Despite there being three weeks left of sunlight before an ominous cloud – shaped vaguely like Doug Ford – settles into place over Ontario, the province has already taken steps to prepare for his incumbency by changing the official flower from the elegant trillium to the graceless novelty of a water-squirting gag flower. And it isn’t all that funny.
“This isn’t the flower you need Ontario, it’s the flower you deserve,” read a succinct missive on the official Government of Ontario website, under the Official Flower tab, complete with a picture of a dopey-ass clown squirting water at a crowd of unimpressed citizens.
In a quirk of website design, the rebellious post will have to remain in place for four years, and – in an even stranger quirk of provincial politics – will stand as an official decree for that entire period. The implications are vast. And not at all funny.
“Yeah. Well for starters we’re going to have to update all of the letterhead,” says Chief Provincial Design Officer Dale Smith, as he wipes his forehead and tries to decide whether to laugh, quit, or cry.
“People are going to be receiving a lot of brown envelopes with little gag posies in the corner, so there’s that,” he adds, casting his eyes around the room, looking like much of the province feels today: unsure where to even start.
“And then I’m going to have to talk to the parks department and tell them to pull up all of the trilliums sitting in front of Queen’s Park. And replace them with the water-squirting ones. Which really isn’t funny.”
The unexpected, but not-inaccurate, update to the province’s official flora, has raised the possibility that a ‘deep state’ similar to the one rumoured to be operating in the United States – and actively pushing back against the carefully tantrumed-initiatives of Donald Trump over the last sixteen months – exists here in Ontario. Only as a ‘deep province,’ obviously.
“Well, the good news is that trilliums, while slow to develop and spread, are extremely long-lived,” says gardening guru Jim Rose. “They can be either sessile, which means the flower sits directly on top of its leaves, or pedicellate, where the blossoms are raised on short stalks. But both types, despite their relatively benign, graceful appearance, are known to be committed survivors, and always come back. Even after the very harshest of unplanned, unnecessary, and needlessly vindictive winters.”