Snow removal as a city responsibility has become an important election issue. People have divided opinions on what should be done. My position is predicated on the right of all people to be able to go about their daily lives at all times of the year. Here is my position.
Regarding snow removal on city sidewalks, I was very disappointed when council flip-flopped on the snow removal pilot project they were proposing. I believe that nobody should be housebound in the winter because of uncleared sidewalks. We have an aging population and people with disabilities who should be able to safely walk or wheel through the streets in the winter. Also, families with young kids should be able to travel along safe and clear sidewalks. I lived in the City of Halifax, which is double the size of Kitchener in population and area, for a year in 2015-2016 and the municipality clears all sidewalks. The program was not without its drawbacks. For example, people living in suburban areas often complained that it could take days after a heavy snowfall for the sidewalks to be cleared. I lived in the downtown area of the city and it was nice to have cleared sidewalks, street corners and bus stops. If they were properly funded I would support the city providing snow removal services. As a stepping stone to city-wide clearing I would like to see city council reconsider the pilot project as proposed earlier this year.