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By now we’ve all heard the same old story. Every weekend, hundreds of Calgarians float down the Elbow River and at the end of the river our city’s by-law officers (or those who couldn’t pass the Police Force physical), patiently wait for the rafters to hand them citations for rafting without a flotation device, even though they are ON flotation devices.

It would be foolish to think that municipal government instituted this by-law because it actually believed the Elbow River, at a depth of two to three feet, to be actually dangerous. However, it would be more reasonable to believe that these by-laws exist solely to appease the wealthy that live along the river, who don’t want their backyards disturbed while their maids and nannies are tending to their mansions and their children.

But ridiculous Calgary By-laws are nothing new. Playground zones, round-a-bouts and noise restrictions are as common as vomit on your C-Train seat. But imagine for a second that the city actually instituted by-laws that benefited the entire city, not just those that own “cabins” in the mountains.

It is my privilege to present: Actually useful By-Laws for Calgary, Pt. 1.

1. Crocs shall be worn only in gardens or basements. They are not meant for public settings. They are rubber shoes, where do you think you should where them?

2. Curbside recycling shall be made mandatory and for free. We (the City of Calgary) screwed up on this one about 15 years ago, our bad.

3. Parking Authority vehicles shall not sit outside of apartments and idle their cars for over 30 minutes without good reason. (Yeah, I got your license plate number “Smokey McReads-a lot.”)

4. Calgarians will acknowledge that for a full merge to be successful they will have to move over a lane to let merging cars in. It’s right there in the driver’s handbook, they should read it.

5. Mullets, socks and sandals, and fanny packs shall be punished with Nickelback and/or Jaydee Bixby listening parties.

6. Public city officials (the mayor and aldermen) shall admit that they actually don’t ride the C-Train unless journalists are present.

7. Adults who float down the Elbow River and then actually require some sort of emergency assistance shall pay for it out of their own pockets. If they choose to float down a two-foot-deep “river” and need help, they probably deserve whatever happens to them.

8. From this point forward the City of Calgary shall grow a back bone and stop bowing to the demands of the financially elite residence that are fortunate enough to live near the Elbow River or Mount Royal areas.

Mike Morrison