling-silver gilt mace. Battles for the mace erupt almost hourly around the clock. Over the past 48 hours, it has resulted in the transition of power between the rivals a total of 18 times.
- Donald Arsenault has been seen patrolling the hallways using a table leg as a weapon, and he has dubbed himself the “Minister of Kicking Ass.”
- A shirtless David Alward can be seen mercilessly taunting Brian Gallant, saying “How about a rematch now, pretty boy?! Come get a piece of Dave!”
- An uncharacteristically aggressive Bill Fraser has become known for his surprise head-butt attacks. After each one he bellows, “That’s how we do it in the ‘Chi, BABY!!!” Every. Single. Time.
- Kirk MacDonald, well known for his blistering and persuasive oratory skills, has developed a cult following of “Kirk-ites,” who intend to break off into their own sect.
- David Coon was last seen near a window in the Legislative Library trying to cook turkey bacon on a solar-powered camp stove, both of which he apparently carries with him at all times.
- Blaine Higgs is using his engineering background to craft weapons and survival gear from the pink brass and crystal chandeliers.
- Rick Doucet is strategizing with a puppet he calls “Little Ricky.” People are being warned not to speak directly to the puppet, or Doucet flies into a rage.
- Trevor Holder has seized control of the spiral staircase and has been hurling objects at challengers like a real-life game of Donkey Kong.
The Manatee’s special coverage of this crisis will continue until someone has the good sense to shovel out the front door of the building.
My favorite article on the manatee so far. Really funny and really frightening. Well done!