VICTORIA — A mascot that helped raise a stink about the dumping of raw sewage into the waters off Victoria is about to be retired.
Mr. Floatie was created by elementary school teacher James Skwarok on April Fool's Day in 2004 as part of the spoof organization People Opposed to Outfall Pollution, or POOP.
Brown and more than six-feet-tall, the Mr. Floatie costume resembled his organization's acronym and came to represent the lack of progress on the development of a secondary-sewage treatment plant for Greater Victoria.
Skwarok and his Mr. Floatie character decided to voluntarily step down after the region adopted a plan last September to build a treatment facility by 2020, ending the flow of unfiltered waste directly into the Salish Sea and Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Mr. Floatie is slated to make one of his last public appearances Friday at a ceremony in Seattle to mark his retirement, hosted by the Canadian consul general and attended by Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and area tourism representatives.
The lack of sewage treatment has angered U.S. officials who recently called for a tourism boycott if the region did not stop dumping an estimated 130-million litres of effluent a day into waters between B.C. and Washington state. (CFAX)
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled the last name of James Skwarok.