City will remove snow, ice left by last week's storm starting tonight
City apologizes for not clearing snow and ice sooner, opposition blames penny pinching
Freezing rain fell on Montreal last week and without much help from Mother Nature melting it, the city has announced it will clear what's left of it on Sunday.
The operation will begin 7 p.m.
Jean-François Parenteau, the executive committee member responsible for the citizen services file, tweeted Saturday afternoon that the mild temperatures felt during the day proved insufficient to melt the ice.
"We were expecting a thaw that could have gone up to seven degrees," Parenteau told Radio-Canada.
He added that removing snow and ice stuck to the ground is "complex."
Parenteau apologized for not announcing a plan to clear the ice earlier.
Mayor Valérie Plante pointed out that the city has been salting the sidewalks in the past few days, and that one snow removal operation costs the city $15 million and this is the third one of 2018, she added.
"As an administration we need to look at all the pieces before pressing a button … 'go!' [to] remove snow," Plante said.
She added that the city's administration expected the snow to melt.
Opposition criticizes delay for snow clearing
The opposition leader at city hall, Lionel Perez, criticized Parenteau for not thinking of the safety of Montrealers in delaying snow clearing.
"Montrealers have been waiting five days for this decision, five days of having to face icy sidewalks and streets cluttered with snow," Perez said.
He added that the city was only delaying cleaning up after the storm to save money.
Parenteau countered that the Plante-Dorais administration is "not worried about the budget when it comes to people" and said the city has been putting abrasives, like gravel, on the ground all week.
Déneigement: Un chargement est décrété pour demain 19h00. Le redoux n’est pas aussi grand et l’accumulation prévu lundi n’est plus au rendez-vous. À postériori nous aurions pu décréter avant. Ce fut un mauvais choix de ma part et je m’en excuse! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/polmtl?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#polmtl</a> <a href="https://t.co/lOIeK521ZW">pic.twitter.com/lOIeK521ZW</a>—@JFParenteau