Slippery sidewalk? Strap on a crampon says Montreal Councillor

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

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ice-climbing.jpgSo much for the theory that eastern boroughs are much better than west coast cities at clearing snow off their sidewalks. We're hearing that they're having a heckuva time getting sidewalks cleared in Montreal as well.

A controversy is brewing over comments made by Marcel Tremblay, the Mayor's brother and councillor in charge of snow removal.

In what sounds a lot like a 'let them eat cake' comment, Mr. Tremblay told Montrealers to stop all their complaining about poorly cleaned streets and sidewalks and simply strap on a pair of crampons. "Better to spend 12 bucks on a pair of crampons than end up with a broken hip," is what the told the National Post.

For those unfamiliar with crampons, they are basically rubber slip ons with metal studs that go on top of your winter footwear. The deluxe versions help you climb up ice walls. No word yet on whether the City is planning to sell off their snow removal equipment and begin purchasing mass quantities of crampons for public distribution. There's a cost cutting measure if there ever was one.

You will recall that Montreal, and most of eastern Canada had a hellish winter last year. This year, Montrealers have no patience for civic officials finding ways to justify why the Canadiens could hold their practice on Rue. St. Denis. On second thought, that would make for an excellent venue for the next NHL 'classic' game!

Tremblay is blaming global climate change for the City's poor response. He told the Post "I would love to have perfectly clear sidewalks, that's for sure.  But with environmental change, it won't be that way." I somehow doubt his opinion is shared by the millions of Montreal residents having to strap their CCM skates to get to work every morning.

Tremblay's 'Oprahesque' endorsement of crampons may actually be catching on with local citizens. It appears that some stores in the Montreal area are completely sold out of every line.  Just imagine if Tremblay starts his own book club. The possibilities are endless.

With all this snow trouble in some of Canada's big cities, it is only a matter of time before the Big City Caucus (not to be confused with CityCaucus.com) convene an emergency Snow Summit. Rest assured if they do, we'll be there covering the story.

Road salt kills fish. De-icer kills plants. Snow ploughs cause noise pollution. So what are big cities to do if they want to keep our streets safe? CityCaucus.com researchers on the 24th floor of our Vancouver corporate campus are currently preparing a future post on how environmental concerns are impacting the way cities are coping with winter conditions. Stay tuned. 

1 Comment

Crampons are extremely sharp and would damage any interior flooring. It would be interesting if Montrealers would buy crampons and then go and visit city hall indoors with them still on. After the government sees the massive damage to the flooring, they'd have little recourse after they were the ones who recommended their usage.

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