The 21-Percent Solution

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


Mayor Robertson reveals just over one in five of the City's snow removal fleet used to help housebound Vancouverites trapped by Snowmageddon

Radio talk show host Rick Quinton of CKNW sounded like many exasperated Vancouverites on his broadcast tonight. Listen to Rick's thoughts about Vancouver's snow troubles and the spectre of a 2010 embarrassment (email subscribers download here):


In an interview with CKNW News earlier today, Mayor Robertson finally spoke to the electorate regarding his city's prolonged bout of extreme weather. He candidly confirmed that at times only 10 snow removal trucks (21% of the fleet) were being used to help free housebound citizens who are unable to venture outside due to ice and snow conditions on the City's streets and sidewalks.

The elderly, frail and disabled will likely be frustrated with what his worship told CKNW about the City's snow removal strategy over the coming days:

"We are hearing that rain is coming Sunday, so we hopefully have gotten through the longest stretch of snow in Vancouver's modern history, and we won't be needing to...if it continues on, we'll have to look at the next layer of side streets that we can get to, if we are into more snow over this next week. But, the forecast is for rain. Everyone's been doing their rain dance," says Robertson.

To add insult to injury, Councillor Raymond Louie, the Mayor's point person on Snowmageddon during his absence, told reporter Frances Bula that citizens should remain calm. He explains that the City is planning to purchase another 5 snow ploughs (thanks, Frances, for confirming the Canadian spelling) to put on the streets by 2010. asks, how will five more snow ploughs make any difference when you didn't even use all the ones you currently have in your fleet? Won't these shiny new vehicles simply sit idle alongside the rest of the fleet that wasn't used to clear the streets and sidewalks?

Once again, the Mayor needs to show the kind of leadership exhibited by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, and request an immediate review regarding how the City handled the recent snowfall. It's the least he can do to make it up to all those folks who've been shut in for so long.


City Caucus,

Has anyone given a reason as to why they only used 21% of the fleet at any one time??
I'm confused.

Perhaps that's a question best posed directly to his Worship. I know he and his staff are avid readers of I suspect they will be posting something here forthwith.


Thanks so much for this important scoop. When will the city take some form of responsibility in the public eye for the complete lack of attentiveness to the problems facing Vancouver residents? Not everybody lives on Broadway.

All I hear is poverty from the city, but what is the cost of replacing the potholes from allowing permafrost to develop on every side street in the city?

Cost of lost man hours to economy? People left without access to doctors because they can't leave their homes? Cost of the elderly, infirm, disabled, young, pregnant, ill? Is anyone going to stand up and apologize to them? Anyone?

Or are they going to pull a Derrick Corrigan and tell them it's all our own fault?

Your right on the disAbled being somewhat pissed.I am very reluctant to venture into Van with my car .Indeed I have not done so since before Christmas.
Indeed I had to cancel out on holiday visits because its just to hard to get around,and I can still walk,although with a cane and then only on relatively flat ground which must be dry,ice-free,and snow-free.
Those people in wheelchairs or who depend on public transport must be pulling their hair out by now.By the added isolation,over and above what most already endure.

It's reassuring to see on the news tonight that City workers are removing chains and emptying the salt out of the fleet of trucks. Not clear whether it was 21% or the entire fleet.

This as the news was reporting another snowfall this evening.

Congratulations again, Comrade Captain Gregor.

Jay...I didn't catch the news, but it looks like another 10-15 centimetres will be piling up on those Vancouver streets. Were they really taking off the chains and removing the salt? What were they thinking??

From Wikipedia: "Shortly before the end of his administration, a blizzard struck Chicago and effectively closed down the city. The city's slow response to the debilitating storm was blamed on Bilandic's inaction. He lost the primary election to Jane Byrne, a disgruntled former member of his Cabinet, who went on to succeed Bilandic. Many political observers saw Bilandic's defeat as indicative of the end of Chicago's Democratic machine. In fact, a public official who is defeated due to perceived failure to respond to a snowstorm is said to be Bilandicked"

Wow....only in government can you get a new job and then take a vacation in the first 6 weeks. What a joke, not to mention that little comment about his "kids chagrin" about him being on the phone about work. Are we supposed to feel sorry for them?
I can't believe he went at all under the circumstances. I think this was Gregor's best display of government experience yet...knowing that he could take a vacation right away.
I also can't believe that there is not more scrutiny of city hall labour policy. This sounds much like the horrors with Air Canada. Union workers who just decide not to come to work or cluster holidays during peak time. My guess is that those who were there to work got to make megabucks working overtime hours as well.

Check out!

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