by Jared Tatis
OTTAWA — In a bold move to protect ice zones and glaciers throughout Canada, opposition parties in the Canadian parliament teamed up to pass a bill that bans any further glacial melting within Canadian territories.
“Glacier melting had just gone too far for our comfort levels,” said Ontario MP Dennis Brison. “Too many things were getting soggy, and this C-56 Bill has staved off the self-destruction of our precious Canadian glaciers.”
The bill, which had been introduced nine months earlier by Manitoba MP Diane Byrne, gives glaciers 60 days to cease any new melting maneuvers once the bill becomes a law. The bill, backed by the NDP and the Bloc Québécois, passed 167-106 on Wednesday night. All the Conservatives present voted against it.
The law, to be enacted on March 1, guarantees “all glaciers on the Canadian National Inventory of Glaciers will cease and desist from all transformations, by heat, from solid to liquid states, including dissolving, fusing, crumpling, and softening.”
Researchers at the Yukon Institute of Glaciology will have the task of monitoring all glaciers and peri-glacial areas to ensure compliance with the new requirements. The bill specifies fines and jail terms for glaciers that contravene the law. Glaciologist Jenna Muskett said she had “long wondered why no one had such foresight earlier. The bill makes sense because the net mass balances trip up the dynamics of tidewater accumulation areas during tide-gauge wastage contributions from non-polar ice caps and ice fields, roughly 0.8%, especially during those hilarious near-concurrent surges. You know how those are. Parliament deserves a big thumbs up for its courage.”
Conservative MP Charlie Baird, British Columbia, dismissed the idea that parliament had done anything courageous. “It’s not courageous to protect tens of thousands of family jobs in the glacier industry but ignore Canada’s forest industry. Real courage would protect toothpicks and ice cubes, not just ice cubes. Real courage would also ban plastic. That’s what Canadian conservatives proposed in our Pulp and Ice Transformation Program.” Conservative MPs made a lengthy case against Bill C-56, but the Speaker Peter Mauril argued, “I declare the bill passed.”
Concern about glacial melting grew among Canadian MPs in August, when an ice island four times the size of Manhattan broke off from one of Greenland’s two main glaciers, the biggest such event in 70 years, excluding World War II.
The ice island traveled south across the arctic Biffin Sea and then maneuvered deftly north into Hudson Bay before challenging two Royal Canadian destroyers off the coast of Fort Severn. The HMCS Algonquin and the HMCS Athabaskan both retaliated against the ice island with Mark-46 torpedos and Block IIIA SAMS, and the island retreated before quickly melting in apparent self-pity. “It was a terrible waste of fresh cubes,” said Athabaskan Lieutenant Commander Davie Frechette. “No one wants to witness that sort of destruction, but apparently the U.S. already has something called Manhattan, and we dare not anger the Americans with our own.”
That close encounter with the Canadian navy weighed in the voting of Quebec MP Andre Asselin. “Imagine if that glacier hadn’t been stopped in Hudson Bay? We all know glaciers are much more comfortable on land than sea. Can you imagine the havoc a glacier that size could cause in downtown Toronto?”
The last time such a large ice island formed was in 1962 when the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf calved an island. Smaller pieces of that chunk became lodged inside Nares Strait, blocking nothing of any significance for the rest of the world for seven months. Wall Street rebounded quickly.
With the success of this first ban due to the rare cooperation of two Canadian parties, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois, the alliance is planning future bans on healthcare delays, high prices, and mean people.