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October 24, 2005

The Continuing Saga of Mr. Floatie

Following up on last week's post about Mr. Floatie's bid for Mayor of Victoria:

Mr. Floatie's campaign got flushed last week when he was forced to withdraw from the race after being threatened with a lawsuit by the city of Victoria.

And, closer to home, the Seattle-PI's more than made up for snubbing Mr. Floatie in his recent column about Puget Sound's heroes and villians by devoting a third of today's column to our favorite pile of poo:

It would be a misnomer to label Victoria's Mr. Floatie as our region's most colorful civic activist: He is attired entirely in brown.

Mr. Floatie, really a young activist named James Skwarok, is a 6-foot-tall turd with a falsetto voice -- a character developed to protest the city's dumping of raw sewage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The character's initial appearance came at a Victoria-Hillsdale district candidates' meeting in last May's British Columbia provincial election. Mr. Floatie followed up by recently filing to run for mayor of Victoria. The city promptly sued to keep his name off the ballot.

Mr. Floatie was ruled ineligible to run. But the joke is on the Capital Regional District, which has stonewalled action on sewage treatment for nearly 30 years. Mr. Floatie has focused nationwide media attention on Victoria's use of an international waterway as a public toilet.

Canadian politicians are now talking about getting off the pot. Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe promises to seek secondary sewage treatment money from the federal government. Canada's Environment Minister Stephane Dion recently suggested that all cities, including Victoria, move toward secondary treatment.

"I still intend to make appearances during the campaign," Skwarok said by phone.

Somebody ought to give this guy an award.

I'd like to think that my gentle chiding of Joel played some role in getting Mr. Floatie back on his agenda.  But it's probably not the case.  Ah well, let a guy dream.


Posted by Jon Stahl on October 24, 2005 at 08:10 PM in Candidate Races | Permalink


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