The mountain building project shelved during the austere, balanced-budget Filmon era is back on the table after Ben Peterson and Charles Adler’s well publicized conversation on CJOB yesterday. Premier Greg Selinger has struck an ad-hoc committee consisting of himself and the previously named. The mountain will be billed as a monument to Mr. Peterson’s valour but will also address the growing concern of Manitoba’s attractiveness to young people. Mr. Selinger released a statement this morning:
“Ben Peterson’s heroics out by Backloop Point are well known to Manitobans and the laps with Beau in Delirium Dive like he does all the time are very deserving of credit but the recent avalanche rescue is truly worthy of some acknowledgement. I’d like to formally announce a mountain building project that will pay tribute to Mr. Peterson and as an additional benefit entice young people to stay here in Manitoba. Charles Adler and I cannot think of anything more important to young Manitobans.”
The mountain will be built at Victoria Beach, a place dear to Mr. Peterson and a very underdeveloped and poorly capitalized community struggling with some of the most important issues in the Province. The gravel pit in the Sandy Bay area is the specific location. Mr. Adler elaborated:
“We’ve taken a lot of gravel out of that pit over the years so it’s time to put something back into it. Plus there’s lots of gravel still in there that we can use to build the mountain. But here’s the best part – we’ve developed a proposal to find all the earth that was washed away during the 2011 weather bomb and bring that in as well. And obviously we’ll use the material that was famously deposited 60 feet way from Mr. Peterson in the recent slide.”
Publically, the goal is to reach an altitude that will sustain snow year-round but inside sources say Selinger has his sights set on taking out Mt. Robson, Canada’s highest peak. Mr. Peterson has lobbied for the peak to include features such as couloirs, convex rollovers, and environments prime for snow accumulation in hopes that glaciers complete with seracs and crevasses will accumulate within 3-5 years of the mountain’s completion.
With plans in place, Selinger is ready to set things in motion. In a recent interview he explained his early reservations but seemed confident that the necessary factors of production are available:
“I actually asked Ben if he thought I should tighten up my fiscal policy. He said 'stay loose Greg.' So I figure with interest rates at record lows and probably never going up we can afford a sizable provincial bond issue and I’m sure I can get away with a tax hike of a couple points. And there really are a staggering number of poor people and convicts available to build this mountain so Ben, Charles Adler, and I all agree that it’s kind of an easy decision to go ahead with the project in the location we’ve identified.”
An excerpt from an Edward Snowden-leaked email from Selinger to Adler reveals further insight into the motives behind the project.
‘Chuck I think I need a make-work project to boost the economy and gain some power with the people – I mean look at what happened with Germany’s Autobahn project in the 1930’s. And I want a legacy. Take Egypt for example. Like those Pyramids have been there for a long fucking time.’
Political analysts don’t think the leak will be a deal breaker and the Winnipeg Free Press’s comment boards – usually a good indicator of political sentiment - have not been overly critical of Selinger.
Mr. Peterson is certainly optimistic that the project will happen and is looking forward to returning home to Manitoba once it is complete: “I’m just excited to be able to windsurf, snowboard, and take bong hits in my bunkhouse all in the same day.”