Seen and heard: puns at the Parks and Environment Committee

April 11, 2018

This week, the Parks and Environment Committee was asked to consider a Pollinator Protection Strategy for the city, including for council to declare the metallic green sweat bee, Bicoloured Agapostemon (Agapostemon virescens), as Toronto’s Official Bee.

Jode Roberts, public relations and communications at the David Suzuki Foundation: … To conclude, I’d just like to point out that this is the first time I’ve been able to take a mic and not fall into a bee pun. So I’m going to end here and let it bee. Hm, that’s sad, I know.

Committee Chair, Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon: You know this committee loves their puns, so get ready. Questions of the deputant?

Councillor Josh Matlow:Thank you so much for the advice that you’ve given us. I wonder, given all the buzz about this project, looking through the recommendations, are there any items that we should hive off, or do you think that would sting?

(laughter, and groans, in the room)

Roberts: Do I have to – ?

Matlow: You don’t need to a respond to a single thing I just asked, thank you.

Roberts: I think that was a rhetorical question, right?


McMahon: Did you wish to respond? Or no, you don’t need to.

Roberts: I’m going to take a pass. I think the plan is comprehensive, and so I’m not going to throw another pun on top of that pile.

McMahon: I think any councillors using puns are required to read the latin name of the sweat bee.

(Matlow attempts the latin pronunciation, off mic.)

McMahon: (Laughs) Good try.