So claims a Vancouver Sun headline this morning.
But never fear, children.
You are not in Alberta where the mere sight of a rat sends everyone scurrying to the Guinness Book of Records to rescind the claim that the province has none.
You are nestled smack in the bosom of Vancouver, the world's most progressive city, home to the Chicken in Every Garden Philosophy and originator of mankind's greatest social contribution, Insite, the safe injection place for heroin addicts.
(This is not to be confused with wheeled luggage, which is mankind's greatest scientific breakthrough of all time.)
Just in the nick of time, Vancouver has signed an agreement - by the way, I am breaking this story right here before your eager, worshipful eyes - with a certain gigantic arched hamburger, fries and a coke chain.
Knowing that rats can no easier resist salt, fat and sugar than a teen can do without an iPod, this wonderful new Public-Private Partnership (The Three Holy P's) will see a facility soon open - where else? - in the bustling Downtown East Side - that will offer a Double Cheeseburger, fries and a diet Coke combo - only one a day! - to qualifying rats.
On special days, when Robson Street is closed to traffic and seniors have to hike home to their cute little apartments west of Denman, the Mayor will personally ride his bike across the second greatest achievement in modern history, the Burrard Street bike lane, and volunteer at the new Rat-a-tat-tat safe burger joint.
Knowing that rats will often turn on their handlers and attack their pet fowl, the Mayor will, on these occasions, leave his Rhode Island Hen at home in his backyard.
On days when I despair momentarily for race relations in South Africa, the Pope's handling of pedophilia in the Church, the endless conflict between Israel and practically everyone else, and John Travolta's undying loyalty to Scientology, I need only turn my attention to My Own Town.
Soon there's a new smile on my puss and all is right with the world.
Say...were you going to eat that last fry?