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AODA Failures: Hay Fever or Summer Vacations?

By Victor Schwartzman
June 29, 2015

Recently my columns have been more scathing than usual. The Ontario Government was ridiculing for hiring Uncle Scrooge as the reason it has not spent $60 million budgeted for access. $4 million touted for small businesses turned out to be loans, not grants. And $4 million offered to help high school students who have a disability more easily enter college? Is that enough to even pay for their text books?

It also appears the Government only reacts when media reports embarrass it for example, it did not apparently react to being informed that part of its web access was not accessible. However, when the problem became public knowledge it was fixed.

Between the money and planning there is a pattern of failure. Initially it appeared Uncle Scrooge was responsible. But he was hired by the Government. He is only a scape duck.

Perhaps the problem is summer vacations. Summer vacations would certainly interrupt planning and activities by Ministers and their staffs. Why would the Government plan anything if the politicians would be on vacation? It was a disaster that the coming Pan American Games are summer games.

But that explanation seemed simplistic.

A more likely reason? Hay Fever. Hay Fever might not be your first thought for access failures. Maybe it is on my mind because I have it for the first time, at age 69. I wake in the morning with eyes swampy and glued together. Then I feel like I have the flu for two hours. After half an hour I often retch for a few minutes. This is apparently caused not by my stomach but sinus terrorism. Medications can stop it but then I’m foggy all day. So Hay Fever dominates my life and therefore this column.

None of it made sense. I (and Ontario) needed answers. The Games will start very soon! A scientific approach was required and I knew of one man who had a way to help.

Seth Brundle was a noted scientist who I found still alive on the internet. Fortunately he was no longer Brundlefly but just Brundle. He joked about hackers debugging him. Seth had developed a unique transporter device which dematerialized people or objects and sent them to another location. It would have revolutionized transportation. Unfortunately the device combined his molecules with a house fly and the experiment ultimately failed. He was reluctant to use his transporter again.

“We need to figure out what is happening, and no one expert knows,” I told him. “We need to combine a politician and a doctor, and then transport them into one person. Then we’ll know if it’s Hay Fever or something else! The combined person will know everything!” It took no more discussion Brundle was sold.

To get the information it was logical to use the current Minister, Brad Duguid. He agreed as it would publicize Ontario’s scientific research. But what doctor? We needed someone modern and great at diagnostics. In the end there was only one choice: House. Dr. House’s tv show was still streaming on the internet, and when Seth asked, he was eager for a new case!

We conducted the procedure in Seth’s old laboratory. Brad Duguid and Dr. House stepped into one transporter. The door closed on them, the computer worked, there was a flash and they were gone. I looked at the companion transporter, twenty feet across the room. There was a flash inside and a steamy fog. The door open automatically, and out stepped DuguidHouse.

“What is behind the Government’s ten year access implementation failures?” I asked.

He looked at me and said, “This guy doesn’t have hay fever.” Then he said in a different voice, “Maybe I do!” “Your half of our brain is so perky I’m sick!” “You’re mean!” It went on like that for some time, DuguidHouse arguing with himself. In the end, he looked at me. “I have my diagnosis.”

Both Seth and I waited, excited.

“Lazy.”

“That’s it?” I asked. “The Government’s lazy?”

“Lazy about doing the work, lazy about risking problems with businesses. You could also say it’s gutless.”

“That’s not a medical diagnosis.”

“No, he’s mean,” he replied in a different voice, and that was when we took him back to the transporter and closed the door on him. A few moments and two flashes later and the second transporter opened. Brad Duguid stepped out, followed by Dr. House.

Duguid was smiling. “Thank you! I’ll talk to my staff right away. Of course, right away is September, because it’s summer vacation time.”

Dr. House glared at us. “Never do that to me again. Being cancelled was better.”

Next: Proposal For A Column By Baron Victor Frankenstein Is Rejected On Grounds Of Good Taste According To Hannibal Lecter

Victor Schwartzman has contributed this weekly satirical column to Accessibility News and the AODA Alliance since May 13, 2013. Check out the first nine chapters of his current satirical fantasy novel, King Of The Planet, for .99 on Kindle at http://www.amazon.ca/King-The-Planet-Victor-Schwartzman-ebook/dp/B00NE0CCRC, or for free on Facebook. The unpolished first nine chapters got a “4 out of 5 star” review! He is currently polishing the novel. His graphic novel The Winnipeg Weakly Herald (where each chapter is one issue of a community newspaper) is serialized on the great Canadian lit site, http://www.redfez.net. He has had poetry and short fiction published, has edited novels and his email is vschwartzman@gmail.com.