ALGONQUIN PARK – Two hikers who had become lost while trekking back to their campsite in Algonquin Park this Saturday were astonished to observe what is now the first confirmed sighting of the elusive and long-rumored Steven Del Duca.
“Well Mike and me were trying to get our bearings when we heard something crashing through the underbrush near-by,” reported Andrew Lambton, “Suddenly this white, bald behemoth comes lumbering out from behind a pine tree before disappearing into a cave down by the river, muttering something about funding retirement homes. I knew we just saw something I had only heard stories about from my elders – Steven Del Duca.”
The hikers captured what is now the only known photograph of the Ontario Liberal leader. Though blurry, the photo does match the various sketchings which have been done by other alleged eyewitnesses, right down to the look of befuddlement as to what he is doing in the current political climate. Further confirming the identity is the stark red Liberal symbol tattooed across the breadth of his naked hide.
Still, some conspiracy theorists are still convinced that Del Duca remains the product of fevered imagination, the result of generations of oral histories designed to make sense of a confusing, chaotic world and also to drum up fundraising dollars. Yet, those same skeptics are at a loss to explain the recent howlings on the winds from the wilderness sounding remarkably like “1% corporate surtax on companies earning more than $1 billion per yeeeeeeeeaaaar.”
“For a long time the cryptid known as Del Duca was the stuff of legend – whispered by backwoods electioneers and the rapidly shrinking pool of supporters of the Liberal Party,” commented Dr. Kurt Montgomery, a cryptopolitical scientist with Queens University, “though some fringe scientists speculated that people might have actually been observing some rare, genetic off-shoot of humanity or perhaps an isolated population of shy Liberal leaders, this is the first real proof that Del Duca does exist.”
With this evidence in hand, Del Duca now exits the ranks of beloved but fictional Canadian folklore figures like Sasquatch, Ogopogo, and the Green Party. Unfortunately, many experts speculate that desperate voters will now attempt to seek out the notoriously timid but gentle beast in a futile attempt to get him to lead the Liberals to an election victory. Authorities are already instructing people to give the politician a wide berth and avoid feeding him, lest he lash out in confused rage and stick them with a $14,000 bill for The Keg.
Interestingly, ia usb key bearing the logo of the Liberal Party was recently delivered to various media outlets, featuring a garbled recording from the wilds. The recording consisted of a low, guttural growl, struggling to eke out words: “Del Duca…. Friend…….. Leave Del Duca……. Alone…… Beat Ford……. Then sleep…….”
In similarly stunning news, Andrea Horwath issued a press release confirming the long-held rumors that she is, in fact, the Congo water beast Mokele-Mbembe.