Snow Removal Reform: Montrealers can expect a reduction in services

Ensemble Montréal’s party leader and mayors held a press conference Thursday morning at City Hall to denounce an impending cutback in snow removal services. The Plante administration intends to implement reforms in this area that will make snow removal noticeably slower. Among other things, blue-collar workers and subcontractors will have 4.3 days rather than 3.1 days to carry out clearing operations, and the size of areas served by city employees will increase from 30 km to 40 km, forcing some boroughs to share services.

Projet Montréal expects the weather to adapt to their political agenda. I never thought I’d see a city administration asking for snow clearing to take longer. With all these service cutbacks, Montrealers have every right to wonder just what is the purpose of the record 4.9% tax increase recently imposed on them” declared Aref Salem, Leader of the Official Opposition at Montréal City Hall.

Not to mention that boroughs will now be limited to one local clearing operation a year rather than two, and will have to pay for it and obtain permission from the central city to initiate it. In addition to putting enormous financial pressure on the boroughs, which are already facing a revenue shortfall, this major change also infringes on their autonomy and powers. Since geography, weather and urban planning realities vary greatly from one area to another, this decision will certainly create an imbalance in services to residents.

“The boroughs are on the front line. They are in the best position to identify and respond quickly to needs. Projet Montréal’s proposed reform will create inequities not only between residents, but also between our neighbourhoods. I’m particularly concerned about the elderly and people with disabilities, who were already complaining to us about universal accessibility issues related to snow removal”, insisted Christine Black, mayor of Montréal-Nord.

The reform proposed by the Plante administration will be voted on at the city April 15 council meeting. If adopted, it will be in force for 10 years. 

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