The councillor for Halifax West
Residents of HRM were responsible to clear their own sidewalks up until 2013, when the city put the onus on municipal contractors. The result, Cleary says, is inconsistent clearing from district to district. There’s also the issue of equipment damaging property.
“Here on the peninsula especially—Districts 7, 8 and 9—we get
Cleary has been outspoken
“But downtown Halifax is like the most difficult sidewalk snow clearing you’ll ever find,” he says, pointing out that it costs less to clear residential areas such as Sackville and Bedford.
The report also noted that “sidewalk snow clearing will never be like road snow clearing,” as it will never get down to bare concrete.
“That kind of sets it up that it will never be as good as it would be if residents did it themselves—assuming that everyone went out and did it themselves,” says Cleary.
Now, he says, he’s “taking another stab at” getting
“I don’t think it’s as expensive as staff let on for it to be,” he says.
Even if council votes for the staff reports, it'll be too late for any changes in time for next winter.
“There’s no way that, if they were gonna do it in-house, they could hire 400 people between now and October, November,” says Cleary, but the councillor believes this as an opportunity to map out a plan slowly and do it right.
“If it’s not gonna be done any better than it is now, then you might as well just take a wheelbarrow full of money down to City Hall and burn it in Grand Parade.”