By Santa Claus, as told to Victor Schwartzman
December 23, 2013
Ho ho ho! Santa Claus here! Christmas is over. Especially in Ontario.
Santa is not happy with the Ontario Government. Nor is Rudolph, one of my reindeer.
When we flew over the Premier’s house this year, Santa was tempted to leave a bag of coal. However, we agree with the Premier that coal is bad for the environment, so instead Santa used his 3D printer to create a biodegradable plastic bag of coal. As for Rudolph, for his “gift” he insisted we hover over her house until he dropped something very unChristmas-like on the roof.
Rudolph was so upset over how the Premier has handled Ontario’s access legislation, AODA, that he felt he had to make a personal statement.
As you may know, he was born with a challenge. He has a red nose, which on occasion glows. It made him look different from all my other reindeer. Some reindeer thought it made him ugly. More difficult, Rudolph’s nose glowed. My reindeer are experts at stealth. No one must see us deliver presents. Unfortunately, they worried that Rudolph’s glowing nose made stealth impossible. He could not be part of the team, or so all the reindeer thought. Santa was concerned.
But Santa had a plan. On one very foggy night, he took all the reindeer up in his sleigh. When we could not find our way home, Rudolph’s nose lit up and provided the light we needed. The other reindeer welcomed him, and with encouragement from Santa saw him as more than a glowing red nose.
Santa is very proud of Rudolph and of how the other reindeer accepted him. Over the years, as he matured, the deer we nicknamed “Rudolph The Red” furthered his skills. We do not like to brag at the North Pole, but his academic papers into the ruling terms of royalty are very impressive. Indeed, when Mrs. Claus questioned a fact in his recent paper, I simply reminded her, “Rudolph the Red knows reigns, dear.”
Be that as it may, you can now understand how excited Rudolph was in 2005. AODA had been proclaimed. Ontario was on the road to providing legal assurance of full access. Rudolph related to that!
But although it all seemed nice, Santa saw warning signs that someone was preparing to be naughty. In 2005, Santa left the Premier what she asked for: pencils with erasers, because she wanted to learn to be flexible about what she wrote down. Then, in 2006, she asked for an etch-a-sketch, so she could learn how to write something and then with a flick of her wrist make it disappear. Santa left her that toy, and in 2007 a disappearing ink pen. But Santa was becoming concerned. The Premier’s requests showed a disturbing pattern.
Santa grew worried that the Premier was duplicating the trend in her Christmas presents with how she implemented AODA. Perhaps she was even learning how to ignore AODA promises through playing with her Christmas presents! That her presents were helping the Premier not to implement AODA!
Santa worried he had become an enabler.
Finally came this year, when there was far more naughty than nice. First, AODA continued to be poorly implemented. Then the Premier missed a deadline to appoint a new AODA reviewer. And then when the AODA Alliance demanded information on how the Government was doing, the Government tried to charge a big fee for the information. When it finally released the information, it showed most Ontario businesses failed to meet deadlines and that the Government had failed to enforce AODA.
That was why this year Santa turned down the Premier’s request for a magic box that makes things disappear. Santa had had enough. So had Rudolph. Waiting for nothing, for nearly a decade, had been demoralizing and tiring, and left Rudolph pooped. Which is why Rudolph and the other reindeer joined in their unusual reindeer game over the Premier’s roof Christmas Eve, and made sure the Premier’s house was also pooped.
For the coming year, Ontario must do better. Santa says stop relying on the politicians. Ontarians have to dig in and do it! Get your garden tools and start to plow the legislature if you want AODA to proceed.
That is why Santa says for 2014: you have to hoe hoe hoe if you want the ho ho ho!
Next: New Year’s Resolutions! Good Luck With That!
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, www.redfez.net. He also contributes a monthly poetry review to the online magazine, Target Audience (www.targetaudiencemagazine.com.), has had poetry and short fiction published (by someone else), and has edited novels.