So, there was this kid who grew up in the wilds of Etobicoke who looked to the distant pastures of the Big City, known as Toronto (or Torrona to some) and, gradually, he became resentful that Torrona had so much to offer while Etobicoke was … well, just an inconsequential municipal appendage of sterile subdivision after sterile subdivision where sparrows and starlings cohabited with the residents; where the highways ran out of town to the rest of Canada and the big, wide world. So Doug, for that was his name (Duggie to his close friends) vowed that, when he grew up. he would take on the world – especially Torrona.
Which he did, becoming the leader of the provincial Conservative Party, then the first Conservative Premier of the country’s largest province since Ernie Eaves in 2003, as he watched the then governing Liberals implode and self-destruct, leaving the political world resembling a moonscape for Duggie to reshape. And why not, for the province needed work. Housing concerns to face, power problems, poverty. But, in a stroke of brilliance, one of Ford’s first pronouncements was – are you ready for this? – to make the Cormorant extinct in the province of Ontario!
Yes, The Cormorant. Phalacroraxcarbo if he’s interested; a beautiful, graceful bird that minds its own business skimming the lakes and rivers of the province while Ford figures out how to run a government. ‘Tis mind-boggling. Hunters would be allowed to kill up to 14,000 birds in a season! Why and where from would a provincial Premier dream up such an outlandish, revolting idea? Was it a slow day in the Premier’s office? Too many awkward questions during Question Period? The drive home too long late at night?
One of the great pleasures of living in this province is being able to go east on Lake Ontario to the Thousand Islands where a wildlife wonderment awaits, depending on the time of year. Marine and regular species of all kinds head there during the breeding season making it one of Ontario’s premier wildlife attractions – including, if you’re lucky, a Cormorant. And you don’t have to go that far; sitting at Monk’s Cove on most days, one can spot the Cormorants skimming the water heading somewhere. And Doug Ford wants to allow ‘hunters’ (as if they hunt) free reign to slaughter as many of the birds they can.
Yes, I’m one of those that find hunting abhorrent. I don’t understand the mentality of a person who can kill for ‘fun’. In distant times when there were no supermarkets to purchase chickens, turkeys, ducks, and food had to be hunted in order to survive, then hunting was a necessary way-of-life. So, I hope the hunters of this world will …. I was going to say, ‘think about the beauty and grace of a Cormorant and don’t pull the trigger.’ in that one-sided moment between life and death. But I know better. Some males of the species have to assert their status and their ‘manliness’ through guns and hunting; killing. Which is very, very sad. Most supermarkets have chicken, duck, turkey for sale; different flavours. Why not be content with that. Oh, of course, if it wasn’t hunted, it doesn’t taste right.
Then again …. maybe they do have Cormorants in Etobicoke, even occasionally in Doug Ford’s garden. Maybe they make too much noise and after a day running the province, too much Cormorant noise is all that he can take. Perhaps he’s never even seen a Cormorant. Which would be too bad. He’s missed a beautiful sight.