Montreal wants to give boroughs more power over snow clearing

The City of Montreal is modifying its snow-removal policy to give boroughs more latitude. It will allow borough mayors to launch up to two snow removal operations per season at their discretion.

The city wants to allow boroughs to launch up to 2 snow-removal operations per season, at their discretion

The city's new snow-removal policy will still be centralized, but boroughs will have more leeway. (CBC)

The City of Montreal wants to change its snow-removal policy to allow for more flexibility when it comes to deciding when the snow gets cleared and carted away.

Currently, the central city authorizes the launch of snow-removal operations.

Under the revised plan, the process will still be centralized, but the city will allow borough mayors to launch up to two snow-removal operations per season at their discretion, and the city will pick up the tab.

"It was really important to give back some powers to the boroughs to make the difference specifically for their borough," said Jean-François Parenteau, the executive committee member in charge of snow removal.

But the increased leeway is not enough for some. Anjou Mayor Luis Miranda wants the boroughs to have full autonomy.

"They weren't able to produce any reports that show us that centralization does work in anything that they've centralized so far," he told CBC News Monday.

Last year, Miranda authorized a snow-removal operation before getting the central city's permission, and said he would not pay the fine.

Other changes to the city's snow removal policy include:

  • Extending the window of time boroughs have to start and complete snow-removal operations.
  • Allowing operations to begin when there is 2.5 centimetres of snow on the ground, on major arteries and smaller streets alike.
  • Forming a committee to assess how to adapt snow removal with climate change.

The revised policy will be voted on at the next council meeting.

With files from Sean Henry


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