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Ross Murray's Border Report
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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 06.03.13
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

QC-VT Stanholegate!

The Quebec-Vermont cross-border community here remains reeling as the result of revelations that unraveled recently regarding the seemingly sudden sinkhole situated on a strategic street by the bustling bicultural border, with increasing innuendo that the incident was in fact instigated by intentional international intrigue. And alliteration? Also an accomplice.

So many questions remain unanswered:

  • Who knew the road was about to give way?
  • When did they know it?
  • Did they know they knew it or was it just a good guess?
  • When they thought they knew it, what did they not do and what did they do?
  • Where were they when they first did or did not do diddly?
  • What were they wearing?
  • And would you be caught dead in that thing?
As you'll recall from the extensive round-the-clock coverage provided by a team of podcasters and the author of the blog "I Like to Sleep in the News" -- all of whom, in this columnist's humble opinion, would provide more accurate coverage if they would stop hanging round the clock and actually report from the site -- the sinkhole appeared during heavy rains this past weekend.

Located directly on the border near the bridge connecting Stanstead, Quebec and Derby Line, Vermont, the sinkhole completely halted traffic between these two communities -- except, of course, for all the other border crossing that connect these two communities.

"An act of God," some said. "A darn shame," said others. "The entire bridge collapsed!" said panicky locals who heard it from good authority. "They'll never take our guns!" said the NRA.

But then Tuesday, The Compton Prestidigitator reported that it had witnessed a video showing members of the RCMP and U.S. Border Patrol channeling rain runoff down to the border street with the purpose of accelerating pre-existing erosion.

The paper also reported to have heard an excerpt from an audio recording of the Mounties saying, "This will keep those pesky gypsies out once and for all!" as well as Border Patrol agents chanting, "U-S-A! U-S-A!" for no apparent reason.

Finally, the paper claimed to have briefly eyeballed a cartoon on a napkin depicting Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney wearing a diaper and hacking at the road with a pick-ax.

"The allegations are ridiculous," said Kenney's aide Josh Quinine. "The Minister would never wear a diaper, certainly not in such rainy weather; it would swell right up."

The question now is why did the Prestidigitator sit on this story for three days, other than the fact that it is a weekly newspaper? And can the paper be taken purely at its word? The answer, of course, is of course.

With the Stanstead sinkhole scandal immediately dubbed "Bordergate" by the mainstream media and "Stansinkal" by the clueless media, attention has focused on whether there was a government conspiracy to permanently shut down border traffic between Stanstead and Derby Line.

"There's certainly a pattern if you look at it," said an Immigration insider. "The trick is you have to look through the page, sort of focus your eyes behind the pattern. But enough about these Magic Eye books that were so big in the nineties. As far as the border is concerned, enforcement officials have already installed gates on some border streets, they placed flower pots by the library last year, and this year they put up an automatic barrier on the Canadian side leading out of the country. So why not just try to wash away the border altogether?"

Even if border officials did not actively aggravate the erosion, they remain mum on whether they knew there was a problem and allowed the road to collapse, a possibility based on evidence insinuated in countless Twitter feeds and Facebook updates.

"We do not wash away borders," said Mountie spokesman Gilles Fraprue, speaking in the present tense, which is always a giveaway.

More damning is the allegation, leveled by locals at a downtown diner, that the International Boundary Commission received secret payments from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office in exchange for importing Montreal potholes with alleged ties to the mafia, student protestors, and Jean-François Lisée's latest transparent attempt to mollify the English.

Transports Québec workers this week managed to patch the hole before it caused further damage to the road or bridge. Ironically, the initial erosion was halted when disgraced Canadian senator Mike Duffy passed through the region Saturday and fell into the hole, temporarily plugging it. He immediately claimed it as a primary residence.

Ross Murray's collection, You're Not Going to Eat That, Are You?, is available in Quebec in area book stores and through www.townships.ca. He can be reached at ross_murray@sympatico.ca.

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