Winnipeg forgives parking tickets for snowbound streets

Post by Mike Klassen in


City of WinnipegA neighbour ran up to me tonight as we picked up our kids from the local out of school care. "Did you get my message?" he said. I dug out my cell phone. Missed call. "I saw you on TV last night, and I thought you should know that the City was ticketing everyone along Fraser..." He went on to tell me that he was head-shaking mad that the by-law officers were out in full force today.

I caught a news item on the 5pm news about the effort. Too bad for those guys, I thought. The snow and ice made it impossible to park on side streets and now even the major thoroughfares.

Then this evening I spotted a story on the newswire about the City of Winnipeg. They, too, began ticketing citizens whose cars were stuck on snowy streets. But they decided to forgive all those tickets because they had not given sufficient public notice and posting it on the city's website.

So now I'm thinking, the City of Vancouver sicks their by-law officers onto drivers who either can't move their cars without the help of a tow truck, or can't park within a few feet of the curb because of the iceberg wedged beside it. I'm beginning to think my neighbour (who wasn't ticketed by the way, but runs a delivery business) had cause to be upset.

Has the City of Vancouver issued any bulletin that this was going to happen? The last weather update makes no mention of ticketing. I know that our critics will say, well you should assume this. But this extreme weather has everyone improvising a lot these days. Maybe Vancouver's quasi-productive communications team needs to let us know when mass ticketing programs are underway.

By the way, if you check out the City of Winnipeg's website, here are some amazing stats for a city much smaller than Vancouver. Their annual budget for snow removal is $6 million, about three times that of Vancouver. Here are the stats on what they have accomplished so far:

  • RESIDENTIAL STREETS - 85% complete.
  • BACK LANES - 83% complete.
  • SIDEWALKS - Priority I: 100%; Priority II: 100%; Priority III: 98% complete
  • Sanding of streets is ongoing to improve traction on the roadways and will continue around-the-clock.
  • Plowing of sidewalks on residential streets will continue until completed.

These are jaw-dropping accomplishments for early January. But these guys are good at winter.


You're right about Winnipeg's ability to do winter right. When I moved here 8 years ago, I thought it was a joke when someone ran into my office one fine winter day to suggest I send everyone home because there was a "storm". What I saw were gently falling flakes that barely made it to the ground before they melted.

The point is that how we respond to weather conditions, as much else life throws us, is relative. But it's no excuse for the laggard response to snow in Vancouver. Streets not cleared? Garbage not picked up? Come on. It's been weeks, not hours or days! Snow happens. Even in Vancouver.

In Winnipeg, I parked in a garage off a back lane. There was never any doubt that I would be able to get out, because the lane was always cleared, as were all the streets. So it didn't occur to me last Monday night that the streets off Main Street would be nearly impassable. Had it not been for my 4WD, I would have been in trouble.

And why were people not digging out their own cars, and clearing their sidewalks? I read an article suggesting we need laws to mandate that Vancouverites clear snow. Surely it's common sense that this is not only a municipal responsibility, but a personal responsibility as well.

You're also right about notice being posted in Winnipeg for when and where you will be ticketed, what is a snow clearing street, etc---even on short notice, as in the aftermath of a storm.

Nobody from the Lower Mainland (or, for that matter, from Toronto, where they call in the "forces") should rag on Winnipeg ever again.

Btw, today's CKNW ( Poll of the Day question is:

"Do you think municipalities should ticket road-side cars abandoned because of the snow?"

Check out!

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