Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 10.9.11
Stanstead, Quebec


I am running for town hall in Stanstead, Quebec?

A number of people have asked me about a rumour going around that I plan to run for municipal council. If ever there was a time to address such a rumour -- right before the nomination deadline -- this would be the time. It gives me great pleasure, therefore, to confirm today that I have also heard the rumour and that the rumour is, indeed, going around.

Am I running for council? That's a good question, although, like many questions, one must wonder whether it should be asked in the first place. For instance, "Where, oh, where can my baby be?" is a simple enough question but one that might draw the attention of Child Protection Services.

What's important is that we all agree that I would make an ideal local representative, and not only because I know words like "promulgate" and "bildungsroman" and "glottal," which, as you know, are terms used in the sewage treatment industry. They also double as words that can be deployed at your garden-variety ribbon-cutting ceremony.

It certainly makes sense that I would run for council. I have lived in Stanstead for 25 years and been fully awake for 16 of those. My background in journalism and public relations has taught me not to trust a word I say, and you can count on that.

If elected, I would espouse a collaborative approach with my fellow councillors to find solutions that align perfectly with my views. My strong convictions are evidenced in my extensive and well-documented history of hissy fits in professional, volunteer and household settings.

Am I maybe not running for council because my French isn't good enough? Or is it possible I am not considering not running because my French isn't not good enough? You decide; here are some examples of my bilingual prowess:

"If elected, I promise to eliminate 'work sessions' wherein officials hash out matters behind closed doors and later rubber-stamp these decisions at public meetings, thereby preventing voters from seeing which elected officials are effective and which are great big drips."

Je suis une banane avec le gros camion, donc ben voyons, j'arrive sur le porte de poulet et je chante, 'bye-bye mon cowboy.’

"Of course, this is an empty promise, since I am just one voice among six councillors with no significant influence other than unseemly pouting."

Non, je ne regrette René Simard.

Truthfully, my only handicap is that I have a difficulty understanding people when they speak French. However, I also have difficulty understanding English people, so it's fair.

At this point, I should probably address the elephant in the room: the elephant and I are just good friends, and those photographs were clearly taken out of context.

I would also like to be up-front concerning allegations of under-documented pets that may or may not be residing with us at this juncture and at previous junctures and a juncture to be named later.

Two of these alleged pets do not belong to us but are on permanent loan from our middle daughter who thought that kittens were exactly what she needed while her life was in flux. (Flux, by the way, is a lovely suburb of Ottawa but not especially cat-friendly.)

As for the other three alleged cats, a certain animal protection agency conned us into fostering them "temporarily" when they were alleged kittens, knowing full well that we (my wife) wouldn't have the heart to send them back to that euthanasia joint, so we allegedly rescued them from oblivion, but only after we paid to have them neutered, and now they allegedly have a good home, with our weekly alleged purchases of cat food and litter representing 15 percent of the alleged local economy, which makes you realize that instead of being reviled for my not entirely licensed alleged pets, I should be commended (although for something so alleged, they're awfully unallegedly fat).

Not to mention the fact that a few years ago when two of our earlier, fully licensed cats went missing, this certain agency responded with nothing more than a bureaucratic shrug, so forgive me if I'm not inclined to fund an enterprise that provides squat and then turns around and offloads soon-to-be-morbidly-obese cats that are plotting to kill me by waking me up three times a night, thereby promulgating long-term sleep deprivation and shortening my life-span. Plus litter. So much alleged litter.

And that, dear voters, is the kind of substance and hissy fit you could expect from me were I to run for office, which I've heard might be true. But probably not. At least not anymore.