Calgary councillors propose updates to city’s snow removal policy following December snow event

Following December’s snow event that saw nearly 26 centimetres of snow fall in Calgary over two days, according to Environment Canada, a pair of city councillors are proposing updates to the City of Calgary’s Snow and Ice Control (SNIC) policy.

Ward 6 Coun. Jeff Davison and Ward 1 Coun. Ward Sutherland are bringing the notice of motion to an upcoming priorities and finance committee meeting on Jan. 12.

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The proposed changes would remove barriers to more rapid responses from the city during heavy snowfall events.

Current policy says snowstorms resulting in heavy snowfall need council to declare a snow emergency to increase the city’s snow-clearing response. The city’s seven-day snow plan has snow-clearing begin after snowfall ends, with roads being cleared in priority order.

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“Many Calgarians are rightfully upset with the city’s snow-clearing efforts following our last major snowfall,” Davison said in a release. “To hear that a bureaucratic technicality limited our snow response is unacceptable.”

Click to play video 'Calgary hit by 20 to 40 cm of snow, police report 75 collisions' Calgary hit by 20 to 40 cm of snow, police report 75 collisions

Calgary hit by 20 to 40 cm of snow, police report 75 collisions – Dec 22, 2020

If approved by council, the notice of motion would “give city administration authority and ability to declare a snow emergency to deploy additional resources on a city-wide basis during significant winter weather events,” with funds added to the SNIC reserves when needed. It would also direct administration to develop a “detailed criteria” for sending more plows into the streets for future significant snowfalls.

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The motion also recognizes that “with climate change, more severe weather events are being experienced” since the SNIC policy was last updated in 2011.

According to Environment Canada, the two-day snow event on Dec. 21-22, 2020, saw the greatest snowfall on those two dates since 2012.

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Calgary wheelchair user immobilized by snow piles – Dec 28, 2020

Updates to Snow and Ice Control (SNIC) Policy to Respond to Significant Winter Storm Events – PFC2021-0097 by Adam Toy on Scribd

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