Since nobody was seriously injured in the recent ice bombing fiasco on the Port Mann Bridge, we are willing to admit our first reaction when we heard about it was to laugh. It’s not so much that we’re sociopathic monsters who take pleasure imagining terrified motorists under fire from falling chunks of ice, but more because we always get a perverse kick out of seeing taxpayer money being blown in such egregious fashion. We’re no engineers but it seems that when spending $3.3 billion dollars to build a giant new bridge in Canada, it might’ve been wise to take into account what might happen when it snows, even here in the balmy Lower Mainland.
It’s like when we heard TransLink recently awarded a contract to build new SeaBus ferries to a Dutch shipbuilding company rather have them made here at home. Or when we heard the B.C. Liberals spent $64 million over the past two years on advertising instead of, say, doing more to address the province’s shameful child poverty rate. It’s simply better to laugh than cry.
Sorry, affected drivers, for our lack of empathy over what was surely a stressful experience.
Sorry, Courier management, for wasting company time over the busy Christmas period coming up with things like Apocalypse Pow-der, Ice Truck Killer and Abominable Snowjam as alternatives to the related Twitter hashtag #snowpocalypse.
• A snowboarder miraculously survived three days in sub-zero temperatures earlier this month after going out of bounds at Cypress and, just three days later, another one also had to be rescued, sparking a hefty amount of vitriol from people upset the two put rescuers’ lives at risk. Angry online commentators have suggested everything from severe financial penalties to mandatory minimum sentences and electrified fences along ski resort boundaries to discourage reckless adrenaline junkies from the pursuit.
At the risk of attracting irate letters to the editor, we regretfully admit that not only are we guilty of having committed the very same offence, but could even be described as repeat offenders. We’ve justified the risky behaviour by having previously studied topographical maps, only ever going no more than a couple of hundred metres beyond the ropes and because we figure tragic accidents only ever happen to other people. These are, of course, lame excuses and nothing is worth risking our own and other peoples’ lives, let alone the public shaming that comes with being rescued.
Sorry, North Shore Search and Rescue volunteers, for selfishly taking your services for granted simply because riding in untracked snow is way, way more fun.
Sorry, Cypress Mountain, for disobeying your signs. It’s possible, though, that fewer of your paying customers would seek fresh snow out of bounds if you were to operate the Sky Chair to the summit a little more often.
(This post was first published in Kudos & Kvetches © Copyright (c) Vancouver Courier)