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Ontario Gripped by Access Vortex

By Victor Schwartzman
January 26, 2014

Its coming had been predicted. Steps which could have been taken to prevent it were left untaken. And now it is upon us: the Access Vortex.
Ontarians are just getting used to Polar Vortexes. A Polar Vortex is created when arctic air and other elements combine into a “perfect storm” of sudden bone chilling intensity. An Access Vortex is created by a combination of access animosity and other factors into a “perfect storm” of sudden nothing. Anything related to access immediately stops.

Unlike a Polar Vortex, it takes years for an Access Vortex to develop. Certain conditions must combine in a unique manner over a lengthy period. Those conditions occurred in Ontario, creating the world’s first Access Vortex. Ontario is now a world class leader in access, although not how one had hoped.

How did the Access Vortex develop?

First, access legislation, AODA, was introduced which would force widespread changes through society. This created an initial Optimism Jetstream from community members who worked to get the legislation created, and from all those people who had great hopes for its implementation.

Second, politicians and businesses were irritated by the Optimism Jetstream. When many of them ignored the access legislation, an advection formed which led to an Apathy Front. At the same time, municipalities generated Feeder Bands leading to a formidable Hostile Air Mass. The Ontario Government, through its failure to properly implement the legislation, created a Shameless Invection. Compounding all this was the media’s Fog Of Indifference.

These combined forces badly damaged the Optimism Jetstream, which collapsed. Companies and politicians then created their own Paranoid Precipitation Shaft with the appointment of Mayo Moran, the new Independent Reviewer. An Overshooting Top sucked up the little energy which had existed to implement AODA, and suddenly we had the world’s first Access Vortex.

We all know the devastating impact of a Polar Vortex. Frigid temperatures create destruction to our natural and artificial environments. The best part of a Polar Vortex is that it is short term.

The Access Vortex is very different. It has settled permanently over the entire Province. The minimal progress towards access has stopped. Online access forms have shriveled, which shocked scientists as the forms are digital (think about it.) Any plans by municipalities to create even basic access have stopped. There are rumours that Mayo Moran has new difficulties reading reports and writing, and must take naps.

Scientists believe the Access Vortex has led to an Emo Fogbow and a Don’t Really Care Convective Temperature, creating for access a situation not so hot.

What can be done to disperse the Access Vortex? As important, what actions can be taken to prevent its return?

A first step must be a huge increase in the public’s awareness of or interest in the access implementation situation. This is because one of the most likely ways to disperse the effects of the Access Vortex is through what have been nicknamed WTF? Fronts. A WTF? Front is generated by a community when it realizes there is an unbelievably bad situation that goes against common sense.

If enough community members grow concerned they will generate significant WTF? Fronts. Enough WTF? Fronts will put High and Low Pressure on the politicians and companies involved, and get access going again.

No one wants to rain on anyone’s parade. Our hopes for access remain for clear skies and good weather. Can Ontario weather the Access Vortex? Fail or succeed: time will show whether.

Next: Does It Matter? In Two Weeks I’m Moving. How Come None Of You Are Helping?

Victor Schwartzman contributes this weekly satiric column to Accessibility News nothing in these columns is true except what they are about. His graphic novel (where each chapter is one issue of a community newspaper) is serialized on the great Canadian lit site, He also contributes a monthly poetry review to, has had poetry and short fiction published, and has edited novels. His email is