Campbell River doesn’t get as much snow as most of Canada, but when we do, the public sure likes to talk about how the city deals with it. On Monday, we gave the candidates in the upcoming election the chance to chime in, as well. Mirror File Photo

Campbell River candidates shovel their way through snow removal question

How do the candidates feel about the city’s current snow removal policies and what would they change?

Campbell River doesn’t get a ton of snow compared to many places in Canada, but when it does the public certainly likes to chime in about how the city deals with its removal.

So at Monday night’s all-candidates forum, the Mirror gave the candidates in the upcoming civic election a chance to chime in on it as well.

Charlie Cornfield says that snow removal is a tricky thing to budget for, considering the wildly-variable winter seasons we see here, but he thinks the city does a pretty good job, all things considered.

“We used to have a lot more snow removal equipment, but at the request of the taxpayers association, that was reduced,” Cornfield says. “We now have what I think is a good snow removal – or at least snow management – system.

“It prioritizes bus routes, the hospital, ambulance, fire, police and steep hills. Generally, that system works extremely well and it’s one that we can afford,” adding that during extreme snowfall events where the city’s system can’t keep up, we need to look after each other and help each other out as “good neighbours.”

Kermit Dahl agrees the city does a lot with very little, but says he’d still like to see some changes to a few things.

“I think if we look at the average snowfall we get each year over the last 20 years, they do an amazing job considering how much equipment they’ve got,” but adds, “there are certainly improvements that can be made in terms of technique – some education for some of the plow operators would help. Going backwards around a cul-de-sac and pushing it into the centre is a lot nicer for the people in the cul-de-sac than going around it the proper way and pushing it all into their driveway.”

Colleen Evans says one of the keys is communication with the public.

“People want to know when the plows are coming through,” she says, “so last year we set up a website and a phone number you could call to find that out, and I think that was a great enhancement and I hope we’ll continue that.”

Ron Kerr says he knows the community’s frustration all too well.

“I live on a hill and during that extreme snowfall we had, it took me three days to get out. Being a city councilor didn’t help,” he says, echoing earlier candidates calls for people to help each other out. “It’s certainly challenging for shut-ins and seniors and families with children to get about. Neighbours need to work together. In my neighbourhood we had a guy with a little excavator. I think he did a little bit of damage,” he adds with a laugh, “but he did move some snow around.”

Marlene Wright says that in being as conservative as they can in creating the snow removal budget, “to be responsible with the tax payers’ money,” it sometimes works against the city during years where more snowfall occurs, “but I do feel that the staff does the best they can with what’s available.”

Michele Babchuk says that extreme snowfall events are going to become more frequent as the planet warms, “and I believe that we do a good job with our streets … but I feel like after it’s snowed and then rained and then iced up and then snowed, and the plows come along and push that concrete ice up onto the sidewalk and into your driveway, it’s almost impossible for anyone to get it out of there,” adding that in some places, it’s actually illegal to plow snow into a driveway. Instead, pushing snow into the middle of the street “actually creates a safety barrier between cars coming down hills, believe it or not.”

Allan Buxton says new ideas are needed.

“What if you could come down to City Hall and we gave out bright neon placards to put in your window that says, ‘I can’t shovel my driveway,’ so when the city plow comes along and sees the placard, they take 20 or 25 seconds to back up and plow your driveway out? It’s not going to be for everybody, but it’s an idea. I’m all about ideas and I’m all about listening, so if anyone has ideas, I’ll listen.”

You can watch Monday night’s forum in its entirety on the Mirror’s Facebook page at facebook.com/campbellrivermirror

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River City Council to look at more protection measures for great blue herons

Initial recommendation report came back with a few options, which will now be fleshed out

Campbell River Midget Tyees claim semi-final victory in overtime over Peninsula Eagles

The Campbell River Midget Tyees won their semi-final playoff game at Rod… Continue reading

Campbell River RCMP step up patrols to counteract rise in vehicle break-ins

In the last three weeks, The Campbell River RCMP has seen an… Continue reading

‘Blanket’ secondary suites bylaw for Campbell River stalls after first reading

Suites may be allowed in ‘all new construction’ but possibly not in ‘established neighbourhoods’

Campbell River rally shows support for Wet’suwet’en

Supporters gathered in front of MLA Claire Trevena and MP Rachel Blaney’s shared office space

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

BC Ferries gets injunction against demonstrations in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

The preemptive injunction is a ‘last resort in the interest of public safety,’ spokesperson says

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on rural B.C road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road in Abbotsford

B.C. men arrested after theft of heavy equipment leads to highway blockade

One man surrendered to police while the other was taken into custody the next morning, RCMP say

Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Wage increases, higher premiums and contract language part of new agreement

Most Read