It’s springtime in Canada, which means everything is coming up roses.
That certainly was the case at this week’s Burnaby city council meeting, where even the stickiest of wickets had a silver lining.
“A good friend of mine has Parkinson’s,” revealed a silver-maned man who, being the near-perfect vocal doppelgänger of Mister Rogers, sat politely in front of the councilors.
“He needs to use an electric wheelchair to get around. To come to my house for a coffee has become kind of a problem. To get to that ramp, he would have to put his wheelchair onto the roadway.”
Mayor Derek Corrigan broke in apologetically. “Let me say to you that, uh, the city of Burnaby takes this issue very seriously.”
“I realize that, Your Worship,” the commenter responded in that kindly Fred Rogers deadpan. “I’m a boomer. As we age, mobility will become more of an issue. We’re getting older every day.”
At this point, someone to his left yelled out, “Mature!”
“Mature, yes! More mature,” the man chuckled. “And better looking, I might add.”
Speaking of older and better looking–
“The report that’s before us is naming the 2016 Outstanding Citizen of the Year,” Councilor Dan Johnston announced. “This year we actually are naming a couple: Jim and Lindy McQueen.”
Johnston rattled off all their volunteer work that made the McQueens mc-qualified for this honor:
- Classic Car Show
- Festival of Lights
- Burnaby Seniors Games
- Edmonds Bike Fair
- Foster parents to 15 moose
- Poutine taste testers
“I think I would call them the lovebirds of the community,” Councilor Anne Kang smiled. “They come out in a pair, they come out as–I don’t want to say this but, Mr. and Mrs. Claus!”
“There is no public event in Burnaby where you don’t find Jim and Lindy. They’re everywhere,” Councilor Pietro Calendino said as a compliment (or perhaps a warning…).
“It’s incredible that two senior citizens–almost as young as I am,” he gestured to his own white hair and beard, “can dedicate so much time to the community.”
Mayor Corrigan subtly nodded. “It’s not often that the award is given to a couple. But in this case, I don’t think you can separate the two.”
Well, the clock is ticking. It’s time to make one more person happy. We’ve got five councilors left, so who’s it going to be?
“I’m just very pleased to see that we’re purchasing $120,000 worth of shade structures for parks for the summer!” Councilor Colleen Jordan eagerly read off the dollar amount with a huge grin. “One of my pet peeves is providing enough shade.”
Not one to sit on good news, Councilor Jordan looked out to the audience and gasped excitedly.
“Especially since one of our members of our Heritage Commission is in the audience, we got a $57,000 grant for our–yes!” she pumped a thumbs up.
“I think that because it was such short notice there might not have been many applicants. But whatever the reason, we doubled the amount of money to celebrate our 125th birthday!”
“It’s like having Christmas,” Mayor Corrigan observed.
“It’s very happy Christmas for everyone!” Jordan threw up her hands and laughed.
Final thoughts: After consulting with the judges, I give Jim and Lindy McQueen 13.41 Canadian stars, which is 10 American. I don’t usually give stars to a couple, but in this case you can’t separate the two.