This just in: the latest update on Vancouver’s White Christmas crisis

  • With council debating a motion to have an independent inquiry into the Christmas and New Year’s snow crisis, it’s helpful to review this comprehensive report from City Engineer Jerry Dobrovolny, who headed up the clean-up.

Among the key conclusions:

  • there was never a salt shortage, despite reports to the contrary;
  • the snow event was of unprecedented length and intensity;
  • gaps in garbage pick-up and recycling pick-up were concentrated in certain areas and impacted a relatively small share of residents; and
  • city staff did everything they could, in the right order, to get the situation normalized.

The motion council began with thanks to city staff for their efforts and asking for estimates of the cost of providing full snow removal on side streets.

It was a difficult time, no doubt, and a challenge to improve in the future. But as a former Toronto resident told council — the only speaker on an issue that seized the city for two weeks — now that it’s melted, few people still care.