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Thunder Bay residents have to wait for 10 cm of snow to fall on some streets before it's cleared

City council voted down motion to debate changing snow removal requirements on residential streets from 10 centimetres to five centimetres.

THUNDER BAY - This winter, 10 centimetres of snow will still have to fall before most residential streets are plowed. 

A move to halve that amount, proposed last month by Northwood Coun. Shelby Ch’ng was defeated during Monday’s night’s committee of the whole meeting at city hall, was defeated, with only councillors Ch’ng and Larry Hebert voting in favour.

“I am disappointed that we didn’t get a chance to discuss it,” Ch’ng said afterward. “I get that it’s not the majority and it does cost money, but we have issues with snow in Thunder Bay and they are not going away.”

Arterial routes will continue to hold priority and will be plowed once five centimetres of snow is down. 

Ch’ng brought the motion forward following concerns expressed by people living in the Northwood area who have difficulties with snow accumulation and a lack of sidewalks.

According to Ch’ng, elderly people have felt trapped in their homes, families have not been able to get their children to school, and an elderly woman fell and broke her nose.

“These are issues and themes that come out time and time again when we have these snow events,” she said. “We have about six events a year. People are essentially locked in their house if you don’t have access to a vehicle. That’s up to 18 days that people are suffering and I think we should do something about it, but I am at the will of council.”

Ch’ng said she worked with city administration to examine possible options, which could have included a price tag of $600,000.
This is not an issue isolated to Northwood, Ch’ng said, adding she was hoping to have a discussion about snow removal across the city.

“I was hoping this would be an opportunity to discuss some of the issues happening in the city, particularly in some areas of the city where there are no sidewalks,” she said.

The issue of snow removal has not been brushed aside just yet and Ch’ng said she plans on raising the issue again in the future.
“I think I will bring the issue up again,” she said. “I just have to wait for the right time and see whose ears I can bend.”

Doug Diaczuk

About the Author: Doug Diaczuk

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