|Toronto sewer workers
Lack of benefits cited
Mayor Lastman holds emotional press conference
supporters of Mayor Lastman demand reporters end their 'cheeky' and 'irresponsible'
questions at his press conferences
TORONTO. (NP) In the latest mayoral gambit to prove he is the world's greatest mayor, 500 of Mayor Mel Lastman's relatives were hired to help sort out Toronto's major crisis: cleaning up the city's terrible sewage problem.
According to the mayor, the problem is a world scale disaster because something must be done before the Olympic Selection Committee makes its decision about which major world-class city will host the 2008 games: Beijing or Toronto.
The mayor says Metropolitan Toronto's sewage is threatening to reach to the top of the city's skyscrapers. At an emotional press conference, the hyper kinetic mayor went into a frenzy, tore his frizzy hair and sprayed several media persons who were standing too close.
The mayor blamed the looming catastrophe on Mike Harris and "international conspirators" who "want to turn Toronto into a slum just "like parts of Mexico City or the entire city of Beijung." The crisis needed emergency action he said, and putting his relatives on the city payroll was absolutely necessary though he admitted it was only a part-time solution. He demanded that Premier Harris, "release the billions of Toronto tax dollars that he stole to build a golf course up in Kirkland Lake or wherever the hell he comes from."
One reporter asked Mr. Lastman, "Mel, just how many former lovers did you have?" The mayor was not amused. When he lunged off the platform to hammer the reporter with a microphone he was restrained by his limousine driver and six bodyguards.
When order was restored the mayor promised that the new workers, most of them women and pre-school children, were to be given intensive training teaching them which end of the shovel carries the sewage and how to throw it without getting any of it on themselves. The 500 new workers were standing behind the mayor and one of them, a nine-year old boy who identified himself as a distant cousin of the mayor, revealed to this reporter that he was happy to get the work.
His only reservation was that because he wore leg braces and his right arm was paralyzed, he feared that one arm throwing of the malodorous mixture might get him into trouble if he happened to hit a nearby worker. Since the press conference was still on, I tried to raise the boy's concerns with the mayor. But Mr. Lastman threw me such a malevolent look that I would've been crazy to pursue that line of questioning.
The mayor explained that all the new sewer workers now become full members of CUPE Sewage Union Local #301, a sub union of Ontario Teacher's Union whose members are currently in deadly conflict with Premier Mike Harris.
After the mayor's press conference, the new sewage group held a press conference of their own. Before lifting a shovel the new sewage workers, like their militant teacher union cousins, have threatened to walk off the job. Though all their time on the job counts as overtime at triple minimum wage, they are not satisfied with the terms of employment. According to their leader, a seventy-five-year-old worker of colour, there are only two, two-hour rest periods in their five hour working day.
When asked how a black African-Canadian could be a relative of Mr. Lastman, the woman grew quite testy and told this reporter that she was a Sephardic Jew from Ethiopia and "what else did you f(expletive)ing want to know? For asking such racist questions I could have you charged under The Charter of Canadian Rights and Freedoms, you know."
If readers have any comment on this story and suggestions for less inflammatory questions to pose to Mr. Lastman, please send them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org