CLEAN SWEEP

Victoria launches innovative cleanup program that attaches brooms to shoes of shuffling old men

Mayor Lisa Helps has surprised many skeptics by delivering on her campaign’s biggest promise since she took office in 2014.

VICTORIA, B.C.—Mayor Lisa Helps has surprised many skeptics by delivering on her campaign's biggest promise since she took office in 2014.

"I said that our large population of older men would be an integral part of Victoria's future and I meant it," she explained. Helps has spent the past three years preparing to launch a pilot program that attaches the head of an industrial-sized broom to the shoes of older men as they go about their day.

"They're practically sweeping the ground as the walk anyway, so adding a broom was a no-brainer," Helps explained.  

The elderly workers will wear reflective safety vests that read "Eat My Dust" on the back and the initiative has already saved the city a million dollars in labour costs.

"We just pay them in Werther's Originals and they love it," said the mayor as she pulled out a handful from her pocket. "Oh, damn. I forgot to pay a few people."

Even former city street sweepers are reluctantly acknowledging the program's success.

"Frankly, the old men are much more thorough than I ever was. Yeah, I still work for the city and make more money now, but that position was so chill!" one worker admitted.

Unfortunately, the program still has some kinks to work out, as the old men sometimes feel compelled to sit on a bench for hours while conducting small talk with a total stranger.  

Many critics worry the elderly men are being exploited simply because they are cheap labour.

However, CBC spoke anonymously to one participant who said, "I don't care because now I can yell, 'HEY, I'm working here!' whenever some idiot tells me to walk like I have somewhere to be."

The success of the program has inspired the mayor to consider putting raccoons in charge of the city's waste management.

"I mean, no one knows more about garbage than raccoons," she explained.

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