The Tomato

Photo: CC, Alain V via Wikimedia Commons.

Experts, parents, concerned over closure of the skateway

In a historically unprecedented move, the National Capital Commission (NCC) decided to close the Rideau Canal to skaters this past Sunday, citing potential dangers posed by melting ice in “warmer weather”. This marks the first time the typically year-round skateway has ever been out of order in nearly 50 years.

Unsurprisingly, the decision was met with significant backlash from skaters that had planned to hit the ice over the weekend. “I can’t believe they would close the canal on the weekend leading up to March break,” complained Nicole Bellville, mother of two. “I was really looking forward to bringing my kids out and letting them hurt themselves instead of each other for a change.”

“It would have been so nice to just grab a Beavertail and let them harass some strangers for a while, but now I actually have to spend time with them.”

While most skaters were content to simply voice their disappointment and move on, others expressed suspicion of the NCC’s motives for closing the canal. Charles Dominec, an environmental studies student at the nearby University of Ottawa, is one such person.

“I just don’t buy it,” he told Tomato reporters early Sunday evening. “I mean, I’ve been studying environmental science for almost three years now, and I’ve never come across anything that suggested the possibility of ‘warm weather’ in this city. Maybe I’d be inclined to believe them if this were somewhere like Toronto, but everyone knows that Ottawa just doesn’t have a spring.”

Other concerned citizens were quick to echo this sentiment. “I’ve lived here my whole life, and I’ve never experienced this so called ‘warmth’ everyone keeps talking about,” said Eric Gunnerson, a local shop owner.

“Of course, there are always a couple of days in March and April that hover close to the zero degree point, but the NCC are fools if they think that we’re not smart enough to know that the temperature always drops back down soon enough. If those government grunts wanted to close the canal for whatever shady business they’re involved in, they could have at least picked a convincing lie.”

The NCC declined to comment when contacted by Tomato reporters. They have, however, since issued a press release assuring skaters that the canal should be up and running by this time next week, leaving them with plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors and the coming of May’s second winter.