More Forts For Nova Scotia

Centuries ago in Nova Scotia, building forts became all the rage . Everyone got in on the act. The Brits built forts to keep out the French, who in turn build forts in order to surrender them to the British. Meanwhile, the Scots build forts to annoy everyone, while the Mohawk build one to irritate the Mi'kmaq.

The Americans, too, had fortificational aspirations, but after landing here in 1776, they realised that they had forgotten their blue prints and legged it back to Boston. Only the Mi'kmaq, sensible folks that they are, decided that fort building was an utter waste of time, and put up a couple of casinos, instead.

The Germans, not to be outdone, decided to join the frenzy and founded the aptly named Luenenburg. Problem was, that they totally spaced on the whole “burg” thing, which was just fine, for by that time Nova Scotia was already littered with more fortifications than was considered proper for such a small province.

The result of all this activity is that, today, every town in Nova Scotia is adequately prepared for a good old fashion siege. If the Vatican guard, for example, decides to have a go at us, they’ll be in for a rude shock: even Bedford, proud owners of the aptly named FortSackville, can put up a fight. Sackville, on the other hand, can’t, since they didn’t get even so much as a blockhouse. Still, they have a strip club, which should keep their minds off any invading hordes.

One would think that with so many forts around, tourists would be lining up at our borders to come and have a peek. “Liebchen”, one can imagine a Swiss groom purring to his bride, “ I know that Tunisia has nice beaches and all, but I heard that Nova Scotia has heaps of forts. It’s a perfect place for a honeymoon”. 

Conversations such as these seem to be drying up, however, since as of late visitors have decided to ignore us in droves, forts and all. Given, that everyone in this province owns at least one Bed and Breakfast, the lack of tourists could affect our beer money, a worrying state indeed.

In times of a crisis such as this one, our government springs into action, if by action one means a meeting being scheduled in order to discuss the possibility of organising a conference, during which the feasibility of creating a sub-committee to study the problem at hand will be weighed carefully .

As luck would have it, I actually stumbled upon just such a conference while visiting our provincial parliament, for reasons I cannot recall clearly. It might have had something to do with organizing agrarian subsidies for clam herders, or maybe I just needed to pop in to use the washrooms. Be it as it may, the conference that I inadvertently attended in room C1102, seemed a rather sombre affair. It so happened, that moments before it became known that Rita McNeil had packed-up her tea house and moved her whole operation to Greece. Barefoot singers, apparently are all the rage in the Thessalonica.

It was little wonder, then, that the gathered crowds of bureaucrats and politicians were looking at me in hopeful anticipation. To disappoint them would have been uncivil, so the polite thing to do was to say a few words of encouragement. True, I did not know the first thing about tourism (except,of course, that it involved foreigners of some sort), but I was not going to let this minor detail stand in the way of a great speech. Nova Scotia, after all, depended on me.

“Friends and Bureaucrats” I began, “ We must be proactive when it comes to increasing tourism”. Some applause followed my opening statement and grew louder when I continued by firmly ascertaining that there would have to be a “great shift in the paradigm of tourist-related activities”. 

By now I was hitting my full stride. “ Listen” I proclaimed “ I will give you the heads up: tourist operators must start to think outside of the box “ (more thunderous applause). “ We must become customer centric 24/7 and touch base with our core demographics so as to maximise consumer loyalty “.

By now the assembled crowed could hardly contain their excitement, and all there was left to do was to end my speech with a Churchillian flourish: “Information. Highway!”. These two words brought the house down. Ministers were weeping with joy, hugging their visibly relieved PR flaks. Some MLAs simply broke down into piles of blubbering grey cotton and polyester mixes, an understandable reaction given that I had just single-handedly revived our province's flagging fortune.

It was not surprising, then, that minutes after my speech, I was installed as the new head of Tourism Nova Scotia. Luckily, I had already thought of the solution to lure more visitors to our province: build more forts.


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