British Columbia is certainly a progressive province judging by the announcements and initiatives unveiled on April 1 — or has a great sense of humour at the very least.
Billionaire Jimmy Pattison is the new Vancouver police chief and will be paid an annual salary of $1, announced the city's mayor on Wednesday.
"He has several decades of closely watching how money is spent – and he’ll be putting that close watch on criminals everywhere," said Mayor Gregor Robertson in an April Fool's Day press release.
"As the department faces budgetary pressures, hiring another Jim as chief will allow the VPD to save money on new business cards, name tags, and personalized coffee mugs," said outgoing chief Jim Chu.
The city and police weren't the only ones laughing it up. Other police forces and institutions got in on the April Fool's fun too. Check out their hoaxes:
Cherry Picker One
West Vancouver Police
West Vancouver Police unveiled WVPD Cherry Picker One as a new tool to combat distracted driving.
Officers equipped with cameras will be deployed in the aerial bucket for patrols, allowing unobstructed views of any driver trying to use devices in their laps while driving.
The Surrey RCMP were going to start using police cats to search spaces that officers and dogs couldn't reach, based on a successful program in the UK. Unfortunately, the pilot program was ultimately scrapped due to "issues around hairball contamination of crime scenes."
Tree trekking in marathon
Organizers of the BMO Vancouver Marathon are adding a tree trekking component in the Stanley Park section of the race.
Runners will have to navigate about one kilometre from tree to tree using ladders, cargo nets, bridges, tightropes, and suspended platforms before descending back to ground level to complete the final kilometre.
Billionaire Jimmy Pattison will replace Jim Chu as head of the Vancouver Police Department with a salary of $1/year, said the mayor.
The city also revealed that Expo Ernie, the Expo 86 mascot, was actually a policing drone whose work led to the seizure of several kilograms of illegal narcotics.
Texting-free walking zones at SFU
Simon Fraser University launched walking zones where people cannot text for the sake of pedestrian safety.
Students are also being given lights and "N" and "L" signs as part of the graduated walking program.
Coquitlam Crunch escalator
Responding to public request, the City of Coquitlam announced it's building an escalator up the Coquitlam Crunch to eliminate pesky stairs. Also, a giant slide is being considered to help people get down.
City hall craft brewery
The Vancouver Courier reported that city hall was converting its cafeteria into a craft brewery. City Hall Brewing Co. will also offer in-house sausages, homemade marmalades and venison snacks, said the newspaper.
Lululemon Billionaire Applies To Build Floating Helipad
The City of Port Moody announced it will build a new cruise ship terminal at Rocky Point park.
"It's close to the Evergreen line station and will take cruise tourism to a new level," said Avril Dupé, Port Moody's manager of economic development. "We have several world class cruise lines interested in making calls to beautiful Port Moody."
Mandatory inflatable car bumpers
The Abbotsford police have partnered with NASA (The National Association of Silicon Accessories) to install mandatory inflatable bumpers that will eject from the front and right side of the vehicle whenever the left-turn signal is activated.