There’s snow place like home

Trevor thinks the Town should adopt a snow removal policy for elderly and/or disabled residents

While people might like the snow and winter, very few like -30 temperatures or two-foot mounds of snow creeping onto their driveway.

Of course the plows need to get their job done, and I’ll take shovelling a small mound of snow at the edge of my driveway over slipping and sliding to work on icy, unplowed roads any day.

Others, however, don’t have the luxury to make that decision. At Smithers Town Council’s Jan. 14 meeting two residents wrote a very compelling letter urging the Town to consider a solution to the problem of snow removal for the Town’s residents who are elderly, disabled or otherwise physically unable to remove snow from their driveways.

Look, I’m the first to say I think able-bodied individuals who groan and complain about an inconvenient mound of snow on their property should get bigger things to worry about — it’s snow, big deal.

LAST WEEK TREV THOUGHTS: News can’t always be what you want it to be (that’s called propaganda)

However in the case of someone who is physically unable to remove the obstacle this isn’t a case of someone wanting to complain or simply being lazy. This is an individual whose ability to get out and participate in the community is being impacted.

With that in mind, I fully support this ask.

It fits in perfectly within the context of the Active Transportation Plan council adopted late last year which, among other things, strives to “support residents of all ages and abilities in choosing to travel by foot, bike and all other forms of active mobility to safely and efficiently get to where they need to go.”

Regardless of how you feel about our over-abundance of bike racks (I, for one, am happy I can just assume there will be one within 40 metres of my destination) that plan was a great step forward in terms of making Smithers an even more active transportation-friendly town.

Sure, it costs money, but what doesn’t?

There are so many aspects of life within the Bulkley Valley that are subsidized for the benefit of our communities, BC Transit being one obvious example.

We don’t provide the services because they make the Town or the Province money; rather money is spent on services because they improve the quality of life for the people using them.

MORE TREV THOUGHTS: It’s not ideal, but vaping can be a breath of fresh air for cigarette smokers

So why not snow removal for those who can’t do it themselves?

A number of communities already have systems in place, usually where an individual will pay a small fee to be able to receive a coloured marker they can then place on their property. Respective snow removal services will then remove mounds from any driveways which display such a marker.

It’s easy to dismiss this idea. To talk about how much it will cost the Town, or about how it isn’t fair and if you have to shovel snow Joe Blow three doors down should have to as well (regardless of his debilitating arthritis), but take a second.

What if it was your father, your mother, or your disabled family member?

How would you feel hearing they fell and seriously injured themselves trying to clear snow from their property.

This isn’t about fairness and it isn’t about you vs. someone else.

It’s about doing what we can to make our community safe and accessible for all the people lucky enough to call it home.

I don’t agree with everything town council does. I do agree with their efforts to make Smithers more pedestrian friendly.

Let’s hope they keep that ball rolling.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

Witset writes its own cannabis law

First Nation says it is their constitutional right to govern cultivation and sale of marijuana

Police watchdog recommends charges in 2017 in-custody death of Witset man

Dale Culver was pepper-sprayed by RCMP in Prince George and died later in hospital

Town grants Chamber $20K

Chamber estimates up to $65K in lost revenue, turns to council for help

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach urges feds to compensate airline passengers

Letter to transport minister touches on Northwest B.C. tourism operators impacted by COVID-19

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read