Municipalities need new snow removal strategy, says Demers

Climate change making an impact, Laval mayor tells UMQ

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Municipalities need new snow removal strategy, says Demers

(TLN) During a recent meeting with the president of the Quebec Union of Municipalities, Laval mayor Marc Demers suggested the province’s towns and cities should work to develop a common snow removal strategy, taking into account new climate realities that snow removal crews are dealing with.

Changing climate

Demers noted that despite all the hard work by the City of Laval’s public works crews for snow removal and de-icing, quickly evolving climate changes are creating situations that are drastically complicating the task for snow removal workers.

In the proposal made to UMQ president (and Drummondville mayor) Alexandre Cusson, Demers said, “Since it would seem obvious that all the efforts to combat climate change will not succeed in reversing the trend in the short-term, should not the UMQ create a study table which would concern itself with the strategies to be adopted in order to deal with this new reality?”

An evolving situation

According to Mayor Demers, the idea takes into account weather conditions which would have been considered exceptional previously, although they’ve now become more common, including quickly rising and dropping temperatures and twice as much rain as usual for this time of year.

“In the space of a few days or sometimes even during just a single day, we see periods of snow and rain fall that are often spaced with periods of freezing rain,” Demers added in his message to the UMQ president. He also suggested certain parameters within which discussions on snow removal and climate change might be discussed.

Municipalities need new snow removal strategy, says Demers

Learning to adapt

“The goal should be to see how we can better adapt to the numerous challenges created by the new climate conditions our crews now face on the terrain,” he said. “This includes challenges to come, as well as our future needs in order to improve our operational strategies.

Demers suggested that Laval city councillor Ray Khalil, who is responsible for public works on the City of Laval’s executive-committee, should serve as a liaison with UMQ members sharing similar concerns. For his part, Khalil said he was confident that Laval and other UMQ cities could find a common ground in order to develop an improved approach to snow and ice removal in the context of a changing climate.