Paul Vienneau, an accessibility advocate who made headlines last year after being spotted clearing ice and snow from his wheelchair, says he's noticed a big difference in municipal snow clearing efforts in downtown Halifax following Wednesday's snow storm. He says sidewalks are being cleared wider and down to the pavement.
"Last year they would tilt the bucket down on the Bobcat and do it like that and leave about two inches of snow that people would walk on," said Vienneau.
Vienneau is helping the municipality develop snow clearing protocols for sidewalks to make them more accessible for people with mobility issues.
"Last year at this time ... we wouldn't have been down to the pavement," he said.
Room for improvement
Outside downtown in Bedford, some streets didn't get any snow clearing hours after the storm ended.
Tim Outhit, councillor for Bedford-Wentworth, says he received close to 150 complaints Wednesday morning.
"The vast majority of them were saying, 'Hey, this isn't the way it used to be, I used to wake up in the morning and my hill was done, I used to wake up in the morning and my cul-d- sac had a first swipe,'" said Outhit.
The councillor says the reason it's taking so long for some streets to get cleared is because a flat-rate, private company — Dexter — is plowing the area. He says their contract prohibits municipal crews from assisting.
Meanwhile Matt Whitman, deputy mayor and councillor for Hammonds Plains-St.Margaret's, said Wednesday morning was too soon to complain about snow removal.
"The minimum standard is 12 hours, the maximum is 24 hours, so no one needs to contact their councillor and complain in the first two, three, four hours or five hours," said Whitman.