'Broxit' referendum in the works

Faced with escalating hydro rates and an unresponsive provincial government, the City of Brockville is secretly planning to secede from the Province of Ontario, classified documents show.

A series of city hall staff reports proposes a radical solution to Brockville’s current inability to gain traction with Queen’s Park on such matters as Hydro rates, interest arbitration and the unfair tax burden placed on craft distillers.

Faced with the prospect of fruitless negotiations with Queen’s Park, the only solution is secession from the Province of Ontario,” the report concludes.

A city hall source, who requested anonymity, said staffers inside the Victoria Building and the Gord Watts Centre are referring to this plan as “Broxit.”

The report outlines two possibilities for Brockville should Broxit prove successful: A new status as Canada’s 11th province or fourth territory, or full sovereignty as the world’s newest city state.

While the latter may seem an unusual idea, a sovereign Brockville would not be the world’s smallest ministate, at least in terms of population: At roughly 22,000, Brockville’s population would still be higher than the sovereign states of Palau, Tuvalu, Nauru and Vatican City.

And that doesn’t even count Westport, if it does its own thing,” the report continues.

The staff report notes that, as an independent city-state, Brockville could quickly reclaim its electricity infrastructure and recreate the Public Utilities Commission, giving it control over distribution and pricing.

The plan also outlines the beginnings of an independent Brockville military, with the Brockville Rifles taking the lead and the Brockville Infantry Company serving as an adjunct branch of the land forces “because their loud muskets really scare people.”

The economy of the world’s newest microstate, or province or territory, would be fuelled by tourism, buoyed by the success of the Aquatarium, the report adds.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that, should the city opt for full statehood, recently retired city economic development director Dave Paul has been tapped to be Brockville’s first ambassador to the United Nations.

There are also unconfirmed reports that disagreement has already erupted between two factions at city hall, representing the city’s north and south ends. The dispute supposedly began when the south-end faction insisted an independent Brockville adopt as its national anthem Brockville Collegiate Institute’s famed “Oskee Wee Wee/Oskee Waa Waa” fighting chant.

The leaked reports refer to another document, which so far remains under lock and key, outlining what political and other steps could be taken to convince the higher levels of government to go along with Broxit.

And yet another missing report outlines the process for calling a snap Broxit referendum “in the middle of summer when people are ornery from not having aircon because their hydro bills are too bloody high.”

Intercepted city hall emails reveal city officials have enlisted the aid of a key British ally: Prominent Brexit campaign organizer and negotiator Lirpa Loof.

Mayor David Henderson, reached Saturday, angrily refused to comment.

The mayor pointedly suggested local media should not concern itself with “fake news” but instead go after “the real criminals: The leakers.”

There was no immediate reply from the area’s two senior government representatives: MP Gord Brown and MPP Steve Clark.