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Calls for review of how Vancouver handles winter street cleaning

(Simon Druker, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Critics feel there has been a lack of leadership in Vancouver over the holidays, when it typically snows

One small of bucket of salt is being made available to residents at 10 fire halls

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The salt craze that seems to have taken over the City of Vancouver is drawing a lot of criticism from people, politicians and it’s become the butt of many jokes across other parts of the country.

Now some city councillors are calling for a third-party review of how the city manages street clearing after a major snowfall.

Claiming a lack of leadership over the holidays, NPA Councillor George Affleck says Mayor Gregor Robertson seems to be in denial about how often it snows in the city. “In 2008 he said this would never happen again after we had a huge storm, very similar to this. And it happened again in 2011, he said it would never happen again and now once again in 2017 we are dealing with the same problem.”

Vision Vancouver Councillor Geoff Meggs says staff believed people could be trusted to take only the small amount of salt they should need in an orderly way. “That turned out not to be the case and that’s really regrettable. Maybe we’ll have to re-think this whole thing. The question is also: what could we do to ensure there was a private sector [or] retail supply of salt in the future?”

Regardless of who supplies the salt, Meggs adds home and business owners also need to step up and fulfill their obligation to clear their own sidewalk.

A City of Vancouver bylaw states a sidewalk in front of a home or business has to be cleared by 10 a.m. following a snowfall. You could be handed a stern warning or a fine of up to $250. The city says it has 36 court applications in process right now for those failing to clear sidewalks.