I had a dream. Although some might consider it a nightmare, it all depends on your point of view. I dreamt that when I opened my email, I had somehow gotten a GNWT “Important confidential, for your eyes only, destroy after reading, email.” It has been known to happen. The email was one of those intergovernmental missives between departments. It was a summary report for the department of Invasive Species, Homeland Security, Border Protection and Climate Change. The government does like to blame everything on our ever-changing climate, after all. It saves them from admitting past mistakes.
Someone had apparently reported an invasive species. A floating Unicorn, to be precise. Apparently, it had first been sighted in the Yellowknife area several years ago and since then it had proliferated and expanded drastically, in numbers and range. They could now be found in most waterways and lakes in and around Yellowknife. It had also been seen in many of the communities and campgrounds in the North. So, the government for several years was trying to decide on a course of action.
Wildlife said they had done an extensive search of their records, and no one had ever reported seeing, let alone shooting, a floating plastic unicorn. Fisheries reported that they had found the carcass of one on the shore of an island in Great Slave Lake and sent it to Ottawa for a postmortem. So, they could confirm that they were indeed mostly plastic.
The biologists reported that the unicorns scared the ducks and the gulls, and terns didn’t think much of them, particularly when they got close to their nests. They even attacked them occasionally. Someone from one of the communities had claimed they had seen a bear swimming after one that was floating down the Mackenzie River.
Pretty much everyone, agreed that they were an invasive species. However, a department called the Great Unknown suggested that they might be some sort of alien invasion from outer space. Also, Oceans and Fisheries said they had seen a large one with an outboard motor on it so they should also be classified as motorized vessels and should be licensed.
Someone at Economic Development had surveyed the Hunters and Trappers and suggested that if a bounty were placed on them of say $500 a carcass, the local hunters and trappers might consider this enough to stage a territorial hunt for them and try to eliminate them in a few weeks.
Reading through the report, it was obvious the government was a little flummoxed by the whole floating unicorn phenomenon. They weren’t at all sure which government department should be in charge of eradicating these creatures, which were obviously an invasive species, but could a floating plastic unicorn really be classified as a species?
Someone in Finance wrote a twenty-page report that this could be a cash cow for the government if they included all inflatable water toys and taxed them, licensed them, regulated them and issued fines. The Coast Guard wanted them banned as navigational hazards when they got loose. The Water Safety board was going ballistic over their potential danger as was WSCB in case geologists started using them for shore line geological surveys.
Not to be left out, the Aviation department pointed out that some of the unicorns had wings and if the wind was really high, they might become airborne. This meant people should be banned from using them if they were with 25 kilometers from any airport, float base or helicopter pad.
In closing, every department said that more studies should be done and they needed an increase in their budgets to handle the issue properly. That was some doozy of a dream!