The Tomato

Crosswalk buttons were only the beginning. Photo: CC, Raysonho Via Wikicommons.

Councillor Shawn Menard goes on button removal rampage

Ottawa city Councillor Shawn Menard decided to take pedestrian safety into his own hands last month and removed all of the pedestrian crosswalk buttons from a stretch of Bank Street. It should be noted that Menard did not consult any official board, study, or statistics when making this policy decision, but that he did it out of “sheer desire”. His form of DIY policy decisions should not be tried at home.

“It was so liberating,” explains Menard. “I loved every second of it, peeling back that button was so satisfying. I plan to remove all the buttons in my ward, maybe in all the city!”

Since the eradication of pedestrian walk signal buttons from his ward, Menard has launched an attack on all buttons in general, with no trace of discrimination. The buttons on his office’s microwave, the buttons on all of his clothes, the buttons on his remote control, and the buttons on his home appliances, including his washer and dryer.

A disheveled Menard (see: washer and dryer) has even been spotted on the local campuses, removing trendy buttons from hipsters’ canvas bags. Menard’s vendetta against buttons is unprecedented to say the least.

Menard’s colleagues have come forward with their own complaints. His secretary, Franny Turnbull, claims he’s removed the buttons from her calculator, blazer, and keyboard.

“Keys aren’t even buttons. They’re just keys on a keyboard. He’s not even being consistent,” says Franny. “He’s brought one of those sewing seam rippers to every meeting he’s been to, and has started taking buttons off of people’s blazers and dress shirts without them knowing.”

Menard was caught this past week at the Rideau Centre, in the Hudson’s Bay department store, ripping buttons from blouses. It caused quite a scandal, with the Ottawa Sun labelling him the “button burglar” and the Ottawa Citizen just calling him “problematic.”

Menard made a statement this past weekend on his condition, which he says “is probably an addiction.”

“I just want to apologize to all those I’ve affected this past month with my personal vendetta against buttons. It got to a point where I just didn’t know who I was without it, I thought this was something the city needed and I was wrong. I’ve decided to seek help and fix this once and for all. I’m pushing the panic button.”

He ends his statement with apologies to the mannequins he helped deface, and the weird smell that’s he’s been emitting (see: washer and dryer). His family asks for privacy during this difficult time.